<![CDATA[ Reflections Counseling - Blog]]>Tue, 15 Dec 2015 07:46:52 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A fun introduction to mindfulness]]>Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:07:42 GMThttp://reflectionsmt.weebly.com/blog/a-fun-introduction-to-mindfulnessTake a minute to watch this silly, truthful video about mindfulness. The more we are able to analyze what is making us upset the better off we are going to be. I find it helpful to repeat the mantra "It's not about me" in these situations as well. In the example in the video it's easy to take other people's actions as a personal attack but most of the time you don't even exist to them. Practice mindfulness. It works!

"Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower: An Animation. Mindfulness has been a buzzword over the last couple of years, but what does it really mean? And more importantly, how does being more mindful actually impact our day-to-day lives? Watch our new animation narrated by Dan Harris, and you'll understand why it's one of the single most powerful things you can do for your wellbeing." from Happify.com
<![CDATA[Stop and smell the roses . . . (mindfulness and grounding)]]>Fri, 18 Sep 2015 18:35:49 GMThttp://reflectionsmt.weebly.com/blog/stop-and-smell-the-roses-mindfulness-and-groundingPicture
When was the last time you stopped and smelled the roses? No, really. Can't remember? Well, here is your reminder. You might ask, "Why is this important to me"?. In our crazy fast-paced world most of us are living in the past or the future. Very few of us are in tune with the present (unless you are a monk, maybe). Do you know who our best teachers of mindfulness and focusing on the present are? Children. Children are so in tune to the present world and you know what, they actually do stop to smell the flowers, and touch the bugs, and listen to the airplane flying overhead, taste the tartness of the tangerine, and I could go on and on.

Here is a little lesson on focusing on the present which in the counseling/psychology world is called Mindfulness or Grounding. The key is to remember the five senses. When you are stressed out and need a mental break pay attention to your senses and ask yourself these questions:

1. What am I seeing? Describe it in detail. What color is it? What shape is it? Is it pastel or a rich color?
2. What am I touching? Describe it in detail. Is it soft or hard? Is it cold or warm? Is it smooth or rough?
3. What am I smelling? Okay, you may not always be able to or even want to do this :) But, if you are smelling the roses or rain or a meal on the stove or in the oven this one is great.
4. What am I hearing? Describe it in detail. Is it loud or soft? Is it constant or intervals? Is it high pitched or low pitched?
5. What am I tasting? Here again, this will not always be appropriate. But when it is you can focus in detail on how something tastes, sweet or salty, strong or light? Describe it in detail.

An important point in this is not to judge, keep emotion out of it. If you see a grey sky don't go to "I hate grey it's depressing". Just leave it at "It's grey" which is not positive or negative in itself . . . it just is. Combine the senses for items to make the mindfulness session last longer.

The best thing about being mindful and doing grounding exercises is you can do them anywhere and no one will know. Practice, practice, practice, and you will find yourself having refreshing mini mind vacations during the day.  

Now go out and smell the roses!

<![CDATA[Blues skies and the clouds . . .]]>Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:42:00 GMThttp://reflectionsmt.weebly.com/blog/blues-skies-and-the-cloudsLook out the window. What is that you see? It seems the smoky haze is finally receding (if only for a day). I don't know how many of you will relate but in speaking with others over the past weeks there has been a common feeling of being closed in by the smoke from the fires that are ravaging the Western states and areas. This brings me to think of the upcoming fall and winter seasons when the days begin to get shorter and we turn back our clocks. Have you heard of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder? Those that are affected by this condition typically experience its effects the most in the coming seasons but can even affect some when it is cloudy for too many days, or perhaps, when the skies are filled with smoky haze. SAD follows similar symptom guidelines as Major Depression which includes:

Excessive sleep or insomnia
Loss of appetite or overeating
Loss of energy and motivation
Feeling "down"

among other symptoms. Treatments that can help are phototherapy or "light therapy" and psychotherapy. If you find yourself feeling "down in the dumps" as the days get shorter be sure to talk to a friend, practice good self-care, and consult others who can help you through the difficult times.

As a side note, I hope all who are directly affected by the wildfires remain safe and are able to resume a regular daily life as soon as possible.
<![CDATA[Great tips on how to gain some control over worry . .  .]]>Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:29:04 GMThttp://reflectionsmt.weebly.com/blog/great-tips-on-how-to-gain-some-control-over-worryWorry, anxiety, "worry-wart", stress. These are all ways we describe the same thing known in my world as anxiety. Anxiety is much more common than you may think. Some of us have a regular amount of worry that we use to motivate us. But, some have "excessive" worry that interrupts our ability to enjoy life. The tips in this link can be very helpful in putting your mind at ease but it takes work. These are just some of the principles you can practice in your life and/or learn in counseling. Enjoy!
<![CDATA[Trying something new . . .]]>Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:15:05 GMThttp://reflectionsmt.weebly.com/blog/trying-something-newWhat is it that holds us back? Fear. Fear of failing, fear of embarrassment, fear of many things. I am a brand new blogger. I am a therapist. As a therapist I should not have any fear to try new things. But we are all human. So off I go on my journey of becoming a blogger and I have no idea how this will turn out but at least I've tried. When working with my clients my hope is to help infuse a little humor in daily life, when appropriate. This blog will hopefully bring you some new information, tips for new ways of coping with life and with any luck it will bring a smile to your face! Please enjoy!