AROUND THE WEB

As seen on MindBodyGreen…

DadandToddlerSightseeing-850x400“This Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Child’s Brain”

If there existed one, simple thing you could do to improve your child’s performance every day at school, in addition to their long-term educational and health outcomes, earnings, and family stability, you’d want to do it, right?

Well, believe it or not, this one, simple thing does exist. And it’s probably even simpler than you think. The answer? Talk to your children.

Studies have shown that babies need something besides the latest, whiz-bang stroller, interactive toy or car seat to get a good start to their intellectual, emotional and physical development. They need words — songs, nursery rhymes, casual chitchat, books and bedtime stories. All that babbling you find yourself doing when around an adorable toddler isn’t frivolous or silly: it’s brain building. Talking to a baby doesn’t just encourage language development specifically. It’s essential to brain development overall.  Read more

  As seen on Tiny Buddha…

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“How To Change The Past By Changing Your Thinking”

Death didn’t happen quickly like in the movies.

A compassionate nurse set the tone and gently guided us through the ordeal. Mom, Dad, my other brother, and I spread out so that one of us held each of Chris’ hands and feet with a person at his head. Time passed in slow motion.

In horror, I watched for more than an hour as his breathing abated, with the pauses in between his raspy, strained breaths becoming longer and longer. I fervently sent him love and light and wished him peace as I watched the scene unfold through my tears.  Read more

As seen on Huffington Post…

“How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells, and Genes”

Every minute of every day, your body is physically reacting, literally changing, in response to the thoughts that run through your mind.

It’s been shown that just thinking about something causes your brain to release neurotransmitters, chemical messengers allowing it to communicate with itself and your nervous system. Neurotransmitters control virtually all of your body’s functions, from hormones to digestion to feeling happy or sad. Read more

 As seen on MindBodyGreen…

tempo per dormireSleep-Deprivation Is ACTUALLY Ruining Your Life: Here’s How To Fix It

From your skin to your job to your relationships, sleep affects everything. But these days, more of us are sleep-deprived than not. It’s such a big problem that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared it a public health epidemic — similar to the warnings issued about smoking cigarettes decades ago. Here are a few ways not sleeping is hurting you.

It’s making you sick. – After just one night of skimping on sleep, you’ll experience changes in mood, headache, and hormone imbalances. One week of sleeping fewer than six hours a night can result in changes to more than 700 genes. Read more

As seen on Wake Up World…

Naming-and-Taming-Worry-and-Anxiety-300x205“Naming and Taming Worry and Anxiety”

While worry and anxiety can both make you miserable, they are two distinct concepts occurring in different parts of your brain. You can have worry without anxiety, and anxiety without worry, but one often triggers the other, and they tend to be bosom buddies, unfortunately. Put simply, worrying is thinking about something, and anxiety is feeling it.

Worry and anxiety are not all bad and developed for your protection. Both are really your brain’s way of learning from past experiences to try to steer you clear of potential dangerous situations in the future. Your brain’s number one priority is keeping you alive. When something bad happens, your thinking brain notes everything that preceded the event and tries to figure out patterns and connections within that occurrence and to past bad experiences that might have predicted it. Read more

As seen on Huffington Post…

“How I Stopped Being A People Pleaser”

I’ve been a people pleaser of the worst kind for most of my life. I used to try to make everyone else happy and dodge their displeasure at my own expense. By doing this, I created a world where I placed my well-being in the hands of others for them to crumple up like a piece of paper thrown in the trash.

When a school party needed organizing, baking or decorating, I was your girl. When a friend wanted someone to watch her kids after school, I was the sure go-to. You name it, I did it. While I was always available for assisting others, I regularly neglected to take care of, give to and help myself.

On my priority list, I was somewhere at the bottom, right below the dog. Read more

As seen on Lifehack…

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How you experience life boils down to the chemicals in your brain. Happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety – all can be traced to what’s going on inside your head. In the past decade we’ve come a long way in the science of happiness and have a pretty good idea of what happy looks like in your brain these days. Rather than being in the passenger’s seat of this process, science has proven, without a doubt, that you can take control of your brain and hack into your happy neurochemicals. Read More

As seen on MindBodyGreen…

HighlySensitiveWomanWithNeutralFace-850x400“I Left A Marriage After 18 Years. Here’s What I Learned”

After hanging onto my marriage for way too long (to the point where things got Divorce Court ugly), I finally mustered the courage to end the 18-year union with my high school sweetheart. Although I was the one to finally walk away, I was devastated by the death of the dreams I’d held for myself and my children.

After a decade, a suicide attempt, several therapists, and a couple of antidepressants, I’ve come to understand that I was causing my own suffering by torturing myself with expectations of what I thought my life should be. Now, I realize that there are no “shoulds.” There is only what is.  Read more

As seen on Wake Up World…

How-to-Build-a-More-Positive-Brain“How To Build A More Positive Brain”

While the idea of having either a sunny brain or a rainy brain is a little bit extreme, it’s not too far off base because optimistic brains actually do function differently than pessimistic ones.

As science has begun to unravel and validate the complex neurobiology of positive emotion and optimism, it’s been discovered that three brain regions play a crucial role in making and keeping you optimistic. Read more

 As seen on MindBodyGreen…

ManRelaxingInTheSea-850x400“How To Rescue Yourself From Obsessive Worrying”

Worrying has become a national pastime. Whether you’re worrying about repaying your college loan, having job stability in an unstable economy or making sure your toddler hits all the developmental milestones at the right times, there’s no shortage of material for mind sweat.

Basically, the same brain circuits that make for super human intelligence in our frontal lobes (allowing decision making, problem solving, and planning) also produce worry. For your brain, the only difference between worrying and planning is the amount of emotional involvement and self-oriented processing in a specific part of the brain. Of course, we all know worrying is charged with more negative emotions. Read more

As seen on MindBodyGreen…
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“How Staring At A Screen Changes Your Brain (For The Worse)”

The typical US citizen spends a staggering 50 plus hours consuming media from a screen per week. Recent statistics show that the average U.S. adult spends around two hours and 20 minutes per day online, about the same amount of time on mobile devices, and another four hours and 31 minutes watching TV.  Ever wonder what all this screen time is doing to your brain?

According to Dr. Michael Merzenich, author of Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life, the news isn’t good. For a human to focus their vision on the area right in front of their nose for so many hours a day drives negative changes in the brain. Read more

As seen on Huffington Post…

n-FEAR-large570 (1)“Are You Living According To What You Want Or Don’t Want”

It may seem like a pretty silly question, but let me explain.

Let’s assume that the primary goals in life are to be loved, happy, and financially secure — whatever those may look like to you. Surprisingly, many of us go through our lives making decisions trying to get these prizes by dodging their opposites. I can’t help but think of my son’s electronic games with the main guy frantically zigzagging to avoid an explosion every couple of feet and a zombie around every corner.

People stay in relationships in which they’re miserable because they don’t want to be alone. Many continue at jobs where they aren’t happy because it pays the bills and it’s easier than finding something else. All too often, a person sticks to the safe path, inside their comfort zone, avoiding discomfort, but stuck in a numb existence sleep walking their way through life. Read more

As seen on Wake Up World… 

157345088_2e85840cdd_z“Understanding the Difference Between Emotions and Feelings –

and Why It Matters”

Although feelings and emotions are two sides of the same coin, they are very distinct events and understanding the difference can help you increase your emotional intelligence and happiness.

Your emotions and feelings play a powerful role in how you experience and interact with the world because they are the driving force behind many of your behaviors, both helpful and unhelpful. It’s possible to react to emotions and the feelings they evoke which are guided by unconscious fear-based perceptions which you may not buy into anymore, yet you’re living your life, making decision and behaving according to these out-dated tendencies. Living unaware like this almost always leads to problems and unhappiness. Read more

As seen on MindBodyGreen…

GirlMeditatingInTheSnow-850x400“9 Unexpected Tips To Beat Stress When Your Life Is A Mess”

With the extra hustle and bustle of the season (shopping, decorating, wrapping, socializing, etc.), it’s easy to feel less than wonderful during this most wonderful time of the year. When you find yourself caught up in the middle of the frenzy in need of a break, what can you do?

We all know the usuals: take a walk, a nap, a deep breath or exercise, but here are a few pointers you might not have heard yet. Some you can even do right on the spot without anyone knowing.  Read more

As seen on Your Brain Health…

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“Neuroplasticity: The Battle In Your Brain”

When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, he had to work in an awkward position with his head thrown back looking up. During the project, his brain adapted so that he saw the world in that weird upside down way all the time.  Upon completion, his vision took several months to go back to normal.

Studies have revealed that musicians, who play stringed instruments, have larger areas of their brains dedicated to their active hands. Brain scans of London taxi drivers have shown that the more years a driver has on the job correlates to a larger portion of their brain handling the storage of spatial relationships. Meditators exhibited denser parts of their brains activated when paying close attention to something.  Read more

As seen on Elephant Journal…

suicide“Blessings in Disguise: My Unsuccessful Suicide Attempt”

Taking gulps of my favorite, cheap shiraz wine right out of the bottle, I quickly swallowed handful after handful of the happy-colored pills.

They looked like candy, but there was no sweet taste. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to mix meds with alcohol, but in this case, it didn’t matter.

I felt calm, triumphant and even proud for having had the guts to actually do it. Once the deed was done, the snarly bitch in my mind finally shut up. The mental movie of my hideous past and dreaded future reached the end of the reel at last. It was eerily quiet inside my head for the first time in a long time.  Read more

As seen on Huffington Post…

“Face Your Fears (And Valentine’s Day)”

I’ve lived most of my life like a bird in a cage with the door wide open. At any time, I could have hopped over to the opening, soared to new heights, and explored new horizons. All along, I’ve had the ability to fly, but my own fear and self-imposed limitations kept me there. I was my own prison guard.

Sure, I got insanely tired of living a numb existence in my box day after day, but at least I always had food, water, and shelter, and knew the routine. The cage was my comfort zone – even if it was uncomfortable as hell – and was preferable to me than the big, scary unknown.  Read more

As seen on Brain Pages…

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“What’s The Difference Between The Mind and The Brain?”

We all know what our brain is, right? It is that three pounds of “convoluted mass of gray and white matter” in our heads “serving to control and coordinate mental and physical actions.”

OK. Now, define the mind. Not as easy, eh?! You may be surprised to find that there is no single, agreed upon definition of the mind. The psychiatric, mental health and medical professions each have their own functional definitions. Equally surprising to me is that, by default, a healthy mind is generally thought of as one with the absence of any symptoms of mental illness. Really? I would hope it can get better than that.  Read more

As seen on Huffington Post…

Change Your World By Changing Your Expectations

On Facebook the other day, I saw a post which read: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.” For decades, I was the world’s best at fabricating this illusory bubble and criticizing myself mercilessly when I and my life looked nothing like it.

Through 18 years of marriage and for several years of single motherhood after, I tried to live up to the picture I held of a with-it woman who could keep her man happy, use a power drill, edge the yard, and whip up a mouth watering dinner in a sparkling kitchen looking like it came right out of a magazine while she looked effortlessly fabulous the whole time. Right!

Needless to say, I nor my life ever fit this description — not even close. Read more

As seen on Huffington Post…

“Are Your Beliefs Holding You Back”

In India, when training baby elephants, their handlers begin by sturdily chaining one hind leg of the animal to a tree. The young elephant becomes accustomed to the chain and soon, doesn’t even try to break free. The trainer continually reduces the size of the chain until finally, all that’s required to constrain the animal is a thin string. It’s not the string that restrains him. It’s his belief.

 Like the elephant, your beliefs can keep you from realizing your full potential, cause low self-esteem, and lead to anxiety and depression. Read more

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