skills

Are you just FAKING it?

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I often talk about connection as a central purpose in our lives. It’s the source of a lot of our happiness, self-worth, and shared human experience. However, what we do and how we try to connect can say a lot about our true intentions and motivations.

So what do I mean by that?

Think about a conversation you’ve had recently – we use storytelling as a way to connect, relate, and empathize with each other. Right?

Think about the kind of stories people tell you:

  • Do they use over sharing? Like telling you intimate details too soon for your relationship with them? Chances are this is a pseudo connection, and can actually push people away from you.
  • Are they comparing themselves to you or one-upping you? Sounds like they are motivated to build their own self-importance – which does not lead to a real connection!

True vulnerability uses healthy boundaries. It allows for the time to build trust and is held accountable by both parties involved. Who do you connect with like this?

{WATCH the video to find out if YOU fake it!}

Now, think about how you connect with others:

  • What kind of stories do you tell? Why do you tell them?
  • When you’re trying to really connect with someone, what do you do differently?

So, I challenge you to really consider your motivations and intentions behind what you share and how you try to connect.  Be more mindful of this in your next conversation. Find out what you do differently when you really want a genuine connection, and how it affects the connection you make.

Did you try it? Share your comments and experience in the section below the video (on YouTube) or in the comments section on the Blog.

The best bad advice I’ve ever heard!

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I was lucky enough to go to New York City a few weeks ago and see the Book of Mormon on Broadway. Such a fantastic show in case you haven’t heard! Anyway, one of the songs really struck me, and I think it’s got to be the best bad advice I’ve ever heard: Turn in off!

See the lyrics for yourself:

You say you got a problem, well thats no problem, It's super easy not to feel that way!

When you start to get confused because of thoughts in your head, Don't feel those feelings! Hold them in instead

Turn it off, like a light switch just go click!”

 

Don’t feel those feelings?

Hold them in?

Turn it off?????

Although the song is clearly ridiculous and exaggerates, I think we (as in YOU and ME) think we can really handle our problems this way! Ever try to “shake” a bad feeling or thought? I think that’s the same as “turning it off”.

So what should you do instead?

Information is power! And there is tons of information in all those feelings, thoughts, and signals our body and brains send us all the time. Don’t turn those off! Listen to what they’re trying to say! You don’t necessarily have to follow through on all their suggestions. But the more information you have, more informed of a decision you can make!

Ever had a thought or feeling you couldn’t shake? What was the signal your body was trying to send you? How did you make use of that information instead?  Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

Happy healing,

Brittany

PS- see the full song here!

 

Listening Advice from Larry King

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“Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” – Larry King, internationally known television and radio show host

It's not often that I get the chance to quote Larry King. So when I do, I take it!

One of the best things we can do to connect to others, learn about someone, and get smarter is to listen! I know, sounds strange right?

But think about this: How often to do you interrupt when someone else is talking? Think about what you're going to say when the other person finishes? Check your email when you're supposed to be listening? Are you supposed to be listening to someone right now while reading this?!!

Clean up your listening act now to be more present, charismatic, and genuine in your interactions with others:

- Stop multi-tasking! If you care about what the person is saying, then you owe it to them. If you don't care, then why are you talking to them?

- When you find your mind wandering, pull it back in by making eye contact with the person. Or if on the phone, close your eyes to focus on their voice.

- Pause before responding. This will make you appear more thoughtful, composed, and present in your conversations!

Want more tips like this? Follow my blog and check out my FaceBook page for guidance to Be your best self!

Manage Your Stress Better!

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Who isn't stressed? Right?! Especially around the Holidays!

Does your day look something like this? Drop off the kids, go to work, pick up the kids, go Christmas shopping, mail cards to family, cook dinner, get family pictures taken.....Aahhhhh!!!

So how do you stop the madness? Ideally, we'd all cope with stress successfully by using the techniques we know will ground us and make us calm. But for some reason, I can never remember what those are in the moment. Anyone else have this problem?

Our body's response to extreme stress or a threatening situation is fight, flight, or freeze. Fighting with your boss, kids, or partner is probably not the best way to get what you need. Freezing will help you think momentarily about what your next move should be.

But I want to talk to you about flight- When we're in a stressful situation either we've got to change, or the environment has to change. When a situation is too stressful, it's difficult to change our behaviors or habits. So when you're first working on coping skills to better manage stress, change your environment!

- Walk away from the immediate stressor

- Take space in another room or office and turn off the lights.

- Take a walk outside for 10 minutes to slow down your thoughts.

The more practice you have in stressful situations, the more you will understand the control you have in them. Once you've regained some of that control, implementing stress management techniques will feel more like a positive choice your making, rather than further adding to your stress. Some techniques to try when your stress in on overload:

- Think of this: "Is my head in the same place as my feet are?" Be present!

- Fold in half with knees bent and do the waterfall.

- 3-Second Breaths: deep breath in (inhale over 3 seconds) and exhale (for 3 seconds). Repeat 10 times.

These grounding techniques will help you slow down, collect your thoughts, and strategize for success in whatever your stressful situation is.

What has worked for you in the past? Share your skills below!

Acceptance and Change

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In psychotherapy, we often speak of self-love and acceptance as modalities to move on from our past and parts of ourselves we are unhappy with. For instance, a therapist may suggest that someone who is now clean and sober accept this aspect of who they are and the choices they made when they were drinking. However, people who are motivate to change likely aren't satisfied with themselves in some regard, and are looking to make a positive change. So, working towards self acceptance while trying to initiate change is very difficult.

So how do we do it?!

Originally developed by Marsha Linehan out of the University of Washington, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has proven to be an effective modality in achieving self-acceptance and simultaneously creating positive change. In a nutshell, DBT incorporates Buddhist mindfulness techniques in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy to promote acceptance and generate change.

DBT was initially developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder. However, research also supports positive outcomes for using DBT with people diagnosed with mood disorders (anxiety/depression/bipolar), trauma survivors, substance use disorders, and those engaging in self-injurious behaviors.

DBT uses 4 modules to facilitate this process:

1. Mindfulness: observing yourself and your environment non-judgmentally (acceptance).

2. Distress Tolerance: recognizing and accepting negative situations instead of avoiding or becoming overwhelmed by them (acceptance).

3. Emotional Regulation: Identify obstacles to changing emotions, and use mindfulness to learn about emotions (change).

4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: learning assertiveness and interpersonal problem solving that preserves relationships (change).

 

So what techniques can you take away from this and practice today?

-Ground yourself; use deep breathing and meditation to stay present.

-Self soothe when stress; using music or other activities you enjoy.

-Improve communication; use "I Feel" statements to better share your emotions.

What works for you? What's your go-to coping skill? How do you share your feelings with others? Comment below!