Empathy: Medicine that Heals Relationships

Resentful CoupleHealing a broken relationship starts with empathy.

Why? Because when someone listens with empathy, the emotional distance between the two persons shrinks. You feel closer, understood, heard. Does it feel good to be known? To be taken seriously? To be respected? Of course it does. And that’s why empathy is an effective tool for healing.

How good are you at listening and responding with empathy?

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From Bitter to Better: 3 Keys to Calmer Relationships

Bitter Fight Between Angry Cartoon CoupleIn the heat of an argument, an angry couple can temporarily lose sight of what they really want: happiness for their loved one and themselves. That desire for closeness somehow gets lost amidst the resentments, pride, and anger of the moment.

These moments are often triggered by small issues. But the conflicts create big injuries that just keep compounding the hurt. Below are three keys I have found necessary to begin to get things back on track for the couples I work with. Read more

Unhappy? Change These 5 Habits

Change vs. SameWhen we are feeling blah, or down, or even depressed, we often have “go to” fixes to help us feel better. But too often, these are short-term solutions that bring us to the edge of greater unhappiness. Below is a short list of things we do, should probably stop doing, and ways to do them better.

1. Binge-watching TV.

I know we tell ourselves we deserve it, especially if we’ve been feeling down. But it works against us because Read more

3 Gratitude Exercises to Fight Depression and Anxiety

Thank you cardStudies show that the ability to experience a happier, less stressful life is often tied to one’s ability to give thanks. That means genuinely acknowledging that which one is grateful for, and doing so overtly. Not just in your head. But outright. Read more

#1 Mistake for Anxiety Sufferers

Facing Your Fears in Ventura Counseling, Aaron Deri LMFTThe biggest mistake people who suffer from anxiety make is focusing their energy on “feeling safe.”

That may sound odd, but every patient who does this reports the same thing: they never feel safe, or at least not for long. That’s because they’ve confused feeling safe with actually being safe. They’ve made a simple mistake: safety is not a feeling or an emotion. Safety is a judgment and belief based on the real risks around them, the actual evidence of what’s possible and probable.

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A Key to Getting Past Panic: Stop Misinterpreting What Your Body is Saying

Overcoming FearMy clients understandably complain about the terror they feel at times during a panic attack. They notice that that the multiple signs of panic come on bit by bit. And in the attempt to feel better and escape danger, they often believe they need to leave the room, sit down and rest, take medication, or just get away from where they are and, often, not go back.

Fear is a natural feeling telling our bodies most often to flee. The right amount of fear is useful. But what if, like many of my clients you misinterpret your bodily signs of fear? Read more

5 Disadvantages of Hiding Your Fears and Anxiety

Fear and Anxiety Tightrope Over SharksThere are many ways we try to “fix” our lives and make ourselves feel better. The problem is, sometimes we can actually “over-do” and over-react, and we’re left with feeling worse, or getting stuck in the feelings of fear and anxiety.

One big mistake that my patients and I work on is the tendency to keep what’s bothering or scaring you a secret. The good news is that, when corrected or altered, this habit of “hiding” can lead to some powerful feelings of freedom and hope. If you’re making this mistake, congratulate yourself for waking up and looking at a way to get better.
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Doing the Opposite: A Secret to Defeating Fear & Anxiety

Anxious Depressed man in tunnelFear is an important emotion. It can help keep us safe and motivate us to do something to protect our well-being.

But if we are carried away by fear, it can override—instead of helping us maintain—our well-being. The key is balance. And, how we react to our feeling of fear is a big part of getting to that balance. The secret key to deal with fear and get to balanced behavior is what this article will focus on. Read more

Three Antidotes to Cure Anger

Antidote to Anger PictureWhen we’re carried away by anger, it often seems to have a life of its own and we’re left wondering what we can do to feel and act better. This article will show three antidotes to the anger infection.

These solutions are based on one truth: Every emotion, especially anger, has corresponding actions. In this article, you’re going to learn which opposite actions to take to make you feel and act better. Read more

3 Simple Starts to Calming Stress

Stressed Businessman1
“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.” ― Epictetus (AD 55–135) Greek philosopher

Anxiety isn’t always bad. It helps us to work, study and try harder. It might even have been part of the evolutionary secret to keeping the human species safe, alive and growing.

The problem is, the parts of our brain that “light up” with anxiety or anger can sometimes have a hard time turning off, or become too sensitive. We imagine the worst-case-scenario and react. Read more