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Partnership Trumps Domination: What’s really at stake in this US Presidential Election

After watching yesterday’s “Trump Tape” and hearing Donald brag about sexual assault, I can no longer stay silent. Trump epitomizes the dominator model of leadership. Trump is not an outsider. He is the embodiment of hierarchical ranking and abuse of power through fear force and violence (particularly against women and minorities) that is at the heart of all of our current social problems and global crises.

Ask Julie: How Do I Stop Feeling Depressed, Angry, and Irritable?

Q: I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a little more than a year ago, (although I have been feeling this way for a really long time.) I feel like I’m angry all the time. I want to be happy, but sometimes I feel like the anger is just always there. I have a wonderful husband and family and am happy with them, but I just cannot seem to shake this feeling. The littlest things bother me to where I can hold a grudge. I feel like I’m irritable a lot of the time, and sometimes, I feel as though I could just scream at any moment. Other times, I just feel like crying. I would really appreciate some feedback about this and maybe some type of mental exercises that I can do to start controlling all this built-up anger before it gets any worse.

A: Thank you for writing in. You said you were diagnosed with depression and anxiety but I’m curious if you’re being treated for it currently? If you are on any type of medication, I suggest that you talk with your health care provider and make sure that the dosage and medication is actually helping. Please watch the video for the complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

How to Help Your Child Learn Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a topic that has received a lot of attention from psychology and wellness gurus in recent years. It refers to being present in the moment and cultivating an awareness, non-judgment, and acceptance of one’s feelings, thoughts, and body. There are numerous benefits of mindfulness; those who regularly engage in meditative mindfulness practices report reduced stress, better sleep, improved productivity, lower levels of stress and bodily discomfort and pain, and even weight loss.

How to Handle Being Rejected

No one likes to be rejected. No one.
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Whether it’s not landing that job you desperately wanted or getting turned down for a date by someone you’ve been crushing on, it’s painful to be told “no.” And what can be even worse is that these kinds of experiences can send you spiraling into self-doubt. Negative thoughts like, “what’s wrong with me?” or, “I’ll never be able to get ahead in my career” can add to your frustration and may even limit you from pursuing goals in the future. But the truth is that rejection is universal and unavoidable; everyone is rejected at some point! Thankfully, there are some key things to remember and strategies to help you avoid getting emotionally crushed. Here are some ways to deal with the reality that not everything you want or go for will work out:
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If you find yourself obsessing over being rejected, you might want to step back and view what happened as objectively as you can. We sometimes have a tendency to catastrophize, or make some things seem worse than they actually are. Keep in mind that just because you feel rejected doesn’t mean you actually are.
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5 Ways to Dial Down the Drama: Studio 5

Are you a Drama Queen?

Most all of us have experienced drama at one time or another. Maybe it’s with a gossipy co-worker, an overbearing family member, or a nosy friend. But how do you know if you yourself are the one being overly dramatic? Self-awareness is key, but the problem is that most people who really struggle with this are entirely oblivious to the fact. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you’re a drama queen (as well as some tips to help you not let drama get the better of you):

1. Do I lash out with others when I’m not included?

In my clinical practice, I’ve often seen this manifest in relationships with in-laws. For example, a woman I worked with was upset when her mother-in-law had a fun outing with others in the family but didn’t include her. If this kind of situation happens to you, how would you handle it? Some might take extreme offense, harbor great resentment, become overly dramatic, and lash out. Others may stay silent and conceal that it was painful to be excluded. But I challenge my readers to assume positive intent and then simply ask for what you want. It’s okay to say something like, “That was probably a fun thing you all did. It hurt me a little to not be invited. I’d love to be included next time around.”

–> Avoid the drama by being direct and assertive and not lashing out or gossiping.
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Setting and Achieving Goals: Mormon Channel Interview

Loved sitting down with Jennifer Stagg at the Mormon Channel recently to talk about how to make and keep goals.

We toss around questions like…
Why do we set and achieve goals in the first place?
How can they help us?
Why do people tend to fail at keeping their goals, even those that are vitally important to them?
What advice would you offer to some as they are starting out with a goal?
What spiritual resources can help people in achieving their goals?
How can friends and family get involved to help out?

My quick tip for successful goal setting is to set goals that you WANT to achieve, not that you SHOULD want to achieve. My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions were:

  • Embrace my inner night owl by not scheduling commitments before 11am.
  • Unsubscribe from all e-mail newsletter lists that I don’t open.
  • Use people’s name more often in conversations.

So far I am rocking my resolutions 🙂

Listen to the interview…

What are your tips for making and achieving goals?

How to Break Into an Adult Clique: Studio 5

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The word “clique” often has a negative connotation and may bring up feelings of exclusive peers in Junior High, but adult cliques exist as well. It may not be a pleasant word, but the truth is that like-minded individuals often form social groups to discuss shared values, lifestyles, and interests. These groups can be intimidating, especially if you are looking from the outside in and would like to be a part of them. Here are some strategies to break into an adult clique:

1.  Don’t Take It Personally

If you feel like you’re not in the loop with a certain group or you haven’t been invited to participate, try not to take it personally (though this is easier said than done). Remember that people often organize themselves based on commonalities (working at the same company, playing tennis, homeschooling their children, etc.), and if you don’t feel involved, it’s likely not that someone is trying to intentionally exclude you. And perhaps members of a certain clique don’t necessarily feel like they need to expand their circle, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t.
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Another Reason to Hate this Sexist Seattle Real Estate Ad

Real Estate Ad Insulting Working Moms

This is a more subtle offensive message in this sexist ad that no one is talking about

By now, you’ve likely read about the outrage caused by a Seattle Realty firms mailer ad that insults working mothers and the belittles the quality of their work. The mailer says, “Part-Time Agent,” with the photo of a woman juggling children in a scene of chaos vs. “Full-time Professionals,” with a photo of two men in suits in a pristine office.

There are so many things that are offensive about this ad — it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are just a few reasons that to hate this ad: it’s totally sexist, it slams the quality of working mother’s performance, it is the epitome of  male privilege, it’s fear-based…

If you think the front of this ad is offensive, the back of the ad (shown below) further insults the quality of mother’s work. It lists the advantages of hiring the men’s services instead of hiring a part-time working mother because the a part-time female will only be available at “their convenience not yours.”  Ugh! It occurred to me that there is another more subtle yet problematic message conveyed in this disgraceful ad that no one is talking about.

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How to Reduce Mom Guilt: Studio 5

Moms have a lot to do, and we often take pride in accomplishing tasks and checking items off of our to-do lists. But when we don’t achieve what we set out to, unfortunately we can beat ourselves up (this happens particularly during changes and chapter endings, such as summer winding down and kids heading back to school). It seem to be human nature to focus on what we didn’t get done, but focusing on our shortcomings (perceived or real) can lead to great unhappiness and emotional distress. Here are 5 ways to resolve mom guilt: Read more