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Looking to Improve Your Health? Try a Little Optimism!

When things don’t go our way, suggestions to simply “think positive!” or “look on the bright side” can come off as trite and irritating. Why even try to be optimistic when going through heartbreak, financial problems, stress, failure, and any other emotional hard balls life throws at us?
One of the difficulties of being optimistic is that we are biologically wired to focus on what is negative in order to protect ourselves. It can be much easier to identify when something is off in our lives, as it disrupts our normal routine, than it is to feel at peace when there is no problem or threat. In what social scientist Dennis Prager calls the “Missing Tile Syndrome,” human beings are more prone to see what’s absent or wrong than they are to focus on what’s present or right. So yes, there is certainly justification for a “woe is me” attitude, but still I urge you to fight that natural tendency and try out a little optimism; your soul and body may thank you! Read more

Reflections on Brené Brown’s New Book “Rising Strong”: Studio 5

For this segment of Studio 5, I wanted to change things up a bit and offer my perspective on another therapist’s work. Dr. Brené Brown has become a household name since her famous TED talk a few years ago. To say I’m a huge admirer of hers would be an understatement; the insight she offers about vulnerability, shame, and courage are transforming our culture. This week, I sat down with Brooke to talk about Brené’s new book “Rising Strong.”
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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?

Heterosexuality isn’t ‘a choice’, neither is Homosexuality

A concerned therapist’s response to Meridian article “Can we teach our children to choose heterosexuality?”

As a mental health therapist, a wife, mother, a niece, and aunt, a daughter, a friend, a neighbor, and sister in the Gospel I felt a responsibility to respond to the article published yesterday in Meridian Magazine titled written by JeaNette Goates Smith, “Can we teach our children to choose heterosexuality?” Thankfully, Meridian has removed this article from their website.

Misunderstanding Modesty Part 2: Op Ed Meridian Magazine

Who knew modesty was such a controversial issue? I took a lot of heat and criticism about “The Costs of Misunderstanding Modesty” article, and even some personal attacks. But those comments were out shadowed by the outpouring of gratitude and appreciating for my willingness to speak up and share my thoughts. I decided to write a follow up article responding to comments, questions, and criticisms, and to provide clarity. Here’s an excerpt from the article…

Thank you to those who posted thoughtful and articulate comments on my article “The Costs of Misunderstanding Modesty”. I had no idea that this blog post would spark such intense conversation and elicit so many varied responses and questions. No matter what you thought about the article, I think it is a good thing for us, as individuals and as a group, to reflect on and discuss our approach to teaching modesty.

I’d like to address a few themes and questions that prompted some to (passionately) disagree or take exception to (parts of) the article. It seems that some of you may have misunderstood my intent in writing it. Hopefully I can clarify some of those misunderstandings. The following are questions or concerns gathered from emails, messages, online comments and discussions:

Q: Are you are suggesting something different than the standards in the “For the Strength of Youth” (FTSOY) pamphlet? Are you saying that our girls can wear two-piece bathing suits and not have to worry about it?

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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

5 Ways to Avoid Burnout: Studio 5

Women expect a lot of themselves: a strong marriage, healthy children, time to pursue personal goals and interests, etc. These are wonderful aspirations, but we also need to “get real” or risk burning out.

Physical and emotional burnout is a real problem, particularly in our community. LDS Living recently conducted a survey in which they found that 95% (of 1900 individuals surveyed) reported that they had experienced burnout (specifically in a religious/ spiritual sense). This is an epidemic that is affecting many of us, and clearly, something has to change. Here are 5 steps to prevent and avoid burnout:

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Emotional Self-Care Keynote

I offered the keynote this morning at the PEHP Wellness Council Conference on emotional self-care. What a delightful group! Thank you for your warm welcome, and I hope you’re enjoying the rest of your day. I was made aware that some of you requested copies of my powerpoint slides…so here you go!

Emotional Self-Care Powerpoint Slides 6.10.15 (pdf download)

Also, I mentioned a “Feelings Word List” in my presentation that you can use to identify and name your internal experiences:

Feelings Word List (pdf download

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