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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.
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With all the perks of mindfulness, it only makes sense to introduce this concept and practice to young people, particularly because adolescence can be an anxious and uncomfortable experience for many children and teenagers (this idea seems to be catching on; some are even introducing mindfulness into school curriculums, and certain gyms offer classes of yoga specifically for children!)
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By teaching them how to get in touch with their feelings, we can help them prepare for a lifetime of mental and emotional wellness. Here are some ideas to help children practice mindfulness on a daily basis:
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Avoiding Mormon Burnout by Saying No

One of our core values as Latter-day Saints is honesty (the 13th article of faith begins, “We believe in being honest,” right?). We know that it’s dishonest to lie, steal, and cheat, but have you ever considered that it might also be dishonest to say “yes” when you really mean “no”? For example, if someone asks you if you’d be willing to do something and you say yes when truthfully you are not willing to do so, you are being dishonest. It’s so tricky—we want to please, and we want to help; we want to do our share, and we want to do what’s right. I know that there have been times when I really wish I felt free to say “no” (and feel at peace about it), but I found myself saying “yes” yet again. Unsurprisingly, this pattern of repeatedly saying “yes” can cause problems in one’s emotional wellness, communication, and even in relationships. I do not intend to suggest that we stop going out of our way to serve others, or to always say “no,” but I think it’s important to examine why always saying “yes” can be harmful, and to look at why it’s okay, even honorable, to sometimes say “no.”

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Are You Dating a Nice Guy or Jerk in Disguise? Women’s Health Mag Interview

When you’re dating it can be hard to find a nice guy. If you’re found one, make he’s the real deal by watching for these 8 signs.

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“You want to watch for patterns,” says therapist and relationship expert Julie Hanks, Ph.D., owner and director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City, Utah, and author of The Burnout Cure. “We all behave in unhealthy or manipulative ways once in awhile, but it’s problematic when there are consistent patterns of behavior that don’t feel quite right.”

“If he says unkind or hurtful things to you couched in a kind voice, or in the name of ‘I’m just being honest,’ that’s still mean,” says Hanks. “Or, if he makes cutting or belittling comments and then laughs it off by saying ‘I was only joking! Why do you take things so seriously?’ he just may be a jerk in disguise.”

“You may be flattered that he wants to spend every free moment with you,” says Hanks. “But how does he respond when you aren’t available? A great guy will be able to express disappointment and that he’ll miss you. A jerk in disguise will pout and give you a cold shoulder or a guilt trip for choosing someone else over him.”

Read the entire article here

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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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What To Do If Your Child Is Viewing Porn: Nightside Interview

What to do when your child views porn

I recently spoke with Ethan Millard and Alex Kirry of KSL’s NewsRadio Nightside Project about what parents can do if they discover that their child is viewing porn.

Pornography is a loaded topic: the easy accessibility of it combined with a curiosity about and interest in bodies and sexuality that children naturally have can lead to problems and questions. We’ve all heard the horror stories of how porn addiction can lead to broken families and destroyed lives. It’s quite a task to speak to your children about these issues and can be even more emotionally daunting if they’re already involved in it in some way. Here are some strategies for how to handle a situation in which your son or daughter is viewing pornography: Read more

Managing Technology Overload: Studio 5

Have you ever looked around in a public place to see how many people were using their phones (texting, surfing the web, etc.)? It’s usually a lot, and truthfully it can be a little discouraging to witness individuals staring at their screens instead of talking to one another. Please don’t misunderstand, I am a huge advocate of technology; it’s profoundly changed my life and career for the better! Still, we all know that things can get out of hand if we let them. Digital overload affects our ability to process information cognitively, to be mindful of our own experience, and to be present with other people. Here are some ways to help you manage your technology use (instead of letting it control you):

Is Anxiety Hereditary? What You Need to Know

We get a lot from our parents. Bone structure, our first car, eye color, money habits, etc. It’s well-known that we can inherit certain health conditions from them as well (you’re 50% more likely to develop migraines if either of your parents experiences them) Recently, evidence has emerged that suggests anxiety may be one more thing that we can get from our parents (and this is clinical anxiety, which is much more than ordinary nervousness that we all experience).
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Quit Monkeying Around!
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Dr. Ned Kalin and a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed brain scans of rhesus monkeys and found that the ones that displayed signs of anxiety had a family history showing stress-related symptoms in their brain wave patterns. While the study was complex, the takeaway is that anxious thought patterns may not be merely adult occurrences but can have their roots in one’s genes. This is groundbreaking, as the cause of anxiety had previously been largely unknown.
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Overcoming Insecurities: Studio 5

Think of the last time you felt insecure. Ideally, we want to have good confidence, but all of us, men and women, experience insecurity in some form or another; those nagging uncertainties that can leave us feeling vulnerable and make us doubt ourselves. Sadly, our weaknesses and flaws (perceived or real) can make us feel like we’re not “good enough” or worthy of receiving love in our relationships. Thankfully, we have the opportunity to reframe out mindset and expectations so that we can overcome insecurities and choose confidence. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you get started:

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5 Ways to Cultivate More Optimism: Studio 5

We’ve all faked a smile to get past a rough patch, but there are ways to actually increase our happiness naturally. It’s true that some people may be more prone to having a positive outlook- whether because of their genetics, environment, or upbringing. However, there are still strategies that all people can use in order to train themselves to “look up” a little more. Here are some ways to cultivate optimism in your life:

#1 Love Lesson, Love is an Invitation to Grow: Studio 5

February is all about L-O-V-E. We all know the excitement of falling in love, of being completely and totally enamored with someone else. Who doesn’t love roses, chocolates, and candlelit dinners for two? But the truth is that when February is done, when the honeymoon phase of a relationship is over, real love is a lot of work. It can be challenging, painful even, but it can ultimately help us learn and mature, both individually and together. Here are a few ways that love is a growth process:


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