How Connected Are You, Really?

Years ago (circa 2010), I resisted buying a smart phone because I didn’t want to feel too “connected” to others. I didn’t want to see my emails as they arrived in my inbox all day long. I didn’t want to be able to browse Facebook while I rode the BART train. Having a cell phoneContinue reading “How Connected Are You, Really?”

The Courage to Have a “Good Enough” Holiday Season

Lots of people feel down or angst-ridden during the holiday season, and many will say that this malaise stems not from too much fruitcake consumption (surprisingly), but from our expectations – of ourselves, others, and the holidays themselves. The fact that society and the media constantly pump us full of unhealthy messages regarding how weContinue reading “The Courage to Have a “Good Enough” Holiday Season”

When Relaxing Is the Hardest Task of All

At the end of yoga class last week, as we were all transitioning to Savasana (also known as Corpse Pose, the part of class in which you lie down and allow yourself to rest and relax after a period of self-exertion) our teacher said to us: “Savasana is one of the hardest exercises we doContinue reading “When Relaxing Is the Hardest Task of All”

The #1 Tool for Challenging All or Nothing Thinking

With me it’s all er nuthin’Is it all er nuthin’ with you?It cain’t be “in between”It cain’t be “now and then”No half and half romance will do! – Lyrics by Richard Rodgers, from the musical Oklahoma! When I was in the sixth grade, my class staged a production of the musical Oklahoma! It’s amazing theContinue reading “The #1 Tool for Challenging All or Nothing Thinking”

“Thought Records Don’t Work on Me.” The Second Secret Weapon That Interrupts Distorted Thinking

“Thought records don’t work on me.” Wanna know who said that? Me. So why did I write an entire post on how to complete a thought record last week? Because they’re an extremely important tool that can help you challenge distorted thoughts. 100 percent. AND… A thought record is not a magic pill that willContinue reading ““Thought Records Don’t Work on Me.” The Second Secret Weapon That Interrupts Distorted Thinking”

Using Thought Records to Challenge Distorted Thinking: A Step-By-Step Guide

A thought record is a major tool in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that guides us, step by step, through the process of challenging distorted, automatic thoughts. If you’ve been following my recent blog posts, you’ll know that in order to even recognize automatic thoughts as they’re occurring, you first need to practice mindfulness. You’ll alsoContinue reading “Using Thought Records to Challenge Distorted Thinking: A Step-By-Step Guide”

A Distorted Reality is NOT a Necessity to Be Free: How Cognitive Distortions Hold You Back

Sorry, Elliott Smith. I’ve been a huge fan of yours for ages, but in this post I’m going to talk about how our distorted thoughts make us anything but free. In last week’s post, I introduced the concept of automatic thoughts and explained the CBT principle that our thoughts lead to emotions, and emotions leadContinue reading “A Distorted Reality is NOT a Necessity to Be Free: How Cognitive Distortions Hold You Back”

Harnessing the Power of Automatic Thoughts

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) operates on the general principle that our thoughts influence our feelings, and our feelings influence our behaviors. Thoughts –> Feelings –> Behaviors For example, a person could have the thought: “I suck at my job.” This creates feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness. Now in this negative emotional state, in the personContinue reading “Harnessing the Power of Automatic Thoughts”

Shut Up & Dance: Lessons on Mindfulness from a Pop Song

Photo credit: “Dancing in the Street 4” by Petr Dosek is licensed under CC BY 2.0 As a psychologist and pop culture lover, I love it when a piece of pop culture – say, a popular song – allows me to explain a psychological concept. The song Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon is a songContinue reading “Shut Up & Dance: Lessons on Mindfulness from a Pop Song”