All posts tagged: anxiety

Week 44 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Seasons

It’s nearly November. The fall gusts carry brilliant fluttering leaves and the sun barely peeks over the horizon at five o’clock.  We mentally prepare ourselves for the fast-approaching winter by vocalizing our bewilderment at the cool temperatures – “Can you believe how cold it is?” and “Wasn’t it summer just last week?”  The feigned surprise makes it seem as if we expected summer to last into December.

Whether you’re looking forward to cooler temperatures or not, the change in seasons is an opportunity to think deeply about life.  Are all seasons of life equally enjoyable?

Week 41 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Decisions

How do you decide? Do you understand your mental process of weighing options? What makes you choose option A over option B?  There are benefits to understanding your own decision-making process. Making conscious decisions is important to avoiding regret.  Understanding how you make decisions can streamline future decision-making.

Making decisions becomes less difficult when you understand how. This week’s journal topic is all about decisions.

NEW Emotional Wellness Workshop – Vancouver, BC, Canada

I’m excited to announce the first of a series of four workshops on emotional and mental wellness.  The first workshop is taking place on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver. There are limited spaces, so please RSVP by emailing me at This workshop focuses on teaching the skills required to live happily and healthily.  It’ll be fun, informative and transformative.  It will end with a Restorative Yoga practice to leave you feeling refreshed!

Week 20 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Fear

(This post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This week’s journal topic: Fear You’ve undoubtedly received all kinds of contradictory information about fear.  As a child, nauseous with nerves before stepping onstage in the school play, you probably heard your parents or teacher tell you that “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself” (FDR, former American president). If you’re a child of the 80’s or 90’s, you might remember the brand No Fear, whose edgy (at the time) T-shirts mocked fear. Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real These quotes tell us that fear is some kind of illusion; moreover, it’s an illusion that loses its power when we laugh at it and clearly see the illusion.  Fear is like a rubber snake dropped into your lap.  It’s impossible not to react, but when you see that it’s rubber, it’s funny. What is fear? Fear is really made up of two aspects: physiological and emotional.  In an environment in which our bodies perceive fear, the body reacts …

Week 15 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Uncertainty & Risk

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project.  Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Uncertainty & Risk Spring is a hopeful time of year. In spring, we witness the energy of nature as fauna busily attend their young and flora burst forth with an array of spectacular shapes and colors.  Human activity picks up pace for we begin making summer plans and thinking of love. In nature, we can count on things like the seasons to happen regularly. In philosophy, what’s known as the principle of the uniformity of nature (PUN) dictates the rationality of assuming that the future will be like the past. In spite of the PUN, the future is always uncertain – it can never be predicted with 100% accuracy. The recognition of life’s unpredictability causes distress and insecurity for many people.  At some point, each of us must decide on a way to deal with an unpredictable future: Try to control it – the “control freak” Avoid thinking about it – the …

3 Easy Stretches to Try at Work

The Benefits of Frequent Stretching Have you noticed that animals maintain muscle mass with minimal exercise?  For example, dogs spend the day eating and sleeping, with only a walk or two for exercise.  If there’s nothing to tear apart or steal, they’ll sleep.  Despite their laziness, dogs manage to maintain muscle mass and display peak performance during the weekend run at the dog park!  How do animals maintain their fitness with minimal movement? One theory is that stretching helps them to maintain muscle mass.  Resting dogs frequently stand up, stretch, and lie back down.  Some studies show that frequent stretching stimulates muscles and hormonal changes, thereby preventing atrophy and shortening of muscle fibers.  This week take a cue from your pet and add some stretches into your work day.  This may help you maintain your fitness, even if you have to skip your workout. Seated Pigeon Targets the outer thigh and glute Creates range of motion in the hip How to: Sit in your chair and cross the right ankle over the left knee. Sit …

Can you Be Present AND plan for the Future?

Pop-culture’s Enlightenment Error “Happiness is only achievable in the present moment.” “To be present you must put aside thoughts of the past and future.” “Just breathe, trust, let it go and see what happens.” Statements about being present are multiplying as quickly as smoothie shops.  Mindfulness websites, motivational wallpapers, and Instagram captions recycle and repurpose ancient wisdom into naïve platitudes that briefly catch our attention as we scroll our lives away.  Quotes paired with photos of smiling yogis, poised on mountain tops, implant into our minds the idea that happy, enlightened people spend life sitting cross-legged, ignoring responsibilities, and breathing – nary a thought of the future and certainly no planning necessary. Somehow they blissfully and serendipitously sashay through life, free of career goals, relationship goals, or worry about what to cook for the kids tonight. Undoubtedly, compared to neurotic fretting, this carefree notion of being present is helpful.  If you’ve totally lost control of your environment and your emotions – you really messed up big time – well then, jettisoning any thoughts of the past or future …

What Show Jumping Teaches Us About Injury & Illness

5 Reasons We Hate Being Injured, Anxious, and Sick 1. Pain This is the obvious one!  Being sick or injured is physically uncomfortable and sometimes pain perception increases as the duration of pain increases.  Research indicates that anxiety and social pain is processed in the brain like physical pain.  Some people experience more distress from pain than others. 2. Free time to worry or regret If athletic activities are part of your daily routine, an injury or sickness suddenly creates a gap in your schedule, giving you time to ruminate and worry.  Perhaps you’re experiencing regret, replaying past choices, berating yourself for doing something that caused the injury or sickness, or trying to remix the past. 3. Decreased productivity Being fully or partially out of commission decreases productivity.  This creates uncertainty about future productivity and stress about deadlines.  We are used to working at full capacity and efficiency, so any hindrance carries the possibility of creating stress. 4. Loss of a healthy outlet for stress and anger You might use physical activities as an outlet for stress and anger. …

My Favorite Tool to Break Free from Hopelessness and Depression

Today I want to share with you one of the most powerful healing tools I used early on, and still occasionally use, to manage painful emotions such as anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, or emotional “flatness”.  Deep thinkers are often sensitive people, which is why this post is appropriate for a critical thinking blog. Make a List Start by writing a list of some things that would normally make you feel good.  They don’t have to make you feel good now.   But simply list some things that, if you were feeling alright or better, you might enjoy doing.  Don’t make the list too hard.  I suggest having at least one item from each of the following categories of human needs.  Add some that are easier to do than others. Social: Call a family member and ask how their day is. Visit a friend for an hour over coffee.  Visit a forum online. Compliment someone through social media. Physical: Exercise a few minutes.  Try a yoga class.  Take a walk listening to uplifting music. Eat a meal or …