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What is happiness?

Hello everyone, What did you do to make your holidays the best ever? It is a new year and I hope things so far are going well. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life. Some days will be more challenging than others. When it comes to being happy, some people believe this is an attitude that one has or develops (or doesn’t). Some say it is based on life circumstances (i.e. having money, health, family, friends, etc…). Some say it is just luck and some people have good luck and others have bad luck. What do you think happiness is?…

Holidays – good or bad?

Hi everyone, What are you doing to smile lately? Smiling is important. When we feel depressed or anxious we typically don’t smile too much. We also tend to focus on why life is not going well. With the holidays upon us, although many are looking forward to them, there are also many who wish they would quickly be over. There are various reasons why we feel the way we do about the holidays. For those who struggle with feeling good, it could be because the holidays are a reminder of people no longer with us. It can be a time…

What kind of day are you going to have?

Hi Everyone, What have you been doing to feel good? In a few weeks we will be starting a new year. Around this time we generally start looking back on what our year was like. We also start thinking about new year’s resolutions and goals. May I suggest not waiting until January 1st? Every day is a new day. What if each day we lived fully. I am not suggesting to live each day like it’s your last per se. What I mean is that no matter what your yesterday was like, today can be your best day yet. Actually,…

Make a plan.

Hi Everyone, Typically I start my blogs with asking, “What has been going well?”. This time I’d like to ask, What have you been doing to feel good? This is usually the goal whenever someone comes to me for therapy. They want to feel better. Who doesn’t? I let them know early on that they will need to work in therapy to achieve such a goal. This is pretty difficult for most of us. We typically prefer to just explain how bad we feel and then hope that somehow in doing so we will then feel better. Oh, if this…

We decide.

Hello everyone, Several of you have asked, “When are you going to write another blog?” I apologize for the sabbatical. It is certainly a difficult adjustment when you get used to something and then it’s no longer there. I’ve been adjusting to that myself in the last month. I realized that time is an important factor. With time things change, especially one’s perspective and feelings. But it’s not just time that creates the change. We get to be active participants. Each day, we wake up and can decide what we want to do that day and how we will do…

Change and anxiety

Hello everyone, What is going well? Take a moment and see how many things you can identify. This week the question I am answering is, “I  would love to learn more about dealing with change and the anxiety that comes along with it.” Any change will produce anxiety. This is normal and something to expect.  When change is imposed on us, we typically experience greater anxiety than when we ask for it. Even when we want to create change, however, we are likely to experience some trepidation about it.  This is because we wonder and question whether the change will be…

Success

Hello everyone, What has been going well this week? As you know I ask this or a similar question to start each of my blogs. I really do ask it so you can think about it and answer it. In my requests for asking you what questions you would like me to answer in my blogs, one involved wanting to hear about success stories. Quite ironically and without request, I have had a few people recently write to me about just that. Here is one of them. Hello Dr Lou, I wanted to say hello and to let you know…

Moving on…

Hello everyone, What has been making you smile lately? There are still several of you who have responded with questions  Here is another one. “Hey Dr. Lou, I enjoy the questions/topics you normally write about but one thing I have a very hard time doing is moving on… Do you have to forgive or accept to be able to move forward?” This is a great question and one which most of have struggled with at one time or another. I believe there are several steps involved in order to “move on”. The first step involves a decision to move on. Sometimes…

Paula asks Dr. Lou

Hello Everyone, Hope the start of your week is going well. What have you smiled or laughed about lately? Take a moment to think about it and remember it. Another question I was asked comes from Paula, who writes: Dr. Lou, This would be my question. I’ve learned so many great coping skills in cbt & dbt. I practice them, and they are usually effective. What though can I do when I go from 0-60? I feel I am past the point of skill use. What can I do then? Paula, first of all, I am glad to hear that most…

Accepting feelings.

Hello Everyone, Our next question comes from a person struggling with the physical sensations of anxiety. He writes, My biggest struggle is the physical feelings of anxiety. The adrenaline rush, hot flashes, tight chest, racing heart. I’m trying to “accept” these feelings and move through the day as normal but it can be exhausting. I really struggle with not letting myself analyze why I am feeling like this. The feeling is so uncomfortable and intense at times that it literally feels like I’m out of control. The harder I try to gain control, the worse it gets. The more I…

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