You know how it is — you start the day with the best of intentions for self-care, making wise and healthy choices, and dutifully adding checkmarks to your do-do list. Then, life happens. Things get muddled quickly — especially in these days where little-to-no work-life balance exists for many sudden stay-at-homers. Before you know it, before you even leave your bed sometimes, all your plans go out the door and you find yourself plodding around in the quagmire that is our chaotic twenty-first century pandemic lives.

What’s a person to do?

Well, there are a million things — but today…


Courtesy of Matt Duncan, Unsplash

Just over a year ago, a tsunami of change hit our planet. We could not see it with our eyes and most of us could not feel it in any way other than in the all-encompassing changes that made their way into every facet of life. Unbeknownst to us, and quite without or permission, we were thrust into collective grief. You know — the “five stages of grief” — or, is it seven? Let’s just call it the incredibly painful and unpredictable but totally normal states-of-being while in grief for now.

Looking back, you are likely to see signs of…


When you woke up this morning and prepared for your day, do you remember everything you did? You may remember that you showered, dressed, had breakfast, and went to your car. Do you know how many seconds you washed your hair or if you washed your ears first or your elbows? Do you remember what contributed to the decision of which cereal to eat (or whatever)? My guess is probably not. Most day-to-day, trivial, or familiar thoughts, actions, and feelings fly under the radar in the “non-conscious” zone.

Just as we can be unaware of our routines, we can also…


When you are cold, you shiver to move yourself to raise body temperature. When you are hot, you sweat to cool off the body. You don’t even have to think about doing this. At times, thinking would not change anything as your body often knows what to do for itself. Amazing, isn’t it?

Most people are aware of this. The idea that the body provides solutions to physical issues for itself is “old news” for some. It may seem it ends there.

It doesn’t.

Another way the body cares for itself is with emotions. Many people these days struggle greatly…


It may seem a bit silly to try to define the body. You know it is your brain, organs, skin — the vessel in which you are housed. It is the physical part of you. The part you can touch and quantify. The body houses great wisdom and information and is far, far more intricate and precisely wired than we generally give it credit for being (see Wonderfully Wired). Your body can speak to you and you will benefit if you listen. However, it is not always wise to let the brain and body rule.

Mind

What is the mind? Ever…


Finding Our Way Back to the Future

It has been a long, difficult slog through pandemic life this last year. If anyone tried to talk to me about this the first week of March 2020, they were swiftly kicked to the curb as I confidently asserted, “It’s just a bunch of hype.”

I admit. I was wrong.

Looking back, and being the ever-learning, fascinated neuroscience geek that I am, I know why I renounced the warnings as I did. More and more these days, “shock media” spins its yarns more in hopes of earning high ratings than being truthful, making…


“But I don’t feel grateful!”

Gemma plopped down on the bed, tears trickling down her cheeks. It has been such a difficult year. She read that a regular gratitude practice increases happiness, and she went right to work to create one. She worked hard, putting reminder notes everywhere and diligently writing a list each night. She even tried to forecast ideas for the next day in case things did not happen on their own to cause gratitude. She understands she is responsible to cultivate her own happiness, but day after day, even with all her practice, it just does not…


“…But you have so much! Why are you sad? You should just be grateful!”

Don’t you hate it when someone says something like that? I sure do.

If you read my last post, Why Gratitude; Why a Thankful Brain is a Better Brain, you learned that the brain goes into deficit mode whenever it perceives an attack on our safety, mental, physical, or emotional. It makes no difference to the brain whether you are being chased by a tiger or in danger of losing a lifelong dream. This is not a character issue or a personal flaw. …


We all know there is lots of science and popular psychology around the benefits of gratitude. Most people have at least heard of the idea of keeping a gratitude list. While that is a useful thing to do, there is so much more to the concept of gratitude than it may seem at first glance. This seems a great time to address this.

As we enter a new year, we often do so with increased hope and a sense of a clean slate. All too often, however, this optimism is short-lived when obstacles present themselves — and let me tell…


Stupid Is Not the Word for It

Sitting on the edge of my seat, staring at a throng of people busting out windows and pushing their way into the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., I was amazed at what I was seeing. Was this really a group of Americans storming the capital? The gravity of this took a few days to really sink in, if I’m honest.

Since that day, I have watched several news reports on the chaos. While I totally align with the outrage and bewilderment expressed, I have struggled with the negative comments about the “stupid” people who did this or that. Other words…

Hannah Smith

Psychoeducator, trainer/speaker, author, and Survivor turned Thriver. My passion is to help others reach their greatest potentials!

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