7 Sensory Tools for Better Mental Health

Sight. Smell. Hearing. Touch. Taste. Our primary senses do much more than enable us to see, smell, hear, feel, and taste. We are learning that, if nurtured regularly and deliberately, our senses can also help us heal. Cherie Burton , a holistic psychologist, speaker, and writer, joined me recently on the Emotions Mentor podca...

6 Ways to Build Resilience

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” I love this thought from the renowned poet, writer, and activist Maya Angelou! It speaks to her own resilience in the face of adversity and inspires me to remember that I, too, can determine how I will react to challenges. This week on the Emotions Mentor podc...

Emotions and Physical Health

A growing body of research over the past few decades has demonstrated a clear link between emotions and physical health. Emotions like doubt, shame, anger, resentment, and fear, when not properly worked through, can lead to serious physical illnesses, such as chronic digestive issues and debilitating migraines. This week on the Emotions Ment...

5 Traits—and Essential Oil Tips—for Developing a Winning Mindset

Winning takes talent, hard work, some inspiration, and often a little luck. But there is one other element so crucial to being a winner that it often contributes more to a winning outcome than all of these other things combined. What is it? A winning mindset. People with a winning mindset recognize that true success is determined by the way a person...

Hope and Healing in Adoption

The moment of adoption is a joyous occasion for parents who have prepared their hearts and homes to welcome and love a child. For the child, however, that moment is a transition—a colossal change that can invoke a range of emotions. Even children who are adopted at birth subconsciously feel a shift as they begin hearing unfamiliar sounds and v...

How Your Gut Health Impacts the Brain

Over the past few decades, a growing collection of research has explored a connection between the workings of the gut and the health of the brain. The findings? The bacterial makeup of the gut not only regulates intestinal health, but also directly affects the immune and central nervous systems, thus playing a large role in a wider variety of disea...

Everything Energy

Everything surrounding us and within us is made up of energy—energy that affects how with think, see, feel, and react, energy that guides our lives. Even our thoughts form energy. This week on the “Emotions Mentor” podcast, I spoke with my friend and reiki master Sharon Ho about the energy we create, how it affects us physically and mentally, and...

Essential Oils for Moving Forward and Releasing the Past

Three years into her husband’s first term as president and after a somewhat discouraging day in early January, Eleanor Roosevelt shook off her stress and wrote that “with the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts.” I like to think of the new year this way too—as a gift—a chance to start over with a clean slate, to try something different, ...

Healthy Social Interactions Can Change Your Life

If I were teaching a class and asked students to list several factors that lead to being both healthy and happy in life, I’d likely get responses such as exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, stay away from drugs, drink enough water, and never stop learning. And, of course, all of those answers would be correct. But one—even, perhaps, the most importan...

10 Ways to Cope When It Doesn’t Feel like the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” At least that’s what song lyrics, our friends’ posts on social media, and advertisements for the perfect gift tell us. In reality, though, the holidays can be difficult for many reasons: • Financial hardships can cause people to feel sad, angry, or ashamed if they can’t afford to buy gifts or participate...

Managing Family Interactions over the Holidays

A popular saying goes “At Christmastime, all roads lead home.” It’s a wonderful sentiment that hints at love, togetherness, and fond memories. For some people, however, it inspires mixed emotions, including fear and anxiety: “What will Grandma think of my new boyfriend?” “Will Dad spend an hour comparing me to my ‘perfect brother’ again?” “Will Aunt Sharon m...

Nutrition: A Holistic Approach to Treating Depression

Sadness is a part of life, something that ebbs and flows with the ups and downs of living in a world filled with both tragedy and triumph, success and failure, sickness and health. None of us can escape experiencing sadness at times, but it is almost always something we can recover from and get over. Depression, however, is entirely different. As t...

5 Tips for Practicing Gratitude

It’s that time of year when we gather around the dinner table with family and friends to give thanks, share a traditional meal, and reminisce on happy times gone by. What happens though when the table is cleared, the dishes are done, and the turkey is gone? Are we continuing to be grateful as a daily practice? Do we leave expressions of gratitude f...

Five Lessons from Nature

As the rust-colored hues of autumn give way to the barrenness that will become winter, there is much to observe—and learn—in nature. Beloved American poet Emily Dickinson wrote: “Nature” is what We see— The Hill—the Afternoon— Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee— Nay—Nature is Heaven— “Nature” is what We hear— The Bobolink—the Sea— Thunder—the Cricket...

Using Exercise to Fight Depression

One in ten Americans suffers from depression, a crippling disease that is the leading cause of disability and lost productivity worldwide. Of those who experience chronic depression, just over half seek treatment for it. Those treatment options are varied and include medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and combinations of each. Unfortunatel...

How To Take Control of Your Time—and Your Life!

Despite movies, books, and television telling us otherwise, we can’t bend time, travel back in it, or find a wrinkle that magically adds hours to the day. But we can, for the most part, control exactly how we use the time we have been given. (A big caveat here for my readers who are also new parents: don’t forget that you now share your time with...

One Strategy You May Have Missed That Will Lead You to Success

We spend one-third of our lives doing it—or at least trying to. Going without it for several days in a row is significantly more dangerous than going without food for days at a time. After only seventeen hours without it, a person starts to experience cognitive deficits similar to those experienced by people with a .05 percent blood alcohol level. Pare...

Sharing Family Stories

Last month, I took my sweet grandsons to visit George Washington’s vast estate on the Potomac River—Mount Vernon. It’s one of my favorite places, and I’ve visited dozens of times. As we toured the house and the grounds, I found myself frequently subbing for the tour guide, telling little side stories here and sharing quick facts there. The day was a perfect ...

Why Is Anxiety Plaguing College Students?

In decades past, college was both rigorous and fulfilling. Students took their classes, studied, played (sometimes a lot), explored the newness of being on their own, and then graduated and went on to careers or further study. Today, these elements still exist, but they also include a new component, one that is becoming increasingly unhealthy and dang...

Are You Hurting Others?

Most of us have heard the well-known adage that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Most of us also know that this statement is completely false! It’s true—words can’t physically break a bone, but they can definitely cause pain that takes much longer to heal than a fractured ankle or a broken arm. In fact, in addition t...