Six Scientifically Proven Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

British philosopher, writer, and literary critic GK Chesterton wrote: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder” (from  A Short History of England , 59). In 1917, when Chesterton first published these words, there was no scientific research to back up his ideas. A little more than 100 yea...

Postpartum Depression

Each year, more women will experience postpartum depression than there are new cases of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy combined—for both men and women.   That means a little more than 1 in 7 women will suffer from postpartum depression. In lower socio-economic areas, the numbers are even hi...

How to Recognize Depression and Anxiety in Teens

Suicide rates in the United States over the past 15 years have skyrocketed, making suicide a growing epidemic in our country.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that a suicide occurs in the United States once every 12 minutes. And the  Centers for Disease Control reports  that in children and young adults ages 10 to 24, suicide is the ...

7 Ways to Make Your Home a Haven for Youth

Five years ago, the American Psychological Association (APA) published the results of an intensive  survey  on the youth of America and the pressures they face. The results were somewhat surprising—and quite troubling:  Today’s youth report stress levels higher than those experienced by adults.  Norman B. Anderson, PhD and CEO of the APA at the time of the s...

Helping Men Reach Optimal Mental Health

One of the more common tropes in television and movies is that of the man lost on a country road, stubbornly refusing to look at a map or ask any passersby for directions back to the interstate.  We all laugh at the character’s expense, many of the women knowingly nodding their heads, some of the men getting just a little defensive. These fictional accounts ...

Nine Things Not to Say to Someone Who Is Grieving

Death is often referred to as life’s great equalizer.  And, it’s true, we all die eventually.  But the manner in which a person grieves the loss of a loved one is varied, complex, and unique to that individual.  Grief is multi-layered and full of many other emotions, such as anger, guilt, and abandonment.  Because of its complexity, many of us don’t know how...

12 Ways to Boost Emotional Intelligence

Very often in life, we look at a person who has made it through a difficult time—the death of a loved one, abuse, a natural disaster, a horrific accident—and applaud that person’s ability to persevere by using words like brave and courageous and fearless to describe them.  Sometimes these words are, indeed, true descriptors of the survivor’s character....

Ten Tools for Getting Through the Dog Days of Summer—or Life

This week marks the beginning of that stretch of year often referred to as the Dog Days of Summer. In ancient times, the Greeks noted that this period of time (July 12 to August 20 on our current calendar) followed the appearance of the star Sirius—often called the Dog Star. It was a time associated with drought, heat, mad dogs, bad luck, malaise, lethargy, ...

Facing Addiction Head On

Addiction is a tough word—one that no one wants associated with themselves or with a loved one. In reality, however, addiction touches nearly all of us in some way or another. Consider these statistics for the year 2017: • 19.7 million American adults battled a substance abuse disorder • Nearly 74 percent of those adults also struggled with an alcohol use di...

How to Embrace Success

After a whirlwind of travel, and with another week of flights and workshops ahead of me, I settled into my plane seat and complained via text to my friend, Hayley Hobson, about how exhausted I felt. She replied, “Well, then, tell yourself another story! Tell yourself you aren’t exhausted.” I was a little perplexed at first, but then I decided to do just wha...

4 Ways to Use Essential Oils to Help Heal Your Gut

Recently on my  Emotions Mentor podcast , I spoke with functional medicine practitioner  Melissa Esguerra  about the connection between the brain and the gut.  It’s a  topic  I’ve  written  about before and one that’s receiving increased  interest  in medical and  psychiatric  journals.  In truth, however, it’s something our mothers have been telling us for ...

Mindfulness Meditation and Essential Oils

Healing from  anger , frustration,  anxiety , stress,  exhaustion , or any other emotional ailment that blocks happiness—and often productivity—isn’t easy. It takes time, commitment, and a willingness to change.  And sometimes, the hardest part can simply be getting started.  Through years of study and professional work, though, I have found that a simple tw...

6 Tips for Changing the Way You Think about Yourself

Learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, to truly love who you are, takes a lot of work. But, as Brené Brown wrote in Daring Greatly, “Owning [your] story and loving [yourself] through that process is the bravest thing that [you’ll] ever do.”  Recently, on my Emotions Mentor podcast , I spoke with energy and emotions expert Sharon Ho about how to do j...

Releasing Trapped Emotions

“She died of a broken heart.”  “He’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.”  “Butterflies danced in her stomach.”  Phrases like these make a connection between physical pain and emotional pain and are used frequently in literature, film, and television to convey just how deeply emotions are felt.  A growing body of scientific research, however, ...

6 Essential Oil Recipes to Help Balance Hormones

, From the time a pre-teen girl starts puberty to the time she reaches her 40s and 50s, the hormones in her body ebb and flow, carrying out silent but vital tasks that impact how she feels, acts, and behaves.  When hormones are out of balance or working to move the body through natural transitions (puberty, pregnancy and postnatal phases, perimenopause , an...

How to Understand PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects millions of Americans each year—men, women, and children alike. The numbers are sobering.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 10 percent of women who experience trauma each year will develop PTSD, compared to 4 percent of men who experience trauma. The rates for children are slightly...

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 Mentor podcast ,...

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 acts, t...

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 voices and sens...

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 diseases and ...