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How to Use Negative Emotions as Information

How to Use Negative Emotions as Information

Most of the time in life, we try to avoid or escape from negative emotions. This is really common in counseling. Most of the time, people seek counseling in order to “feel better.” On one hand, this makes a lot of sense to me. Anxiety feels bad. Depression feels bad....
3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Escape Your Difficulties

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Escape Your Difficulties

One of my favorite movies is the Shawshank Redemption. The movie tells the story of Andy Dufrense, a banker who is convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife. Eventually, Andy regains his hope and the movie ends with, you guessed it, his...
How To Be Less Anxious-Part 3: 5 Tips

How To Be Less Anxious-Part 3: 5 Tips

This post is Part 3 in a 3-part blog series on how to be less anxious. (If you missed the first post, you can find it here.) Anxiety is About Fear  In the first two posts, I talked about two big ideas when thinking about anxiety. First, anxiety is about fear. Our...
What Can We Learn From Negative Emotions?

What Can We Learn From Negative Emotions?

Usually when people come to counseling, they are in emotional distress. If you are struggling, you might be in that place right now. Maybe you feel depressed, down, and sad. Or perhaps you feel anxious, uptight, and nervous. You want relief from the unpleasant...
Fortitude and Engaging Our Obstacles

Fortitude and Engaging Our Obstacles

We all experience difficulties and obstacles in our lives. Sometimes they are little, but sometimes they are big. For example, a few years ago, my good friend Jamie Aten was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. I walked with him through a very difficult and scary time...
Holding Conflict

Holding Conflict

What do you do when you have two parts of yourself that are in conflict with each other? This happened to me the other day. I had a disagreement with a friend about an upcoming trip. There was part of me that recognized it wasn’t a big deal, and wanted to go with the...
Look Underneath Your Coping Strategy

Look Underneath Your Coping Strategy

We each have different strategies for coping with stress. Some strategies are more helpful, and other strategies are less helpful. What kinds of things do you do in order to cope? Maybe you turn to exercise, or talking a problem over with a friend. Perhaps you cope by...
Use Negative Emotions, Don’t Lose Them

Use Negative Emotions, Don’t Lose Them

I was feeling anxious the other day. There were a lot of things on my mind. I had several writing projects with due dates approaching. The lease for my apartment was up, and I had to figure out if I wanted to sign a new lease or move out. I was dealing with a couple...
Don’t Be Chained to a Twig

Don’t Be Chained to a Twig

I read a story once about an animal trainer, who spoke about how he kept elephants under control. When the elephants were babies, the trainer put chains around their feet and tied the chains to a log. The baby elephants tried and tried to escape, but they...
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