Changes...

Ok, so David Bowie doesn't have a lot to do with my counseling practice, but I love him and I love this GIF.  Think about all the changes you've been through in your life (teen pimples, bad 80's hair, your indie rock phase...)  They all add up to create the person you are now.  Some of these changes may have been unpleasant at the time and maybe you are still dealing with the fallout, but your reactions and experiences have built the person you are now.  What would your animation look like??

"Little pitchers have big ears"

I remember learning this phrase from the Little House books.  It basically means that adults should be careful about what they say within the hearing of children.  I came across an interesting video and article that shows this is so true, even at a very early age. Researchers at the University of Washington have found that toddlers change their behavior to avoid making grown-ups angry.  If you've had a toddler, you may not fully believe that could be true, but watch the video and see!

Art Therapy, Mindfulness, and Cancer

Recently the Huffington Post ran an article that referred to a study of breast cancer survivors who took part in art and mindfulness groups.  

After eight weeks of art therapy and a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, study participants showed positive changes.

Specifically, they were less anxious.  How could the scientists tell?  The participants took a survey before the program, and then again eight weeks later.  Their brains were also scanned while performing tasks, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).  The program activities actually changed how blood flowed to certain parts of the brain.   Cool stuff, right?  Maybe it's a no-brainer (OMG, no pun intended) for cancer survivors who already know that yoga, breathing, art, meditation, help relax and improve their mood.  Nice to have science backing what you knew all along, though! 

Storytelling

I've always loved a good story.  I remember putting on plays for my grandparents and creating a family newsletter as a kid.  Did you have a great storyteller in your family?  Are YOU the great storyteller?  How are you sharing your stories?

The Moth is one of my very favorite podcasts. What is The Moth, you ask?  Check it out!

"Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.

Moth stories dissolve socio-economic barriers, expose vulnerabilities, and quietly suggest ways to overcome challenges and see with new eyes."

Rose of Jericho

Check out this time lapse of a Rose of Jericho (Selaginella lepidophylla). After being exposed to water, the plant turns from a dried tumbleweed to a green fern over the course of several hours.

I recently saw this little video and thought about the times when something small can make a big difference in how we feel.  Or, times when we didn't realize we needed a change until it came.  I always feel this way in February/March when the buds on our cherry trees open and there is an end in sight to our grey days.  If you are having a hard time and feel a bit like this dried up Rose of Jericho maybe you can try an activity you haven't done for a while that makes you "bloom" or a reach out to a friend that always makes you feel good.

The Science of Depression

After the loss of Robin Williams to suicide many people have been wondering more about depression.  How does it happen? Is it genetic? How can medicine help? How can we prevent suicide?  I think this video does a good job of explaining some of the biology behind depression and medication.  It doesn't answer those larger questions, but can help you understand some of the basics.

Sloths kind of have life figured out..

It's no secret that I'm a fan of sloths.  I really like this video, not just because of their adorableness, but because these tips are actually pretty good.  Slowing down and being mindful about our actions and thoughts can really change our days for the better.  We definitely need more sleep as a society.  Getting into nature can be both relaxing and rejuvenating.  Need I go on?