3 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Mood

happiness Nov 09, 2020

Looking for a mood boost? These 3 mental hacks can quickly and effectively boost your mood anytime, anywhere. 

Appreciation - Thinking of 2 or 3 things that you’re grateful for, has proven benefits to boost the mood and create a sense of happiness and peace. Think about the small things that are going well in your life to feel less stressed and happier.

Accept Change - Relax into the flow of change to have more peace of mind. This is especially important when thinking about the things you can’t control. Letting go of resistance can help you feel less stressed.

Cause and Effect - Everything we think, say, and do, has an impact on our lives. This is why it’s important to focus on the things that make us feel good, healthy, and happy. Do more of the things that make you happy and less of the things that don’t.

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Top 6 Tips for Beating Seasonal Depression

As we enter this year's winter season, stress and anxiety are especially high due to the pandemic. Even in these stressful times, there are lots of proven strategies to help boost the mood during the winter months!

Here are my top 6 tips for beating seasonal affective disorder (also known as "seasonal depression"):

#1: Get outside for at least 20 minutes a day during the winter months, especially on the milder and sunny days. This is actually extremely important because it is believed that seasonal affective disorder is caused by a reduction in light. Outdoor temperature can indirectly impact seasonal affective disorder, because people are less likely to go outside when it's cold. But temperature alone is not the cause. So if you get outside and get sunlight, the symptoms can be reduced, regardless of the temperature.

#2: Maintain your exercise routine. Don’t let your exercise stop just because it’s getting colder or the days are...

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Give 60 Seconds to Mindfulness

happiness mindfulness Jul 25, 2020

Here are my TOP 5 quick and easy mindfulness activities. Try one each day for the next five days, then keep doing your favorites regularly after that! 

1. Stretch for 60 seconds.

Take 60 seconds to stretch each muscle group, starting with your feet and working your way up to your head and neck. Breathe slowly and deeply as you stretch, feeling the tension and stress leave your body. Enjoy the 60 second break in your day, while reaping the relaxing benefits of stretching. 

2. Eat mindfully.

Have you ever heard of mindful eating? Well it's a thing ;) And it's probably the opposite of the fast-paced eating experience many of us are accustomed to. To practice mindful eating, take a small piece of food- for example, it could be a piece of chocolate, a blueberry or a raisin. Spend 60 seconds experiencing the item by noticing how it feels in your mouth. What does it smell like? What textures do you notice? How does it taste? Try to savor the item and pay close, mindful,...

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5 Ways to Care for Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

happiness relaxation Mar 28, 2020

Caring for your mental health is important now, more than ever. There is a lot of anxiety about COVID-19. Some people are quarantined, some are afraid to lose their jobs, and some are anxious about getting sick. Everyone is impacted in some way. I have confidence we, as a planet, will get through this. Maybe we'll even be better people because of it. More loving, grateful, appreciative, and humble, to name a few. 

In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with some very good ways to care for your mental health during this difficult and unique time.

 

The first one helps a lot! I think it's the most important... Don't over-consume information about the virus and definitely don't read/watch virus-related information right before bed. 

Connect with family and friends. This will likely be by phone or computer, but that's the way it is right now. Reach out for help and offer support. Don't hesitate to laugh and cry together. Be authentic and talk about how you...

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Better Physical and Mental Health through Gratefulness

gratitude happiness Feb 06, 2020

Research shows that GRATITUDE truly does have an immensely positive effect on people's lives. It improves physical health, improves the quality of relationships, and elevates the mood. Dr. Robert A. Emmons from the University of California Berkeley, has spent the past decade studying gratefulness and has concluded that it is good for our bodies, minds, and relationships. 

Here is a list of the benefits of gratefulness according to studies by Emmons' research team:

Physical
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Better sleep quality

Psychological
• Higher levels of positive emotions (e.g. more happiness!)
• More alert
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism 

Social
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Less lonely and isolated

#motivation #change #stagesofchange #happiness #psychsavvy #dailyinspiration #truth #positivethinking

Wondering what steps you can take to increase gratitude? Research...

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Try this 5 Minute Mindfulness Technique

happiness mindfulness Jan 14, 2020

Let's start with a quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"  

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

When I think of that quote, I think of mindfulness, being in the present moment, and enjoying the here and now. We live in a fast-paced world where we may struggle to take the time to really notice what is around us, how we are feeling, and what we are experiencing in the here and now.

One way to connect with the present moment and be mindful is to practice this technique for 5 minutes a day. This technique is commonly used for panic attacks and other forms of severe anxiety, but it can also be used in everyday stressful situations, as well as to simply take a moment to breathe, relax and enjoy the moment. Breathe slowly and deeply while you try this technique...


Sincerely,

Catherine Cirulli, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist/PsychSavvy™ Founder 

Be sure to follow me on social media. Click on these...

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4 Ways to Achieve Your Goals in the Next DECADE

goals happiness Dec 31, 2019

2020 is almost here! I feel like I remember gearing up for the year 2000 like it was yesterday, but here we are, about to enter a new decade and the year 2020! 

We've all heard the typical advice about how to set goals for the new year - write them down, track your progress, don't give up! While I encourage you to do those things too, in this email I am going to provide you with the next level of achieving goals so they REALLY happen. If you're serious about making a change, achieving a goal, and optimizing your life this year, then these tips are for you!

#1 Get an accountability partner. Find a friend or family member who can check-in with you on your goals, and offer to do the same for them. Come up with a regular check-in day and time, like once a week. At that time, you'll ask each other about progress towards goals. Their job is not to make you do anything, rather the act of having someone else to be accountable to actually increases your chances of success.

...

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5 Ways to Survive, and THRIVE, this Holiday Season

family happiness Nov 24, 2019

Let’s face it, the holidays can be challenging. Even the most “functional” families still have their issues, clashing personalities, and differences of opinions. But of course the holidays can also be a wonderful time of relaxation and family bonding. So, whether you’re spending the holidays with family, friends, or on your own, this article has something for you!

Try to make this holiday season the best one yet with these 5 ways to survive, and even thrive, this holiday season.

  1. Keep your expectations reasonable. Don’t expect your friends or family to have changed. The same person who drove you crazy last year with questions about why you’re still single or why you chose “that” job, or whatever, will probably drive you crazy again this year. Plan on it and don’t let it get to you. You might even try to find some humor in the situation.
  2. If you’re spending time with family or friends, try to focus on what you appreciate...
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5 Stages of Change: go from where you are to where you want to be

happiness Oct 03, 2019

The 5 Stages of Change can help you establish where you are and where you want to be.

Think about your answer to this question: What change do you want to make to better your life?

It may be a goal to exercise more, be more productive at work, have a better relationship with your spouse, lose weight, quit smoking, reduce alcohol, meditate more, reduce stress, eat better, etc. Think about your goal and where you fall in terms of the 5 Stages of Change outlined below:

#1 Precontemplation-  As the word indicates, at this stage the person is not planning to change the behavior, may not see a reason to change, and has no interest in changing. They may see the cons of change as outweighing the pros. For example, a person may have a problem with alcohol, but they don’t yet identify it as a problem, nor do they have any plans to change their drinking habits.

#2 Contemplation- People may still feel ambivalent at this stage, but they are beginning...

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How to Get Over Guilt

guilt happiness Sep 17, 2019

Feeling guilty can be miserable! It can impact sleep, mood, relationships, productivity and more. Finding a way to overcome guilt is also so important for overall happiness. 

So, what is guilt? Guilt is a feeling of being bothered by an action one regrets. It seems that guilt can range from mild to extreme, and the degree to which someone feels guilty is multifaceted. It is based on the situation, past experiences, who is involved, the reaction of others, one’s own sense of self, and so forth. Feelings of guilt can impact one’s happiness as well as relationships with others.

Interestingly, there are some upsides to guilt. For example, guilt can motivate us to do good, to have empathy, and to work hard. The problem is, sometimes guilt can spiral out of control and lead to quite negative thoughts. Feelings of guilt can lead some people to feel like they are bad or unlovable. So while guilt can be motivating, research shows that it’s not the...

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