• Anxiety,  Depression,  Men's Mental Health,  Stress

    Buddhism, Addiction & the Myth of Disempowerment

    Addiction can be viewed in various ways – from a psychological vs. physiological perspective, to the debate between whether or not there is a biological basis for addiction. Through my training, clinical experience and the lens of Buddhist psychology, addiction is not a matter of biology. It’s not some flaw in your design, some genetic mistake that predisposes you to a life of struggle and suffering. Rather, addiction is as incredibly simple (and insanely complex) as the brain’s inherent inclination toward pleasure and away from pain. I believe that as a society, we suffer from an epidemic of addiction. When I say “addiction”, I’m not referring to the most extreme…

  • Anxiety,  Depression,  Relationships

    Happiness

    What do you need to be happy? I mean really need? Where does your happiness live? Does it live in your bank account? Do you find it in the comforts of a paycheck, a job title or a dollar sign? If you need those things to be happy, then what happens when they change, as all things do? Is happiness something you find in a number on your scale, or on a tag on the back of your pants? Is it a size, a weight, a certain way that your body looks? What happens when you age, when your body swells with the magic of pregnancy? Where does your happiness…

  • Stress

    Therapy Session

    Hello, sweet child. Have a seat. Tell me about your fears. Your anxiety. Tell me about your sadness. And your shame. Your addictions and your demons. Tell me, sweet child, why you feel so unworthy and broken and unloveable. Empty the noise in your head, let it pour out into my lap. There. Now I can hold it for you. I can cradle all of your pain and suffering, all of the pieces of your broken heart. I’ll hold it like I would a baby bird with a broken wing: with love and tenderness and reverence. With respect for its beautiful fragility. Here, hold it with me. Take some. Some…

  • Relationships

    How Buddhist Psychology Can Help You Navigate A New Relationship

    The excitement, hope and sense of possibility that accompanies a new romantic relationship can be intoxicating. When we meet someone with whom we deeply connect we feel butterflies and excitement. We feel like we’re floating on a cloud and we experience bliss and euphoria…and then the mind kicks in. With all of its questions and fears and desire to control. With the attachment to outcome and “what if’s”, the catastrophizing and mind-reading and before we know it, we’ve driven ourselves absolutely insane. So what does Buddhism have to say about all of this? How can we apply principles from Buddhist psychology and yoga to help us navigate the beginning stages…

  • Self-Love

    Who Do You Think You Are?

    Who do you think you are? Are you the asshole who lives in your head? Are you the sum of all the stories your mind recorded over the years – the tales of triumph and woe, of successes and (mostly) failures? Are you Fear and Darkness, inherently rotten and broken and unworthy? Were you created to struggle and suffer, to toil uphill your entire life in a (completely unnecessary) attempt to atone for your sins?  Are you your preferences? Are you the color blue or the lucky number 27? Are you a skin tone, a diet, a number on a scale, a face in a mirror? Are you a job…

  • Relationships

    Being Alone Without Being Lonely: How Buddhism Helps Us Come Home to Our Selves

    A lot of us struggle with being single. Whether you’re single by choice or going through a divorce or break-up, the ego has a field day when we’re not coupled. This time is often very fertile ground for our mind’s greatest fears and negative self-talk to plant seeds. The ego tells us stories about how we’re broken, unworthy and unloveable. Our minds run wild with tales of being a social outcast, never finding a romantic partner and then eventually dying alone. The result of all this mind chatter? Debilitating loneliness. Loneliness so vast and unbearable that we literally want to jump out of our skin to get away from it.…

  • Anxiety,  Depression,  Stress

    Mental Health & The Holidays: Tips From Buddhist Psychology

    While the holiday season can be an extremely joyful time, many people report a rise in stress, anxiety and depression during the holiday season. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 64% of people surveyed endorsed having the “holiday blues” (defined as “temporary feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season”). When it comes to the holiday blues, many possible factors are cited, including the added financial stress, time with family, old memories, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Some “symptoms” of the “holiday blues” include headaches, overeating, excessive drinking and insomnia. If you search “mental health and the holidays”, you’ll find a plethora of articles detailing…

  • Anxiety

    Anxiety & Your Diet: What to Eat & Avoid

    A holistic, integrative mind-body approach to anxiety includes a focus on diet and nutrition. Because the mind and the body are inextricably linked, the foods and beverages you put into your body directly impact your mood. Recent research has revealed the powerful relationship between your gut and your brain, and the substantial role gut health plays in regard to anxiety. Your gut is comprised of trillions of bacteria – collectively referred to as the “microbiota” – and this bacteria has been implicated in various mood disorders, including anxiety. A recent study out of Harvard Medical School demonstrated the link between the microbiome and various mental and physical health conditions, and…

  • Depression

    Depression & Your Diet: What to Eat & Avoid

    A holistic, integrative mind-body approach to depression includes a focus on diet and nutrition. Because the mind and the body are inextricably linked, the foods and beverages you put into your body directly impact your mood. The new biology of depression has shown the substantial role that our gut health plays in terms of depression. While the old science focused on depression in the brain, new research has shown that depression is far more linked to the gut than previously believed. In fact, 90% of serotonin (the neurotransmitter most often implicated in regard to depression) is produced in the gut. Furthermore, a recent study found that probiotics were as effective…

  • Anxiety

    10 Things You Can Do Every Day to Manage Anxiety

    Anxiety has become the most commonly diagnosed psychological disorder in the United States, affecting roughly one-third of the population. While the statistics are dire, the good news is that there are plenty natural, holistic treatments to anxiety. Below is a list of 10 things you can do every day to help manage your anxiety: 1. Exercise A great body of research exists on the benefits of exercise for mood disorders and mental health. Working out – even for just 21 minutes each day – has been shown to flush your body with feel-good endorphins and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Find the right regimen for you, and get that heart rate…