• Anxiety

    Ease

    How do you want your life to feel? If you were given the instruments, what song would you play? If your life were a blank canvas, what painting would you create? I want my life to feel like slow exhalations and gentle symphonies and the glittering gold of summer’s dusk. Like indigo and violet, soft peach and canary yellow and deep mauve. I want each day to feel like a flowing stream, like water moving effortlessly, with ease, in the Universe’s intended direction. Does your life feel like that? Does it feel gentle and precious and calm? Filled with serenity and Light and laughter and hope? Or do you toil…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Anxiety,  Buddhist Psychology,  Uncategorized

    What Anxiety Does to the Body

    Humble Warrior Therapy is a holistic, integrative approach to mental health, emphasizing the inextricable link between mind and body. This mindfulness-based therapy is rooted in philosophies of yoga and Buddhism, which both promote an extremely comprehensive notion of health. When we experience a certain state of mind, our physical body is affected (and vice versa). So what are the effects of anxiety on our physical health? How does feeling anxious affect the various systems and functioning of our bodies? Read on to learn about some of the physical health symptoms of anxiety: Headaches Breathing problems Increased heart rate Decreased sex drive Upset stomach Muscle aches and pains Extreme fatigue Increased blood…

  • Anxiety

    Anxiety Tips and Treatment

    Anxiety has become the most prevalent psychological disorder in the U.S., affecting about 40 million adults annually (about 20% of the population!). Whether you’re struggling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social anxiety, a specific phobia, or a different type of anxiety issue, the points I offer below can help. Read on to find out how. Accept all emotions. Unfortunately, there is still some shame and stigma around any sort of distress (anxiety, depression, etc.), so many of us end up invaliding or resisting our own emotions. This ends up back-firing, however, because emotions actually become stronger – or hang around longer – when we resist them. I always tell clients…

  • Anxiety,  Buddhist Psychotherapy,  Coping Skills,  Mindfulness & Meditation

    Social Anxiety: How Buddhism Can Help You Cope

    Social anxiety disorder, also known as “SAD”, is a common psychological diagnosis centered on a fear of negative evaluation by others. Social anxiety is not about shyness or introversion, or even a dislike of people of social situations; rather, social anxiety occurs when a person is afraid of being judged by others, because of embarrassing behaviors that person believes he/she will display. Viewed through a lens of Buddhism and Buddhist psychology, social anxiety isn’t a pathological state requiring a clinical diagnosis, but rather, a result of the mind or ego. In Buddhist terms, suffering stems from the mind: from distorted thinking and also from overidentifying with ego, or taking ourselves…

  • Anxiety,  Buddhist Psychology,  Coping Skills,  Happiness & Well-Being

    Anxiety, Fear & Buddhism

    So many of us live our lives in fear. We’re afraid of failure, of being vulnerable (and risking rejection), afraid of not fitting in, of messing up, of letting ourselves and others down. We’re afraid to stay stuck and just as afraid to get well; afraid of depression and equally afraid of happiness; we fear pain and distress, ridicule and blame and we even fear our own thoughts and feelings! From a Buddhist perspective, fear is at the root suffering. The Buddha taught that all beings feel a deep sense of fear or anxiety, which stems from the fact that we resist the impermanence of our existence. Partly because of…