Give pain room to breathe.

How do you respond when a close friend shares a problem with you?

Mechanical engineer. 3d image isolated on white background.

Are you a fixer or a listener?

If you’re anything like me, my first instinct is to fix the problem.

To try and save loved ones from adversity.

To rescue them.

7D20CE10-7D2C-4369-AA19-A4CA8FD2FECC

To make them instantly feel better.

I suggest we do the opposite.

Instead of rushing in, we take a step back.

Ask them what they need.

AF808AB0-CC5F-416D-834E-127678C79D9F

Give their pain room to breathe.

In doing so, we validate the person and their experience.

Helping them stay true to who they are.

just be there

It’s ok to not be ok.

What comes – also goes.

Welcome it all.

Video of this post ⤴️

Come join my YouTube Channel too! 🎥🍿

Encouraging someone through life’s challenges.

How do we bridge the gap between expectations and reality?

D15ECA9F-D3ED-4F8F-8001-9846053C48FA

The idea we have for our life rarely, if ever, matches up with the life we end up with.

Which is often a blessing in disguise.

Yet something we seldom realize in the thick of difficulty.

Success is not a straight line. 

When dreams fall apart, feelings of failure and helplessness often set in.

This is the exact time when we need others to hold the light for us. To be an encourager. To show us the way.

STRATEGIES FOR EMPOWERING OTHERS

 Dreams ↔ Failure ↔ Destiny

1. Encourage people by sharing your own stories of difficulty and overcoming.

485AD016-062F-4B6D-9EA5-ABBABEA81866

This helps others understand that no one begins their success journey at the top of the mountain. And that each failure is an opportunity to rise up. Again and again.

2. Hold a safe space for loved ones to ‘not be ok’ when overwhelmed.

Rushing anyone through difficult emotions will prolong feelings of fear, threat, and danger.

Instead, we can flip the switch by leaning into “the overwhelm” and asking: “What are you trying to teach me?”

E9972354-B499-4B73-9BCB-CD96206FD3C2

3. The ultimate encouragement strategy is to believe in someone, especially when they don’t. 

This helps shift their mindset from not enough to overflowing. Creating a new heightened vision for life’s unexpected bumps and detours.

AA315253-A894-4B59-BDD6-30E086ECC9A8

You got this!”💥

Fear is an illusion.

8F7A922C-7E08-41CB-BDB3-0285C7325626

Don’t be fooled by fear.

Look it directly in the eye.

Fear distorts reality.

Fear exaggerates the truth.

Step back. Take a pause.

 Remember who you are.

You have overcome great adversity.

You have faced this phantom before.

This wolf is a mirage.

Only your strength, your courage, and your untapped powers are real.

E11DB696-1295-4A0B-9E30-3B24B9C2FED3

Resources to help you break free from the illusion of fear:

Understanding Fear: Identifying Cognitive Distortions
Overcoming Fear: Fixing Cognitive Distortions
Repost from October 2017 — Click Here.

Your assignment.

38ED4009-A8A0-4551-A6DB-160628655056

You were born to inspire others.

To show them the way.

In good times. In bad times.

And every moment in between.

Quietly. Privately. Boldly. Courageously.

You were born to inspire others.

To show them the way.

Related: Mindset changes everything.

You Can Do College Event.

I love sharing ideas with students.

748906E2-6E79-4BB0-8A23-E92A5B9CA290

I can’t imagine a better moment in life to learn about purpose and empowerment than when we are young.

Which is why I embrace every opportunity to share the principles of positive psychology with students across Canada.

1948F29E-AAFA-488B-8C0F-E0CEE906DFD4

The most recent opportunity being a conference called: “You Can Do College.”

  • 600 grade 10 students from 14 high schools participated in the 2 day conference.

The purpose of the event was to introduce high school students to all the programs available to them when they graduate in a few years.

FA62669C-9A0B-4311-BDE5-CED8FB79F3FE

Showing them that if they work hard today — “They Can Do College” in the future. Whether it be as a civil engineer, a veterinary technician, a nurse, or an early childhood educator.

The choice is theirs to make.

E7A8D82D-255C-4D40-96EA-8E217E8F77A7

Students are our future.

My job as a Motivational Speaker was to ignite their inner flame for higher learning. This is what I was born to do! 🔥

6C9DE867-B54C-4A09-A78A-2B4BB88BA25C

Pay attention to the person right in front of you. They have something to teach you.

Connecting with audience members is essential for me. No matter how big or small the crowd.

Accordingly, I encouraged students to answer as many questions as they could (which they did!) as I walked and talked freely with the large crowd.

Hoping to meet as many of the 600 students as I could.

DFDE959F-B2BE-4F19-A7F7-DE157FF6A3E5

One of my favourite moments was when the young gentleman above shared his lifelong dream of becoming an engineer.

Just listening to his mission shifted me to a higher place.

The icing on the cake was hearing about destiny from a student named Destiny. 

Destiny aspires to be a cosmetologist to the stars one day. How cool is that!

D9D40B40-599B-4E5A-9F2E-A96F32851FF5

The next time you meet a student, ask them about their dreams. The stress they’re experiencing immediately disappears.

Shifting Positive on a Stressful Day.

“Every day might not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

In psychology class this week, I teach one of my favourite subjects – Stress, Coping, and Health Psychology Chapter 11 in my psychology textbook.

I purposely teach this topic during the height of midterms. Raising awareness about the healthy (and not so healthy) ways students manage stress is critical for building resilience.

2743FEC3-2014-4B00-B0C1-A52FB3FBD2FB

Shifting Negative ⇒ Positive

One of my top 10 techniques for shifting students from stress to strength is to share what’s going right even (especially) when things are going wrong. Small uplifts in the course of the day change everything. Fleeting. Unexpected. Goodness.

Based on my experience as a school psychologist, I will never deny the stress students are under. Witnessing adversity is an essential part of moving through itHowever, I choose not to remain in the territory of “what’s wrong” for too long.

What We Focus on Expands

Once we acknowledge what’s wrong. We open our eyes to the grace that takes place throughout the day.

image

“Good things are always happening. The key is to notice them.”

Students make the shift from powerless to empowered by sharing ordinary joys happening in their lives.

A radiant smile from a fellow commuter. Free coffee at McDonald’s. An unexpected A on a paper. A sweet parking spot. Spending time with an old friend. A surprise compliment from a stranger. Laughing out loud with fellow classmates. A really good night’s sleep.

And I’m the fortunate professor who gets to hear all these uplifts at the end of a long, rainy day. One more reason why I love working with students.

image
How do you shift positive on a stressful day?

Related Post: Put a time limit on negativity.

TEDx Video: Thriving Under Pressure

Good news to share!

I have been working on a TEDx project with the University of Windsor TEDx team since last year. And just an hour ago, I received the good news that the finished video was uploaded to the official TEDx site today! So pumped!

tedx-talk-dr-dinardo

In my TEDx Talk I discuss how to THRIVE under pressure using 3 stress resilience tools: challenge, control and commitment.

The purpose of this talk and my blog is to help students develop positive coping techniques in fun, interactive, and uplifting ways.

By first focusing on what is right, before examining what is wrong, students can be transformed by their challenges and adversities. 🌴💚

If you like, please share this TEDx video with friends and family on social media. The wider its reach, the more people I can help thrive under pressure!

May Your North Star Light Your Way. 💫

From Stress to Strength.

Challenge can be difficult. Adversity overwhelming. Growth painful. I agree!

Instead of seeing obstacles and stressors as taking you down.

Try perceiving challenges as taking you UP ↑

Again and again and again.

171C389E-6757-4334-84B3-7A02B2EAF9E0.jpeg

For it’s in this uncomfortable space in between failure and success; breakups and makeups; exams and graduation — that strength is ultimately born. 💥

TEDx Photos: Diamonds from Pressure.

“Don’t tell people your dreams. Show them.”

I am excited to share an interview, photos, and a short video clip from yesterday’s TEDx Event at the University of Windsor. It was one of the most positive speaking experiences I’ve ever had. Truly magical.

FFCD3D78-36B0-41C7-BCC3-3687F851FBED
TEDx Dr. Andrea Dinardo

 

TEDx Videoclip

 

09F51FBB-E905-4DE6-8053-8A2152CC6EF4
TEDx Organizers
6743F54B-E438-4C3F-8140-2B9CFA2EC870
My Psychology Students 🍏

TEDx Slideshow

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8C71BB91-2A9C-4003-BD57-00D4F2F411A0
TEDx Dr. Andrea Dinardo

TEDx Dream Team

0346BA32-12BE-42E3-BBFB-A20AE1488D67
Team TEDx

Thank you for letting me share my dream of being on the TEDx stage!  The official TEDx video will be posted soon. 🎥

Related Post: How I prepared my TEDx Speech.

Face it – You’re Strong!

fear

Everything you’re afraid of – you’ve already experienced.

Afraid of commitment?

(You’ve been dumped.)

Afraid of failure?

(You’ve failed.)

been there done that

Afraid of rejection?

(You’ve been rejected.)

Afraid of being broke?

(You’ve been without money.)

Fill in the blanks for me..

Afraid of being _________?

(You’ve been _________.)

And then vow to erase that fear in your life.

fear

By facing your fears head on.

Remember – you have been here before.

You have more knowledge and experience than you recognize.

You are braver than you realize.

You have faced this fear before.

fear2

 You have survived this fear before.

And you have thrived because of it.

(You may not realize it – but you have.)

Face it – you’re strong!

And you have the power to kick this fear right to the curb.

Once and for all!

image

Your final challenge is to embrace your power.

Full on!