You are enough, just as you are.💕
Mirror Exercise: Waking Up with Love
Mirror Exercise: Waking Up with Love
F45 "Live" Event: Community Resilience with Dr. Andrea Dinardo
Community members asked stress, wellness, and psychology questions in real time.
Throughout the resilience seminar, I also shared daily habits and thought patterns keeping me healthy during the pandemic.
Optimism, hope, and humour are key factors in health, happiness, and resilience.Optimism Bootcamp The Drive Magazine
Since then, I have been interviewed virtually by:
In the past, online interactions were “an extra” to everyday conversation.
Now “the virtual life” is a necessity for both our personal and professional lives.
An important and crucial way to stay connected to both our dreams and each other.
PSYCHOLOGY TEACHING ONLINE - BEHIND THE SCENES: 1. What It's Like to Be a Professor During Global Pandemic 2. "Live" Online Psychology Class
“Adapt or Die” may sound harsh.
But adaptation is truly what’s being asked of us in every area of our lives right now.
So I figure I might as well jump right in!
Because I would rather ride the wave, than have the wave ride me. 🌊
An analytic (below the surface) strategy originating in the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
Freud’s Iceberg Analogy : Click Here
With the ultimate intention of enhancing inner peace and understanding.
To Learn More
Watch my in-depth interview on situational anxiety with Dr. Katherin Garland: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=N7ttX6h_D8o
Watch Video Of Post: Click Here
Especially at the start of a brand new day.
Step One: Awareness
Begin by WAKING UP to your inner dialogue tomorrow morning.
Is it loving? Is it kind?
Step Two: Mirror Affirmations
Write an encouraging quote for yourself on your bathroom mirror.
Pick any one of the quotes you’ve shared with the world on social media this past year and post it for yourself on your bathroom mirror.
It only takes one thought, one word, one smile, one song, to change a life.
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
Freedom doesn’t come from holding on.
Freedom comes from letting go.
Again and again and again.
Too often we are hard on ourselves for having to release the same thought, emotion, person, or situation over and over again.
When in fact this is how life goes.
Letting go and surrendering are an ongoing process. And as necessary for our mental health as eating is for our physical health.
We must eat three times a day. And sometimes we have to surrender (thirty) three times a day.
And that’s ok. That’s how life flows..
F R E E D O M
If you only had ONE YEAR to live:
What would you STOP doing?
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Video of Blog Post: Click Here
Mental Health Matters Interview
This week, I speak with one of my dearest blogging friends, Dr. D!
We discuss all things anxiety. She explains the difference between anxiety disorder and situational anxiety.
Dr. Dinardo provides 3 strategies to help us cope with situational anxiety, especially because it may be heightened during the pandemic and times of racial unrest.
1. Video Format of Interview
Watch on YouTube.
2. Podcast Format of Interview
Watch Anxiety Video: Click Here
Strength during the lowest of lows?
Peace in difficulty?
Happiness during COVID-19?
In the video below, I share some personal examples from my own upbringing on how my parents found strength and contentment during even the darkest of times.
I’d love to hear your ideas, theories, and personal stories.
Video of Post → Click Here
WHY ARE WE SO HARD ON OURSELVES?
One that I’m asked often. And one that I often ask myself.
The answer is multifaceted and includes several factors including how we were parented (when internalized superego and conscience first develops) and eventually how we parent ourselves.
When something goes wrong, how do you respond?
1. Self Criticism versus Self Compassion
2. Self Control versus Self Love and Understanding
How do I make the shift from self criticism to self compassion?
1. Pay attention to where your self judgements originated.
Is this your personal measure of worthiness or society’s expectation of success?
2. Investigate how truly arbitrary the standards you set for yourself are.
For example, who said you had to weigh 125 lbs, have a million dollars in the bank, and be married by 30?
3. Don’t Believe Everything You Think!
Just a few weeks before all St. Clair College classes went fully online due to COVID-19.
The more open, adventurous, and flexible we are in our thinking (and being), the more likely we are to perceive ambiguity as a pathway to something new and exciting.
A whole new road, yet to be discovered.
We never know what’s waiting on the other side of COVID uncertainty.
Even if we can’t see the outcome.
Together in faith, anything is possible!
Video of Post ⇒ Click Here
Everyone experiences time differently.
Because time truly is relative.
Time perception also varies from person to person.
Taken one step further, time defines who we are, and ultimately who we become.
How we live our days is how we live our lives.
Moments → Hours → Days → Months → Lifetimes
Which is why the more conscious and aware we become about how we spend and prioritize our time, the more meaningful and satisfying our lives will become.
Concrete Examples of Time Usage
Identify 5 ways you spend 100 units (dollars) of time each day. (As illustrated in the video)
Compare and contrast your “money time sheet” with family and friends.
When does time slow down for you? When does time speed up for you?
Are you more influenced by external measures of time?
Has your use of time changed since COVID?
The trouble is, you think you have time.
Three Ways ~ 2020 graduates ~ can bridge the gap between what was ~ and what will be.
All three resilience strategies described in full detail in the 8 minute video below:
Growth happens in the s p a c e in between.
How are you coping with our shared worldwide experience?
After socially distancing for several days, and working full-time from home as a psychology professor (now online), I had never felt more appreciative and grateful for all the simple joys in my life.
Walking on campus. Smiling in the hallways. Laughing with students. Chatting in the parking lot. Coffee at Starbucks. High Fives At The Gym. Wandering Freely Through Bookstores. Movies at Silver City. Buttery popcorn. Ice cold pop. A Gathering in The Park.
So much goodness that I often took for granted in the course of an ordinary day.
Every adversity, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
What is the higher lesson in all of this?
In the video above created for a community resilience project — I share all the ways my husband John and I are thriving (instead of merely surviving) the COVID-19 crisis. Including counting our blessings like never before.
Now is the opportunity to come together as a resilient community. From the basement of our fears to the penthouse of our faith. Rising in unison. Together in strength and love.
What has COVID-19 crisis awakened in you?
How has your inner and outer life evolved?
How have you thrived and grown?
Stay Well My Friends! 🌍 🦋
“Like the butterfly, I have the hope, the strength, and the faith to believe that in time, we will emerge from our cocoon transformed.
Judged and scrutinized.
Like all eyes are on you and every potential error you make?
Think back to the first time you gave a dinner party, swung a golf club, wrote a college exam, or posted your first blog online.
Individuals with social anxiety experience this sense of being watched (and thought about) significantly more than the average person.
Independent of skills and expertise.
One potential explanation is a psychological phenomenon called imaginary audience experienced frequently in adolescence.
Think back to how easily embarrassed you were as a teenager.
Resulting in perpetual self-consciousness, distorted views of how others saw you, causing in a tendency to conform for fear of sticking out.
Two studies explored imaginary audience phenomenon among college students.
Imaginary audience behavior was found to be related to measures of social anxiety, self perception, and personality.
Furthermore, imaginary audience scores were more strongly related to anxiety than abstract reasoning.
These results suggest that imaginary audience experiences that persist into early adulthood have more to do with social anxiety than with cognitive development.
Original Source: Click Here
The next time you imagine you are being watched, talked about, or judged by others, remember that imaginary audience IS AN ILLUSION heightened by social media, physiology (eg., lack of sleep), and overthinking.
This is a very good thing!
Live like nobody’s watching. Love like nobody’s watching. Succeed like nobody’s watching. Fail like nobody’s watching. Write like nobody’s watching!
Video of Post ⇒ Click Here
But we have to look UP to see it.
OPEN our minds to BELIEVE it.
The next time you see a 40 km, 50 km, or even 100 km sign — take it as an opportunity to visualize where (and who) you want to be at that age.
Additionally, use each “sign” as instant reflection time for contemplating: 1) what you need to do more of and 2) what you need to let go of to get there.
What signs have you noticed lately?
I was recently interviewed by wellness entrepreneur Christa Realba for her Ambitious Mama Podcast Series.
In different gradients, and at different times for sure. Depending on where you are on your journey.
The key is to not get stuck in the challenge and let pain become your identity.
To learn from it. To rise up and begin again when the time is right.
Related Post: Teaching Resilience at School
Merely an idea 5 years ago.
Again and again and again.. 🙏💛 🚀💫
Video of Blog Post ⇒ Click Here
The following is a video and activity overview from Part 2 of the 2020 SRC Leadership Development Workshop. Click Here for Part 1.
Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.
I believe that (self) control is the foundation of effective leadership because in order to lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself.
CONTROL – Part 1
In the initial control exercise, participants met in groups to reflect and share their answers to the following questions:
CONTROL – Part 2
Next, participants applied the C-P-R Model of Sustainable Mental Health Habits to their own experiences as both students and student leaders.
1. Student leaders first identified their triggers. Including emotional, cognitive, situational, and physical stressors. CATCH
2. Then they practiced taking a time-out (long deep breath) during high pressure moments. PAUSE
3. Finally, they shared both self-care (fitness, sleep, nutrition) and professional resources (counselling) that help them replenish unmet psychological and physical needs (as outlined on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). REPAIR
Control Video ⇒ Click Here
TEDx Talk ⇒ Click Here
On January 11, 2020, I had the opportunity to work with the student leadership team at St. Clair College in Windsor Ontario.
The goal was to strengthen the bonds between team members and harness the power of their mission for the 12,500 students on campus.
We talked about the many ways challenges can be transformed into opportunities.
CHALLENGE is the first “C” in the “Stress to Strength” model from my Thriving Under Pressure TEDx Talk. Photo below.
Listen in for more:
More videos and learning moments from the leadership event to come. Stay Tuned! Dr. D 📚❤️
Special thanks to UWSA VP of Advocacy Arop Plaek Deng for being the photographer and videographer at the SRC Leadership Event 📸
Challenge Video ⇒ Click Here
TEDx Talk ⇒ Click Here
My number one intention for becoming a psychologist and psychology professor has always been to help people live a better life, no matter their life circumstances.
And since there are only so many hours in a day, I’m always looking for new ways to reach and teach as many people as I can. All at once, if possible.
The purpose of my Psychology YouTube Channel is to share the key lessons of my 3 hour psychology lectures in 3 to 5 minutes.
I know how busy everyone is. And I love a good challenge!
I also include videos of psychology workshops and keynote speeches.
Be sure to visit my psychology playlist weekly for new videos!
Better yet: Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
Visit YouTube Channel ⇒ Click Here https://m.youtube.com/c/DrAndreaDinardo
This was the case for Sarah and Jack, two unique individuals with vastly different circumstances. But they each experienced the same emotion: loneliness. An emotion that is heightened during the holidays.
Original Source: The Drive Magazine
Sarah was a 42-year-old recently divorced woman who was about to face her first holiday season alone. Living in a new town, miles away from friends and family, she was waiting to begin a new job in January. Hours felt like days.
Days felt like months. Sarah had tried everything to fill the void inside. The mistake she made was running away from the one thing that would help get her to the other side: loneliness itself.
We need to first understand an emotion before we jump to the conclusion that it’s either good or bad, because in reality, emotions are almost entirely physiological in nature.
There’s not a negative or positive to them. It’s in our mind that we make it one or the other. This concept is supported by Schachter-Singer’s theory of emotion:
This theory of emotion explains why two people can experience the exact same event and have completely different emotional reactions to it.
What matters most is the person’s interpretation of an event, not the event itself. After all, as they say, one person’s glass-half-full is another one’s glass-half-empty.
In Sarah’s situation, she interpreted her physiological response to idle time as loneliness, while another person might label it as much-needed relaxation. Ultimately, Sarah has a choice. One interpretation debilitates; the other empowers.
Now that Sarah understands the interpretative power she holds over her environmental triggers, the next step is to witness loneliness in a neutral, curious state rather than fighting it at every turn.
In doing so, Sarah neutralizes the intensity of her emotions, allowing them to flow through her, rather than getting stuck in a repetitive loop of pain.
Taken one step further, each time that Sarah experiences a challenging emotion during the holidays, rather than running from it she needs to lean in and ask that emotion, “What are you trying to teach me?”
The final step for Sarah is to learn how to reframe the situations that trigger her loneliness, and understand why sometimes she overreacts, while other times she lets go without a second thought.
Solitude is perceived as isolation by one person and freedom by another.
Watch Video of Post: Click Here
At 55 years of age, Jack was also feeling the pangs of loneliness. His wife of 25 years died suddenly of a heart attack two years ago.
Unexpected was an understatement. They had run in three marathons together and had spent their weekends sampling new vegan restaurants in their local community. Ever since his wife had died, Jack struggled to face the holidays alone.
Jack’s story is as much about him as it is about the family around him. His family and friends’ automatic response was to feel sorry for him, a response that compounded his feelings of disconnectedness and misunderstanding.
As much as Jack missed his wife, he also missed his ability to connect authentically with friends and family. Having been treated with kid gloves since his wife died, Jack longed to be seen as a victor rather than a victim
As such, I encourage Jack to connect with like-minded individuals who had been through a similar situation: widows and widowers. Specifically, ones who had been on their own for several years.
The benefits are twofold. One, Jack would learn new ways of relating to friends and family. And two, he’d be given the green light to grow and acclimate to his new circumstances.
The other component missing in Jack’s life was fun. Simple, cheerful, good-time fun. Everything had become so serious since his wife died, with almost every conversation beginning or ending with his wife’s death.
There was no doubt that he missed her with all his heart. But equally, he longed for moments where he could be free of the loneliness and pain.
I recommend that Jack reintroduce sports into his life. Something non-competitive that would get him out of the house on a Wednesday night. Better yet, if it involved people that he had never met, it would allow him to continue his journey of reinvention and rediscovery.
Equally therapeutic for Jack would be joining a cinema group or regular euchre meetup—both would offer him a chance to be in the moment and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Finally, I advise Jack to examine the memories and traditions that he wanted to keep alive during the holidays—and, equally, the ones of which he was ready to let go.
Jack took the practice one step further. Declaring December a month of renewal and reinvention, he revived a strength and peace inside that radiated out to his entire family.
Jack and Sarah have a lot to teach us about loneliness and how important it is to honour the unique ways in which we process adversity.
One size does not fit all. Fellowship and fun were vital for Jack’s growth and recovery, while Sarah needed a more analytical approach to processing difficulty.
Disclaimer: This post and article are for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To protect the privacy of individuals, names and identifying details have been changed.
You will hear the remarkable stories of teachers, social workers, and principals who suffered greatly through illness, injuries, and difficult pregnancies.
Eventually rising up (with time and support) to greater heights in their current lives.
What is Post Traumatic Growth?
Post traumatic growth (PTG) can be defined as positive personal changes that result from the survivor’s struggle to deal with trauma and its psychological consequences.
The process of post traumatic growth can lead to 1. improved relationships, 2. more compassion, 3. openness, 4. appreciation for life, 5. spiritual growth, 6. personal strength, and 7. a renewed sense of possibilities in the world.
Original Source: http://www.ptsdassociation.com
1. Do you believe the benefits of adversity outweigh the negatives?
2. Which factors hinder an individual’s ability to recover and bounce back?
3. Which factors enhance an individual’s capacity for resilience and post-traumatic growth (PTG)?
4. Is the recovery and resilience for physical health trauma the same or different as mental health adversity? Why or why not?
Video of Blog Post → Click Here
For example: You may be more patient at work, but not at home. You may be able to control your impulses when it comes to food, but not when it comes to yelling at your spouse or children.
For example: Saving money for a house versus buying impulse purchases on Cyber Monday. Working 2 jobs to pay for college tuition versus going out with friends every weekend night. Working out to strengthen your mental and physical health versus watching tv all day.
For example: faith, trust, comfort, financial security, long-term vision, full stomach, good night’s sleep.
In this study, a child was offered a choice between one small but immediate reward, or two small rewards if they waited for period of time. During this time, the researcher left the room for about 15 minutes and then returned.
The reward was either a marshmallow or pretzel stick, depending on the child’s preference. In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), and other life measures.
Original Source: Click Here
Video of Blog Post → Click Here
How to Turn Fear into Excitement
Did you know that fear and excitement share the same set of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine.
And the best way to shift from performance anxiety to excitement is to say one sentence on repeat.
Video Credits: Big thank you to Windsor Entrepreneur Taylor Lanoie for asking such a great question during my Pitch with Passion Workshop. And also for giving me permission to share our dynamic exchange with all of you.
Instead of thinking of mental health as a burden you must shoulder, imagine it as an opportunity to experience peace and joy.
In the same way that we make time for our physical needs, we must devote equal attention to our psychological needs.
The model contains five key indicators of human flourishing: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement.
This blog post first appeared in The Drive Magazine.
Feeling good is an essential part of well-being.
That said, it’s easy to get lost in a spiral of negativity — What’s wrong? Who’s to blame? Why did this happen to me? Leaving little time in the day for appreciation, wonder, and fun.
Which is why it’s essential to schedule good vibe moments into each day.
Here are some ideas:
And so do you.
Remember when you were a kid playing with friends, and before you knew it the street lights came on? If it wasn’t for your mom yelling your name, you would be outside playing all night long. In that moment, you were in a state of flow.
You were completely engaged in what you were doing, independent of everything around you.
Your mom could have called your name for hours, and you wouldn’t have heard a word.
One hundred percent of your attentional capacity was taken up by the activity right in front of you.
Most likely you still experience a state of flow and engagement, but not as often as you like.
Activities that create a flow state include:
Engagement and flow are important for mental health. When you’re completely absorbed by a task, your mind has no capacity left over for distressing thoughts and emotions.
Social support is an important buffer for life’s challenges.
That said, not all associations are created equal. Some relationships, unfortunately, lead to a deterioration in mental health.
Consider the following when you spend time with people:
Stay close to people who feel like sunshine.
Meaning comes from serving something bigger than ourselves.
Whether it be family, charity, occupation, or community, meaning unites us in a common vision and gives us the will to get through adversity.
Students Are My North Star
That said, meaning can appear elusive to some, so why not consider one purpose each day.
Begin with a typical workday. Choose one purpose, and do something to give meaning to that purpose.
I’ve listed a few options, as well as an example for each:
Achievement is the final component of the PERMA model, and, in many ways, its foundation. Goals give us a sense of achievement and satisfaction, helping us to know if we are headed in the right direction.
The key is to balance our drive and determination with the right level of difficulty. If we set a goal that’s too easy, we get bored. If it’s too hard, we experience learned helplessness.
Set daily goals that are achievable and tied into your highest dreams.
Cultivating mental health daily prepares us for the big things in our life. Every little bit counts, everything adds up. Small things on repeat change the world.
Video 1 of Blog Post ⇒ Click Here Video 2 of Blog Post ⇒ Click Here