Category: Simple tricks to feel good


radio photos

I had a wonderful time on Friday, with my friend Bob Roth, on his radio show, “Health Futures: Taking Stock in You.” We talked about aging,  self-care, and coping with big transitions in life. If you missed it and would like to hear it, you can listen to the pod cast at:  http://media.kfnn.com/content/healthfutures/health-futures_1_010814.mp3. I’d love your feedback! His show is every Friday at noon on KFNN 1510AM/99.3FM, and it’s wonderful! It was an absolute pleasure to be on air with him.

 

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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IMG00139-20100704-1817Trying hard to relax? Maybe don’t try so hard… Consider instead that forcing yourself to relax will rarely ever work, simply because relaxation is a a letting go…a release. To force relaxation is actually the opposite of what relaxation is all about. You have to allow it, rather than demand it. Instead of struggling against stressful emotions like fear, anxiety and anger…allow them to pass through. All too often, without meaning to, we hang on tightly to our emotions with the stories we tell ourselves. Put those stress-inducing stories down and let them go. Become aware of what you are saying to yourself, allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, let it be what it is and let it pass. Be mindful of your thoughts. Let  your story move from a story of fear and upset to a story of release and triumph. From “Oh no, this is terrible! I can’t do this!” to “It’s all right. In time, I will figure this out.” Breathe deeply, as if you are breathing in and out through your heart, then between your brows, and finally through the top of your head. Gently let go of your upset with each breath. Don’t push it away forcefully. Just breathe it out as if each breath is softly sweeping away the stress from your mind and from your heart. Tell yourself you will figure it out, even if you haven’t come up with the solution just yet. Focus on the present moment and what you can control right now. Put your mind where you want it to be. Meditate, go outside, move your body, sing your favorite song, call your favorite friend, cook your favorite meal, do anything that pleasantly absorbs your attention… Honor yourself for being human, with a full set of human emotions, as well as an amazing ability to be resilient and to pass through difficulty if you just allow it. Then smile to yourself, knowing that you’ve just cleared a space for that inner voice inside you to speak your answers freely…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

happy hearts

So many fun things happening this month at Intuitive Psychology, PLC. Come join us…

“Communicating Effectively”
October 22, 2013
12:00pm-1:15pm
Intuitive Psychology, PLC
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

In our ever-expanding world of today, communication occurs across vast distances in time and space. Ideas, emotions, thoughts and information are exchanged using verbal and non-verbal signals, as well as through technological means – but how do we know that our message is being received clearly? Come learn how to develop the skills you need to successfully communicate with other.

The Mindful Tuesday workshop takes place on the fourth Tuesday of every month, offering a variety of thought-provoking psychological and wellness topics. Each workshop in this series uncovers the biology behind the psychology, and gives you practical tools to change your mind and your brain to be improve your overall well-being.

Registration fee is $40, with discounts for accompanying significant others or family members. Pre-registration is required, as space is limited. Call 480-261-4061 to register.

 

Join us for an exciting SPECIAL EVENT:

“Happy Hearts”
Tuesday, October 29th
6-7:30pm
Intuitive Psychology, PLC
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Our bodies and minds are in a delicate, yet powerful dance together. Research shows us that stress plays an enormous part in our physical and mental health and well being. When stress overwhelms us, it places our health in jeopardy. Come learn with me, as I welcome well-respected cardiologist, Dr. Anne Marie Feyrer-Melk to join me in discussing how to help keep your heart happy and healthy in the midst of a busy, stressful life. This is an exciting opportunity to learn from two perspectives, the medical and the psychological, on how to maintain a healthy mind-body-spirit balance.

Registration is $50 per person, with accompanying family member or significant other at a discount. Reservation is required as space is limited.

ANNE MARIE FEYRER-MELK, M.D. is an accomplished and innovative Cardiologist pioneering a whole body approach to caring for the heart. She is Director of Heart of Arizona Optimal Cardiac Care in Scottsdale, AZ http://www.heartofarizona.com

SARI ROTH-ROEMER, PH.D. is a leading Medical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience teaching people how to trust their intuition and find balance in their lives. She is Director of Intuitive Psychology, PLC in Scottsdale, AZ. http://www.intuitivepsychologyplc.com

 

All workshops take place at Intuitive Psychology, PLC in Scottsdale, AZ. Call 480-261-4061 for registration details or go tohttp://www.intutivepsychologyplc.com. Space is limited to allow for an intimate setting of learning and discussion.

 

I hope you can join us!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

Balancing_actf6204f830c88

 

How’s your balance been lately? I wrote this article almost exactly a year ago. Today, I give a webinar on the topic. As we head into the holidays, with so much on all of our plates, I thought I’d share it again with you…

Our bodies are a biological miracle of balance; engaged in a constant search for homeostasis, or internal equilibrium. But when we apply the concept of “balance” to the entirety of our lives, what does it mean? A sense of inner peace and calm? Contentment with the moment?  Feeling harmonious with our environment? Whatever it signifies for you, balance is essential for functioning at our full potential. Like dancers or athletes, we all continually move in and out of balance throughout our years. How smoothly we make those transitions can vary.

So many life events take us out of balance…worry, fatigue, fear, yearning for what we don’t have, unrealistic expectations, sickness, and loss of faith in ourselves. All of these issues, and more, get in the way of our ability to function at our best.  When we are in balance, our bodies work the way they should. Conversely, when we are out of balance we place ourselves at risk for illness and disability. Unfortunately, the older we get and the longer we have been out of balance the greater the risk to our health. Body, mind and spirit all suffer.

So, how do we prevent loss of balance? In truth, we can never completely avert it. It’s a natural part of life. All of us come in and out of balance at various points throughout our time on this planet. But, we can recognize when we’re losing it, and just like the gymnast on the balance beam, we can try to hang on tight with our toes. If we do fall off, we can pick ourselves up and get right back on the apparatus.

So, get your pencils ready, because here are the key ingredients to manage balance in our lives:

  • Engage purposefully in life. Pay attention. Make choices with awareness.
  • Focus on what you can control, not what you cannot control.
  • Create a routine that includes equal parts, work, exercise, rest, meditation/prayer, and fun.
  • Allow simultaneous acceptance of both the good and the bad.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Maintain Flexibility.
  • BREATHE

Awareness is key. Before we can fix a problem we have to recognize that it exists. Pay attention to your mood, pay attention to your aches and pains, pay attention to your energy and your focus. Ask yourself, “What is occurring in my life that could be contributing or causing me to feel out of balance?” Then ask yourself what you can do about it, so that ultimately you can come up with a new plan, and then prioritize and set limits where needed. Have you been burning the candle at both ends to keep up with life’s unrelenting demands? Have you been trying to please everyone but yourself? Have you just been having too much work, too much fun, or too much of nothing productive? Recognize where it’s gotten out of whack and think about how you can rectify the situation.

Next, ask yourself how you are looking at your circumstances. Allow your thoughts to just be your thoughts and not your reality. Thoughts can be changed if you’d like them to change. We alwayshave choice about how we look at things, even when we feel like we don’t. That’s actually great news and can be instrumental in helping you stay on that balance beam and complete your routine!

When we recognize that we have choice, we recognize that we are ultimately in control of ourselves and our response to what is occurring in our lives. Allowing ourselves to be accepting of where we are in the present moment is truly a great skill to have. When we spend time wishing we were someplace else, it tips us right out of balance and out of our present reality. Without dealing with reality, and accepting both the good and the bad, we have no chance of regaining stability.

In the end, we have to believe that we can do all of these things and that it is worth it. It is the faith that we hold in ourselves, in the people who are important to us, and in something greater than ourselves, that helps keeps us from toppling over. Can you allow yourself to believe that you can cope with whatever comes your way? Can you take the steps you need to take care of yourself and commit to creating balance in your life? If you can, you’re on track to dealing well with life’s ups and downs in beautiful balance.

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

BeHereNowThere’s so much going on in our busy lives these days. We run from one thing to the next. We complain to our friends and family “Oh, I’m so busy!” …and then we continue on the same path. We struggle to finish one task so we can move on to the next. We look ahead and see an endless line of upcoming tasks. We are tired, we are exhausted, we are worn out…and yet, we keep going? Maybe with less and less enthusiasm and energy, but we keep trudging on in the same direction…

Stop. Now. For a moment.

Just stop and breathe. Really, really breath. Take a deep, deep breath in, hold it for a moment and then exhale it completely. Now, do it again. And again. And once again. Keep going. Focus only on this breathing without any judgment. Letting go of everything else for the moment and just let yourself focus on nothing but the natural rhythm of your breathing. As if this very breath was recalibrating your whole system. Re-tuning your heart, your soul, your body, your mind…you. Listen to the breathe. Let your mind clear. Feel your body slow and expand with each breath you take. How nice does that feel to know that you have the power to reset and recharge? To stop if only for a moment or two or three and to let yourself just breathe. Connecting with everything around you in a way that it fully present and aware of the very moment your in.

And then once you’ve cleared your mind with your breath and come into the present moment. Ask yourself, “Is this what I want to be doing right now? Am I spending my time and my energy on what I want to be doing? And if so, am I doing it how I want to be doing it? If not, what do I want to do and how can I get there?” Listen for the true answers that only you know. Ask yourself if you are paying attention to what you are doing or if you are simply on automatic going from one thing to the next, to the next, without really thinking moment by moment about what you are doing? How much more might you appreciate what you are doing if you brought your focus back onto it directly? I’m asking you to tune in. To pay attention. To be fully aware of what you are doing at the time you are doing it.  Listen to your intuition. Tune into your own answers that are available if you take the time to stop and listen. How much richer might your experience be? How much more might you get out of what you are doing? How much more might you enjoy what you are doing if you allow yourself to come out of automatic and make the choice purposefully enjoy it? There’s really only one way to find out.

Stop.

For a moment.

Breathe.

Be present.

Choose.

What do you think? Worth a try?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

You know, sometimes it just feels good to be silly. Enjoy the smile and the giggle…it’s good for your health after all.

Be happy and well,

Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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New issue of az-lifestyle.com has just come out! Check out the new Mindset column, “Happiness is…” on page 62-64. Wonderful issue on all the holiday happenings in Phoenix. http://az-lifestyle.com/2012/12/1212.html?pageindex=40.
Here’s a sneak peek…

Happiness is…

Remember that old You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown T.V. movie where all the familiar characters got together and sang about happiness? “Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, knowing a secret, climbing a tree…Happiness is being alone every now and then, and happiness is coming home again…For happiness is anyone or anything at all, that’s loved by you…” O.K., it’s corny…but isn’t it true?

To be honest, it can be pretty hard to be happy. Our brains actually have a negativity bias. To avoid getting eaten by tigers in cave people days, we had to be on alert for things that didn’t look right, things that could be signaling danger. Negative stimuli gets more attention and processing from our brain because we’re wired to survive. Unfortunately, that means we naturally pay attention to and remember bad things more easily than good things. Believe it or not, we learn faster from pain than pleasure. The negative interactions in our lives are more powerful than positive interactions, which leave a greater mark on our learning and on how our brain functions. But, perhaps worst of all, negative experiences shift into our implicit, unconscious memory quickly, controlling our expectations, judgments and view of ourselves and others. Wow!

Luckily, good things are happening around us all the time. Unfortunately, they frequently pass us by, because too often we are focusing on what upsets us or what we don’t have. In short…we aren’t taking notice. The key to happiness is awareness. So, what happens if youmake a point to look for the good around you? Make a point to pay attention to it, when you find it? Actively look for the good in your life. Perhaps, be a bit more like Charlie Brown and his friends. Notice a smile on someone’s face as you walk by them, be brightened by a pretty flower, take in the fragrant smell of an orange, enjoy a kind word from a friend, feel good about accomplishing a small task, get pleasure from the feel of soft clean sheets, or take time to revel in a pleasant memory.

Now once you’ve noticed it…let yourself savor it…make it last. See if you can stay with the pleasant experience for 5 to 10 to 20 seconds without letting your attention wander off of it. The longer you focus on the positive experience, the more you allow your brain to literally change and hold onto other positive experiences. Let yourself notice the reward of it…how good it feels…so you can carry that feeling around with you whenever you need it. Expand upon the experience, think of similar experiences that brought you happiness in the past, or think of how you achieved this. Integrate this positive experience into who you are. Let these feelings of happiness connect you to something larger than yourself.

Science is now confirming, that when the mind changes, so does the brain. By moving your mind off of focusing on the negative and rerouting onto the positive, you literally change your brain by making new neuronal pathways, not only making it more resilient, but more open to positive experiences in your life.

Negative emotions promote an inflammatory immune system response that can be triggered by physical and emotional stress. Inflammation can lead to disease. What does this mean? Over focusing on the difficulties in our lives can literally make us sick. However, the more you focus on the good, the more your brain literally changes, the better able you are able to notice and experience the good, and the better you will ultimately feel.

Because our brain has a negativity bias, it takes an active effort to internalize positive experiences. But, it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s worth the effort! Focusing on the good over time will strengthen our immune systems, make our cardiovascular system less responsive to stress, improve our mood, increase optimism and resiliency, and will help us connect meaningfully with others. Yup, being happy has actual benefits.

Now I’m not saying never allow a negative thought to cross your mind; we can’t have the good without the bad. But perhaps be on guard against letting the negative brain run the whole show; give happiness a fighting chance. Let the negative be on the wings of your awareness and allow the good to take center stage, whenever you can. Charles Shulz, the creator of Charlie Brown, seems to have gotten it right. Happiness is all around us, if we allow ourselves to pay attention and take notice.

Happiness is…good for you!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

Editors pick on Paperblog in December 2012!
http://en.paperblog.com/finding-happiness-376415/

 

Life can be unkind at times. Sad but true. Situations can be unfair, people can be hurtful, things can turn out much differently than you’d hope they would. At times like this it is very hard not to get caught up in being a victim to it all. You know what I mean. Caught in that angry blaming place of “It’s so unfair! I can’t believe this happened to me!” Human for sure, normal response in the short term, but completely unhelpful in the long run.

What happens if you let yourself stay in that place of upset and anger? If you poke yourself with it over and over. Well…you stay upset and angry. So, what’s the alternative? Let go and forgive. How can you forgive when you’ve been unfairly wronged, you may ask. You remind yourself that forgiveness is not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about letting go of a hurt that will keep on hurting you unless you release it. It’s about choosing to harbor compassion in your heart rather than hate and anger. It’s not always easy, but I will argue that it is the right choice…and in that choice you are no longer a victim to the hurt and the upset.

Forgiveness comes a little bit easier when you recognize and accept that there are just some things in this world that are out of your control. No matter how hard you would like to make those things right or fair, you can’t. Forgiveness and compassion offers us an opportunity to heal and let go so we can move forward. Anger will just keep us mired in our upset. It will stunt our growth. It will stop us from moving ahead on our path, because it blocks our progress and drowns out our intuition. Forgiveness is not about righting wrongs and undoing the hurts of the past, it is about allowing ourselves to build a healthy, meaningful future.

So, when you are feeling hurt and angry by life and those in it:

  1. Take a breath
  2. Say a little prayer, if you need some divine assistance
  3. Find the compassion in your heart
  4. Ask yourself to release your hurt and upset
  5. Repeat the process as often as you need…

It may take some time and a lot of purposeful practice, but once you get to that place of forgiveness and compassion in your heart, you’ll be glad you’re there. Give it a try and see if it feels right to you?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

The new issue of AZ-Lifestyle.com on Giving Thanks is out! Take a look at: http://az-lifestyle.com/2012/11/1112.html. While you’re at it, check out my new Mindset column on page 52…

Are you ready for the holidays??

Presents to buy, meals to cook, parties to plan, family to see, airports to travel in, runny noses to wipe…the list goes on. Every year it is more or less the same, we know the holidays are coming and yet many of us are surprised and frustrated by how busy and overwhelmed we are by the time they get here. Those of us who are stressed pretend that life goes on as usual; right up until the time the holidays are smack in front of our faces, demanding our time and attention. Those of us who have smiles on our faces and who are minimally stressed have already made room for the holidays in our autumn routine. That’s the secret. “Really?” You groan to yourself, “That’s the secret? To become one of those people who boasts about getting their holiday shopping done in August??” Well, kinda…

Stress occurs when our normal routine is broken, challenging us to spread our resources thinner than we had anticipated. When I say resources, I’m talking about emotional, cognitive, physical, energetic, time, and monetary resources. When we fail to plan for over-expenditure of all of these at once, we are setting ourselves up for overload. Our stress level rises and we become depleted. Sometimes that depletion can become so severe that our immune system breaks down and we get physically sick, adding further to our holiday load.

On the other hand, when we adjust our expectations and plan ahead, a whole different scenario unfolds. We can anticipate how we want to spend our time, energy and money; saving not just those resources from running out, but protecting our emotional, cognitive and physical reserves, as well. Yes, I am asking you to do the obvious. Expect that the holidays will come into your lives starting sometime after Halloween, when holiday music, decorations, and merchandise starts to emerge in retail stores. Decide how you will adjust your routine to accommodate their annual appearance. Make room for the holidays in all areas of your life.

Instead of anticipating the holidays with dread and worry, allow yourself to envision how you would like them to unfold. You’re going on a trip to see your family? Aside from the practical (buying plane tickets, reserving a car, and getting a dog sitter in place), look ahead to the busy weeks before you leave. Literally plan out time in your day to take care of the things that need to get done. As an alternative to being annoyed by all you have to do, accept that this is a part of your fall routine, and adjust your schedule accordingly. Then allow yourself to think about the things you are looking forward to on the trip.

You see where I’m going with this, right? Yup, I’m asking you to be in control of how you spend your time and energy. Rather than being a victim to the yearly holiday ritual, decide how you want to divvy up your personal resources. More than that, be aware of your holiday attitude. Are you telling yourself how much you dislike this time of year and how it intrudes on your life, or are you allowing yourself to focus on the aspects of the holidays you enjoy?

Sure the holidays ask more from us, than any other time of year, but if we allow them to, they can also give more to us. We don’t have to just spend our resources, if we’re smart about it, we can actually replenish them. Increased time and connection with friends and people we love, sharing old memories and traditions, making new memories and traditions, spiritual and emotional renewal, taking time off from work and taking care of ourselves…all of these are available to us if we allow it.

Concerned you’ll forget? Here’s a “Holiday Stress Less List” for your fridge:

  • As the holidays approach, reserve a half hour each day, and one hour on the weekend, to take care of  “holiday related” details.
  • When you think about the holidays…SMILE.
  • When you stress about the holidays…TAKE THREE DEEP BREATHS.
  • Focus on at least one positive aspect of the holidays you’re looking forward to this year.

Expect the time pressures and added responsibility at this time of year, and look forward to the pleasure that the holidays can bring into your life. When you anticipate what you’d like to have happen you’re more than likely to find it. So what would you prefer?

Stressed Holidays or Happy Holidays? It’s really up to you!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

 

Intuitive Psychology, PLC is off and running in our beautiful new location. Here’s a quick look at our September offerings! You can also find all of this information on our website “Events” page at:  https://www.intuitivepsychologyplc.com/Events.html. Call 480-261-4061 to register. We so look forward to seeing you soon…

Our practice is dedicated to enhancing skill building and fostering new connections. Our innovative groups and workshops offer unique opportunities for connecting with others, educating about important psychological and wellness topics, as well as enhancing personal growth. This is also a cost effective way to get the psychological support that you need. All groups and workshops take place in comfortable surroundings that will enhance your experience of learning and relating with others. We hope to see you soon!

Thoughtful Thursdays, with Dr. Roth-Roemer the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 12:30-1:30pm,
$50 per session (Accompanying Significant Others, Caregiver or Family Members at half-price – $25)
First Series: September 27th, October 11th, October 25th, and November 8th (save 10% by prepaying the entire four week series) This workshop is open to the community.
Come learn about your brain and all the wonderful things it can do for you, if you let it, in this dynamic hour long workshop. The series will begin with fascinating and easy to understand information about new brain science and how it impacts our mood and behavior. We’ll continue on to a practical discussion of how to link this new information with familiar ways of coping and using our intuition to find our own answers. Come join the conversation and learn some new skills.
Call 480-261-4061 to register today! Space is limited to allow for an intimate setting of learning and discussion.

Fearless Fridays, with Dr. Roth-Roemer the last Friday of every month from 11am-noon,
$50 per session (Accompanying Significant Others, Caregiver or Family Members at half-price – $25)
First Series: September 28th, October 26th, November 30th, December 28th
This workshop is open to the community.
Come join Dr. Roth-Roemer on the first Friday of every month and learn how to tame the tigers of fear, stress, and anxiety, using easy to develop mindfulness and intuitive coping skills. An informative and fun-filled hour that will show your stress just who is the boss!
Call 480-261-4061 to register today! Space is limited to allow for an intimate setting of learning and discussion.

Teen Talkwith Dr. Wise, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 4-5pm, $55 per session
First series: October 9th, October 23rd, November 13th and November 27th (save 10% by prepaying the entire four week series) Must be a current patient or have an initial evaluation with Dr. Wise to join the group.
A bi-monthly group experience aimed at identifying each teen’s present and future goals and further development of self-identity through addressing leadership, positive self-talk and social skills, with an additional emphasis on identifying and addressing environmental stressors with continued open discussion of coping strategies.  Stress management, relaxation and mindfulness techniques will be developed….along with lots of fun!
Call 480-261-4061 to register today! Space is limited to allow for an intimate setting of learning and discussion.

Living Well with Parkinson’s, with Dr. Wise 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 1-2pm,
$50 per session (Accompanying Significant Others, Caregiver or Family Members at half-price – $25)
First series: September 25th, October 9th, October 23rd, and November 13th (save 10% by prepaying the entire four week series) This workshop is open to the community.
A bi-monthly psychoeducational workshop, to address social, cognitive and emotional aspects of Parkinson’s Disease. Furthermore, we will address memory strategies that work, discuss coping strategies, and identify how positive self- talk can help with mood and stressors.  Experience our intimate setting and learn about the disease process and what we can do to help with calming, coping and survival.
Call 480-261-4061 to register today! Space is limited to allow for an intimate setting of learning and discussion.

Coming Soon:
Caring for the Caregiver –
A workshop for and about those who spend their time caring for others. You will learn about strategies to enhance mind-body-spirit, self-care practices in more than just the obvious ways.
Age is not a 4 letter word! –
A workshop for those looking for ways to enjoy and embrace the experience of growing older, wiser ,and having fun while doing it! Filled with techniques for enhancing cognitive skills, focusing on strengths and capabilities, and embracing each new chapter of life.
Manage Your Stress to Protect Your Health
New research clearly shows the link between stress and illness. Learn what you can do to manage your stress and keep yourself healthy and well day in and day out. This will be an interactive 4-part workshop series addressing the impact of mind, body, and spirit on your health and well-being.
Your Intuition and You – Curious about how to harness one of your most valuable tools? Come learn about how to use your “inner knowing” to guide you to your own answers in this thought provoking workshop.
Mindful Mondays – You’ve heard about mindfulness and want to learn more…this is the workshop for you, then. Come learn how to enhance your awareness and make purposeful choices about how to shape your life in the direction you’d like it to go.

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