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Podcasts

How to Build the Love Life You Have Always Wanted

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Our romantic relationships are simultaneously some of the most important, most misunderstood, most under-resourced relationships in our lives. So many of us have this misconception that our ‘love lives’ should just come naturally. That we shouldn’t have to work so hard. That they can unfold in a healthy way, even if they’re unexamined.

The 50% divorce rate in the US suggests otherwise.

Today, we’re digging into the topic of romantic relationships with a true expert. Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. He is on the faculty of NYU’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, author of “Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life” and founder of LoveLifeLearningCenter.com. Dr. Jordan specializes in the treatment of unhealthy love lives and has been studying them for over 30 years.

This episode hits on some truly practical, ACTIONABLE steps you can start taking TODAY to make meaningful improvements in your love life. I hope you find so much value in this powerful conversation.

Additional Resources:

  1. LoveLifeLearningCenter.com
  2. 6 Principles of Meaningful Relationships
  3. How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationships
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Podcasts

How to Create a Culture of Wellbeing Around Yourself

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There are few things more fundamentally important than our health and wellbeing. When we have it, we take it for granted. However, when we’re told there’s a problem or when we aren’t feeling well, it’s all we can think about.

Wellbeing has become even more of a focus since the pandemic because of the experiences we all had over the last 2 years. Mental health has suffered. We’ve neglected to take care of ourselves and chronic conditions are worsening. Yet, we see many people making professional decisions to help guard the lifestyle they had during the pandemic – particularly if it helped them make positive changes in their health and wellbeing.

It’s a lot to think about, so we brought in an expert.

Laura Putnam, MA, author of the award-winning Workplace Wellness That Works, is CEO and founder of Motion Infusion, a leading wellbeing provider. Her work has been covered by MSNBC, The New York Times, FOX News, ABC News, US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and NPR. She is a former urban public high school teacher, international community organizer, dancer, gymnast and now a movement-builder in the world of health and wellbeing. With a mission to get people and organizations “in motion,” Laura is a frequent keynote speaker and has worked with a range of organizations from Fortune 500s to government agencies to academic institutes and nonprofits.

I met Laura at a recent conference, and I knew I needed to get her on the show. I hope you find actionable value in this episode and begin to make healthy changes in your own life.

Additional Resources:

  1. Workplace Wellness that Works
  2. The Link Between Self Compassion and Self Care
  3. Develop Better Habits in 2022
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Podcasts

The FUN Habit

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Did you know that research tells us that we all should strive to get TWO HOURS of enjoyable leisure activity EVERY SINGLE DAY?! When I heard that statistic, I was shocked!

We focus so intently on performance, optimization, and striving. We focus on how much we can get done and how to increase that amount. And we forget that life is meant to be fun as well.

This week we’re speaking with Dr. Mike Rucker. He is an organizational psychologist and charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association who has been academically published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management and Nutrition Research. His ideas about fun and health have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Vox, Thrive Global, mindbodygreen, and more. He currently serves as a senior leader at Active Wellness.

Additional Resources:

  1. Episode 0143: Dr. Steven Hayes
  2. The Happiness Trap
  3. Connect with Michael
  4. Pre-order The Fun Habit
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Podcasts

Take a Self-Compassion Break

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There’s no denying it – the last handful of years have been very challenging. Aside from the personal adversity we’ve all felt in our individual lives, we’ve faced incredible collective adversity. The pandemic. Political divide. Crime and mass shootings. It has all been a lot to handle, and many of us have found ourselves searching for ways to move through it and cope.

Thankfully, the field of psychology has a very effective tool for times like these: self-compassion. By opening up to and being mindful of our own emotional experience, by realizing that we aren’t alone in the way we’re feeling, and by offering ourselves kindness rather than criticism, we can help support ourselves through truly challenging times.

The main audio of this episode is a replay of an impromptu self-compassion break I led the day after the mass shooting at the elementary school in Ulvalde, Texas. Quite a few people from around the world joined in community to learn how to apply this important tool during challenging times.

Not everyone who wanted to join was able to (it was a very last-minute session), so this week’s podcast episode is a replay of the audio of that session.

In addition, there is a very valuable section at the end of this podcast about what it means to support other people through challenging times. So many times we say, “I just don’t know what to say or do.” And so we do nothing. The final segment of this week’s podcast helps give you another perspective on those situations, and I give you some practical tips about how you can support others during painful or challenging times.

Additional Resources:

  1. Fierce Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
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Podcasts

Your Body is Your Brain

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One of the basic principles of cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) is that our mind and our behavior (and our emotions and life experience) are strongly linked. Our body and our behavior send strong messages that tell us how to appraise a situation and how we might want to respond. Yet, we spend so much energy attempting to ignore it. We focus instead on being “rational,” or “logical.” We believe emotions are “irrational” and shouldn’t be trusted.

Today, we’re debunking that.

Today we’re speaking with Dr. Amanda Blake. Dr. Blake is the author of the award-winning book Your Body Is Your Brain, and creator of the Body = Brain course on the neurobiology of experiential leadership learning.  In addition to teaching about the art and science of embodiment, she works with progressive leaders worldwide to help them become their best self, enjoy life more, and make a bigger contribution. Once an internationally competitive athlete, Mandy is skilled at cultivating high performance in herself and others. She is a Master Somatic Leadership Coach, holds a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, and is both a Fetzer Scholar and a Research Fellow at the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. 

The goal of today’s episode is to help you learn how to tap into another form of insight, the insight in your body, to help you make some of your most difficult important decisions.

Additional Resources:

  1. Stress to Serenity Centering Challenge
  2. Episode with my personal coach, Shannon Schottler
  3. Using Micro Behaviors to Combat Anxiety
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Videos

Why Your Organization Needs Peak Mind

Peak Mind provides unique trainings and resources that all employees need. Different than traditional leadership programs and EAPs, Peak Mind harnesses the power of psychology to help your employees and team become psychologically strong and resilient in all facets of life. 

Hear from social-cognitive psychologist and Peak Mind co-founder Dr. April Seifert about what makes Peak Mind unique. She explains why focusing on building psychological strength is so important for organizations and how employees can benefit from learning these powerful tools.  

Traditional leadership programs teach important skills, but their effectiveness will be truncated if those skills are not built upon a strong psychological foundation. Peak Mind provides that foundation.  

Categories
Videos

Why Thriving Skills are so Important

Psychological strength allows people to thrive in all areas of life – at work and at home. Developing strong thriving skills is important for navigating challenges and adversity and having a positive life experience. 

In this short video, Peak Mind co-founder and psychologist Dr. April Seifert explains why thriving and psychological strength skills are so important for everyone.  

Stress at home follows us to work, and we bring work stress home with us. Having a strong foundation of psychological strength prepares you to weather life’s storms and perform better in all areas of life.  

Categories
Videos

The One Thing You Should Know About Your Mind

Here’s the one, foundational thing that this psychologist wishes everyone knew about how their minds work. 

Licensed clinical psychologist and Peak Mind co-founder Dr. Ashley Smith shares the one foundational thing she wishes everyone knew. Stomachs growl, hearts beat, and minds think. Understanding that thoughts are just productions of your mind and not necessarily meaningful or truthful is important. Furthermore, learning about the glitches in our thinking and the ways in which our thoughts become distorted or twisted is important. With this knowledge, we can set our thoughts aside while we pursue our strengths, goals, and values.  

Categories
Videos

How to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings

Do you have negative thoughts or feelings? Do you want to get rid of them? Here’s the secret for dealing with negative thoughts and feelings from a psychologist. 

Everyone has negative thoughts and feelings. Whether it’s worries, self-criticism, or rumination or emotions like anxiety, sadness, or anger, we don’t like having certain thoughts or experiencing certain feelings. And we try a lot of things to get rid of them. Unfortunately, a lot of the things we do to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings only makes them worse.  

In this short video, licensed psychologist and Peak Mind co-founder, Dr. Ashley, shares the secret for dealing with negative thoughts and feelings.  

Categories
Blogs

Handle Stress Better: It’s Not All Bad

The end of my first semester in graduate school was probably the most stressed out I have ever been. It was finals week, and I had a ton of writing assignments due within an 18 hour window. Did I work ahead and plan my time out accordingly? No! Of course not! My best friend and I watched Beaches (so we’d have an excuse to cry) then hit the library afterward, leaving us less than 24 hours to write a 15 page paper and a few 3-4 page ones. Our plan was to rely on Dr. Pepper and adrenaline to write all night. As you can imagine…it did not go well.

At 5 a.m., I found my way-over-caffeinated-beyond-stressed-out-in-desperate-need-of-sleep self in the bathtub trying to relax enough so I could finish those papers. I seriously thought I was having an aneurysm. It was terrible. Somehow, I got it all done by the deadline, but I was a wreck, completely convinced I wasn’t cut out for graduate school or being a psychologist. I even called the school district in my hometown to find out if I could become a teacher instead. Fortunately, they never called me back, and I got to recoup over the holiday break. That experience taught me some hard-won lessons, and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten near that level of stressed out again. Thank goodness because that really sucked.

Is Stress Bad?

After that little gem I just shared, you might expect me to answer with a resounding YES! And you might say the same thing. It seems that we’ve been taught to think of stress as a bad thing to be avoided, and that’s problematic for a few reasons. One, stress is unavoidable. Absolutely and completely unavoidable. Any demand for your time, attention, or energy is going to cause some measure of stress. So even if you withdraw from life completely – no work, no relationships, no nothing – you’re still going to get hungry, and that requires your time, attention, and energy to resolve. Viola, stress! Albeit, that would likely register as a very minor amount of stress (assuming you have ready access to food). Still, the idea that we can avoid stress is faulty because it just isn’t possible. 

The notion that we should avoid stress because it is harmful or bad for us is also faulty, but it’s a little more complicated. Yes, stress can be quite harmful for us, when it is chronic and poorly managed. That caveat is an important one, so keep it in mind. 

Unchecked, chronic stress can lead to all kinds of health issues and even premature death. It affects the quality of our minds, making them more negative and less effective problem-solvers. Stress can impact our moods and turn us into snappy unpleasant people to be around. All considered, chronic poorly managed stress has a negative impact on virtually every area of our lives and functioning. 

But Stress Can Be Good for You

Here’s the interesting thing to consider…stress can actually be good for us under the right circumstances. 

My little brother and April, my co-founder here at Peak Mind, have something in common. They both lift weights. Not like I do, taking a strength class here and there, working enough to be a little sore. They lift heavy. They intentionally put their muscles under a lot of stress to hold that heavy burden, causing tiny tears and microtraumas in the tissue…and that is absolutely necessary for building muscle mass and increasing strength. Our muscles must be taxed – they must be stressed – to get stronger. 

It’s not just our muscles that benefit from being stressed, though. A growing body of research suggests that other stressful conditions such as cold and hunger (e.g., intermittent fasting) can have a positive impact on our bodies and brains as well, triggering biological responses that help optimize our DNA.

Other Benefits of Stress

Beyond the increases in strength and health that can come from taxing our bodies, stress can be good for us psychologically as well. Consider the hero from your favorite action or fantasy movie. Did they have an easy, stress-free life? Doubtful! The journey for most heroes includes adversity and challenge, which they learn from and overcome, and it often becomes the source of their strength or power. We are no different. By overcoming challenge (aka stressful situations), we can build mental toughness, resilience, and find wells of inner strength we did not know we had.

How to Handle Stress Better 

Whether stress is good or bad for you depends on a few factors like how much stress you’re experiencing at any given point in time (stress compounds – it adds up), how much stress you can handle (your psychological strength and stress management skills), and your mindset (turns out, believing that stress can be good for you can make it so). You may or may not be able to control how much stress life throws at you at any given moment, but you can definitely do something about the last two factors. Rethinking your relationship with stress and taking intentional action to improve your ability to manage stress is critical. After all, stress is an inevitable part of life. It’s time to develop the tools, skills, and mindset necessary to prevent those freaking-out-in-the-bathtub stressed out moments.  

In honor of this being Stress Awareness month, we are making our Stress Management mini-course available for the first time. This little powerhouse of a product will help you redefine your relationship with stress and learn to manage it skillfully, transforming your experience when under pressure. This mini-course is multi-faceted to help you learn and grow more. You’ll get:

  • A short educational video
  • A beautifully designed digital workbook that includes additional information and 6 hands on exercises to help increase your awareness and understanding of your stress response and develop your own personalized stress management plan
  • A 2 week email challenge that will introduce you to a wide range of stress management strategies and tips
  • 3 in the moment tools to use any time you feel stressed, tense, or are having a difficult time

In addition, only through the link below, you can get our popular Self-Care [by Design] mini-course for only $10 (normally $29) when you bundle the two courses.

Remember, stress is inevitable. Being stressed out is optional.

“You cannot remove struggle from life, but you can improve your ability to handle challenge.”
– James Clear