I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to deal with anxiety in healthy ways. It’s SO hard when these connections were fused decades ago. BUT I REFUSE to be a party to YOU laying down those same unhealthy neurological pathways. I’ll teach you better ways to handle stress and anxiety. Exercise/ Music/ warm showers/ creativity/ rest/ journaling/ meditation... WHATEVER! I promise to Somehow teach you what I never learned.


5-10, 14



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Healing takes time. You can't rush it. Whether it's your body, your mind or your heart that's hurting... you just have to let it heal in its own time. What you CAN do is to take good care of yourself: eat, rest, stay close to loved ones. Do things that bring you joy. Revel in the smallest steps forward. You'll heal, things will get better. Trust. Love. Serve. Live.


20



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Awesome game we did at preschool - play I SPY. Try with objects or emotions, such as "I spy something sad" or "I spy something joyful." To help him learn empathy.


3-5



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Things are rarely perfect, but things that are less-than-ideal aren't all bad to the same degree. Let's talk about making buckets for "not ideal but I can put up with it" and "deal-breaker." Works for all kinds of situations. Another variation of this is to grade the suckiness of a situation on a scale of 1-10. Have them decide at what point action is needed vs. just putting up with it. This one works well for hunger. Yes, you're hungry, but on a scale of 1-10, how hungry? It also works for relationships! There are plenty of things about a spouse that are less than ideal, but how many are true deal-breakers? Teach them to understand the difference.


5, 21



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"Make yourself proud." Teach them to take pride in themselves - in their work, their behavior. Everything from a 3 year-old making her bed to a 10 year-old's homework. If they learn to keep going until they're satisfied it's done well, they won't need us to keep after them.


4



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I’m going to keep from telling them how to feel.


4-18



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Three things you cannot change: The past, the truth, someone else.


18



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Talk about how choices become habits. Habits can become addictions. Describe how pathways are literally dug into the brain and it's very hard to change them once those paths are made.


13-16



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When something is upsetting you...Name it...Take a deep breath...Imagine holding it gently in your hands. (This is a reminder to use this visualization myself and to teach it to you. I want to give you as many tools as I can to help you learn to cope with negative emotions in a healthy way.)


11



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“Vulnerability is not about winning or losing, it’s about showing up and being seen.” -Brene Brown Be vulnerable, that’s where the good stuff lies.


18



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Say it early and repeat it often, so that it sinks way down deep: There is nothing you could do to make me stop loving you. No mistake, no failure, no decision, nothing. There is no hole so deep that if you fell into it I wouldn’t climb down to help you out of. I love you no matter what.


7



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Letting go hurts. There's no two ways about it. You just gotta feel it and get through it. Cry. Sweat it out. Sing, run, write, or just scrub floors. You will get through it, and you will be stronger and more compassionate.


14



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There are all kinds of ways people end up destroying their lives in an attempt to cope with fear, loneliness, stress, grief, boredom or anxiety, etc. A few: Drug/alcohol addiction, gambling, shopping/ spending addiction, hoarding, sex addiction, fundamentalism/ extremist politics, workaholics, deadbeats. Nobody starts out trying to be an addict or a nut. It happens when you continually choose to avoid dealing with the pain or anxiety you’re feeling. Choices become habits. Habits can form addictions. That’s why it’s SO important to find healthy ways to deal with difficult feelings or situations. What makes you feel better when you’re upset? A shower, a run, music, a game, friends, quiet time, being outdoors ... There are lots of ways to take good care of your spirit. Keep choosing them. Ask for help when you’re not able to make good choices on your own.


14, 17, 19, 21



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If you see a kid sitting alone, he or she might be your next best friend. Go say hi! Ask him/her to sit next to you / play on your team, etc. No need to worry about whether that person is “too cool” or “not cool enough,” they’re just a kid. Like you.


8



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Consider the source. When you get information, look at where or who it’s coming from. Do you trust them? Are they an expert? When someone criticizes you. Do they know why they’re talking about and are they taking chances themselves. Pay no attention to hecklers.


15



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“Life is good when you are happy, but much better when others are happy because of you.” -Pope Francis Endeavor to make people happy by the work you do, by the way you treat them, by your contributions to the world. But don’t ever try to make someone happy by changing yourself.


13, 17



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“You will use up everything you got trying to give people what they want.” —- Nina Simone


17



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Check in on your friends. Even the ones that seem fine.


14-21



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So many young adults (and older one too) suffer from a lack of direction, living life without a sense of purpose. ______Here’s my advice: **Do what you love**. ____If you don’t know what that is yet (totally okay) then *go where you’re needed.**___ Make yourself USEFUL doing some sort of work that makes the world (or your family or your community or your country) a better place. Please don’t sit around playing video games or goofing off. That will make you miserable! ___ AND it’s a waste of God’s work (you.) Get busy. _____Stay involved in anything you care about deeply, or that needs you desperately. It will feed your soul and open all kinds of doors.


12, 14, 17



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Surround yourself with people and ideas that inspire you and captivate you. Life is too short for destructive relationships.


13, 18



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Look for examples of people who have dealt with loss without giving in to bitterness. What do they have in common?


17



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People always say “Be yourself.” That’s good advice but really what does it mean? I think it’s easier to explain what it DOESN’T mean: When you’re being yourself you’re not pretending to be interested in something or someone you’re not. You’re not doing something just to please someone else (or just to tick them off.) You’re not wearing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. You’re not pretending to have fun when you’re not having fun. You’re not trying to impress anyone. You’re not trying to fade into the background. You’re not trying to change anything about yourself or someone else. I think that’s a good start. What does “being yourself” mean to you?


11-14, 18, 21



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Default to "nice guy." Meaning it should require something significant for you NOT to be nice. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Cut them (and yourself) some slack. Life is hard. We're all in this together.


12



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Things are rarely black and white. Most situations (and all people) are complex. A nuanced approach is necessary to understand them. You can’t learn - or love, if you’re judging.


17



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“You have to meet people where they are. Sometimes, you have to leave them there.” -Iyanla Vanzant


21



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Someone else’s success doesn’t subtract from yours. Celebrating with them and encouraging them won’t make you the loser and them the winner. We’re all in this together.


12, 15



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A useful opening line in a conversation (personal, parenting or professional) is “What should I know about ...”. It shows you understand you have something to learn, and it makes people feel valued. “What should I know about what’s going on at football practice?”


14



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On days when you wake up tired, sick or just not ready to deal with the morning, just get up and take a shower. Turn up the music. Rally!


17-21



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Happiness comes from giving and helping, not buying and having.


14, 19



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