Opposite Action

We know from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that our thoughts affect our feelings (when we think negatively, we feel worse and when we think more positive or realistic thoughts, we feel better). Similarly, the concept of opposite action suggests that when we DO the opposite of the way we feel, we can change our mood, too!

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Contribute

 I think it is truly part of the holiday spirit to give things that are much more important than more STUFF to others. Ourselves, our time, our resources. Our resources, by the way, do not mean that you're going into debt to give!

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The 3-Part Message

This month's Skill is a very useful communication tool that avoids the common pitfalls that can derail communication and send the speakers into full-blown argument territory with defenses raised to the heavens. We want to avoid that at all costs. So, I have developed (with bits from here and there and my own experience) what I call the 3-Part Message.

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Mindfulness

This month's Skill of the Month is Mindfulness. It is something that has been around for centuries but in recent years has gained more attention in the Western world. Basically, mindfulness is the opposite of multi-tasking. It is doing one thing at a time, with full attention to that which is being done and doing so without judgement.

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Half-Smile

There is quite a bit of research to suggest that smiling increases our positive emotion. Much of this research, just to summarize it briefly, shows that when we smile, we perceive less pain and more enjoyment or happiness. In Marsha Linehan's work on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, she discusses a "half-smile". The half-smile is akin to that of the Mona Lisa. It's a barely perceptible elevation of the corners of the mouth. Unlike a "forced" or "fake" smile, the half-smile may be viewed by someone else as nothing out of the ordinary. The effect on the half-smiler, however, may be quite positive.

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