benefits of meditation

Changing Your Brain: The Benefits Of Meditation

Modern science is catching up with what long-time meditators have known for more than 5000 years: mindfulness meditation can change the brain in positive ways. With this being the case, wouldn’t it be great to be able to easily tap into the benefits of meditation? My meditation teacher used to say that we are all addicted to thinking. Really addicted. We produce 50,000 thoughts per day, 95 percent of which are repeated daily. We recycle the same habitual thoughts day after day, scrolling through “Do these pants make my butt…
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trauma symptoms

Seeing Red Can Help You Manage Trauma Symptoms

At Cutting Edge Counseling, Somatic Therapy is one of the approaches we use to help people recover from trauma and restore resiliency to their nervous systems. While it takes a therapist years to become skillful with this therapy, there are simple tools that we teach our clients to use in their everyday lives to help them manage trauma symptoms. Somatic Experiencing allows us to access extraordinarily simple self-regulation skills that tap into our body’s ability to heal and balance itself. Self-regulation skills, also known as affect-regulation skills, help us manage…
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emdr treatment

Is EMDR Treatment a Miracle Cure?

I get a lot of calls from people who have heard from a friend that a few sessions of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) helped them get over a trauma. They then go on to detail their long histories of repeated traumas and ask how long therapy will last. Is EMDR Therapy a miracle cure? My authentic short answer would be yes, no and sometimes. I’ve had many clients with single incident trauma (car accident, sexual assault, etc.) who had a couple of sessions feel immeasurably better. They…
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happy marriage

The #1 Secret to a Happy Marriage

Have you ever wondered what is the secret to a happy marriage? Maybe you’ve made a list of what you’re looking for in a mate. Of course your idea of an ideal partner might look different at different stages in your life, but could include a steady job, great sex, smart, funny, romantic, curvy or studly, vegetarian or meat eater, easy going or exciting, your race/culture/religion/class. But, even if you found all your ideal qualities in a one person, would that make for a happy partnership? Haven’t you met couples…
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Uneasy Rider

Mike DeStefano was still on the rise as a comedian when he died of a heart attack at 44. He was one of the finalists on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and definitely stood out from the pack. He wasn’t always the funniest, but there was something direct and heartfelt about him that made you root for him, and you could feel the weight of his personal story, always. He grew up tough in the Bronx. He had been addicted to heroin. Three months before his death, he spoke with his…
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happiness quotient

Upping Your Happiness Quotient

Have you ever wondered why you just can’t be happy—especially when things are going relatively or even very well in your life? Or, maybe you’re happy sometimes or even most of the time, but want to up your happiness quotient. While we can’t be happy all of the time—what would happiness even mean if we were?—there are ways that we can elevate how we feel in any given moment, on any given day. Did you know that: Forty percent of our happiness levels can be altered by our “intentional behavior.”…
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successful aging

What are the Secrets to Successful Aging?

When we think about satisfaction in later life, we usually focus on things like maintaining physical and mental health, volunteering and having positive relationships with others. But, what about when life narrows—when the body breaks down, when our social roles diminish, when we suffer deep losses? During those times, and for many of us, perhaps before, we wonder if there are secrets to successful aging. Are there precautions or actions we can take? Or are there daily practices we can develop that can help us maintain a higher quality of…
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Chocolate Kisses for Dementia

Dementia. For many people, it’s a triggering word. Perhaps you have or have lost a loved one with dementia. Or maybe you fear ending up with it yourself. Whether an active fear of yours or not, we all have the images in our heads of people no longer knowing who they or you are, ending life in a state of confusion. There’s a (slow) growing movement to introduce effective, respectful and inexpensive innovations to nursing homes for people with dementia. The research suggests that creating positive emotional experiences for patients…
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Gender And Brain Science: Understanding The Male and Female Brain

Since hunters and gatherers first tended to their respective, gender-specific roles; books like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus hit bookshelves; and recently, movies like The Female Brain made waves in theaters, there seems to be ongoing and often conflicting ideas, questions and assumptions about the differences between men and women and, specifically, the male and female brain. And, while we know that there are certainly specific similarities and differences between the genders—although these difference can be and are increasingly blurred—how much do we really know about…
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