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Healthy Boundaries for Angry Feelings During Quarantine

Part of learning how to manage anger is accepting that we will get angry.  That anger is OK and even healthy! Anger can signal that something is wrong, and needs to get fixed.  But anger can cause bigger problems.  That's when the FEELING anger (which is ok) gets expressed in harmful BEHAVIORS (not ok). 

As we adapt to living together in close quarters, our families may deal with more anger.  It is helpful to set up clear boundaries around what is and is not ok when it comes to expressing anger.  That's where in therapy I love to teach families the simple but powerful guidelines called "The Anger Rules".  The Anger Rules provides space to feel and express anger, but it also protects us from harmful behaviors.  Through establishing clear ground rules about what's not OK in your home, you also teach what is healthy and helpful. This sets the foundation for healthy emotional expression where people can move through their upset feelings without...

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Calm down with Birthday Cake Breathing!

If you’re like me, deep breathing isn’t always as simple and effective as it sounds. When feeling anxious, I have had the tendency to over-think and over-stress (surprise!) just how to breathe. “Is it in through my mouth? Or nose? Do I hold it? I feel like I’m gonna pass out!” Can you relate?

Anxious feelings can be closely tied to not getting enough oxygen due to habitually taking short, shallow breaths. Therefore, simply pausing and taking a long, deep breath is a powerful way to calm your nervous system and move through feelings of stress and anxiety. I like to describe taking a deep breath as using a remote control  on the brain-- helping it quickly change the channel from one stressed out show to a calmer, more relaxed show.  A deep breath can calm the nervous system (and therefore the thoughts and emotions) that effectively.

If getting worked up and needing a way to calm down is a common grown-up problem, no wonder kids...

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