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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mental health lessons can you learn from Harry Potter

Perhaps you have noticed that HE is everywhere. You see clips of him on the internet, on television, and the newspaper is filled with information about his adventures.

But Harry Potter isn’t just for children. Tonight we will focus on some elements that might surprise you

What is the draw that captivates so many?
• Aside for the amazing story line, Harry Potter captivates so many because it is not only the classic story of good vs. evil, but it is a magical story of personal growth & empowerment in the face of adversity. Despite the losses experienced by the young Harry (death of his parents), he is achieves greatness in part due to love, nurturing, the development of his own inner strength.

From a psychological perspective, what does Harry Potter teach us?

• We all hold inner strength: He is the part of us, which is buried deep inside locked deep inside our soul. Harry is the child in us that holds the power…the potential…the purpose…the passion!
• Fearlessness: Harry is the part of us that doesn’t fear what others will think. Harry faces his fears and just moves forward, which we all strive to do
• Trust in our abilities: Harry is the part of us that believes we can do anything and trusts we hold the magic to make it happen.
• Self Esteem: Harry sees himself as capable, as trustworthy, as honorable, as dedicated, as intelligent, as athletic, as scholarly, and worthy of being a wizard.

Are there some things WE can learn about self-esteem building from Harry Potter?

Here are some suggestions:
1. Write down all your positives on a sheet a paper (and ignore all the chatter in your head that judges what you write down).
2. Make a list of the amazing things you have accomplished
3. Make a list of the “monsters” (the adversity and challenges) you have conquered.
4. Create a list of the magical things you have created in your life… the people you have helped… the ways you have made a difference.
5. Become your own cheerleader. Speak of your accomplishments and
talk yourself “up” instead of tearing yourself down.
6. Investigate your positives, search out your talents, reach for your dreams, trust your heart, believe your brain, and make decisions that make your soul sing.

Do this and you too will be able to face any challenge, conquer adversity, and perform magical feats by just believing in yourself and trusting you can do whatever comes your way, just like Harry Potter!

Assertiveness. Do You know how to say NO?

Assertiveness: Can you say NO?

Is it hard for you to stand up for yourself? Do you have difficulty being assertive? Do you feel like a doormat who is unable to say NO? Tonight we’ll give you some tips for changing your behaviors.

Some people have difficulty with even defining assertiveness. How would you address the differences between healthy assertiveness and aggressiveness?

• Assertiveness is involves knowing what you want and giving yourself permission to state your needs
• Assertiveness is not aggressiveness. It is a means of honoring your needs without attacking someone else in the process. Being assertive is making a request to someone else, but it is not aggressive or demanding.
• Assertiveness is a means of saying “no” or learning to avoid manipulation or people pleasing.

What are some tips for developing assertiveness?

• First you must become aware of your own feelings, needs, values and desires
• Look the other person in the eye when you talk to them.
• Keep an open posture. Avoid folding your arms, shaking fingers, and face the person directly
• Make a request that is simple, to the point, and firm (and non-blaming or judgmental)
• Stay calm and avoid getting overly emotional or excited.

A lot of people have difficulty saying NO to others. What are some tips for those of us who have a hard time saying NO?

• Remember that saying NO is a means of setting limits. It is nothing to feel guilty about, and you have the right to set boundaries.
• Acknowledge the other person’s request by restating it, and then explain your reasons for declining.
• When you state your reasons for declining, make the points short and to the point.
• Say no by using phrases such as “No, I’m not interested” or “No, I am unwilling to do that.” Say no in a firm, polite manner.
• If it is appropriate you can suggest another option of something you would be willing to do as a proposal for an alternative.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A wandering mind is an unhappy mind

Not living in the moment? You may discover this really creates unhappiness in your life. Check it out

Thursday, November 11, 2010


You say you are sorry, but do you really mean it? Does it sound like you are apologizing but the receiver says forget it? Well, tonight we will look at six types of apologies, and how to really mean it when you say you are sorry.

What’s some general information about apologies that we should know?
• Canadian study showed that we offer up 4 apologies a week
• 22% of our apologies go to strangers
• 11% to our significant others
• 7% to family members
• 46% to strangers
• and women offer up more apologies than men

What are the different types of apologies?
1. The insincere one: This is an apology that is made in word only and used to manipulate someone. “Sorry to do this to you.”
2. Regret it now- This apology is one that comes days late or given for something done long ago. “Wow, I realize NOW that I hurt you.”
3. The “Ifer” This is used when you just want to appease someone and you don’t know what you did wrong (or maybe don’t care). “I’m sorry if I hurt you somehow.”
4. The defender- This is a mixed message that generally defends the action. “I’m sorry, BUT…”
5. The strategic one-Offered up to end a fight, stop the discussion or to stop the other person from hurting. This is generally the keep the peace apology “Hey, I’m sorry, let’s just move on…”
6. The sincere apology- This is a meaningful, honest apology in which you have an UNDERSTANDING, ARE REGRETFUL, AND KNOW THAT YOU HAVE HURT SOMEONE. “I hurt you and I won’t let this happen again.”

We all make mistakes, but with the sincere apology it sounds as if there are some important elements to making amends. Can you explain?
• A real apology shows remorse—a true statement of being sorry
• A real apology shows that you understand what was the wrongdoing and accept full responsibility for your action
• A real apology admits that you have hurt or harmed someone
• A real apology asks for forgiveness and offers way in which you will change
• A real apology is heart felt and something that will be honored with time and action