Name It!

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Name It!

One thing that could help with your family, spouse, work, school, anything – is to learn to “Name It”.
Naming it just consists of just saying what you are seeing as soon as it makes you uncomfortable.
You say what you see, “Name It”, accuse no one of doing anything wrong or making them bad, telling what they should do differently and then you immediately walk away so that an argument can’t get started. Don’t stand there to argue or even hear their potential remark as you leave.

It might look something like this:
– That felt harsh.
– It doesn’t seem necessary to say that.
– This is making me uncomfortable. I’m going to take a walk.
– It wasn’t necessary to say that.
– When you speak like that it hurts me.
– When I’m pressured to do something it makes me resent you.
– I don’t respond well when someone argues (raises your voice, talks down to me, etc.)
– I hope our relationship isn’t damaged/ruined by this pressure.
– I wish I was treated in a way so that I’d want to ___.
(I’m sure you could come up with much better examples that suit your situation better.)

You are calling out something that isn’t very good, but you are only saying how it affects you, no blaming, no name calling, etc.
It is an excellent way to start setting boundaries without starting an argument.

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

 

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Start 2019 Off Right

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Start 2019 Off Right – New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year.

This year you’ve been through a lot and there have been enough ups and downs to say it was a good year – or a bad year depending on how you choose to look back on it.
However, you are still here when some aren’t.
You are still able to help yourself and others, smile, be kind to a stranger, eat better, learn, grow and you are still able to count your blessing.
You are also so blessed to be able to tell everyone that’s still in your life – Thank You. I appreciate you.

If you are inclined to make Resolutions for the New Year… here’s a secret.
In order to be able to achieve them with much more certainty, instead of listing what you want to have or to do – list WHY.

Example: I want to lose 15 pounds.

Better: I want to live longer.

How:

  • Eat more produce
  • Move more
  • Count calories and nutrients
  • Find a sport/activity that is so fun it must be enjoyed.

What are your Resolutions?

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! 
What do you want this year to be? It’s up to you!

12 new chapters, 365 new chances.
May the next few months be a period of beautiful transformation.
More happiness. More love. More laughter. More sleep. Less stress.
More plant-based eating. More moving. More joy.
If you don’t like where you are, move.
If you don’t like how you are living, change it.
You are not a tree!
When we find a cause of value we believe in, our lives take new meaning and a whole new happiness and contentment become our daily companions.
I’ve never yet met a truly unhappy person who was paying rent through a worthy cause for the space s/he took up on this earth.
What is your cause – what is your passion?
What is your plan for 2019 to make your life what you want it to be?

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

 

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New Years Resolutions

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There are 168 hours in a week.

40 or so for work.
56 for sleep.
72 left over.
And you really can’t find 3-4 hours a week to exercise?
1 hour to make healthy foods and drink?
1/2 hour a week to focus on gratitude?
Focus on what’s important this new year.

 

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional Intelligence (During The Holidays)

The best part of Christmas is doing a little extra something for someone. What‘s your plan?

A big part of Emotional Intelligence is being able to feel an emotion without having to act on it.
When we use anything (exercise, TV marathons, food, alcohol, gaming, shopping, drugs, isolating) to numb our emotions, we might numb the negative emotions for a bit, but we also numb the positive emotions too.

Don’t ever say you are fine when you really need to talk about it, or shout, or say stop to someone – or say: Thank you, please check on me more often.

News flash: Most of your stress comes from how you respond, not what really happened or what didn’t happen. Adjust your attitude and response to a more neutral, accurate view and watch the stress and desire to medicate it drift away. How? Sit with your feelings a moment or a few. Then put a name to what you are feeling. THAT is what you need and what you are lacking. Go get it.

My life sure isn’t perfect but I’m grateful for everyone and everything I have. Thank you to you all!
One day you will definitely look back and realize that you worried too much about things that don’t matter.
There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy. What’s one of yours?

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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Holiday Self – Esteem

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Holiday Self – Esteem

The fastest and surest way to increase self-esteem is to commit estimable acts.

Every day. 

For others and then for yourself. (This has nothing to do with taking care of yourself first for survival. This is about helping others first as you go out in your day and then treating yourself.)

Jimmy Carter is 94. His wife is 91. They still actively build homes for people through Habitat for Humanity. He has never been concerned about building wealth, only about making a contribution since leaving the White House almost 40 years ago.

Happiness is precious. Happiness with ourselves is priceless.
Time is never wasted when doing something that makes you feel good about yourself.
So many people are challenged with self-esteem issues – or know someone who is struggling with them.
Research shows that most people are held back by self-esteem concerns a few times throughout our lifetimes.
When we give to others, we get out of our own way enough to get a different perspective on our lives.

Acts of Giving:
These acts can be as small as talking the time to speak to an elder in a grocery line, complimenting a child, holding a door or much bigger acts with higher rewards. The bigger the act, the bigger the reward often means you will meet others who may profoundly change your life, or develop needed to skills in dealing with people or maybe making valuable contacts among others who are doing good works.
Whenever you commit an estimable act, oxytocin is immediately released and you feel good.
This encourages you to do it more often, which causes you to feel better more often. I cannot repeat this enough.

Historically, the people I have treated in the past who are the most unhappy and the most anxious are those that are doing the least for others (and I’m not talking about their significant others).
Don’t let this be you 😉

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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My 30-Day Holiday Challenge to You

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My 30-Day Holiday Challenge to You – Make this holiday season different.

Yes, it is everywhere – even before Thanksgiving – on television and social media, in stores, and magazines, on the internet, and all the outdoor decorations. We can’t escape it. The holidays are here! It seems that everyone else has a wonderful family time…..except you? But is that true?

Perhaps a minority of people are fortunate enough to have a lovely family time.
The majority have some good family times mixed with quite a lot of work, stress and financial burden. Family stresses can be greatly exaggerated and become intolerable over the holiday period when everyone is forced to spend time together, trying to keep things cheerful.

For others, it is a very lonely time.  A reminder that we are alone, out of contact with, or without family.
If we have friends, then they will probably be spending time with their families and have little spare time for us.
Everything seems to be closed on the day itself: shops, libraries, cafes, and all other meeting points or places where we might be in contact with others.
So, what can we do? How can we get through this time? Maybe even change things so that we can feel better about it?
If we change the way we think about it or change what we do – then we will change the way we feel.
If we carry on thinking and doing what we’ve always done, then nothing will change and we will have a miserable holiday time.

What about this? Right now is the time to think about it and address these holiday issues.
a.) How can I think differently?
b.) What can I do differently?
c.) How will I really feel if I think and act differently?

I’ve made a little “Holiday Calendar for Change and Self-Care”.
What if you select a change or specific self-care action each day and see if that doesn’t make a huge difference in your holiday season this year?
What have you got to lose?
I’ve given you a few ideas at the bottom and would love to hear yours which are probably even better.
Just fill out one each day or fill out 2 or 3 actions at a time to do over the next couple of days or fill out a week at a time of plans that are healthy for you. Start today or tomorrow. But start.

Day/Date
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

Comments?
Better ideas?

– The best way out is always through. Robert Frost
– Do one push up. Then one more. Do wall push-ups every time coffee or tea is brewing.
– Drink 8 oz. of pure fresh water. Do it again later.
– Start paying toward one debt.
– Delete an old contact for your list.
– Contact one old friend you haven’t connected with in a while.
– Walk 1 lap.
– Donate to one animal shelter.
– Attend 1 holiday event.
– If you know you can do better, why not do so today?
  Remove 1 thing in your life that is hurting or not helping you.
– Speak up politely and say what you want – or don’t want. Set boundaries. Don’t back down.
  Your mental health is as important to you as your physical health.
– Stop touching your wound so it can heal.
– How people treat you decides their karma. How you respond decides yours.
– Stop checking on those who don’t check on you.
  Silence isn’t empty. It is full of answers.
– Your day is bad? There are folks out there wearing their ex’s name tattooed on them.
– Use the healers: music, the ocean, stars.
– People show how they feel about you. Pay attention.
– I hate to spoil the outcome…but you are going to be OK and work through this holiday.
  Meditate daily – 3 minutes is all it takes to be quiet breathe in fresh air, breathe out tension & negativity, correct your posture & put both feet down on the floor to center yourself, let thoughts go on by as they come up and continue to breathe, paying attention only to your breath & the calm you are feeling. Go on with your day and be kind to yourself. Repeat a few times each day.
– Make your bed. Everyday.
– Love yourself.
  Dream big – don’t sell your life short.
  If you are tired, rest, don’t quit.
– You DESERVE everything you want.
– Dump anyone around you who is rude to a waiter. They will do the same to you.
– Anger is the punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s mistake.
  Make your life worth living. What’s the first thing you should do?
  Happiness starts with you – not relationships, money, jobs, friends, activities – just you.
– FRIENDLY REMINDER: You only have a limited time on earth. Today is a good day to do something great.

Happy Holidays, Sharon Valentino, LMFT

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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Effective Actions Against Depression

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Effective Actions Against Depression

Many factors affect depression and many factors can help to improve it.

There is often not one, simple answer to be found but rather a serious of mostly small steps that make a big difference or change and then give you the energy and desire to add a few more to continue your upward progress if you are so inclined.

Depression appears to possibly be an issue now so I would urge you to cut back on white carbs and sugar and certainly alcohol, which is a depressant itself.
If you can, try to get 10-20 minutes of natural vitamin (sunlight) every day on as much of your body as is appropriate. Vitamin D pills are poorly absorbed so most Dr’s will advise you to try to get the natural, free kind. Of course, you do not stay out long enough to burn or create cause for concern for melanoma – everything in moderation.

One big push in both energy and mood can be had by doing just 10 minutes of exercise each morning and also each evening. It could be a walk, stretching, yoga, wall pushups or something much more vigorous if you prefer. Just avoid the evening 10 minutes just before bed.
Doing these small bits of exercise can do wonders for energy and improved thinking.
Most people doing this report that they feel more like squeezing in a bit more exercise each day here and there as well.
Of course, if you are someone who enjoys going to the gym, being around people and has the time to go … even better.
But exercise does not have to be a big scheduled event if you always do your 10 minutes plus 10 minutes later.

Many people also benefit by going on YouTube and selecting some free videos about motivation, beating depression, how to get moving, etc. Most are short and with the thousands available, it isn’t hard to find something that you will like, find helpful and get you in a better mood.

My Fitness Pal is a free application that tracks just about as much as you want it to and many doctors recommend using it.
The most important feature is that you just type in what you eat, either when you do it, or make a note and add it at the end of the day. It takes a very few minutes to do this.
The program then tracks every imaginable nutrient, calorie, etc.
What’s important here is that you need about 8 glasses of pure, fresh water daily and I’m guessing you are probably in the range of needing about 50-60 grams of protein each day, depending on size and sex and age.
You really need those two (water and protein) for your brain to be able to function, let alone act optimally.
I’d advise you to use this program for just a week or two (or longer if you love it) and find out the vital information about several critical nutrients and whether you are getting enough or not.

It might make a big difference in your health, your mood and your ability to work or study, concentrate and retain material.

Up to you….

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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Self-Esteem and Helping Others

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Self-esteem and Helping Others

Happiness is precious. Happiness with ourselves is priceless.
Time is never wasted when doing something that makes you feel good about yourself.
So many people are challenged with self-esteem issues – or know someone who is struggling with them.

Research shows that most people are held back by self-esteem concerns a few times throughout our lifetimes.

When we give to others, we get out of our own way enough to get a different perspective on our lives.

The fastest and surest way to increase self-esteem is to commit estimable acts.

Every day.

For others and then for yourself. (This has nothing to do with taking care of yourself first for survival. This is about helping others first as you go out in your day and then treating yourself.)

These acts can be as small as taking the time to speak to an elder in a grocery line, complimenting a child, holding a door or much bigger acts with higher rewards. The bigger the act, the bigger the reward often means you will meet others who may profoundly change your life, or develop needed to skills in dealing with people or maybe making valuable contacts among others who are doing good works.

Whenever you commit an estimable act, oxytocin is immediately released and you feel good.
This encourages you to do it more often, which causes you to feel better more often. I cannot repeat this enough.

Historically, the people I have treated in the past who are the most unhappy and the most anxious are those that are doing the least for others (and I’m not talking about their significant others). Don’t let this be you 😉

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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What Is It Going To Take To Make You Happy?

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What Is It Going To Take To Make You Happy?

Have you ever taken a few minutes just to focus on what is really needed to make you happy?
It’s easy to think of happiness as a result, but happiness is also a fuel.
The best way to be more productive is to just be happier.
Happy people accomplish more.
They are more pleasant to be around too.

I’ve interspersed some science-based ways to be happier but maybe it is time for you to really assess what it will take for YOU to be happy. Please write in your needs at the blank numbers and please let me know anything I should have included.

  1. Exercise every day, even 8 minutes might be enough. We know it prevents or helps heal depression, it helps us relax, it improves memory and thinking and much more. However, recent research from the Cleveland Clinic has shown over huge groups of subjects, both male and female, that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease
  2. Improve your sleep right now, as good sleep is critical for mental and physical health.
  1. Have a large support system and continue to nurture and grow it all throughout your life. You will need it many times. Turn casual friends and acquaintances into closer friends since social time is vital even for introverts. Interestingly, not staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top 5 regrets of people at the end of their lives. The Terman study from the Longevity Project found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives and can make you happier right now.
  1. Spend time in nature, get outside and get some natural vitamin D daily, if possible.
  2. Pay some rent for the space you take up on this earth. We have to help others to feel happy. Research shows it takes about 100 hours a year for the effect to be greatest for you instead of just those you help. Scientists report that doing a single act of kindness produces the most dependable immediate increase in happiness and well-being.
  3. Smile at others, hold doors, acknowledge others and you will reduce pain, improve your mood, think better and immediately be happier. We clinicians often encourage the “facial feedback hypothesis” = smile to reduce stress in a distressing situation. Even if you force a smile for a moment it can lift your mood slightly which can enable making better responses and choices.
  1. Meditate to rewire your brain to be happy. It can also improve attention, concentration, thinking clearly and wisely, lower blood pressure and increase compassion to name a very few of the benefits. There are so many different types of meditation, both short and long, that anyone can discover a style they like.
  2. Be grateful and write what it is you are grateful for every day – and change up what you list.

What did you discover that you needed?
I left 5 spaces blank for you to fill in. Was that enough?
What changes would you like to make?

Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking. 

Visit the below sites for more. 
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

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