Tag Archive for self-esteem

Happiness Handbooks: 4 Books To Help You Finally Feel Happy

Self-help, happiness, and fixing negative thinking patterns is a big business these days. Chances are you have spent time in the self-help aisle of your bookstore; researched a perfect pill for your symptoms; or a professional who will help you finally achieve that blissful life you’ve been seeking. The problem is that many of your thoughts and behaviors have been hardwired in your brain for years, so it takes both a biological and environmental change in order to get the happy results you desire. » Read more..

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Workouts for Your Mind and Body

workouts for mind and body Exercise can increase self-esteem and bennefit the brain in some amazing ways. Not only does working out increase feel-good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, there are also many workouts that have been created to build you up mentally and physically.

The act of moving your body helps your brain become more balanced and mindful of your emotions. When you are in tune with your body, you are able to make better decisions and change your mindset. But there is more, not only are you more confident in your appearance, but with exercise, your brain fills with endorphins that make you happier and more energetic.

It can be difficult to take that first step into a big, intimidating, gym or even tie your tennis shoes to head out the door. It can be especially if you are struggling with a mental health diagnosis, or braving the winter blues, but keep in mind that a little movement will really change your mood. Even if you walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, you are doing something good for yourself. Too much exercise or too little is not desirable, but a healthy balance can really raise your self-esteem

Creative Workouts for Confidence

workouts for mind and body

If the idea of lifting weights and jogging on a treadmill appear boring, you are not alone. More and more fitness trends have taken on the task of getting fit mentally and physically. Here are a few workouts for mind and body to get you moving and motivated.

Running Groups: A friend of mine had never run a 5K, not even a single mile without a break. She decidied to join a running group and is now on her way to running a half marathohn. A coach and running buddies help to keep accountability and prevent injury. For a running club or group in your area check out Road Runners Club of America.
You don’t have to be an adult to join a running group. Your daughter can get involved too with Girls On the Run. Click Here to find a Girls On the Run club in your area.

workouts for mind and bodySpinning: High end indoor cycling classes have started to pop up everywhere and with good reason, they are a great mind and body workout.  Spinning is all about finding your internal warrior, and  empowering you to meet goals. What you do in the room translates out of the room. FlyWheel and RIDE are located in Austin Texas, offer spinning classes lead by a trainer that make it easier to get mentally and physically fit.

Intensanti: Combines affirmations and strength training exercises. IntenSati is a revolutionary high-energy cardiovascular workout created by Patricia Moreno. This method of training is based on the teachings of mindfulness, positive psychology and the law of attraction. Train your body, mind, and spirit with this powerfully invigorating practice. IntenSati combines empowering affirmations with interval training, martial arts, dance and yoga. You will leave class feeling stronger, uplifted and inspired.

Yoga: Although you may be hesitant to start a class, I encourage you to look online at YouTube or other sources to start picking up this practice. For centuries it has helped people find balance and health. Many classes, such as those offered at Black Swan Yoga, are donation based and affordable. There are countless benefits to yoga. After your first session you will notice a difference. It quiets your amygdala – your emotional network in the brain helping to control intense emotions. It Increase GABA- your natural neurotransmitters that help with anxiety and moods. And it strengthens your neruo pathways while helping your body get into shape. Yoga also increase GABA receptors, both on the mat and outside the studio by practicing mindfulness. A few stretches can really go along way.

Dance it out: You don’t have to be a seasoned dancer or even have rhythm to get the benefits of a dance class. Zumba devotes are concerned with how they feel, not how they look, practicing their moves. Dance classes cater to anything from bellydancing to swing moves.workouts for mind and body Dance Austin, with over 40 different classes, offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer working on technique, an athlete looking for a fun supplemental workout, or an Austinite looking to learn a brand new skill, at Dance Austin there is a class for you.

Owner and instructor Chi Chi Randolph had a vision to create an uplifting place for everyone—not just dancers. “Dance Austin Studio is a place where people can come and feel good about themselves while receiving quality dance and fitness trainining”. Dance Austin Studio is located at 9012 Research Blvd. Suite C-5.

Mother Nature: Free and full of excitement, getting outside, even in the chilly weather will boost vitamin D levels and provide you with an array of activities. Hiking, walking, running, joining an adults sports league, or simply taking your four legged friend for a stroll are all ways to work your body and your mind.

What activities and sweat sessions have helped your self-esteem? Share your comments below and help others find positive experiences with exercise.


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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.




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Got 5 Minutes? Get Happier

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

If you are anything like me, you procrastinate, not a personality trait I’m proud of, but it is part of who I am. Perhaps for you it’s the to-do list you never actually “do”, your bills, laundry, cleaning, anything that is put off, and wind up stressing about later. I have noticed that these mundane tasks can actually cause more anxiety for me and many of my clients. Normal lists may not do the trick anymore because they get written and then never completed, thus more anxiety. So, rather than making myself feel bad for putting off yet another thing, I take five minute action breaks and start getting things done, my sense of satisfaction boosts and so does my level of happiness.

Here’s How it Works

You have five minutes, I know you do (get off Facebook or Instagram for a little while and you will find the time) and set out an area of your life you need to tackle. You can do this at work, at home, or even while your commuting. Today, I chose my desk. 

Set a timer.  Use your phone, the microwave, or your oven, whatever will ding to let you know time is up.

Get to work.  Make it a game, see how much you can accomplish; chances are you may even go longer than the time you set. I organized my files, grabbed a bottle of Windex, took out the trash, vacuumed, and put away anything that looked out of order. By the time I was done I had a few seconds left, and was smiling!  That was something I was dreading for weeks, and only took me about 4 minutes! I do this with many irritating tasks, responding to or organizing emails, paying my bills, sometimes I set it for longer, but when I keep the time frames small I feel accomplished and motivated to move forward with my day. You can do this multiple times throughout the day.

Use rewards.  Maybe you reward yourself by checking Twitter or having a piece of chocolate, or doing something fun.  Don’t go overboard here but, if its something you have really had a difficult time completing why not?  it will signal the reward center of your brain making you more likely feel better about finishing the task next time.

Many of my clients who have ADD/ADHD or who find that they procrastinate and then feel guilty have found this technique effective. Telling yourself or a child “the whole room needs to be clean” is a daunting task, and often times we get so overwhelmed by the big picture, we don’t see how easy it is to break it down into manageable assignments. Start with 5 minutes on a corner or a drawer, when your done find your inner cheerleader and give yourself a pat on the back.

So take 5, 10, or 15 minutes and start getting happier, and more control of your life, you have the time somewhere in your schedule, just make it happen. Have a tip that works for you? Please share! (3308)


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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.




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Building Self-Esteem in Childhood and Mental Health

In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, I am vlogging on behalf of HealthyPlace.com on the topic of self-esteem and how early experiences affect the self-esteem we have today. Many mental health conditions are systemic of low self-esteem (as well as genetic predispositions or life experiences), and according to the APA, 1 in 4 Americans are diagnosed with a mental health condition every year. Mental health effects everyone and learning skills at an early age, to combat negative self-esteem is a proactive way shift these numbers. For more information on how to build your self-esteem or your child’s self-esteem please read my blog on HealthyPlace.com and Neurogistics Blog.

Mental Health Blog Party Badge

For more information on Emily please visit her website: www.TheGuidanceGirl.com, follow her on twitter @EmilyRobertsLPC

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Contributing to Healthy Place

HealthyPlace.com Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence Blog

Our staff therapist, Emily Roberts, is now also contributing to one of the largest consumer mental health site, HealthyPlace.com, which provides comprehensive, trusted information on psychological disorders and psychiatric medications from both a consumer and expert point of view.  One can find information to help themselves or loved ones on a variety of mental health issues. From Self-esteem, ADHD, mood disorders, and more, HealthyPlace provides readers with a variety of resources. They have an active mental health social network for support, online psychological tests, breaking mental health news, mental health videos, a live mental health tv and radio show, unique tools like our “mood journal” and more.


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Facebook and Depression: In my Child?!

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Parents, if you think your child is not on Facebook or at the very least, has an email account, I am sad to say that you may be wrong. Most kids, over the age of 9 that I speak to have at least one email account, one that mom and dad know about and one that they created; either at a friends house or at school.  Kids today are SAAVY when it comes to the world of blogging, face-booking, and googling, they are even more so when it comes from hiding it from their parents. 90% of third graders I have worked with have a cell phone, use the phrase “I’ll just Google it”, and if they don’t have a facebook account, the chances are the child sitting next to them on the bus has one.  I have worked with hundreds of kids in the past few years, all of whom have faced challenges with managing the overwhelming feelings that come with having Internet access. Whether it be cyberbulling, compulsive texting, or feelings of sadness because no one “commented on their status.” Children today are more at risk for depression and low-self esteem with the increase use of technology.

A recent study found a correlation between Facebook and depression in children (read it here) Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe, lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines, told the Associated Press, that Facebook presents a special challenge for kids struggling with their own self-esteem.  As the AP summed it up :With in-your-face friends’ tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don’t measure up.

So parents, be assured, that your kids may know more than you do when it comes to using the computer, however remember YOU ARE THE BOSS, technology is not a RIGHT it is a PRIVILEGE, that you control. Make sure you are up-to-date with current trends in Internet use, have your child take a class on Internet safety, and have open communication with your child on how much internet they consumed today.  Also ask your school’s PTA to hire someone who specializes in media awareness to come in and speak to both kids and parents, I have been contracted by national organizations and local schools many times this year to educate parents on whats really going on behind the screens and behind closed doors.  It empowers and educates kids and their parents. 

Here are a few great links :

Talking to Kids and Teens About Social Media and Texting

Health Media Diet for Your Kids

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Praise: Why “Good Job” Isn’t Good Enough

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Saying “I love you” and “great job” are phrases parents say all the time.  Often parents are so busy and frustrated that they say these words, but the child does not hear them.  Why?  The negative and often critical phrases that they hear all day are more powerful.  If you tell your child ” Your late again!” or ” Why can’t you do what I say the first time?”, they remember them, the negative charge decreases their feelings of accomplishment and self-esteem; comments like these stick with a child, and positive statements become obsolete, leading to low self worth.  If you think about it they are faced with these comments from others all day too.  Whether its a teacher “Timmy you really need to study harder” or a friend “My doll is prettier than your doll.”  Kids are faced with an enormous amount of negative feedback on a daily basis.

Dr. John Gottman reports that most parents say 5:1 critical or negative comments to their children, shouldn’t it be the other way around?    With generously using positive statements a child’s self esteem is boosted. Self-esteem is the beliefs or feelings that we have about ourselves, our self perceptions.  Self-esteem influences our attitudes, relationships, behaviors, and emotions.  Self-esteem can also be defined as the combination of feeling of being loved.  A child who is happy and has been recognized with achievements, if not loved still feels internally empty.

Low self-esteem is linked to a variety of behavioral and mental health problems, that your child can develop now, or later in life.  If I had a dollar for every young adult who told me,” My parents never told me they were proud of me, maybe they said it but they said a lot of things that made me believe otherwise” I would be a very wealthy woman.   It is never to late to help your child develop a healthy self-esteem.  Here are some tips to assist you and your child.

  • A good rule of thumb:  praise your child on the process rather than just the accomplishment. So “Great effort on that homework kiddo” instead of just “thanks for finishing your homework”.  This lets him know that you notice how hard he is working. 
  • Use phrases that can be generic but add your own unique twist. Rather than just “Super job!” try “Super Job on cleaning your room, it looks great!”  Adding what the praise is for helps a child feel accomplished.
  • Here are some phrases to get you started: Nice try! That really helped me! Way to go! That was awesome! I am proud of your effort! Keep up the good work! I am so proud of you! You made my day! You are such a hard worker! Thank you! Wow!  You are so special!  Well done!  Fantastic!  Great job!  Super Job!  You’ve got it!  Beautiful job!  You are unstoppable!  What a good idea!  Great job following directions!  You are such a good listener!  Good for you!  Keep it up!  You are unique!  You are so creative!  You are so precious!  You’re a winner!  I like when you do that!  Great try!  Fantastic Job!  Terrific!  You’re important!  You’re Phenomenal!   You’re such a trooper!  Super work!  You’re fun!  Great job sharing!  You are caring!  What an imagination!  Great effort!  You make me happy!  I trust you!  Outstanding behavior!  You played nicely!  You are a good friend!  I respect you!  Thank you for being respectful!  You mean the world to me!  You make me laugh!  You are wonderful!  You’re a joy!  Keep up the good work! Bravo!  Super!  You’re the best!  You made my day!  That was a good try!  I love you

Remember try and counter any negative or critical statement with a positive statement 5:1 positives versus 5:1 negatives, it helps create a child, and eventually an adult, who feels good about themselves.

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