Archives For Stress

Have you ever had a fear that no matter what you do, you’ll never get what you really want? You’re not alone! I talk to people every day who have similar fears.

One of my favorite parts about being a psychotherapist is that I get to be part of people’s transformation. It’s very exciting to witness people who were once anxious or depressed when they begin to empower themselves and take back the control of their lives.

I dearly love what happens when my clients start getting what they’ve always wanted in their lives. It’s pretty amazing to be present when that happens! I’m going to talk today about what it takes to get what you really want, so stay tuned!

Continue Reading…

Life can be very overwhelming at times! When you’ve tried everything you know and nothing seems to be working, sometimes it’s very hard to find hope and faith inside.

 
I received a question on my blog recently from a sweet woman who’s experiencing a challenging time. She asked “How can I find hope when everything around me is falling apart?”

Continue Reading…

Relationships are the school of life. They give us the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons that can help us to become healthier, happier people.

In my work as a psychotherapist, almost everyone who walks through the doors of my office is struggling with a relationship in their life. One question that people often ask me is “What is a healthy relationship?” I’m going to answer that question today and I’m also going to share 3 important keys to creating healthy, happy relationships in your life.  Continue Reading…

A few months ago I wrote a blog called “How to Heal Your Body, Mind and Spirit,” which included a book review of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s recent book “Mind Over Medicine.”

Today I’ve got a special treat for you. Dr. Rankin has given a TED Talk that I want to share with you. In it, she presents wonderful news for all of us about the fascinating connection between our minds and bodies.

The talk is just 18 minutes long. Find a time when you won’t be interrupted and then sit back, relax and ENJOY! I know you’re going to love it!

Continue Reading…

Letting Go of the Past

September 19, 2013 — 4 Comments

Did you know that symptoms of anxiety and depression are the result of unresolved hurts and traumas from the past? I’ve found in my psychotherapy practice that when people regularly practice letting go of the past, their symptoms naturally decrease.

A lot of people have trouble letting go of the past. One of my readers asked me a question about that recently. The question was, “How do I let go of past hurts and traumas and become the person I want to be?”

That’s actually two questions, so I’m going to answer them one at a time. The first part is “How do I let go of past hurts and traumas?” That’s a big one, isn’t it?

Letting Go Isn’t Always Easy

Most of you have been told at one time or another to let go of the past and move forward. You’ve probably heard people say, “The past is past. You can’t do anything about that now. Just let go of it!” Does that sound familiar to you?

The problem is, if it was as easy to let go as they make it sound, you probably would have done it already.

Continue Reading…

As human beings, we are very powerful! By utilizing the power of our unconscious minds, we can create amazing, incredible lives for ourselves.

Creating a Better Life - Kari Joys

When we find ourselves in difficult, challenging times, we can learn to turn it all around by choosing to focus on what we really want. Yet, in my work as a psychotherapist, often I find that people are not aware of the tremendous power that is available to them.

Because of that lack of awareness, I’ve put together some information that you can utilize to make your own life better. If you practice these principals even for a month, you will see amazing changes happening in your life!

Continue Reading…

If you want to become a healthy, happy person, it’s important to learn about choosing the ‘growth path.’ The ‘growth path’ offers you a life of learning and growing, rather than just tolerating the life you already have and surviving.

growth path

Of course, the ‘growth path’ is filled with obstacles and challenges, but fortunately, you’ll find that behind every obstacle is a valuable life lesson that will help you become more authentically your real self.

So how can you follow the ‘growth path’ when things feel challenging and overwhelming around you? Great question! You see, life is full of choices. Every choice we make takes us closer to our happiness and fulfillment or further away from it. Continue Reading…

All of us have experienced hurt feelings at some point in our lives. Generally it’s something someone says or does that just leaves us feeling hurt, misunderstood, unappreciated or unloved.

Getting Past Hurt Feelings

Getting through those difficult feelings and getting back to feeling happy again can be very challenging. Sometimes they stay with us for days, or weeks or months, even though we really want to be free of them.

What Causes Hurt Feelings?

When someone says or does something that hurts us, our first impulse is generally to look at what’s wrong with the person who hurt us. We often think, “How could he have said the things he said? What kind of person is he (or she) to behave like that?”

Continue Reading…

Independence Day, on the Fourth of July, is a US holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared our freedom and independence from Great Britain.

 Let's Celebrate Freedom!

In the US, July 4th is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family reunions and political speeches and ceremonies that celebrate the history, government and traditions of the United States of America.

Celebrating Freedom

There are many types of freedom including religious and political freedom, freedom of speech and the acceptance of our Basic Human Rights. Many of us who have grown up with these basic freedoms tend to take them for granted. We assume that everyone in the world has the same inherent freedoms that we do.

Continue Reading…

The JoyIAm Process is an alternative treatment for stress, anxiety, depression or poor self esteem that brings you back in touch with your true, authentic self. It utilizes your body’s natural way of releasing the emotional pain from difficult experiences in your life.

How to Practice Emotional Healing

The JoyIAm Process involves learning to identify, express and release your feelings, so that you naturally come back to love and peace inside yourself. Usually it begins with getting in touch with tears or anger that you’ve been holding back and often it ends with laughing and having fun.

Continue Reading…

A dear friend was asking me about forgiveness the other day. She asked ‘What’s wrong with me that I can’t forgive people? Even though I’ve tried to forgive them many times, why do I just keep thinking about what happened again and again?”

The Truth about Forgiveness

As we talked, I realized that this was a conversation that you might like to hear, too. Nowadays, everyone is writing and talking about the need for forgiveness, but why is it so hard to do?

What is Forgiveness?

The Encarta Dictionary defines forgiveness as “the act of pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing.” Forgiveness is not condoning a wrong that has been done to you. It’s simply letting go of the emotional pain of what happened so that you are free to move forward in your life without your past still holding you back and dragging you down.

Continue Reading…

We live in an interesting world today. We have telephones, televisions, computers, internet, e-mail, cell phones, texting and ipads, but we still don’t know how to connect heart-to-heart with each other.

lonely man

With all of these modern methods of communication, we should be more connected than we have ever been, yet many of us still feel lonely and isolated.

Social Isolation and Loneliness

The experience of social isolation or loneliness comes from not feeling safe to share your real self with others. This pattern often originates from difficult experiences in your life, such as going through a divorce, the death of a loved one or moving to a new area.

Feelings of loneliness and social isolation can also originate from negative experiences or abandonment in past relationships. Sometimes we feel lonely or isolated when we are carrying huge responsibilities in our lives or when we think we are too busy to pursue friendships.

Continue Reading…

I attended a Counseling Training for Attitudinal Healing last weekend. As I listened to the speakers at the training and what they offered, I thought of you, the lovely readers on my blog. I thought that you might enjoy hearing more about Attitudinal Healing too.

Jerry Jamplosky

Dr. Jerry Jampolsky, a psychiatrist from Tiburon, California, founded the International Center for Attitudinal Healing (ICAH) in 1975. The center was based on the belief that LOVE is the most powerful healing force in the world.

Attitudinal Healing

Attitudinal Healing is a self-healing method that allows us to remove self-imposed blocks. It focuses on letting go of our fearful attitudes, like our judgments of ourselves and others, that hinder our experience of love, peace and happiness in our lives.

Continue Reading…

As a psychotherapist, I’ve found that it’s very important to support my clients in developing a spiritual connection. When you’re working to heal the past, there are always days where you really need help and guidance and there isn’t anyone available on the human level to give you exactly what you need.

Messages from Your Angels

You can develop your spiritual connection in many ways. Praying for help and guidance always works great, in whatever spiritual tradition you are in.

One of my favorite ways to pray for spiritual help is to ask my angels for help and guidance. Remembering to ask my angels for help has gotten me though many challenging times in my life. Hearing my angel’s guidance always feels like an incredible blessing to me.

Who Are the Angels?

Angels are messengers of God’s incredible, unconditional love for us. They are sent by God to help us and guide us whenever we remember to ask for their help.

Continue Reading…

People who have anxiety disorder often have sudden and repeated periods of fear that last for several minutes. These symptoms are called panic attacks. Panic attacks happen when someone has a fear of disaster or losing control, even when there is no real danger.

How to Overcome Panic Attacks

Panic attacks often have very severe physical symptoms. Anyone who has experienced a panic attack knows how frightening and overwhelming they can be.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov), people with panic disorder may have:

  • Sudden and repeated attacks of fear
  • A feeling of being out of control during a panic attack
  • An intense worry about when the next attack will happen
  • A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
  • Physical symptoms during an attack, such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, feeling hot or a cold chill, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, or stomach pain.

Continue Reading…

Finding a safe place to express your honest feelings can sometimes be challenging.

You can do it through finding a counselor or psychotherapist that you trust, through developing a deep friendship with someone in your life, or you can learn to express your feelings in your own journal.

Journaling to Express Your Feelings

Any way of releasing your feelings is good, so long as you don’t express them in negative ways that hurt someone else. But when no one else is available to support you, the one thing you can always do is write in your own journal.

Your Personal Journal

The good news about writing in your own personal journal is that you can literally say anything you want. You don’t have to censor what you say at all. Whether you write in a spiral notebook or on your computer, your personal journal is for you alone.

Continue Reading…

Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed with your busy life? Do you struggle just to keep up and do what absolutely has to be done? Do you sometimes feel stressed, anxious or depressed?

Having some stress, anxiety or depression in your life is normal, but when these symptoms become more prominent, they’re often related to unresolved issues.


The truth is we all want more joy in our lives, as well as more laughter, more inner peace, more love, more friends and more prosperity. The more stress, anxiety and depression we have, the less of those positive experiences we’re likely to experience.

Continue Reading…

Healing yourself emotionally is undoubtedly the biggest gift you could ever give to yourself. It frees you from the past and allows you to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Emotional Healing

When you heal the emotional issues you’ve stored up for a lifetime, little by little, everything in your life naturally transforms!

The Value and Importance of Healing Your Emotions

Dr. Candace B. Pert, the author of Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicinewrites about the importance of our emotions to our overall health and well-being.   Continue Reading…

Laughter as Medicine

February 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

Laughter is a powerful healing force and the most inexpensive medicine you will ever find! Laughter can strengthen your immune system, increase your intellectual performance and improve your cardiovascular flexibility.

Instant Vacation

Laughter is also an instant vacation. It can help you see the world from a broader perspective, expand your creativity and allow you to feel more deeply connected to the people you love. Laughter helps you release your stress, anxiety or depression and puts you back into the flow of life.

The Many Benefits of Laughter

In 1979, Norman Cousins wrote a book called “The Anatomy of an Illness” where he described fighting a life-threatening illness through humor. His remarkable story of triumph is still inspirational today.

Continue Reading…

Stuck in Negativity

February 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

Negativity is very common in our 21st century way of life. Although it is incredibly debilitating and destructive, negative thinking has become our culture’s everyday norm.

Stuck in Negativity

Negative people can be very difficult and challenging to be around. They seem to notice only the negative aspects of anything that is going on around them. They also point out the negative possibilities of anything that could change things for the better. They even joke sarcastically about other people who are making an effort to improve themselves.

Negative energy has become so common that many people think it’s just the way life is. Often it doesn’t even occur to them that their own negativity is keeping them stuck right where they are, with no way out and no hope for a better future.

Continue Reading…

Control is a very destructive emotional pattern in a relationship. A controller takes away his partner’s right to make her own choices, through over-powering his partner or using guilt, put-downs, rage, zingers or destructive mind-games.

Overcome the Control that is Keeping You Miserable

Sometimes a controller is obviously abusive, but sometimes he (or she) is so subtle that you don’t realize what the problem is until your relationship has already been damaged beyond repair.

If you are currently being controlled, you may have already lost the feeling of love you originally had for your partner. When someone continually takes away your personal freedom and your right to be yourself, it often leaves you feeling flat, empty, frustrated and disinterested in that person.

Continue Reading…

It’s challenging sometimes to know what’s wrong in a relationship. If you’re like most people, you probably want a loving relationship more than anything else. Maybe you’ve tried and tried and tried to make your relationship work and yet somehow you just seem to be going back over the same old arguments again and again.

Is Your Partner a Controller?

Maybe you have already suspected that there is control in your relationship, but you find it difficult to find a clear definition of the issue. If you’ve been searching for clarity, here are some questions you will want to consider.

Continue Reading…

In today’s tough economic times, many people are facing very difficult life situations. There is mounting stress and uncertainty in the air because so many people have already lost their jobs and their homes. It’s not always easy to stay cool, calm and collected when you don’t know what to expect tomorrow.

September-8- 2012

You may feel that managing your stress is impossible in today’s economic world. But after working as a psychotherapist for 30 years, I have found 7 simple, stress-reducing skills that have proven themselves again and again for coming through the darkness to a more light-hearted, stress-free way of living.

Continue Reading…

For many years traditional medicine has believed that our genetics are the primary cause of our physical health. In the 1990s, however, scientific research found that our emotions play at least an equal or possibly even a greater role in determining whether we will be faced with illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, obesity, alcoholism, fractures or chronic pain.

Your Emotions Affect Your Health

One of the best research studies available involving the effect of emotions on physical health is the ACE study, which was conducted by the Federal Centers for Disease Control, where researchers studied people who had an “adverse childhood experience” before the age of 18. (www.acestudy.org)

Sept-3-2012

“Adverse childhood experiences” included recurrent physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; growing up in a dysfunctional family where someone was clinically depressed, alcoholic, mentally ill or suicidal; or in a situation where the parents were separated, divorced, or taken away from the child in some way.

Continue Reading…

Boundaries are the limits that we set in relationships to let people know what we will or will not tolerate in our lives. Setting healthy boundaries is a very important part of having healthy, loving, supportive relationships.

How to set boundaries

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images

The problem with setting healthy boundaries is that many of us grew up in dysfunctional families where we had no boundaries. All too often we had to tolerate the negative talk or behavior that was happening around us in order to simply survive in our unhealthy families.
Continue Reading…

I was doing therapy with a beautiful young woman recently when she looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked “What happened to my happily ever after?”

I was struck with the intensity of her emotional pain, but at the same time I realized how commonplace her feelings are.

Happily Ever After

Most of us grew up hearing fairy tales about how everything will work out someday. For little girls, we believe that someday our prince will come and everything will be beautiful after that. For boys, it’s expecting that someday you’ll be that knight in shining armor and save the day for your beautiful princess, and then you’ll both “live happily ever after.”

Continue Reading…

When I was 17 years old, I was asked to give a speech at my high school graduation on the topic of my choice. The topic I chose was “What makes people happy?” I chose that topic because at that time, I wondered if anyone was really happy or if everyone was faking happiness like I was.

Chasing the Dream of Happiness

I quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thorough, Abraham Lincoln and many great philosophers who wrote about happiness down through the ages, but none of them answered my own burning questions. I had no idea at that time that pursuing my own happiness and helping others find happiness would become my life’s work.

Positive Psychology and the Happiness Frenzy

According to Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com), there is a ‘happiness frenzy’ going on in bookstores today. Carlin Flora reports that in 2008, there were 4,000 books published on happiness, while only 50 books were released on that topic in 2000.

Continue Reading…

Triumph Over Trauma

September 26, 2012 — 2 Comments

Trauma is an intense, overwhelming issue that many people have to face at some point in their life.

Triumph Over Trauma

Whether you were a veteran traumatized in a war, a survivor of a hurricane or a national disaster or a child abuse survivor traumatized in your own family, trauma can be a huge hurdle to overcome.

What Causes Trauma?

Trauma isn’t always the result of a major catastrophe. Many people have experienced trauma recently from losing their jobs or their homes and not knowing what to do next to survive. Other people were traumatized by losing someone they loved through an accident or an unexpected illness.

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. defines trauma as a time “when your biology is assaulted in such a way that you might not be able to reset yourself.”

Continue Reading…

Change is difficult for most people–especially those of us who grew up in dysfunctional families. We like to stay in our comfort zone; we prefer things to be safe and secure, we want to control the changes in our lives. Yet even little changes that we choose for ourselves can often require months of emotional adjustment, like having a baby, or moving to a new area.

Change can be good!

We feel overwhelmed when changes happen that are out of our control, like getting laid off from a job, or a partner asking for a divorce. And when our whole economic structure falls apart, like it has recently, it can definitely seem to us like an insurmountable crisis.

Continue Reading…

Laughter heals—and it feels good too! It benefits us in many surprising ways. Here’s a beautiful poster you’re going to love about the health benefits of laughter.

Continue Reading…