Birch Tree Psychology

Specializing in Therapy for Children, Adults, and Families

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Practice Learned Optimism!

Posted by Brittany on March 31, 2012 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (3)

What is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? Research has found that the answer lies in the way people view asetback. Optimistic people tend to view setbacks as “temporary,” “changeable,”and “specific”, while pessimists view problems as “personal,” “permanent,” and“pervasive.” For example, if an optimistic individual is rejected by othersthey will think the event is:

Temporary –This pain will go...

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Turn a Negative Into a Positive

Posted by Brittany on March 21, 2012 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

How do you typically handle life’s little setbacks? Do you dwell on the problem? Do you ignore it? Do you tackle it head on and move past it? I don’t know how many of us enjoy life’s curveballs, but how we handle problems and look back at them at the end of the day can have a significant effect on our moods. There is a tremendous amount of research that has shown how gratitude can have positive effects on us and some new studies have examined Gratitude for Challenges. Resear...

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Can Smiling Improve Your Mood?

Posted by Brittany on February 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I have always been fascinated with the study of emotions, particularly positive emotions. Smiling specifically seems to be the hallmark of someone that is in a good mood. Everyone knows that people smile when they feel happy, but can the sheer act of smiling produce happiness? Recent evidence now suggests that smiling, even if its a "fake" smile, can actually lead to a happier mood. In fact, research has found there are many benefits to smiling, including improved mood, increased social conne...

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Improve Your Relationships Now!

Posted by Brittany on February 8, 2012 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

How often have you had a bad day and noticed that you were more critical towards your loved ones? How often have you stood in line at a store and overheard people criticizing each other? Unfortunately sometimes stress gets the better of all of us and when this happens we can turn to negativity. There is a simple formula that I use with parents and couples to help combat this type of criticism. We can keep track of the ratio of positive to negative statements that you make in a relationship. T...

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Deep Breathing Exercises

Posted by Brittany on February 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (1)

The deep breathing exercises below can help people recover from anxiety, stress, and tension. People who practice deep breathing for 10-15 minutes each day fall asleep better and sleep more deeply. They also think more clearly and are less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. Research has also found that people who meditate are less likely to become ill.

While breathing deeply, repeat every phrase, silently, in your mind three times. Say the phrase in a quiet, thoughtful way. P...

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Breathe Your Way to a Better Day

Posted by Brittany on November 13, 2011 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

These days most people live frantic and often stressful lives and everyone could probably benefit from some relaxation stratagies. One of the simplest techniques I like to teach people is deep breathing. Deep breathing is an extremely easy and important skill to have. The nice thing about deep breathing is that you can use it anywhere and it is not time consuming. If you are having a particularly stressful day you can use this technique for a couple of minutes and it will help you de-stress a...

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One Simple Letter Can Make You Happier

Posted by Brittany on July 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM Comments comments (0)

Whenever people find out that we do presentations on Ways to Increase Your Happiness they always ask “So, what one thing can I do to be happier?” We always say that although there are many things that you can do, the simplest thing is to write a letter of gratitude to someone who has done something meaningful for you. The magnitude of the resulting happiness may surprise you.

The basic idea behind this exercise is to first think of a person who has had a positive impact on ...

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Gratitude Can Make You Happy

Posted by Brittany on May 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Positive Psychology has become very popular lately and for good reason. Psychology has traditionally focused on mental health problems, which was necessary. We have gotten to a point were we can knowledgably treat disorders, but what happens after that? People may no longer be overwhelmed with worries that interfere with their life, but are they then happy? Unfortunately, not having symptoms of depression or anxiety does not equal happiness and that is where positive psychology comes in. Posi...

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