December 3, 2019

Living in Our Heads-Mindfulness Meditation to Increase Awareness

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 1:44 pm by kellyfdennis

beautiful bloom blooming blossom*

Saturday, January 11, 9:00 am-10:30am; Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 1755

The aim of mindfulness practice is to be more aware, more often. A powerful influence taking us away from being “fully present” in each moment is our automatic tendency to judge our experience as being not quite right in some way—that it is not what should be happening, not good enough, or not what we expected or wanted.

Mindfulness concepts and Meditation practices covered will include: Mindfulness of the breath and body, Mindfulness to “unhook” from thoughts, Sensory mindfulness,Mindful self-compassion

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 8 people. This workshop is suitable for all levels of mindfulness meditation experience. Cost: $50

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the facilitator. Pre-registration is required.

*Photo by Arul on Pexels.com

 

October 29, 2019

Balance Fear with Kindness

Posted in Compassion, Well-being tagged , , , , at 9:27 am by kellyfdennis

black and white sun in sky“Monsters don’t sleep under the bed, they sleep inside your head.” It is said, “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as unguarded thoughts.” Thoughts are curious things, they can create fear and dread, or peace and love. May your thoughts today and the days to come be ones that build you up, not cut you down.

May you be healthy and strong, peaceful and happy. May you think thoughts of love and acceptance, for yourself and for others. May you be free from suffering and experience love in abundance. May you notice the sparkle of a snowflake, the twinkle of the stars. May you feel a gentle breeze upon your face and the warmth and compassion from those who are important to you. May you experience the courage to face a fear, and the confidence to accept yourself just the way you are. May you be kind and experience kindness.

That’s the way to make peace with the monsters that live inside your head.

August 22, 2019

Choose Joy

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , at 10:12 am by kellyfdennis

Our brains have what is described as a negativity bias. The brain scans for threats or what might go wrong in any given situation. It’s one of our survival strategies that been a part of us since our creation. It’s a great strategy for avoiding real threats and danger, but when there are no real threats, it gets in the way of us enjoying and living our lives. When the negativity bias is front and center, we get hooked on anxiety, mistrust, and hypervigilance.

In recent research on happiness and joy, a common thread with those who were happy and joyful is that they are actually choosing happiness and joy. As writer Henri Nouwen writes: “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and then keep choosing it every day.”

Brain science is learning more about neuroplasticity. We have learned that how we pay attention rewires the circuits in our brains. Intentionally turning towards joy creates a pathway that refocuses our minds and disconnects the negativity bias. It creates an atmosphere that allows true happiness to exist.

Whatever we practice grows stronger. When we run thoughts about situations over and over in our minds, we are strengthening anxiety and worry. It creates a biochemistry in the brain that causes a kind of “mental rut”. Likewise, when we are grateful, kind to others, caring for ourselves and others, then those are the pathways that deepen and grow.

We can train our minds to soak in the good when we really notice and savor our moments of happiness and joy. Researchers found that just 20-30 seconds of immersing ourselves in the feelings we have when we are hugged by a dear friend, or the laughter of a grandchild, or the beauty and awe of a sunset, we can strengthen the neural pathways in our brains. It can be transformative to pause and sense the goodness that is right here in this moment. When we can notice and feel the happiness and joy for the simple things, then we know we can choose happiness, no matter what.

I offer monthly workshops that can help you learn to train your brain. Click here for more information and to sign up. Be well and have a wonderful day!

July 16, 2019

Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Stress

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 11:49 am by kellyfdennis

landscape photography of white mountain*

Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 9:00 am-10:45 am. Location: Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

This workshop is designed to introduce and practice the concepts of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation strategies in a purposeful way in order to facilitate the integration of mindfulness into your daily life.

As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind.” As we learn to create intentional present moment awareness, we begin to see changes in our lives that reduce stress. We learn to relate to our difficulties in life with more openness, compassion, and acceptance.

Mindfulness Meditation practices will include: Attention and awareness, Mindfulness of breath and body, Sensory mindfulness, Mindful movement

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 8 people. This workshop is suitable for all levels of mindfulness meditation experience.

Cost: $50.00 Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the facilitator. Please contact Kelly to sign up or for further information: (717) 951-0266 or kelly@kellyfdennis.com

*Photo by Julius Silver on Pexels.com

May 15, 2019

Depression

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 1:53 pm by kellyfdennis

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair*

Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely,and scared. These feelings are normal reactions to life’s stressors. Most people feel low and sad at times. After a good cry or talking with a friend, we usually feel better.

However, in the case of individuals who are diagnosed with depression, the manifestations of the low mood are much more severe and they tend to persist. Crying does not help and talking with a friend is hard because one tends to feel alienated, because others can’t seem to understand why they can’t just “snap out of it.”

Major Depressive Disorder is a debilitating illness. Those suffering describe feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, despair, isolation and lonliness. One of the most difficult parts of treating depression is the negative cycle in which sufferers engage. Feelings of low self worth, negativity, and hopelessness beget more of the same thoughts and the cycle sends the person into despair.

Fortunately, when the individual learns to distance themselves from the cycle of negative thinking, he/she can begin to see a glimpse of light and hope. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Meditation are awesome tools to help begin the process of distancing.

Check out my YouTube video for a Cognitive therapy-based mindfulness mediation designed to help you begin to learn the process of not engaging with every negative thought.

Be well and have a wonderful day!

*Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

May 6, 2019

Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , at 1:42 pm by kellyfdennis

Path thru woods

Saturday, June 22, 9:00 am-11:00 am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

This 2-hour workshop explores the concepts of mindfulness and mindfulness strategies in a purposeful way in order to facilitate the integration of mindfulness into your daily life.

“The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
There is little we can do
To change
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.”
– R.D. Laing –

As we learn to create purposeful present moment awareness, we begin to see the changing of things in our lives that cause us stress. We learn to relate to our difficulties in life with more openness, compassion, and acceptance.

Mindfulness concepts and Meditation practices covered will include:  Mindfulness and the scientific research; Mindfulness of the breath and body; Obstacles to mindfulness; Sensory mindfulness; Mindful self-compassion

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 8 people. Cost: $75

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the facilitator. Please contact Kelly to sign up or for further information: (717) 951-0266 or kelly@kellyfdennis.com

March 17, 2019

Using Self-Compassion to Increase Resilience

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , at 3:39 pm by kellyfdennis

sunset hands love woman*

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 9-11am. Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA

Resilience is the ability to recover readily from adversity. This 2-hour workshop will help you create more adaptive coping strategies, create the shifts that can change your behaviors, and help you learn how to rewire your brain thereby increasing your resilience.

In this workshop you will learn self-compassion strategies to help you:  Manage stress more effectively; heal toxic shame and rewire the inner critic; strengthen and foster resilience; deal with feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and guilt; come to more clarity with decision making; prime your brain for learning and growth

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 8 people.

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the Facilitator.

Contact Kelly@kellyfdennis.com to reserve your space.  Cost: $75.00

*Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

November 28, 2018

Managing Stress With Self Compassion

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 9:55 am by kellyfdennis

cornandcloudssideSaturday, January 19, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA

In mindfulness meditation, individuals strive to cultivate a greater awareness of the present moment. By increasing their mindfulness, participants in this stress management workshop aim to reduce their overall arousal and emotional reactivity and to gain a deeper sense of calm.

This workshop also adds the component of self compassion in the management of stress. Self compassion is being aware in the present moment when we are experiencing moments of fear, confusion, inadequacy and other similar stressors, and responding to those feelings with kindness and understanding.  This practice helps in letting self-instilled stressors go, and brings you kindly to focus on the present moments. Highly recommended for those that tend to lose self-focus to past and future possible stressors.

In this workshop you will learn/experience:

-How to make stress your ally

-What is lovingkindness and participate in a lovingkindness meditation

-Breathing Space Meditation

-Gratitude, the antidote for stress

-How to cultivate self appreciation

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 15 people. The sessions are open to all ages, backgrounds, and religions.

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the Facilitator. Contact Kelly@kellyfdennis.com to reserve your space

Cost: $75.00

 

November 14, 2018

Mindfulness During the Holiday Season

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 4:09 pm by kellyfdennis

yellow bokeh photo

Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn. As we learn to create purposeful present moment awareness we begin to see the changing of things in our lives that cause us stress. We learn to relate to our difficulties in life with more openness, compassion, and acceptance. Holidays can be stressful, if not difficult times for many people.

With this holiday season comes a chance for to slow down and reflect on what makes this season so special. When we choose to respond to situations with gratitude and notice the areas available for true connection with others, we can find peace under the chaos. When we practice mindfulness to the conversations we have with others in the moment it helps us connect to that which fills our hearts and minds with thanks.

In this time of festivities, shopping, gifting, we can be reminded there are ways to practice mindfulness. Slowing down during this time to appreciate the hands that have made the food, the time and effort to take to make the items we purchase, the people that are interconnected to us in the process. (newmindfullife.com)

I invite you in this season, and in our current state of our nation, to take the time to be present to others.  Give a moment of gratitude in your heart to the goodness that everyone is trying their best to offer in interaction, and see if a deeper more meaningful connection can arise to support your well-being and another’s well-being.

May you, your family, and friends live with peace and ease.

November 5, 2018

Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, identity, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 7:32 am by kellyfdennis

background beautiful blossom calm waters

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(Each of these workshops is different from the previous one)

Saturday, December 1, 2018 9-11am @ Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Suite A, Millersville, PA

This 2-hour workshop will help you learn the skills of self-compassion so you can respond to difficult times in your life with kindness and care.

You will learn how to:

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness in your daily life
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Support yourself during those times when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
  • Appreciate yourself

A large and growing body of research, much of it conducted by Dr. Kristen Neff, suggests that self-compassion reduces anxiety and depression, enables us to develop healthy habits, and more satisfying personal relationships, makes us more resilient in the face of challenges, and improves overall wellbeing.

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC: Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited.

Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

Next page

stefdennis

ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

on anything and everything

my thoughts on what I see