September 26, 2019

Benefits of Mindfulness

Posted in Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , at 2:00 pm by kellyfdennis

calm daylight evening grass*

Mindfulness is certainly a buzz word right now, but it’s been around a long time. Mindfulness is paying attention in the present moment on purpose, without judgement. Mindfulness helps us to get unhooked from ruminating about the past or worrying or over planning for the future. Really, all we have is this present moment and if we’re busy focusing elsewhere we are contributing to our own distress.

Mindfulness has been shown to improve well-being, physical health, and mental health. In recent years the research has shown that individuals who practice mindfulness on a regular basis are more able to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, are more fully present in the activities in which they engage, and have a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. In addition, mindfulness can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.

There are so many reasons to try it! Click here to learn more.

*Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

September 24, 2019

Stress Headaches

Posted in Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , at 8:00 am by kellyfdennis

person people woman hand

One question that I often get asked is “Can stress cause headaches?” Yes! Distress can cause activation of the primitive part of our brains, the one responsible for the flight, fight, freeze response. When this part of the brain is activated, chemicals begin coursing through our bodies, readying us to react. These chemicals have various functions, but one is muscle contraction or tension. The body’s stress response, when chronically activated, can cause insomnia, prolonged muscle tension, tightening or “holding” of the muscles (do you find yourself clenching your jaw when stressed?). All of these reactions can cause headaches.

The good news is that mindfulness meditation can help you to pay more attention to your bodily reactions. If you are aware that you’re tensing, you can actively breathe and relaxing. If you become aware that you are ruminating, you can learn to actively stay in the present moment (rumination is a common cause of insomnia). Check out my website for information about upcoming mindfulness meditation workshops, classes, and retreats! Tension headaches can become a thing of the past!

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

June 21, 2019

Dealing with Life’s Uncertainties with Mindfulness Meditation

Posted in Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , at 1:52 pm by kellyfdennis

mountains near body of water panoramic photo*

Saturday, July 20, 2019 9-11am

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

Whether coping with small annoyances or full-blown catastrophes, this 2-hour workshop leads you through a mindfulness meditation process to strengthen the response flexibility innate in your brain and your being. We will explore how to find calm, clarity and courage in the midst of any adversity.

 In this workshop you will:

-Learn/participate in three practices to return the nervous system to its range of resilience
-Learn practices to cultivate the positive emotions that counteract the brain’s negativity bias
-Participate in guided meditations that create new resources of support in your brain

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited. Kelly@kelyfdennis.com Cost: $75.00

*Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

May 29, 2019

Anxiety

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , at 10:06 am by kellyfdennis

person people woman hand*

The feeling of anxiety is a part of human nature. Looking for danger and negatives kept our ancestors safe. They had reasons to be hypervigilant. In our modern world, occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision.

Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school, and relationships.

However, being hyper vigilant 24/7 triggers the fight, flight, freeze response in our brain and body, which cause the fear center of the brain to become more reactive over time, leading to a vicious cycle of fear, anxiety, worry and insomnia. Thinking patterns of individuals with anxiety disorders are based in rumination about the past and/or apprehensive expectation (worry) about the future.

There is good news, though. Mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy can help a person break out of the anxious thinking cycle and actually reverse the damage that anxiety does to the brain. It does this by helping the person focus on the present moment experience, thereby disengaging from the rumination and worry. It also activates parts of the brain that are in charge of relaxing and secreting feel good chemicals. Check out my latest You Tube video to get started on your path to less anxiety!

Be well and have a wonderful day!

*Photo by Public Domain Pictures 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

December 19, 2018

Do You Struggle with Making Decisions?

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Well-being tagged , , , at 10:06 am by kellyfdennis

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Try This:

STEP 1: Identify the decision to be made. You realize that a decision must be made. Your awareness may be triggered by a variety of things: the need to declare a major, pressure from friends and family to make a vocational choice, or a general sense of dissatisfaction or unease. You then go through an internal process of trying to define clearly the nature of the decision you must make.

STEP 2: Gather relevant information. Most decisions require collecting pertinent information. The real trick in this step is to know what information is needed, the best sources of information, and how to get it. Some information must be sought from within yourself through a process of self-analysis; other information must be sought from outside yourself-books, people, and other sources.

STEP 3: Identify alternatives. Through the process of collecting information you will probably identify two or more possible paths of action. You may also use your imagination and information to construct new alternatives.

STEP 4: Weigh evidence. Draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. You must evaluate whether the problem or need identified in Step 1 would be helped or solved through the use of each alternative. Eventually you are able to place the available alternatives in priority order, based upon your own value system.

STEP 5: Choose among alternatives. Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the alternative that seems to be best suited to you. You may even choose a combination of alternatives.

STEP 6: Take action. You now take some positive action that begins to implement the alternative you choose in Step 5.

STEP 7: Review decision and consequences. In this step you experience the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has “solved” or helped to solve the problem in Step 1. If yes, you may stay with the decision. If no, you may repeat certain steps of the process in order to make a new decision.

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

October 13, 2018

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Posted in Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 6:33 am by kellyfdennis

abstract art awareness branches

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saturday, November 3, 2018 & Saturday, November 10, 2018

9:00 am-11:30 am

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

This 2-session course is designed to introduce the concepts of mindfulness and mindfulness strategies in a purposeful way in order to facilitate the integration of mindfulness into your daily life.

“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,” 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.

Mindfulness concepts covered will include:

Mindfulness and the scientific research

Mindfulness of the breath and body

Obstacles to mindfulness

Mindfulness with difficult emotions

Mindfulness with difficult thoughts

Mindfulness Meditation practices will include:

Mindfulness of breath and body

Sensory mindfulness

Mindful eating

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 15 people. The sessions are open to all ages, backgrounds, and religions.

Cost: $150.00 for 2 sessions and materials needed for the course.

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

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