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Building Psychological Strength

More and more, people are seeing the benefits of building resilience, building confidence, building mental toughness and flexibility, and moving past fear and anxiety in their lives. April Seifert, Ph.D., hosts this powerful podcast that will help you build psychological strength through interviews and information from some of the world's leading experts in the fields of Psychology and Life Design. It's time to go beyond merely surviving. It's time to thrive! This podcast is brought to you by Peak Mind: The Center for Psychological Strength.
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Building Psychological Strength
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Now displaying: Page 1
Sep 29, 2021

Ashley and I have been doing quite a few workshops centered around what psychological strength is and what the components are that make it up. And, there's one component that consistently generates more confusion and questions than any other. That topic is mindfulness.

The skill of mindfulness sits at the center of our wheel of psychological strength, and it's the core of psych strength for a reason. You need strong mindfulness skills to develop skills in all of the other areas. Your relationship with your thoughts relies on mindfulness. Mindfulness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. It impacts your relationships, your sense of self, it interacts with your habits and behavior and is an important component in life design. It really is the core of psych strength. However, it frequently gets confused with other similar skills and techniques. Specifically, visualization.

In today's episode, I want to dig into these two concepts: Mindfulness and visualization to give you a solid understanding of what each of them is. How they're similar, how they're different, and more importantly, when to use each one of them because they're both useful for different things.

Supplemental information:

  1. Podcast episode 0239 - "How to not hate meditation"

  2. Cheryl B. Engelhardt's episode

  3. Use of mental imagery for sports performance

Sep 22, 2021

One of the 7 main skillsets that make up psychological strength has to do with the self. One of the core ways we think about the self is in terms of identity. Who am I? What am I like? What do I value? What am I good at...or not so good at? All of that is important, but today, I want to cover a slightly more obscure facet to the self. Specifically, we're talking about the relationship we cultivate with our self.

Today we'll be talking about how to use some core aspects of meaningful relationships to cultivate the relationship you have with yourself. Aspects such as communication, compassion and empathy, and appreciation. The impact of the practices we talk about at the end of this episode can be life-changing, and you won't want to miss them.

Supplemental information:

  1. Listen to my interview with Shannon Schottler: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/blog/0136

  2. Learn more about our mini-course Self-Care [by design]: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/selfcare

  3. Dig into Dr. Kristin Neff's work on self-compassion: https://self-compassion.org/

Sep 15, 2021

We've all felt the squeeze of having too much on our plate and too little time, energy, and capacity. We feel pulled to accomplish, achieve, and deliver based on other people's requests and demands. Our calendars turn to time confetti as we attempt to juggle multiple things at a time, and at the end of the day, we collapse into bed exhausted, wishing we could have squeezed in a workout or another personally meaningful activity. Sound at all like you? It definitely sounds like me on my most difficult days. Here's the tough truth: We know the answer. We know we're supposed to prioritize, yet we don't do it, or we don't feel like we can do it.

In this episode, I'll go over 3 of the main reasons why we don't prioritize, and for each, I'll offer what I hope is a helpful reframe to help you think about how you might begin to intentionally craft your life experience into one that aligns with you, your values, and your needs.

Supplemental Resources:

  1. Check out Gail Golden's book Curating Your Life: https://www.amazon.com/Curating-Your-Life-Struggle-Work-Life/dp/1538132877

  2. Listen to my conversation with Gail Golden: https://www.peakmindpsychology.com/blog/0242

  3. If you'd like to read Bronnie Ware's viral blog post Regrets of the Dying, click here: https://bronnieware.com/blog/regrets-of-the-dying/

Sep 13, 2021

As human beings, one thing we simply have to learn to contend with is our emotions. They can get the best of us at times. The thing to remember is that an emotion typically arises when we're interpreting the facts of a situation or applying a judgement to something that is happening, has happened, or will happen. What happens when you remove the judgement?

Join us for our FREE live webinar Foundations of Psychological Strength by registering at: www.peakmindpsychology.com/webinar 

Sep 10, 2021

Have you ever taken a necessary break from work with the goal of recharging, resting, and relaxing...yet you end up feeling ANXIOUS?! Stepping away from work should feel relaxing, right? Yet, so many times, we end up feeling anxiety, and it can feel surprising and unexplainable.

In today's episode, we're diving into 4 things that cause us to feel anxious when we step away, and 4 ways to help yourself navigate through that anxiety so you can truly enjoy the time away that you so deserve.

Join us for the FREE live webinar Foundations of Psychological Strength by signing up at this link: www.peakmindpsychology.com/webinar

 

Sep 8, 2021

Picture this - it's Thanksgiving, and in walks THAT family member. The one who has differing political views and ALWAYS wants to talk about them. You want it to go well, but you're afraid it just won't. What do you do?

Like it or not, the divisiveness in politics is something that has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. Things feel so divided right now, and that's what we're diving into this week.

This week's guest is Peter Montoya, and we're talking about his new book The Second Civil War: A Citizen's Guide to Healing our Fractured Nation. In this episode we talk about the ways in which identity and tribalism play into the divisiveness we are experiencing. We talk about ways to approach political conversations and tips for effectively having the conversation. And finally, we talk about grey rocking, a strategy for handling truly morally reprehensible conversations.

Peter Montoya is a thought leader, skilled orator, tech entrepreneur, and successful business strategist, Peter’s expertise comes from decades of being deep in the trenches – guiding sales, marketing, service, and development teams to achieve seemingly unreachable goals by working together cohesively.

Find Peter's book: https://amzn.to/37pnibL

Learn more about Peter Montoya: https://petermontoya.com/

Sep 6, 2021

What if you are one conversation away from peace of mind? Hear me out. Many times, we spend our precious mental energy making assumptions and predictions about what another person is thinking or how they might react.

Sign up for our FREE live webinar "Foundations of Psychological Strength" by visiting www.peakmindpsychology.com/webinar 

Sep 3, 2021

Becoming a better leader of others requires that we become a better leader of ourselves. In today's professional edition of the podcast, we're focused on self-leadership. What it is, why it's important, and how to cultivate it.

Research cited in this episode: https://www.ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_9_No_2_February_2018/2.pdf and https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joop.12365

Sep 1, 2021

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you've just felt stuck? Unsure of what direction to go next? Feeling like you're torn between a bunch of options and not sure which one to choose? We've all felt that way, and we're diving deep into how to chart our new direction in a mindful way in this episode.

Becca Ribbing is the author of The Clarity Journal, and she joins us today for a powerful conversation about intentionality, mindfulness, and self-care amidst times when we struggle to find our best path forward.

Find The Clarity Journal on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733131604

Learn more about Becca Ribbing at: https://beccaribbing.com/

Aug 30, 2021

We all face problems. It's a fact of life. So many times, we believe that the solution to a problem should just come to us. Sometimes it does, and that's wonderful. But, sometimes the solution is more elusive. Here's one way to get to a solution.

Aug 27, 2021

As we contemplate the potential of returning to the office in the coming months and all of the uncertainty and complexity surrounding it, one question that's on many people's minds is what it will feel like to be back in the office with everyone? One important element of that question is the age-old topic of corporate culture.

In today's episode, I highlight a couple of research articles pointing to the impact that a single employee's behavior can have on others around them. I pose this question: How might you create your own micro-culture around you that supports the values you want to see in your company?

So many times we point to broader forces that are out of our control as the cause of our own experience. Those forces definitely do play a role. However, many times, we neglect to consider the role each of us can play in our own immediate environment. So, take some time to think about the culture you want to work in. Sit down and craft a description with your team. Then, think about the behaviors you can commit to in order to support the culture you want to create. Be the change.

Research cited in this episode: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-031413-091225 and https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1009581330960

Aug 25, 2021

Let's be honest...no one likes conflict. BUT, let's be honest again...conflict is inevitable. There isn't a relationship in our lives that won't involve some degree of conflict at some point whether it's a personal relationship or a professional relationship. And, our ability to manage that conflict and come to a resolution is a critical skill for us all to learn.

But how do we do it?!

This week, we're speaking with Jeremy Pollack, a conflict resolution and peacebuilding expert. He is the Founder of Pollack Peacebuilding Systems, an international conflict resolution consulting firm. Jeremy is a regular contributor on the topics of leadership and organizational conflict management to publications such as Forbes.com, Fast Company, Industry Week, and many more. He is also the author of the recently released book The Conflict Resolution Playbook: Practical Communication Skills for Preventing, Managing, and Resolving, Conflict by Rockridge Press. 

In this episode, we talk about:

  1. What conflict actually is and how we can reframe it to be more of an opportunity to grow and deepen relationships

  2. Where conflict comes from and why some people are more prone to experiencing it

  3. How unconscious biases play into our approach to conflict

  4. How we can use a set of conversational sequences to better guide our ability to resolve conflict while maintaining our own boundaries and maintaining our important relationships

Learn more about Jeremy's company at: pollackpeacebuilding.com

Work with Jeremy by visiting coachjeremypollack.com

Get a copy of Jeremy's book: https://amzn.to/3eOCSBT

Aug 23, 2021

Imagine that your child or a friend or family member whom you love dearly did something that hurt you. When they come to you and apologize, what do you do? In most cases, we're quick to forgive. But, what about when you do something wrong? Do you forgive yourself as quickly?

Aug 20, 2021

This episode is my special gift to those of you who find yourself wearing multiple hats. Individual contributor AND manager. Individual contributor AND strategic visionary. It's not easy!

Today, we're speaking with Mark Heydt. Mark has experience coaching C-suite executives, divisional leaders, entrepreneurs, and middle managers. Mark's book Rescuing the Corporate Exhausted Hero is the playbook we've all been looking for to help us move into the strategic leadership role we're seeking without being exhausted in the process.

Connect with Mark Heydt: https://www.gameplanleader.com/

Purchase Rescuing the Corporate Exhausted Hero: https://amzn.to/3CLUgSg

Aug 18, 2021

How often do you think about your own diet and the food you eat as a form of self-care? What does that even mean? So much of our understanding of what constitutes a HEALTHY diet is shaped by diet culture and what amount to marketing messages designed to sell products and services. We forget that nourishment is one of the most basic needs our bodies have, and that we're able to be psychologically impacted in the realm of this basic need, just like we are in so many other areas of our lives.

Today, we're speaking with Jessica Begg. She is is a Registered Dietitian and a Registered Clinical Counsellor. Jessica has a private practice based in Vancouver, Canada and has worked in many eating disorders programs in her area for over 10 years. She works now to help people heal from binge and emotional eating and start building a more peaceful relationship with food their body.

We hit on so many important topics in this episode:

  1. The impact of diet culture on our health & wellbeing

  2. The role of our emotion in the way we eat

  3. The impact of all of this on our self-concept and our relationship with our our body

  4. The dangerous link between diet culture and disordered eating

  5. And finally, how to cultivate a healthier relationship with food and our own bodies

This is a topic that impacts each and every one of us on a daily basis, and I'm thrilled to have Jessica here to help us navigate it more peacefully.

Learn more about Jessica and her program at: www.shiftnutrition.com

Aug 16, 2021

A cornerstone of both Buddhism and Stoicism is the notion of impermanence. The fact that nothing is permanent. This applies to events and situations we would classify as "good" as well as ones we'd classify as "bad."

Aug 11, 2021

One of the most formative experiences of my life was losing my Dad to colon cancer when I was 11. The grief that I experienced at such a young age, coupled with the harsh realization of my own mortality, and eventually, the passion and meaning that came out of his death cannot be understated.

We all will experience grief in our lives. It's a simple fact that we will lose people we love, and our ability to support ourselves and others through the grief process is so important to develop.

This week, I'm speaking with Kimberley Pittman-Schulz. She is is an award-winning poet and author who writes, teaches, and speaks about death and loss, living mindfully, and being a force for change in the world.

We have a powerful conversation about the different ways that grief can. manifest within each of us, and the ways we can support ourselves, depending upon our individual experience. We talk about the critical role that mindfulness can play in our healing. We also talk about grief as a complex mixture of several emotions, as well as the role that joy plays in the grief process.

This is a deep episode but such a meaningful one. You won't want to miss it.

Visit PoetOwl.com/psychologicalstrength to learn more about Kimberley's new book Grieving Us: A Field Guide for Living with Loss without Losing Yourself

Aug 9, 2021

Tell me if this sounds like you. You work so hard to achieve a goal or solve a problem, and when you finally do, you move right on to the next big task. Yet, then we wonder why we feel less confident in future situations! If we don't take a moment to be mindful and celebrate our wins and accomplishments, we miss out on the ability to strengthen the trust we have in our own abilities.

Aug 6, 2021

Being an entrepreneur or a leader of a team can be so rewarding. It's creative, it's strategic, it's impactful. But....it's also LONELY at times.

Making decisions, dealing with challenges, and heck, even celebrating wins are all inherently collaborative or social activities. But, when we're the sole leader of a team or when we're the sole owner of a company, it can feel very isolating.

Today, we're digging deep into this topic and exploring a couple of ways to help alleviate the loneliness that can come with leadership and entrepreneurship.

Aug 4, 2021

It's easy to practice gratitude when life is good. It's easy to feel strong when you're not being tested. However, the real value of psychological strength reveals itself during a crisis. In this episode, I'll share a crisis situation I recently went through and will articulate a handful of ways that psych strength helped me get through it and truly thrive on the other side of it.

Aug 2, 2021

If there's one thing we've learned from studying people's subconscious it's that small details in our environment can have a big impact on our mood, the contents of our thoughts, and on our subsequent behavior. Why not use this to your advantage?

Jul 30, 2021

I hear from people ALL THE TIME who say they aren't creative. They struggle with participating in brainstorming sessions and feel like their ideas are somehow lacking compared to others.

The thing is, creativity is a SUPER POWER in our professional lives. The ability to put ideas together in a way they haven't been put together before or to come up with a new, innovative approach to some issue is so valuable!

Because of that, in this episode, I'm offering you 5 ways to SPARK creativity in your work. Put them to use, and let's get CREATIVE!

Jul 28, 2021

This week on the podcast, we're having a very intimate, open conversation about the process of coming out with none other than the incredible Megs Pulvermacher. Megs is a nationally certified School Psychologist, host of the hit podcast Out, What Now?, and the founder of the Queer Impact Collective.

During this episode we speak intimately about the coming out process. From the initial realization and recognition to the decisions about who to come out to, when, and in what context. We talk about the shift in identity that happens during this process and the resulting impact it has on a person's sense of self and how they show up in the world.

Whether you personally identify with the LGBTQIA+ community or not, this episode can not be missed. Everyone will benefit from this meaningful conversation.

Learn more about the Queer Impact Collective at: www.queerimpactcollective.com

Listen to the Out, What Now? podcast at: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/out-what-now/id1525428380

Jul 26, 2021

No doubt, some of the most meaningful accomplishments come on the heels of a big effort. We work exceedingly hard at something, and when we achieve it, we feel incredible. Hard work and endurance are important to cultivate, but so is rest.

Jul 23, 2021

In the U.S., we put an incredible amount of pressure on ourselves to be passionate about our jobs. When we feel a lack in creativity, expression, and impact, we immediately turn to our jobs as the one and only source that should be filling up those cups.

But, what if there was another way to fill those cups? If you're feeling a lack of passion and satisfaction for your job, this just might be the episode for you.

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