You’re ready to change things.

A reader sent in this personal story of overcoming compulsions at a difficult time in his life. He’s now working on becoming a therapist:  I’m 26 years old and I’ve been struggling with my mental health ever since I was just a little kid. In December of 2017 my mother got the bad news that she only had a year to live due to her cancer coming back. My mental health, which was already very bad at the time just

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Feeling the panic ebb and flow

A reader shared this awesome adventure he took his brain on recently: I can experience anxiety and panic attacks pretty regularly. They used to control my life. Any work meeting, restaurant, confrontation, exercise, bodily sensation would send me into an hour long panic. I dealt with this for years-not knowing what was going on with me. I’ve never really been an overly anxious person but after my daughter was born my brain and my body hit their limit. I had

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Pedalling out of Bike Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxieties around panic attacks triggered by exercise, and specifically issues with riding bicycles, have been popping up frequently when I’m connecting with people online. Bikes get the heart pounding and bring up physical sensations that we can easily engage in compulsions around. Overcoming these challenges is fun because we get to hop on our bikes and quite literally expand our limits as we adventure into the world with those racing hearts and minds. Brett’s been doing exactly that and he

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Four weeks of non-judgment basics practice

When I bring up the idea that judgment is the first compulsion that leads to all of the other emotions and behaviors we struggle with when we’re sinking into mental health challenges, people can often become very protective of their judgment skills. We can always think of ways our ability to judge has helped us. We’ve gotten positive feedback from others. Maybe our careers depend upon our judgment skills. But it’s not that judgment is necessarily bad. It simply has

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Digging into intrusive thoughts to clear a way out of them

Recently, Matt and I did a couple of videos exploring intrusive thoughts or anxieties and why it’s useful to look at why we’re afraid of the consequences of those thoughts or anxieties coming true. There’s an exercise for doing that, The 5 Whys, which I shared in my book, The Mind Workout, and Matt explains near the end of this video:

Why peer support is so damn useful for mental illness recovery.

We could also call this: Recovery is like rowing. You’ll be bad at both until you’re not. And then you’ll just push harder. If you’re working with a personal trainer on your physical fitness, it’s not strange if you expect to work with somebody that’s in better shape than you, that practices the skills you want to learn, that’s reached the same goals you want to reach. In the mental health sector, however, involving people with lived experience of recovery

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Internet addiction workshop in Toronto, May 15th

I’m teaming up with Mind Matters to do a workshop at The Drake Hotel in Toronto on May 15th, at 6pm, all about techniques for cutting out online compulsions and learning how to make the internet work for you (instead of you just clicking away on a mouse for little hits of dopamine like you’re in some start-up’s lab experiment). Tickets are $45 and you can get them here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1472846?utm_medium=bks Space is limited so grab tickets quickly. I had so

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Is that juice cleanse just another compulsion?

I often get questions about the “right” foods to eat for mental illness recovery: What are the best foods to prevent intrusive thoughts? Will eliminating gluten lower my anxiety levels? Can a detox fix the chemical imbalances in my body? But if you’ve struggled with your mental health, be very careful about searching for a magic solution by drastically restricting or changing your diet, even if it’s temporary. Before you get started on a detox/cleanse, consider these three questions:

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