December 19, 2008


Many methods have been conceived over the years to treat social anxiety and there is no one-size-fits-all therapy. Meditation has been effective for calming some forms of anxiety, and mindfulness, a form of meditation, has been shown to be especially effective.

Many who suffer from social anxiety spend a great deal of time and effort ruminating about bad things that have happened in the past or worrying about things that they think may happen in the future. Sometimes the focus is on perceived imperfections, weaknesses, or shortcomings.

If you had the option of worrying about bad things that may never happen to you or feeling calm and relaxed, what would you choose? I think most people would choose feeling calm and relaxed, yet the struggle to keep the mind off these worries can remain.

There is a saying that I used to have on my office wall that said,
“If we spend our time ruminating about the past and worrying about the future, we have no today to be happy”. That’s where mindfulness is so helpful. It’s being present and thankful for the moment we are currently in.

This world really is an amazing place, so take the time to appreciate it. Whatever you are doing can be interesting if you allow yourself to experience it fully.

Children are fascinated about the world around them and it is wonderful to watch a child experience something new. I wish we would never lose the ability for that excitement. It comes so easy for a child but we have to work at it.

Mindfulness is a practice that helps ground you. Practice being aware of your surroundings and utilize all of your senses, the texture, sound, smell, look and even taste of life.

The practice of mindfulness helps to take the focus off the “what ifs” and perceived flaws and put it on the beauty of the moment. One of my favorite affirmations is, “my self worth does not depend upon how anyone else views me”. Each and every one of us has something unique to offer that no one else can.

So get out there with your unique self, take life in, seize the moments and refuse to let it pass you by. Believe me, you’ll be much happier.

By Nyla Lengacher

November 21, 2008

What Moves You?

When was the last time you really felt alive? For example, what takes you to the edge of your chair? What have you been involved in where you have totally lost track of time? What moves you to tears? What makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts? What has motivated and inspired you to release your creative nature?

It’s important that we know when these things happen so that we can ensure they happen more often. Too many times we get caught up in life and forget these very important instances that make it all real.

Please comment and share some of your answers and experiences!

By Nyla Lengacher

November 09, 2008

Strive to Self-Actualize

What is Self -Actualization? Abraham Maslow in his article, A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow explicitly defines self-actualization to be "the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in
what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."

Self-actualization is a term that has been used in various psychology theories, often in slightly different ways (e.g., Goldstein, Maslow, Rogers). The term was originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize all of one's potentialities. In his view, it is the master motive—indeed, the only real motive a person has, all others being merely manifestations of it.
Wikipedia encyclopedia

Now that’s a mouthful! To simplify, I think much of this gets down to the ability to take off all the limits that prevent us from doing the magnificent things that are inside each and every one of us. If we can become self-actualized, we will have peak experiences in life because we believe and know that we can. It’s like walking into our full authentic selves and living our potential.

Do you think it is possible to become self-actualized? Leave a comment and tell me what you think?

By Nyla Lengacher

October 27, 2008

Mind Shift

When we seek to change an embedded mindset, we have to first dismantle the old mindset. If the old still stands, there is no room for the new to come. How does this happen? First, we have to recognize what aspects of our current mindset need to be removed. Secondly, we need to define what the new mindset needs to be. Thirdly, we have to note how those around us and our environment have contributed to the faulty aspects we want to change. We can then choose an infrastructure that will support the new mindset.

by Nyla Lengacher

September 30, 2008

Imagination a source of Motivation

Creating an inner vision of the person you ideally want to be is a powerful source of motivation. It helps you to contemplate how you will feel, what it will look like and how you will behave as your ideal self. Consciously visualizing yourself as the person that you want to be, allows you to mentally rehearse the changes in behavior and perspective that are crucial to realizing your goal. Fear can keep you in your comfort zone. If any anxiety arises when you attempt your visualization, stop and write down potential blocks. For example, fear of success, feeling unworthy, fear of the unknown. When you can target the blocks, you can begin to re-frame your thinking or self-talk and keep going. Your still off to a good start. So take some time each week to visualize your ideal self and watch the results. Don't forget that your past is not an indicator of your future. Tomorrow really can be different.

by Nyla Lengacher

August 11, 2008

6 Steps to No Regrets

How many times have you looked back and regretted actions, behaviors or decisions?

Kiss regrets goodbye!

First, avoid wasting time doing things that you really don’t want to do. It’s perfectly OK to say, “no thanks, have a good time”, or “no I don’t want to join you at the concert, but maybe we can do something else another time.” It may sound easy but this can really be difficult for many more people than you could imagine. Practice with smaller things and gradually build upon that.

Secondly, in the evening, Write down a goal for the following day. When you wake up the next day, do it. Simple but effective.

Third, tell the people you care about just how you feel. It’s not a mushy thing to do and you won’t look like a sap. You’re just sharing your heart with another.

Fourth, stop putting off that trip you have been meaning to take someday. If money has been holding you back. Start putting away money each week that is strictly for the trip. Open a special savings account if you are concerned about getting it mixed up with your other savings.

Fifth, lighten up. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you are no longer able to laugh at yourself. Too many times, we are the ones that are pressuring us the most. Try practicing looking outward at the beauty in life, rather than inward at the things you feel are flawed about you. Here’s a news-flash...NOBODY is perfect:)

Sixth and most importantly, take your dream off the shelf and start living it. Stir up that dormant passion that has always been inside of you and start living it. It won’t just fall in your lap, you have to make it happen. Take the risk and GO FOR IT!

by Nyla Lengacher

August 05, 2008

How to Mingle

Mingling can be one of the most difficult things to do for those with social anxieties. The idea of going to a gathering and walking around the room briefly speaking to strangers or even acquaintances can be terrifying. Try the following strategies to make the event more manageable.

1) Look for someone that is standing alone. Walk up to them and introduce yourself. If it is a party, you may ask how they know the host/hostess.

2) Don’t feel as though you have to stay around that person all night just because you spoke to them. It is perfectly appropriate and acceptable to have some brief exchanges and then move on by saying something like, “Well, I’m going to visit with some other people. It was nice to meet you”.

3) If it is something like an art opening, you can discuss the art and ask if they have a favorite painting, etc. Discussing the things that you may have in common can make the exchange a bit easier.

4) Be aware of your body language. Make eye contact and smile. This lets others know that you are open to speaking to them.

5) Remind yourself that there are probably many others in the room that are just as uncomfortable as you are.

by Nyla Lengacher

May 18, 2008

Notice Life

There are so many things that occur during our day that we miss. Try this exercise. Keep a note pad or journal beside your bed. Each night write down three things that were good about your day. These don't have to be big things. It could be as simple as a smile from a stranger, a ripening tomato in your garden or beginning a new hobby. This causes you to begin noticing your life more as it happens and helps keep you in the present moment. It also causes you to go to sleep thinking about the good in life and not the fourteen things you have to get done the next day. Just try it one week and judge the difference for yourself.

by Nyla Lengacher

April 06, 2008

Boundaries in Relationships

What is a boundary anyway? I try to envision a boundary in relationship to others as the line we have that shows us where we end and another person begins. When our comfort level ends and we begin to feel uncomfortable with something, it is usually a sign that a boundary needs to be set. Too many times the limit is not set because of not wanting to hurt the other person’s feelings or fearing we would not be liked or accepted if we draw the line or say no. This can be anything from going on the second date when the first date clearly showed you one was enough, to becoming an Engineer because your father always wanted you to become one. Boundaries are wonderful things that I promise, you will enjoy more and more as you practice setting them.

What are some of the benefits? Decreased resentments, minimized stress, better use of your time and best of all, the more you set them, the more you will become aware of who you are apart from others.

by Nyla Lengacher

February 26, 2008

What Are You Thinking About?

How much does our thinking effect the way we view the world around us? Do we even consider this? Try to take just one day and remain as aware as possible of your thoughts. Think about what you are thinking about. As you do this, try and note the mood or emotions that you are having associated with those thoughts. Thoughts lead to feelings and feelings lead to behaviors. We can't get away from the connection and that’s a good thing. We can begin to create our lives as we choose how we perceive life. It all starts with believing we can change, recognizing what our thinking patterns are, catching ourselves when we are heading down a negative path and turning those thoughts into something more positive. Some may say, "that's just lying to myself". Whether you fully believe it or not isn't the point. Do it anyway because the more you practice, the more you will actually start to believe it. You will have the incentive of slowly seeing your mood improve. Give it a try, what have you got to lose?

by Nyla Lengacher
Small Steps Towards Change

When you’re ready to make a change there are ways to make the transition easier. Too many times when someone decides to make a change in their life, they focus too much on the change and give up when they don't see the progress they hope for. What needs to happen instead is focusing on the NEW behavior that you would like to add to your life’s activities. For example, let’s say that you want to begin eating more healthy. You might say, “OK, I am going to start eating healthy tomorrow”. If you think about it, that is a bit unrealistic and can be a recipe (no pun intended) for failure. Why don’t you instead pick just one meal that you are going to make sure is healthy. Give yourself a week or two with that one and then add another healthy meal to your day. Breaking things down into smaller steps goes a long way.

by Nyla Lengacher