Stress: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly



March / April 2015

By Dr. Michael Olson, LMFT

As we begin the New Year, many of us stop to consider the stress and challenges in our lives and how we might better handle them. Since we all deal with stress at some point, it is important to know the good, bad, and ugly facts.

The Good. We often think of stress as a bad thing, something that we must eradicate from our lives. Yet, without it, we would not be able to survive a single day. There is, deep within our brains, an amazing little factory called the hypothalamus that produces/secretes very powerful and potent chemicals called neuropeptides and neuro-hormones. The hypothalamus works with the pituitary and adrenal glands to secrete these hormones, which include cortisol and epinephrine or adrenalin. The levels of these neuro-hormones naturally rise and fall on a daily basis and help us to wake up in the morning, focus and deal with the challenges of each day, and finally, allow us to drop off into sleep at night.

Resolutions That Lead To Happiness


January / February 2015

By Dr. Matt Brown

As we welcome in the New Year, we often reflect on ways in which we would like to improve. Many of us formalize these reflections with New Year’s resolutions or other goals aimed at focusing and tracking our change efforts. Many of these goals often deal with personal fitness, finances, and employment. While these are worthy endeavors, we may be better served by focusing on areas that have been shown to increase happiness and well-being.

Mind-Body & Spirit: Life in the Balance


January / February 2015

By Dr. Mike Olson

In the recent decade, there has been a renewed interest in all things “mind-body.” Mind-body is, in reality, a concept that has existed for thousands of years among various world groups and cultures. The idea that our minds, bodies, and spirits are separate components of our health and wellness is a function of recent philosophies and ideologies, rather than what has been believed and practiced for centuries. For most of us, the thought that our minds, bodies, and spirits are connected is intuitive and logical.