85 episodes

The Think Act Be podcast features conversations about living more fully. Guests from a wide range of backgrounds share their expertise on ways to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits: What thoughts serve us well? What actions promote well-being? How can we be more fully engaged in our day-to-day lives? Each week we'll explore a different angle on what it means to connect with what we value.

Think Act Be: Aligning thought, action, and presence Seth J. Gillihan, PhD: Clinical Psychologist, Author, Blogger

    • Health & Fitness

The Think Act Be podcast features conversations about living more fully. Guests from a wide range of backgrounds share their expertise on ways to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits: What thoughts serve us well? What actions promote well-being? How can we be more fully engaged in our day-to-day lives? Each week we'll explore a different angle on what it means to connect with what we value.

    Fourteen Breaths: Grounding Meditation for Anxiety, Stress, and Worry

    Fourteen Breaths: Grounding Meditation for Anxiety, Stress, and Worry

    What a time this is for all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with those with COVID-19 and the courageous loved ones and medical staff taking care of them.



    In these anxious times we need ways to come back to center, as the stress and uncertainty can lead to being wound up, scattered, out of our bodies and stuck in our minds. So this week I have a simple centering practice for you, called Fourteen Breaths.



    This meditation actually comes from a new course I've created called Balance: Mindfulness-Centered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety, Stress, & Worry. This is a paid 4-week course with one lesson per week, but it's available to all regardless of financial means.



    Just pay what you can afford. Whatever you pay will help me be able to keep devoting time to making this kind of content. And if you can't pay anything, devoting time and energy to learning effective ways to manage anxiety is a gift you'll be giving not only to yourself but to everyone you interact with.



    So please, share this course with someone who could use it, and let them know it's available to all.



    Here is the video version of the meditation that's featured in the course:







     



    Here's an audio version of the meditation without any intro or outro:



    http://sethgillihan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Balance-Guided-Meditation-audio.mp3



    To download the mp3 file of this meditation so you can listen to it anytime, double tap (or right click) here and save the file.

    • 8 min
    Ep. 83: Linda Carroll — How to Build a More Loving Relationship

    Ep. 83: Linda Carroll — How to Build a More Loving Relationship

    My guest this week is Linda Carroll, author of the recent book, Love Skills: The Keys to Unlocking Lasting, Wholehearted Love (affiliate link). This is an important conversation for any time, and it may be especially important now as so many of us are social distancing on the one hand but are also with our partners 24/7. This can be great, and also presents challenges, and opportunities to work together toward a stronger union.



    Linda and I discussed things like how our adult relationships can trigger painful experiences from childhood, and whether happy couples generally resolve all their issues (spoiler alert: they don’t, but they do figure out more effective ways to talk about them). Maybe the most important thing from this episode is the power in recognizing the stories we tell ourselves when we’re upset with our partner, and how questioning those stories puts us in a much stronger position to have a harmonious relationship.



    Other issues we discussed included:







    The problem with how couples often handle their disagreements

    Getting triggered in current relationships based on experiences from our childhood

    The need for communication skills in an ongoing loving relationship

    The challenge of seeing out of the fantasy of permanent bliss in early love

    The unreliability of our feelings in guiding our relationship behavior

    Our tendency to choose partners who bring out our most vulnerable parts

    Inquiring within ourselves about our big reactions to small things to better understand ourselves

    The “Melting Hug” meditation, which bypasses words

    Effective ways to handle sexual “desire discrepancy” in couples

    Seeing our differences in relationships as interesting instead of threatening

    The crucial role of generosity in long-term romantic relationships







    I hope you find this discussion useful for your own relationship.



    Linda Carroll, MS, LMFT, BCC, has worked as a therapist and couples coach for over three decades, and has earned numerous degrees and certificates along the way. In addition to Love Skills she’s also the author of Love Cycles: The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love (affiliate link). Linda says that her own 35-year marriage is the primary source of her knowledge when it comes to the cycles of love. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.



    Find Linda online at her website and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

    • 42 min
    Ep. 82: Drs. Paul Napper & Anthony Rao — How to Reclaim a Life on Your Terms

    Ep. 82: Drs. Paul Napper & Anthony Rao — How to Reclaim a Life on Your Terms

    I have two guests this week—psychologists Dr. Paul Napper and Dr. Anthony Rao. We discussed their recent book, The Power of Agency: The 7 Principles to Conquer Obstacles, Make Effective Decisions, and Create a Life on Your Own Terms (affiliate link). Agency’s an important topic that we probably don’t talk about enough.



    The three of us explored ways to reclaim greater control over our lives, from engaging more with the physical world to releasing fear and honoring our intuition. We also discussed the benefits of psychodynamic therapy, and how it can complement a cognitive behavioral approach. Other topics we touched on included:



    The feelings of overwhelm and loss of control that are troubling so many people

    Factors that contribute to rising levels of stress, including social isolation, technology, and less time outside

    Why we often feel like we’re not keeping up and taking care of what we need to

    The radical changes in how we live over the past 200 years

    The drive for constant productivity that often dominates our lives

    The enormous amount of information that confronts us every day

    The value in letting yourself be bored at times

    The loss of time for moments of reflection

    The advantages of analog (non-digital) activities

    How my guests manage their own use of screens and social media

    The influence that messaging and marketing from digital devices can have on us

    The pressure young people often feel to do what everyone else is doing

    The problem with being immobile for hours at a time, and the energy created by movement

    Lisa Barrett’s work on being able to pinpoint how we’re feeling

    Why it’s often healing to go outdoors

    The Japanese concept of Forest Bathing

    Why practices in stillness (e.g., progressive muscle relaxation; sitting meditation) are so helpful

    The many ways of practicing mindfulness

    Why anxiety seems to be the primary emotion (see this episode with Dr. Todd Pressman where we discussed a similar topic)

    The distinction between stress and anxiety

    How to distinguish intuition versus fear



    Anthony Rao, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who completed his doctorate in psychology at Vanderbilt University. For more than 20 years, Anthony worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children's Hospital and served as instructor at Harvard Medical School, where he trained psychologists and physicians in the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).

    Anthony has been a featured expert on documentaries and has been interviewed for articles in The New Yorker, Boston Globe, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, and Parents Magazine, among many others. His editorial letters and opinions have appeared in a wide range of publications including Newsweek, Scientific American, The New York Times, and New York Magazine.



    Anthony has also lectured extensively at universities, including Tufts University, Emerson College, and Boston University. He regularly presents at conferences and parenting groups, and conducts workshops for professionals around the country who work with children and young adults.



    His first book, The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys (affiliate link), is an expose on the current crisis in American boyhood. It  urges parents, educators, pediatricians, psychologists, and other developmental experts to reevaluate and radically alter how we raise boys – so boys can be their best, respecting their unique development right from the start.



    Paul Napper, PsyD, helps business leaders increase their effectiveness through focusing and strengthening their agency as leaders. His professional background includes extensive experience in assessment and the application of psychological principles to improve the performance of peopl...

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Ep. 81: Denise Wiesner — How to Maintain Love and Intimacy During Baby-Making Sex

    Ep. 81: Denise Wiesner — How to Maintain Love and Intimacy During Baby-Making Sex

    My guest this week is Denise Wiesner, author of the recent book, Conceiving With Love (affiliate link). We discussed many issues that arise when a couple starts trying to get pregnant, especially when they have difficulty conceiving. It’s easy for passion and intimacy to go out the window when you’re trying to have a baby, and my guest offers many insights and practices to help couples stay close through the process.



    Topics we explored included:



    The challenges and stress of pursuing a medical route to fertility

    Effects of fertility issues on self-confidence

    The frequency of anxiety and depression related to fertility issues

    The helplessness men often feel when their partner isn’t getting pregnant

    How fertility challenges can affect men’s ability to perform sexually

    How couples can reclaim sexual connection after an extended period of “baby-making sex”

    The balance that Denise aims for in her work with couples trying to conceive

    The power in simply taking time to see our partner

    Exercises that can help couples maintain closeness

    The importance of playfulness in couple dynamics

    How to trust the flow of the universe when desperate to have a baby

    The relation between the chakra system and Chinese medicine acupuncture points

    Mind-body practices that can support fertility

    Discharging stress by shaking the body

    The challenges couples face when they lose a pregnancy

    Ways to activate the vagus nerve for relaxation



    Denise Wiesner, LAc, FABORM, founder of the Natural Healing and Acupuncture Clinic in West Los Angeles, is an internationally recognized traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, specializing in the Whole Systems Chinese medicine approach to women’s health, sexuality, and fertility.



    Since 1994, Denise has treated and helped women manage challenges from menstrual disorders through menopause, and from infertility to pregnancy.



    Using a combination of acupuncture, diet and lifestyle counseling, nutritional supplements, and Chinese herbs, Denise has helped thousands of couples navigate the tricky, and often stressful, journey toward fertility, without losing their loving connection.



    Denise has a BS in Exercise Kinesiology from UCLA, a masters in traditional Chinese medicine (Emperor's College), and is a certified sex coach. She is board-certified by the State of California and the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), and a charter member of the Fertile Soul: Clinical Excellence in Fertility program.



    Denise teaches professional seminars to medical doctors, OB/GYNs, and nurse midwives on the application of Chinese medicine in obstetrics and gynecology and has published articles on acupuncture and infertility. In addition to a thriving private practice, Denise lectures at conferences, works closely with reproductive endocrinologists, and is a professor in the doctoral program in Chinese Medicine, Fertility, and Women’s Health at Yo San University.



    She enjoys leading groups for individuals and couples to help their fertility journey, incorporating breath, meditation, and education. Find Denise online at her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

    • 38 min
    Ep. 80: Dr. Jack Stern — How to Find Effective Treatment for Back Pain

    Ep. 80: Dr. Jack Stern — How to Find Effective Treatment for Back Pain

    My guest this week is spine specialist and neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Stern, author of Ending Back Pain: 5 Powerful Steps to Diagnose, Understand, and Treat Your Ailing Back (affiliate link). If you or someone you love struggles with back pain at times, which unfortunately is likely to be the case, I think you’ll find this conversation really useful.



    I was really interested to hear from Dr. Stern about the psychological and emotional dimension of pain, and how cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful. We also discussed the value of a multimodal approach to treating back pain, the importance of movement, and when to seek a second opinion. Other topics we discussed included:



    The high incidence of back pain in the population

    The parts of the back that are most common centers of back pain

    The role of psychological therapy in treating pain

    My guest’s openness to a wide range of approaches (e.g., acupuncture, Alexander Technique)

    The importance of being an educated consumer of medical care

    The importance of movement for back pain (including a recent issue of Scientific American)

    The role of diet in treating back pain

    The role of stress in back pain

    Ways that our thoughts and emotions can aggravate or perpetuate pain

    Possible links between trauma and chronic pain



    Jack Stern, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in spinal surgery. He co-founded Spine Options, one of America’s first facilities committed to nonsurgical care of back and neck pain.



    Dr. Stern is on the clinical faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, and has published numerous medical articles. He lives and practices in White Plains, New York.



    Find Dr. Stern online at his website, where you can get a second opinion about your back pain.

    • 31 min
    Ep. 79: Beth Ruggiero York — Finding the Strength to Pursue Your Dreams

    Ep. 79: Beth Ruggiero York — Finding the Strength to Pursue Your Dreams

    The banner image above was taken by this week's guest, © 2016 Ruggiero Images LLC







    My guest this week is Beth Ruggiero York, author of a memoir called Flying Alone (affiliate link). Beth and I talked about her passion for flying airplanes, the dangers she faced as she climbed the ranks to become a commercial airline pilot, and the challenges she moved through along the way.



    We also talked about the chronic illness that Beth has dealt with for several decades now. I think you’ll be able to relate to a lot of Beth’s experience, like the difficulty of leaving bad relationships, and the strength she found within herself. Other topics we touched on include:



    What led Beth to pursue a career in aviation

    The challenges women faced at the highest levels of the aviation industry

    The competition Beth encountered as she climbed the ranks of aviation

    What the experience of piloting an aircraft is like

    The medical challenges Beth faced started in her early twenties

    The effect of negative relationships on our ability to pursue our dreams

    Beth’s longstanding need for male approval

    The dangers Beth faced as a pilot

    Looking within oneself to find strength and support for major challenges

    The psychiatric care Beth received for her depression

    Beth’s eventual diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease, and its effects on depression

    The power in knowing where we want to go

    How we can forge a new relationship with ourselves



    Beth Ruggiero York is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984, shortly after graduating from college, and for the next 5 years climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline.



    Beth now has dual careers in Chinese translation and professional photography. (Click here for some examples of her stunning photos.) She teaches photography workshops for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and for her own company, Ruggiero Images LLC.



    Beth lives with her husband in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Find her online at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

A33 ,

Act

Boring

Roddy11201 ,

First podcast

Wow, this was my first podcast in this series and it really blew me away. I’ve been sober for 18 years and Laura describes so much about sobriety in such honest detail that it put words to feelings I’ve had for so long but struggled to clearly define. Especially around her understanding of truth and it’s ties to universal love. Thank you! Looking forward to reading her book.

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Mature, Insightful & Real

I’m relatively new to the podcast (so stoked to find you), and so far the few episodes I’ve enjoyed have seriously enlightened me, and I am no spring chicken in the recovery world. Thank you for bringing your wisdom to us. I can’t wait to delve into all of your previous shows and learn more how to support. This conversation is so important, and we’ve got to keep it ad-free. 🤍

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