Frequent Complaining Shrinks Your Hippocampus

My *what*?

The hippocampus – the area of your brain that enables you to problem solve and be the intelligent human you are. This area of your brain is also the region correlated with memory consolidation and imaginal resources; this is a MAJOR part of your brain.

~Complaining shrinks this important part of your brain, according a study by Stanford University. And, just when the news couldn’t seem to be worse, the stress hormone, Cortisol, ‘floods’ the brain when you frequently complain.   And, according a recent study by University of California Davis, over production of Cortisol impairs your immune system and creates susceptibility to higher levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Sustained high levels of this stress hormone makes one vulnerable to strokes.

The story you tell yourself about your circumstances greatly affects the lens through which you view this thing called life. You see things as you are, not as they are. Be cautious what you read and with whom you fraternize. The saying of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ is only half true.

‘Garbage in, stays in.’

Everything that you let in and surround yourself with has to go somewhere. Why not fill your head with positive and inspiration information.

The Take Away?

Be a solution finder, not a problem dweller and check the story you are telling yourself; not all of your thoughts are true.

Platitudes Are Not Enough

True Change Begins Within

There are a lot of motivational quotes & meaningful platitudes on social media. If they worked just by reading them, then many more people would be happy & successful. So, let’s get real on this post.

Quotes & platitudes are nice, but if you feel chaotic 🏃‍♀️& fearful 😳deep inside, then you need to take inventory and determine what led to those beliefs.

You know how to use a GPS to get you from California 🌴 to New York🗽, but you can’t get there with a broken automobile, 🚗 right?

Fear will hold you back most of the time. And, it just may be that the fear is rooted in a deep-seated belief that you don’t truly feel you deserve success.

So, how *do* people get what they want? How do they get to their destination?

Friends, fear & doubt come from outdated stories that you learned a long time ago. It was someone’s opinion of you or your interpretation of a past failure. Over time, those opinions can take root 🌱 and become your inner dialogue (AKA “Inner Critic”).

You have an Inner Critic that tries to protect you. It worries that you are taking a risk. Your brain doesn’t like risk….it tries to avoid it.

When your Inner Critic gets loud, thank him or her for their opinion. Refocus toward what you want. Finally, demand your Inner Critic to get in the back seat because you want to drive now. 💚 You have already done some pretty amazing things, Friend.

Your brain seeks pleasure.
Your brain avoids pain.

Focus on your grit & determination and attach massive pleasure to the everyday grind. You so got this.


How To Be Lazy Without the Guilt

Give yourself the gift of lazy.

You read that title right. Sometimes being lazy is necessary, but it often leaves a person feeling guilty and inefficient. Unplugging from the world around you can do you a world of good though. Would it surprise you to know that successful people unplug so that they can plug into what they love? It is absolutely true. There is a way to have your lazy cake and eat it, too.

The trick?

Put time parameters around your lazy/unplugged time. You can’t be on all the time and expect to be efficient. When you put time parameters around your lazy, the guilt disappears because you are in charge. Click on the link below to learn more about how you can incorporate this simple strategy into your everyday life.


~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LCPC-6606

Owner, K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC


Boundaries Matter

Teach People How to Treat You 

Interpersonal BOUNDARIES are simply social rules of engagement that humans have with one another. Lack of response to abusive actions by another is equivalent to permitting the abuse to continue.
You can teach others how to treat you by establishing and maintaining firm rules with your interpersonal relationships.
Some refer to these as “Ground Rules.”
Get your armor on, Friend, by taking 100% responsibility for what you absorb & what you repel.
You get to DECIDE.
Click on the link below to learn more about simple ways to effectively create rules of interaction for yourself.

Loving Someone Through an Addiction

How to Love Someone Through an Addiction

Watching someone you love lose themselves to an addiction is painful, frustrating and worrisome. But mostly, it breaks your heart. This message is for you, the sober one is exhausted, depleted and confused about what to do.

You cannot control the addiction. You can, however, control how your treat yourself during the process. You can protect your children in the process. You can live life on your terms, even while witnessing the destructive habit of addiction. Having firm boundaries that do not enable the addictive behavior is a start. Begin by saying “Yes” when you want to say “Yes” and “No” when you want to say “No.”

Some addictions are much stronger than others and most create some level of both psychological and physiological addiction. For example, drugs associated with a stronger psychological addiction include Ritalin, LSD, Hallucinogens, Cannabis products, inhalant products and many psychiatric drugs, like anti-depressants.

Conversely, substances that are associated with a stronger physiological addiction include alcohol, heroin, morphine, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and many barbiturates, like Seconal and Phenobarbital.

Addicts are often filled with denial and shame regarding their addiction. If the addiction is to an illegal substance, you can ask them to live somewhere else until they are free from the addiction. This is not easy, but it may be necessary, especially if you are needing to protect minors in the home from witnessing this self-destruction or, worse, being exposed to drug paraphernalia that can appear as candy to very young children.

Child Protective Services has the authority to remove minors from parental authority because it is harmful to the children to have illegal substances in the home.

I encourage you to observe your own behavior instead of trying to look for the faults in theirs.  After all, you can control your behavior in how you respond with both words and actions. You can learn a lot about yourself as you react to life’s challenges, in this case, another person’s addiction. You must protect yourself and any children that are near the addict. Below are some questions you can begin to ask yourself today:

  • Are you addicted to your responses or enabling behaviors?
  • Does your focused attention on the addict help you avoid the challenges in your own life?
  • Does your concern about how your family appears in public prevent you from getting the help you need?
  • Do you think you are really helping the situation by protecting the addict from getting the help he or she needs?
  • Is your life empty of fun?
  • Do you need to re-define your own life?

Simply taking a deeper look at your own response to the situation can help you take the addiction out of the dark cave so that you can shine a light on it and see it for what it is. If you, or someone you love, suffers from an addiction, there is help. You can start by contacting 1-888-987-6393

~Lisa Schiro

Treatment for PTSD


The Alpha-Stim technology is compact –

but don’t let its size fool you. I packs a wallop!

I am a mental health therapist and I use the Alpha-Stim technology with 100% of my patients on a daily basis. But, don’t take my word for it. Here is what Psychologist, Kathy Platoni, at the Veteran’s Hospital had to say about the Alpha-Stim (AS):

“AS technology is the gold standard for adjunctive treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every single one of my PTSD patients has one, whether Veteran or police officer. I have used this technology for 28 years in my practice and equally as widely in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have treated hundreds, if not thousands of civilians, Soldiers and Marines with Alpha-Stim. There are absolutely NO concerns whatsoever about using it with this population. As a matter of fact, I would be failing my patients if I didn’t use the AS technology. It reduces the internal distress and allows for the internal quiet so absent in those diagnosed with PTSD better than any other intervention I have ever used.”

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC | Anxiety Counselor | Performance Anxiety

Your boundaries are social rules of engagements you have with others. A person with healthy boundaries can “No” without guilt. Below are 7 additional ways that will make it easier for you to enforce boundaries.

  1. Know what you are willing to accept and what you are not. Be specific about your limits.
  2. Know what you value the most. Don’t compare your values with others – values are very personal. Determine what is your priority and then live your life keeping your priorities in check.
  3. Stay in touch with your emotional disposition. When your body is having a reaction, don’t avoid it. Listen to your body; it will tell you everything you need to know.
  4. Don’t put others on a pedestal. When you do, you may find yourself discounting the manipulation or abuse they render.
  5. Stop saying “Yes” when your brain is screaming “No.” You will walk away feeling taking advantage of and, worse, defeated.
  6. Be courteous to others. It isn’t about who is right – it is about playing fair (and fighting fair.)
  7. Aggressive is not the same as assertive. Asserting yourself is not only health, but it teaches others how to treat you.

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LCPC

Mind Maps


What you focus on is what you attract into your life. Period.  If you don’t see it, you cannot achieve it. Mind Maps are a great place to start.

It really is *that* simple!

Every time you see your Mind Map for the future, it serves as a gentle reminder of what you need to do and how you need to feel on a daily basis. You will get excited about your vision and burst through your toughest tasks, even when you don’t feel like doing them.


Because your mind is at work, imagining what it will be like when you reach the vision. The more you look at your dream or vision board, and see yourself following your mind map, the more you harness the power of your subconscious mind to help make all your dreams come true. Visual prompts that you only see once a day or only when you are home, often can lose most of their power to impact your everyday decisions. Carry your vision with you, on a Mind Map as a gentle guide to help you navigate you way to your DREAM LIFE.


So simple. Look at the Mind Map image above. Put pen to paper and begin to dream a little.

It’s Never Too Late to Heal From Trauma

K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment, LLC Anxiety Counselor | OCD

As a psychotherapist, my goal is always that my patient leaves the session feeling better than when they arrived. And, psychoeducation is an important part of the therapeutic experience. I teach them about the mind-body connection and how the two cannot be separated. If we can calm the mind, the body will follow.

Patients Love Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery is a mind journey that slows down the stream of consciousness. It is a guided meditation that includes rich imagery. It is an effective technique for calming down the central nervous system.

It is simple, yet relaxing. It often slows down the brain and, as a result, calms the sensations, like tightness, pain, fear, shallow breathing, heart racing, etc. in the body.

Traumatized Patients Respond Favorably to Guided Imagery

Shockingly, less than ½ of people diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), receive treatment. For traumatized patients, the expectation is that we will be preparing for Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), as it is a widely accepted evidence-based  intervention for PTSD. During the first few sessions, I often use Guided Imagery as a way to stabilize and resource my patient before we begin EMDR. The response to Guided Imagery is overwhelmingly positive, especially those whom I have diagnosed with PTSD. Many report that they ‘feel calm and relaxed’ at the conclusion of the Guided Imagery. If you have never experienced Guided Imagery and are curious, contact K-Counseling & Anxiety Treatment at 208.258.3510.

~Lisa Schiro, M.S., LCPC