Is your brain bursting at the seams with thoughts, not all of them helpful? Applying an old psychological skill in a new way might help you listen to the wisest parts of yourself.

Bare oak branches in winter by Emily P.G. Erickson

One Sunday afternoon, while walking along the river path near where I live in Saint Paul, I wandered off the pavement to a clearing where the bluffs swing out over the Mississippi. I watched the wind push a pocket of snow from its perch in an oak to the cold…

What research reveals about sighing and how you can harness your breath to feel good anytime

If you breathed a sigh of relief when you saw the Associated Press call the presidential race for Joe Biden on November 7, 2020, you weren’t alone. Sighs of relief were heard around the world. The New York Times reported that “Biden Victory Brings Sighs of Relief Overseas,” while The…

Life can be difficult, but knowing what to say to your child doesn’t have to be.

Miscarriage. Deaths. Medical diagnoses. Health emergencies. Pandemic. Police murder. Evacuation. Infertility. Burglary.

These are all hard things. In the last year, each of these has touched my family, and I have talked my little kids through every one.

My children, who are currently almost three and five years old, have…

How the mindfulness practice of RAIN can protect your mental health during the coronavirus crisis

In beforetimes, the screentime bar graph on my iPhone, which shows how much time I spend on the device, was a neat collection of short rectangles. I took pride in my self-control. I enjoyed putting my energy elsewhere.

And after the coronavirus?

Well, on a typical June morning, I hit…

All parents, whatever our skin color, must demand something better for our country than a militarized police force.

“Mama, aren’t police supposed to help people?”

It was a reasonable question. We had, after all, called police “community helpers” in our home until May 25, 2020.

My 4-year-old, who is white like me, asked this question because of what happened that Memorial Day. That day, just a two-minute bike…

Emily PG Erickson

Writer with a master’s degree in psychology. Helpful, science-backed writing about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood.

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