Blog - Jonathan Alpert

Jonathan Alpert

Psychotherapist | Author

Blog

My Advice to the Class of ’16

So many people worry about and forget that they have control over their outcome and their fate. “What if I can’t land a job?” or “What if I flub the interview?” are two of the most common anxiety-fueled statements I hear from recent graduates. This doubtful thinking will sap you of any energy required to be positive and productive and can set the pattern for how you think about many challenges that may lie ahead as you leave school and embark on the next part of your life. So if you find yourself thinking this way, turn it around and focus on what you can control. By taking action rather than being a victim of circumstance and your own negative thinking you’ll go on to achieve success and happiness.

Neither success nor happiness needs to be elusive nor does rejection need to hold you back. There are plenty of examples of people in our history who have failed or been rejected only to subsequently go on to reinvent themselves and achieve great success.

Click here to read the entire column.

Jonathan Alpert Talks Sleep with Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington and I have at least two things in common: We both wrote books about being fearless and we both care deeply about the importance of sleep. As a psychotherapist and lifestyle expert, I pay close attention to the sleep habits of my patients knowing sleep deprivation can have devastating effects on the mind and body.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Ms. Huffington about the sleep crisis and a world where you can sleep your way to the top and you won’t be looked at as an unsavory character, where you’re encouraged by management to snooze at work, and where sleeping longer will earn you a cash reward from your employer. Sound unreal? Well, it isn’t. Click here to read the entire column.

Huffington Post: Why People Cheat

Cheating is pervasive. I’ve seen it with clients over the years and it is a steady presence in the news cycle. We see it with professional athletes who break rules and alter air pressure in footballs or use illegal performance enhancement drugs. We hear way too much about cheating actors, politicians, and the general public. And by now, you may be familiar with Beyonce’s latest album “Lemonade“ about her husband’s alleged infidelity. Click here to read the entire column.

Inc. column: 3 Ways to Instantly Gain Control Over Any Situation

When I was a kid, I was ice skating and remember going really fast. Next thing I recall I was being tended to in the changing room by my brother and sister and employees of the skating center. Apparently I had been going so fast that I lost control, hit my head, and knocked myself unconscious.

Fast forward to 2012 when I was discussing this incident with 1994 Olympic speed skating Gold medalist Dan Jansen. He told me, “throw a helmet on and to get back out on that ice.” His advice was spot on. In the face of fear one must face it rather than avoid it. To ignore that which we’re afraid of only gives that fear more power, while facing it will diminish it. This ice skating incident is perhaps a metaphor for other things in life. What do we do when we feel like we have no control over a situation?  Click here to read the entire column.

Huffington Post column: How to Talk to A Friend or Relative After Their Cancer Diagnosis

Last year a member of my family was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately this person received treatment and is now doing well. During the anxious period when we first learned of this health issue, and friends and family were informed, I was struck by the wide range of reactions people had to the news, but not surprised. Some simply were uncomfortable learning of the health situation and just didn’t know what to say, while others were afraid of saying the wrong thing, so they ended up saying something that came across as less than supportive.  Click here to read the entire column.

Why Listening Can Be One of Your Greatest Assets

How many times have you thought to yourself “He just doesn’t get it” or “I don’t feel my supervisor understands me,” or “She talks too much”? With all these, effective listening could actually make a huge difference. Whether it’s a partner, supervisor, or friend–if this person zips their lips and actively listens, you’ll feel better understood. Click here to read the entire column.

Taming Your Trump Anxiety

“I would never vote for Trump because I’m an immigrant and I don’t want to be deported!”

I recently overheard this comment seemingly fueled by anxiety and sheer panic. I couldn’t help but to react – maybe it was the therapist in me wanting to try to alleviate her stress and anxiety, but also maybe because I am feeling tired of all the irrational chatter about Donald Trump. When I heard it, I spoke up and asked the woman how she came to the United States. She explained that it was through legal means. I then reminded her that my understanding was that Trump wanted to deport illegal immigrants, not legal. It seemed to calm her state of panic and anxiety, at least momentarily. One thing is certain though, as long as Trump is a contender, anxieties will run high. Click here to read the entire column.

8 Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety About Filing Your Taxes

Death and taxes are two of the few certainties in life–and also two of the most worrisome. I’ve known people to literally become physically sick at the mere thought of preparing taxes. They describe having to pay taxes in much the same way people talk about their fear of going to the dentist or even flying. As a result of this fear, they do what so many others do: they avoid it for as long as possible. Click here to read the entire column.

How This CEO Turned His Life Around and Built a $250 Million Restaurant Empire

Recently I was in the waiting room for a medical procedure for which I had to fast, and while thumbing through a magazine I saw a profile piece about restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. As it turns out, I had the pleasure of dining at one of his newest locations, Ocean Prime in New York City, in the Fall. As I battled my hunger pangs, trying not to dwell on thoughts of the delicious food I had enjoyed there, I read with great interest Mr. Mitchell’s story. Click here Camto read my interview.

This is You on Sleep Deprivation

Some of you might remember the public service announcement from the late 1980s “This is Your Brain on Drugs“. It was an anti-drug campaign launched in 1987 by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and its impact was huge. It showed a man holding an egg and saying “this is your brain”. He then motions to a hot frying pan saying “this is drugs”. He then cracks open the egg on the pan and says “This is your brain on drugs”. He then looks up and asks “Any questions”? The implication was powerful and needed no explanation.

By using that same approach to describe sleep deprivation, minus the egg of course, you’d see a brain and body that was quite literally, falling apart. Click here to read the entire column.