Blog - Jonathan Alpert

Jonathan Alpert

Psychotherapist | Author

Blog

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.

How You Can Effectively Deal with Daylight Savings Time

As we approach Daylight Savings Time (DST) this coming Sunday you might feel anxious about losing an hour of sleep. Those 60 minutes of lost sleep can have such a big impact for days to follow. Grogginess, irritability, difficulty focusing, and an overwhelming desire to nap are common to experience days following this spring forward of the clocks.

To help you through this time follow these tips:

• A few days before Daylight Savings Time try to get to sleep a little earlier than you ordinarily do. So, for example, if you normally go to sleep at 11:30, get into bed at 11:15. This will help to minimize tiredness often felt days after.
• If you’re tired in the days that follow, resist taking a long nap. Limit it to a short nap not to exceed 20 minutes. Long naps can interfere with your body’s internal clock and effect sleep at night.
• Don’t sleep in. Get up at your normal time. Sleeping in will also mess with you internal clock and affect your sleep that night.

And for general tips on achieving better sleep, take a look at the tips below that I recently shared with GhostBed by Nature’s Sleep — a cool new mattress company that I recently partnered with. The GhostBed is delivered in a compact box. Once open, it expands into a lush three layer, 11-inch mattress. With a 101-night free sleep trial and 20 year warranty, it’s the easiest way to try out a new mattress without visiting different stores. GhostBed takes the stress out of mattress shopping by making the process quite effortless and one you can do from the comfort of your own bed.

• Go to sleep when you’re tired. Have you ever been lounging on the couch at night, watching TV, and struggling to keep your eyes open to finish the show? Or maybe you’re reading a book and you have to keep going back to read the same sentence because you are dozing off mid-page? Well, these are signs that you should actually stop watching that TV, stop reading your book and …

Is Perfectionism Messing Up Your Life?

Many of my patients are highly educated, leaders in their industries, and among the best and the brightest. They’re also perfectionists, and for some of them, this is what helps them to succeed. High standards are what lend themselves to yielding optimal results. However, this comes at a cost as the best can often be the enemy of the good. Click here read the entire column.

6 Surefire Ways to Defeat Your Winter Blues and Make it to Spring

The winter of 2016, although not nearly as harsh as last year at this point, might still be impacting peoples’ moods. Being in the Northern Hemisphere of the U.S. I see an influx of patients for symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) regardless of how much snow falls or how low temperatures drop. For some people anything below 50 degrees is too cold and even just an inch of snow can be insurmountable. Cold temperatures and annoying snow storms provide fertile ground for people to develop such symptoms. Click here to read the entire column.