Get practical tools to feel happier, less stressed, and more joyful — without going in circles trying to find the perfect therapist or wasting time trying to solve the problem on your own.
Learn new methods to cope with stress and anxiety, get access to worksheets and video lessons, and connect with a healing community outside of your inner circle.
Hi, I’m Elana Miller, MD
I’m an integrative psychiatrist and 2x cancer survivor passionate about helping people use holistic approaches to reduce anxiety, cultivate joy, and live connected and meaningful lives.
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When I first started my psychiatry training over 10 years ago, I remember my psychotherapy supervisors telling me how hard it was to help someone change. There were so many obstacles, they explained — underlying neuroses, traumatic childhoods, immutable personality characteristic. They said I should stand in the background when working with patients and let them do most of the talking.
I specifically remember one day when a patient I had been working with for a few months complained she didn’t feel she was getting any better. I asked my supervisor how to handle it. “Therapy can take years to work,” he said. “Tell her to be patient.”
Umm… really? This approach did not resonate with me. Why should patients come to me for help if all I was going to do was sit back and wait for them to change themselves? Of course, long-term therapy can be very effective for growth (I have several patients I’ve worked I’ve with for years). But did people really have to wait years to get some significant relief?
When I started my own practice, I set out to take a different approach.
Instead of sitting back, vaguely reflecting the patient’s thoughts and feelings back to them and expecting them to go on endlessly about their childhoods, I started to offer them concrete, practical tools to solve their immediate problems.
Instead of telling them it would take years to feel better, I taught them how to shift their mindset quickly. For years I had been collecting tools from different disciplines that had inspired and influenced me, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Buddhist philosophy, and meditation & mindfulness practices.
I saw my own therapist, sat 7 day silent retreats, and took 2 year-long mindfulness meditation programs at UCLA, including training for a year to teach mindfulness meditation. I survived cancer, and learned from first hand experience about the resilience of the human spirit and the power of love.
I traveled around the country to go to conferences on integrative medicine, studying holistic and whole-body approaches to optimize mental health. I sought to practice what I preached. Any homework assignment I asked a patient to do, I would try it on myself first. I kept mood journals and worry lists and gratitude lists. If the strategy didn’t work on me the way I wanted, I would refine it and refine it until it did. Only then would I teach it to a patient.
That’s when I started to notice something really amazing…
“I never thought of it that way…”
Instead of it taking (months or years) for a patient to feel better, if I gave them the right tool at the right time, a person’s whole perspective could radically shift in a positive way within a single hour-long session.
I could see it in my patients’ eyes as soon as I hit the right note. I’d see the relief in their faces, and they would let out a deep breath. “Oh…” they’d say. “I guess I never thought of it like that.”
The next week they’d come back for their next session. “Hey doc, remember that thing you taught me last week?” they’d say. “It’s changed my life.” They’d share with me how their whole perspective had shifted in a positive way, and they now felt more clear and positive about the future.
The “Ah Ha” Moment
I started calling this phenomenon the “ah ha” moment. An “ah ha” moment is when you have a radical, positive shift in your emotional state or life perspective in a brief amount of time, because it was the exact right thing you needed to hear at the exact right time. All of the sudden you find the missing piece you were looking for and it all clicks into place in your mind.
I become more and more effective in helping my patients have these moments. I refined and refined, and soon I had amassed a collection of these teachings I made sure to share with my patients when they needed them. I started to wonder if there was a way I could put a collection together of my best teachings to share with people who weren’t my one-on-one patients.
Introducing Life Teachings
Just as I was mulling all this over, my cancer relapsed. I’ve written in other places the details of my cancer story, so I won’t retell too much here.
I didn’t know how long I would live, and to be honest, my prognosis was poor. I had to close my practice immediately so I could start chemotherapy and prepare to have a stem cell transplant.
That’s when I started Life Teachings. I wanted a place to document and share all of these lessons that I had collected over the years, before it was too late.
I created an online dashboard and shared the sign up link with my readers and started uploading video recordings. When I was admitted to the hospital for my stem cell transplant, I brought my computer with me, and from my hospital bed I documented my entire stem cell transplant journey via video, sharing the strategies I was using myself to cope.
I didn’t have a ton of extra energy, so I made each teaching short and sweet—just the most crucial lessons that could help another person make an important change.
How Life Teachings Can Help You
Through this program, my goal is to help you:
- Become more skilled at dealing with stress and anxiety.
- Learn how to transform negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
- Gain confidence in your ability to handle whatever happens, so you don’t feel like you need to control everything all the time.
- Become more emotionally skillful and less reactive, so you can pause between your thoughts and your reactions and choose wise actions while letting unwise thoughts go.
- Learn to experience peace and contentment—even in the middle of times of change and uncertainty.
Life Teachings is not meant to be a replacement for therapy or other mental health care, but rather an addition to your overall evolution and growth.
The Life Teachings Program
After 10 years of practicing psychiatry and treating hundreds of patients, I’ve pulled together my most successful resources, tools, and proven-strategies that have worked with my 1:1 patients — all presented in an easy-to-access online format.
Life Teachings is a virtual program designed to bring you the best “Ah Ha” moments in personal breakthroughs.
Learn new methods on how to cope with stress and anxiety, get access to worksheets and video lessons, and connect with a healing community outside of your inner circle — all in an easy-to-use online format.
How It Works
Life Teachings is a virtual program designed to bring you the best “ah ha” moments in personal breakthroughs.
Once you enroll in the program, you automatically receive access to all of my video lessons, plus ongoing access to new resources and videos as I create them.
Each lesson packs a punch, and in 10-15 minutes you’ll get a specific, practical strategy you can use immediately. You can watch the videos and read the lessons at your own pace, and pause or cancel your subscription easily at any time.
Life Teachings is a monthly subscription membership program that gives you the flexibility to stay as long as you need.
You know how when you’re in therapy, you stay as long as you need? Maybe you just need a few sessions to get some tools to solve an immediate problem, or maybe you want to engage in a process of continual learning and growth.
I created Life Teachings as a monthly subscription membership program to give you the flexibility to stay as long as you need. Maybe you’re just looking for a few tools to work through an immediate problem, or maybe you’re on a path of continual self-growth.
Stay as long as you need to absorb what I have to teach — As I evolve, so will the lessons that I share with you.
Here’s a sneak peak at some of the content…
Coping With Coronavirus
Learn helpful strategies for coping during this unprecedented time of collective stress (taught be someone who’s survived cancer twice).
Learn how to find purpose during difficult times, how to mentally survive quarantine, and how to make each day a good day.
Overcoming Anxiety & Depression
The “File It Away” technique; “Box Theory;” “You vs. The Universe” — What do these names have in common?
They’re all concrete, practical tools that you can learn in a 10-minute video and apply today to feel happier and more at peace.
My Stem Cell Transplant Journey
From Day 1 to Day 100 and beyond, I share my entire Stem Cell Transplant journey with you in this video series that I recorded through the process, and teach you all the lessons I learned along the way.
Sample Lesson Clips
(Click below to watch the 3 sample clips)
FROM “YOU VS. THE UNIVERSE” – 12 MINUTE VIDEO LESSON
FROM “ADVANCED MEDITATION PRACTICES” – 15 MIN VIDEO LESSON
“HOW TO FIND PURPOSE IN DIFFICULT TIMES” – 8 MINUTE VIDEO LESSON
Overcoming Trauma (A Heart-Centered Approach)
In order to overcome a trauma, we have to face our fears — including our fears of bringing to the surface our thoughts and memories of the experience.
However, it is possible to face our fears with kindness and self-compassion. This mini-course teaches you how.
Relaxation & Mindfulness
Everyone tells you to meditate — but what exactly does that mean? You put on a guided meditation, but you can’t focus, or maybe you even feel more anxious, not less.
I teach you specific strategies for meditating through anxiety and riding the waves of difficult emotions without believing the stories they tell you.
Reclaim Your Resiliency
Resiliency is not about never suffering — it’s about being able to bend and then bounce back when life throws you a challenge.
In this 90-minute webinar, I teach my core strategies for bouncing back after a difficult experience.
Reader Questions Answered
All members get the opportunity to ask me questions that I’ll answer for everyone via the video platform.
If you’re brave, you can also take advantage of the opportunity that all members have to set up one 20-30 minute call with me so we can talk through a question you have one-on-one, which will be uploaded to the video platform so the whole community can learn from it.
Worksheets, homework & exercises
Giving vague advice is not my style — I give you the specific worksheets and exercises you need so you so you can apply my teachings to your life in a practical way, today.
Immediate access to new videos
I am always adding new videos & teachings to the platform, and as a member you will always get access to any new lessons I create. Don’t forget — as a member, you can make requests for specific lessons!