Blog

My blogs are written to share my knowledge of how neuroscience can help you make positive and enduring changes in all areas of your life.

Dr. Sydney Ceruto

Dr. Sydney Ceruto

Dr. Ceruto is the founder of MindLab Neuroscience and specializes in cognitive and behavioral neural rewiring. She is a proud member of the Forbes Executive Council, Positive Performance Alliance, Wharton Executive Education Program, The International Society of Female Professionals, and an Executive Writer for Alternatives Watch and Brainz Magazine. Dr. Ceruto implements a proprietary program based on hard science that takes advantage of the brain’s natural ability to change and adapt, called Neuroplasticity. She calls this science-based approach Neural Rewiring and has helped thousands of clients rewire their brains to live happier, more productive, and resilient lives.

Life Coaching

Assertive vs. Aggressive Communication

Communication difficulties are probably the number one cause of conflict, breakdown of relationships, and resulting stress. Unfortunately, communication skills are most often taught through observation and without proper examples unhealthy communication skills are passed down. There are a variety of types of communication, some more effective than others. Poor or

Read More »
Confidence Coaching

Making Decisions with Self-Confidence

How to achieve what you set out to achieve. In addition to being realistic and action oriented, decisive people tend to have self-confidence. High self-esteem gives them a positive view of themselves, and their sense of self-efficacy gives them a belief that they can achieve what they set out to

Read More »
Anxiety

Stopping the What If’s

Everyone has moments where they worry about the what ifs. They are actually a necessary part of life and assist in the decision making process or motivating us to make better choices; however, sometimes they become overwhelming and can be indicative of a larger problem. They are common symptoms of

Read More »
Neuroscience

Adaptability

At the heart of resilience is your ability to adapt. This refers to making adjustments – physical, emotional and mental – based on new circumstances and information. Adjustments can be in your behavior, perception, beliefs or judgements. The more effective you are in adjusting and changing, the healthier and more resilient

Read More »
Career Coaching

Why Didn’t I Get an Interview

Waiting for an email or a call from an employer to schedule an interview with you and wondering why you haven’t been selected can be the most vexing part of the job search process. You spent so much time and effort writing a perfect cover letter to send with your well-written

Read More »
Family Therapy

Breaking Free From A Narcissist

Breaking up hurts. Rejection on any level sucks, no matter how you slice it……. Most people recognize that relationships end for all sorts of reasons. Some are nasty, some are amicable, and some are mutual. But they generally follow the same pattern – relationship ends, one or both parties grieve,

Read More »
Career Coaching

How to Decide If a Job Is Right for You

When you’re searching for a job, it makes sense to consider more than just the role itself. The position, of course, is most important, but it’s a good idea to review more than just the paycheck and job responsibilities. It doesn’t matter how good a job is if you’re not

Read More »
Couples Therapy

Rebuilding After Infidelity

Infidelity is a tale as old as time. This form of betrayal exacts a significant toll on a couple’s relationship and often emerges as the symptom of a larger disease: disconnection. Yet, despite its prevalence, infidelity continues to be a widely misunderstood phenomenon.  Affairs can be viewed as the warning

Read More »
Career Coaching

Healing to Upgrading: The Powerful Trajectory of Self-Improvement

The same tools you use to heal yourself can be used to upgrade yourself. Here’s why learning self-improvement matters in whatever stage of life you’re in. When people first become interested in self-improvement, it’s usually because they want to “fix” something that they perceive as broken. Often life needs to

Read More »
Depression

How to Get Something Done When You’re Feeling Down

When people are depressed their energy, activity, and mood levels decrease in a spiral. The lower energy you feel, the less you do, the worse you feel emotionally, and the cycle continues. Being productive can help interrupt that negative spiral and turn it around. In this blog, I offer five

Read More »
Career Coaching

How To Accept And Learn From Criticism

I think most people can agree that being criticized is rarely a barrel of fun. Whether the comments come from your boss, your peer or even your employee, they can inflict discomfort. The trick to turning criticism into something useful is to find the core nugget of truth embedded in the message, and then using it to improve your performance and grow from the experience.

Read More »
Couples Therapy

Diagnose Your Current Relationship Problems With These Key Questions

What is the current state of your relationship? Here are important questions to ask yourself to diagnose your current problems and find out how serious they are.
Every relationship has problems, even the most happy and healthy couple is going to have occasional hiccups, mistakes, and obstacles to work through and move past.

Read More »
Career Coaching

What People Want in a Leader….How Do You Measure Up?

One thing is clear: High-quality leadership is an enormously powerful force in shaping an organization’s long-term, sustained success. In order to get the best out of their people while contending with the inevitable dilemmas, uncertainty and complexity that comes with operating in today’s business environment, leaders must be at the very top of their game.

Read More »
Family Therapy

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

Processing my own childhood trauma was the key to internal peace and genuine self-love. As a child, I suffered quite sever bullying throughout my school years that had a significant impact on my adult life.

Read More »
Couples Therapy

What are Attachment Styles, and Why You Need to Know Your Style

Attachment refers to the particular way in which you relate to other people. Your style of
attachment was formed at the very beginning of your life, during your first two years. 
Once established, it is a style that stays with you and plays out today in how you relate
in intimate relationships and in how you parent your children.

Read More »
Anxiety Treatment

Healing Old Wounds

The past can be so haunting. An awful thing happened and now there is a constant loop of the event playing over and over in your head.
It is to the point where the Past negatively dictates the Now.
When the Past negatively dictates the Now, the Past negatively dictates the Future.

Read More »
Anger Management

Projection: The Antithesis of Empathy

Projection is a common bias that we all fall victim to at times. It’s the opposite of empathy – it’s when we take what’s going on inside our own minds and mistakenly assume that’s what other people think as well.

Read More »
Career Coaching

Cocoon Phases of Self-Improvement: When Growth Seems to Stagnate

Are you doing everything right in life but still feel like nothing is changing?

Self-improvement is often a jagged process. Growth isn’t linear – instead, it is often filled with many peaks, valleys, and plateaus.

Often when you start a new habit, you will notice some immediate benefits and then things will seem to slow down.

Read More »
Anger Management

Reframing Your Dark Side

Why is it important to embrace our “dark side” every now and then?

The power of negative emotions, stress and anxiety, and even “Dark Triad” personality traits.

Read More »
Career Coaching

Habit Stacking

Building a new habit into your daily routine is never easy, but the technique of “habit stacking” can be a tremendous help.

The main idea behind “habit stacking” is to connect your new habit with an old one, especially something you already do every day.

Read More »
Anger Management

Anger and the Amygdala

Like other emotions, anger is experienced in our bodies as well as in our minds. In fact, there is a complex series of physiological (body) events that occurs as we become angry. 

Read More »
Anxiety

How Trauma Hijacks Your Life

When your nervous system has been primed by trauma, you can overreact to perceived “dangers” that aren’t life-threatening, like when your boss questions you or someone cuts in line in front of you. When you’re a trauma survivor, your defensive states can hi-jack your brain.

Read More »
Confidence Coaching

WHAT IS SELF COMPASSION?

Most of us have never learned how to have compassion for ourselves.
I remember when I first learned about self-compassion during my doctoral studies at NYU, and my professor challenged me to consider, “Think about the way you speak to yourself. If you spoke to your friends the way you speak to yourself, would you have any?”

Read More »
Career Coaching

First Impressions

How good are you at first impressions? Here are important
tips and advice to keep in mind the next time you’re meeting
someone new.

Read More »
Career Coaching

How to Procrastinate Effectively

Most of us were taught that procrastination is not an effective strategy for getting things done. The common belief is that we shouldn’t put off assignments or projects until the last minute. The implication is that completing a task at the last second would mean being doomed to stress, chaos, and maybe even total failure if things didn’t come together as planned. But is it possible that procrastination may actually be an efficient strategy for some?

Read More »
Time management skills counseling
Career Coaching

10 Time Management Mistakes

How well do you manage your time? What are the common time management mistakes you should avoid? If you’re like many people, your experience with time management may not be completely positive! Perhaps you feel overloaded, and you often have to work late to hit your deadlines. Or maybe your days seem to

Read More »
Woman negotiating on telephone
Career Coaching

Don’t be Afraid to NEGOTIATE Like a Woman

Why does it always seem easier to ask for something for someone else? We will ask our child’s teacher for something we think will improve their learning, we will ask a co-worker for a charitable donation for an organization we are supporting, and we will stand up and defend a

Read More »
Comforting a family member in pain
Family Therapy

The Most Common Issues Seen in Family Therapy Sessions

You might believe the common myth that good families do not have problems. Perhaps, you have also heard the one that implies that as a good parent, you will not have a child with any sort of issues. These ideas are false. Your family is not abnormal just because there

Read More »
A couple having an affair kissing
Couples Therapy

Desire: The Engine of the Affair

Long-term relationships are usually predicated on some degree of initial sexual chemistry: the body parts move well together; a partner’s scent or touch sends shivers. Their looks excite us from afar and drive us wild up close. The feel and fit electrify beyond words. We feel desire. Ultimately the important

Read More »
Angry man seeking anger management techniques
Anger Management

The Heavy Costs of Anger

At one time or another, everyone experiences needless anger.  Here are some specific signals that will tell you when anger is creating problems for you. When it is too frequent. There are many situations for which becoming angry is justified and natural.  However, we often get angry when it is

Read More »
A person at the top of their game
Career Coaching

My 5 Step Process to Become Wildly Successful at Any Endeavor

I recently had someone ask me the question, “HOW DO I BECOME SUCCESSFUL AT LIFE?” While most people would respond to this question by saying that success is individual, it’s subjective, and no one can tell you how to achieve success… I respectfully disagree. Becoming successful in life is actually

Read More »
Lonely individual on a park bench
Depression

What Is The Difference Between Autophobia & Loneliness?

Autophobia is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by the idea and experience of spending time alone. Like other anxiety disorders, autophobia may lead to some physical, as well as psychological, symptoms. Autophobia can be distressing to experience and may have a negative impact on a person’s life if left

Read More »
Exasperated man with glasses
Anxiety Treatment

Ambiguity Sucks

At one time or another, everyone gets stuck in uncertainty. It’s a scary place to be, and can leave us feeling out of control, hopeless, and helpless. Although each of us differs in how much of life’s ambiguity we can tolerate (I personally despise it), there are some situations that

Read More »
Scientist holding a brain and looking at brain scans
Neuroscience

Neuroscience & Your Mental Health

Look around (like, literally look around or scan your timeline or Twitter feed). You may have noticed that we’re making huge strides in destigmatizing mental illness, and that’s fantastic. The importance of treating your mental health as you would your physical health is a pretty well-accepted principle. It’s becoming less

Read More »
Two people working in office late at night
Career Coaching

Turning Disappointment into Determination

If you have high expectations and meaningful goals, along the way you will undoubtedly face times of disappointment. Haven’t you found the bigger the dream, the bigger disappointments you have to overcome? Setbacks are Inevitable While you can’t choose your circumstances, you can choose determination over disappointment. Setbacks are inevitable;

Read More »
Woman wearing a mask shopping for produce
Depression

Minding Your Mind in Challenging Times

Before reading my suggestions below, please understand that anything you’re feeling right now is completely normal. We are all facing the same external situation, but each of us will have different reactions based on our personalities, values, and life experiences.  Yesterday, I spoke with an anxious entrepreneur in his early fifties who had to

Read More »
neurons firing
Neuroscience

What is Neuroplasticity?

Our brains are constantly being shaped by experience. Most of us have very different behaviors and thoughts today than we did 20 years ago. This shift is neuroplasticity in action; changes in brain structure and organization as we experience, learn, and adapt. With every repetition of a thought or emotion,

Read More »
A man looking out the window thinking
Career Coaching

Thinking Fast & Thinking Slow

Let’s get straight to the point. We’ve got two modes of thinking & both are crucial. System 1 (Thinking Fast) and System 2 (Thinking Slow). System 1 is the part of the brain that handles the simple things: sensory input, automatic and unimportant decisions, casual social interactions, and other inbound

Read More »
Four horses at a fence
Couples Therapy

The Four Horsemen

Being able to identify the Four Horsemen in your conflict discussions is a necessary first step to eliminating them and replacing them with healthy, productive communication patterns. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. They describe conquest, war, hunger,

Read More »
Angry fists on a table
Anger Management

Pressing the PAUSE Button on Anger

Anger is not the problem; it is a normal, healthy emotional response to a real or perceived hurt or slight. It is how people handle the emotion of anger that becomes the problem. You cannot change the way anger makes you feel – but you can change how you respond to the feelings! Physically,

Read More »
ADHD on card
Neuroscience

How to deal with ADHD (or ADD)

If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously known as ADD, everything from paying the bills on time to keeping up with work, family, and social demands can seem overwhelming. ADHD can present challenges across all areas of life and can be tough on your health and both your personal and

Read More »
Couple jumping from cliff into the ocean
Anxiety

Do The Things That Scare You

Fear is something that we all experience, but what is most important is how we respond to it.  Fear is a necessary evolutionary response to either physical or emotional danger; it helps us to survive and protect ourselves from real threats that exist in this world.  While fear is there

Read More »
Man sitting on the floor holding his face feeling devestated
Confidence Coaching

Coping With Disappointment

So, the people around you have let you down. I’m sorry if you are going through that, I really am. There are few feelings more frustrating than being unsupported when you need support most. Then reaching out and having no one respond. Then slowly falling apart and having the person you

Read More »
Two people going over reports
Career Coaching

Analysis Paralysis

Analysis paralysis is the act of over analyzing or overthinking a situation so that a decision or an action is never taken. In effect, you’re paralyzing the outcome. You’re becoming your own obstacle, your own roadblock on your path to your big goals and dreams. Why do we do this?

Read More »
emoticon balls
Anxiety Treatment

13 Ways to Process Emotions

No one human is absent of emotion. Emotions are a central part of the human experience. Sometimes, they may even influence business decisions. But is it OK to let them? 1. Hit Pause During The Emotion Dance Emotional labor has a place at work, and calibration is more natural for

Read More »
Conference table meeting with young professionals
Career Coaching

Peak Performance

The brain is like any other organ in the body. If you exercise it, it performs better.  An efficient brain can accomplish more, with greater accuracy, in less time.  My program utilizing your brains neuroplasticity provides high performers with the tools to train and exercise neural-nets in the same way

Read More »
Sticky notes
Anxiety Treatment

Emotional Balance

Emotional balance is the ability of the mind and body to maintain equilibrium and flexibility in the face of challenge and change. Emotional balance promotes physical health and is a prerequisite for personal wellbeing and growth. What we experience as our mind is made up of our thoughts and emotions,

Read More »
A brain outline floating above a hand
Neuroscience

Neuroplasticity – Why Haven’t I Heard of This?

Scientific understanding of the way the brain works has been changing rapidly. Less than a decade ago, brainwave patterns were believed to be unimportant; the brain fixed and unchangeable. Neuroscience was therefore deemed ‘scientifically impossible’, thus subject to immediate dismissal. These days, medical science has realized that these long-held beliefs about the

Read More »
A person leaving their significant other carrying suitcase
Anxiety Treatment

Fear of Abandonment

Many people grow up with fears around abandonment. Some are plagued by these fears pretty consistently throughout their lives. They worry they’ll be rejected by peers, partners, schools, companies, or entire social circles. For many others, these fears aren’t fully realized until they enter into a romantic relationship. Things will

Read More »
someone on a scale with measuring tapes draped around feet
Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder Recovery During COVID-19

Social distancing is the newest buzzword of our culture, and #FlattenTheCurve is our latest hashtag as we all stumble through this unprecedented reality of coronavirus, but I will be honest—it’s an inconvenient, anxiety-inducing time to have a complicated history with food and exercise. How can we prioritize eating disorder recovery

Read More »
Angry driver
Anger Management

Anger Loves to Tell You Lies

When something upsetting happens and you go along with that first rush of adrenaline, your brain will begin to send you every thought and memory possible to validate your anger and frustration.  So, within seconds, as the adrenaline begins to course through your veins, you are completely captivated. It will

Read More »
Brain and heart shapes made out of gears
Couples Therapy

Better Relationships Through Increased EI

Emotional intelligence could be the secret of long-term intimate relationships, mainly because it makes us highly aware of the changes — big and small — that occur in ourselves and others on a regular basis. It involves the ability to appreciate and accept your own emotions and handle them in

Read More »
Brain image with synapses firing
Confidence Coaching

A Scientific Way to Change Your Life

Last year, a poll indicated that only one in three Americans is reportedly “very happy.” Maybe this surprises you or maybe it doesn’t, but what it likely tells us is that the majority of the population is looking for a change. Whether it’s their job, their relationship, their city or

Read More »
Apple vs donut
Anger Management

Willpower & Self-Control

Willpower is a form of self-control. Someone with a strong sense of willpower has self-awareness and the ability to use thought-out decision-making skills. Too often we hear about people who lack willpower. There are quite a few individuals who have the extraordinary ability to control their impulses and exercise restraint.

Read More »
Girl in a white dress thinking intently
Anxiety Treatment

8 Ways to Rethink Anxiety & Depression

We recognize that our minds control our reality and that if we want to improve ourselves, we must discipline our minds to practice growth instead of destruction. The following principles outline my approach to battling anxiety and depression.  Principle 1: Everyone Has a Legacy of Insecurity There is no such

Read More »
Communication icons
Career Coaching

7 C’s of Communication

A Checklist for Clear Communication Think of how often you communicate with people during the day. You write emails, facilitate meetings, participate in conference calls, create reports, devise presentations, debate with your colleagues… the list goes on. We can spend almost our entire day communicating. So, it stands to reason

Read More »
Person watching a sunset
Career Coaching

Creating Your Life Vision

Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your

Read More »
Hot air balloon over mountains
Confidence Coaching

How To Live Your Dreams

Here are some tips on your ability to not only dream, but to carry them to success. 1.  Do your dreams stir your passion and challenge your talents and abilities? If your dreams are just a set of attainable goals, they do not qualify as dreams. Ask yourself the following question

Read More »
Sign up for our Newsletter

Receive a variety of tips, exercises, and other helpful neuroplasticity resources you can use in everyday life.