When You Lose Your Patience: Sitting on a Ticking Time Bomb

It’s often believed that a major uproar between husband and wife must be triggered by a huge act of betrayal. “You did what?! How could you?!” However, this is not the typical scenario.

More often, a major uproar is triggered by someone sitting on a ticking time bomb of emotions. “You left a mess and expected me to clean it up again?" "I told you it’s important that we leave on time; aren’t you ready yet???”

A ticking time bomb detonates with only the slightest provocation. It may appear to come from nowhere, but if you’d been aware of the bubbles brewing underneath the surface, you’d understand the reaction.

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What’s a Toxic Person & How Do You Deal With One?

You've probably read about the importance of not surrounding yourself with toxic people.

But what defines a toxic person? How do you know that you’re hanging out with one? And if you are, what can you do about it?

We asked two experts to share their take on toxic people along with their insight into navigating these kinds of relationships. Here's what they had to say about what makes a person toxic, and how you can best deal with one.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: February 28, 2014

Living the Unknown

On my fridge, there is a magnet with the following quote:
"I beg have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer..." - Rainer Maria Rilke
It's there because I constantly need the reminder. When unknowns lurk in my life, I want to bury myself in answers through research, advice, classes, surfing online. It feels like a safety net, a place to hold you when there's nowhere to grasp.

And yet, to not know is a part of life. It is what makes the world exciting and terrifying at the same time. When there are too many unknowns and not enough faith, anxiety abounds. How do you live through the answers as Rilke says?

To minimize the fear, our bloggers remind us this week that distraction, knowledge, and even laughter can be the antidote.Through reading their posts, you might find peace in knowing that the answers you're waiting for will come in its own time.
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How Shame Makes Us Allergic to Receiving

How deeply do you allow yourself to receive the good things in life? Do you notice when a kind act interrupts your busy day-- taking a moment to pause, allowing a deeper breath and letting it in?

Many of us grow up with deflating messages that something’s wrong with us, we’re not good enough, and we don’t measure up. When the water we swim in is saturated with shame, we may not notice casual acts of caring or spontaneous expressions of love.

When we’re valued for our accomplishments rather than for whom we really are, our self-worth becomes linked to our net worth -- or the power and charm of our personality. Scrambling to create a self that we think will win acceptance and avoid being shamed, we lose touch with our natural self -- our basic goodness, beauty, and innocence.

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Coping with Heightened Emotions When You Have ADHD

People with ADHD tend to have a hard time regulating their emotions. For instance, they report going from zero to 100 in just several seconds, according to Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“They report being emotionally hypersensitive, as long as they can remember.”

Their feelings also may be more intense. “[W]atching a sad movie can push them into an episode of depression or crying. A happy event can bring on almost a manic type of excitement,” said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

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Overselling the Benefits of Mindfulness

Just a few days ago I realized I was bored with the Internet and my mobile devices.

Together they have contributed to my font of trivial knowledge. But it has been a very long time since I delved deeply enough into a topic to fully understand it, or to contribute to it with original ideas.

And perhaps most important, I have been losing my sense of nuance. All discourse seems to fall on one side or the other. Intellectually, I have been anything but mindful. In fact, the constant barrage of information, updates, and check-ins, and my 24-hour availability (and that of everyone I know) have turned me into a cognitive fight-or-flight machine.

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Introducing Psychology & Technology

How do therapists talk about technology with their clients? How do we think about our gadgets as tools that both help and harm the emotional process in relationships? How does technology impact our relationships with others?

That's why I'm pleased to introduce our latest blog, Psychology & Technology. Drawing from research and the latest trends in the tech industry, this blog will explore how technology influences everyday actions and emotions as well as how it could be employed for problem-solving and personal motivation.

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How to Figure Out Your Boundaries

Boundaries are vital for healthy relationships.

They also give "us room and safety to live the beautiful, loving lives -- and world -- we came to create,” according to Jan Black, author of Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life.

But you might be so used to saying yes and focusing on other people’s needs and happiness that you're unsure about the boundaries you'd actually like to set.

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Why Getting Good Mental Health Treatment is Complicated

As long-time readers of World of Psychology know, there's no easy fix to the convoluted, second-class mental health care system in the United States. People with mental disorders -- like depression, anxiety, ADHD or bipolar disorder -- are shunted away from the mainstream healthcare system into a patchwork quilt of "care" that varies greatly depending upon where you live, what kind of insurance you have (if you have any), and whether you want to pay cash for treatment instead of using your insurance.

It shouldn't be this way. It shouldn't be so hard to find a good treatment provider. It shouldn't be so complicated to get integrated care from a single practice.

Why is it so hard to get good mental health treatment in the U.S.?

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Brain and Behavior

How Stress Affects Mental Health

When someone is under chronic stress, it begins to negatively affect his or her physical and mental health. The body’s stress response was not made to be continuously engaged. Many people encounter stress from multiple sources, including work; money, health, and relationship worries; and media overload.

With so many sources of stress, it is difficult to find time to relax and disengage. This is why stress is one of the biggest health problems facing people today.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: February 25, 2014

I've been guilty of it many times. In my desire to want things the way I want them to be, I forget to see things as they truly are.

Although I'm unaware of it at the time, it's most obvious when I'm disappointed. When I catch myself upset over a friend's comment, a relative's disapproval, or a misunderstanding. Instead of meeting this person where they are, I treat them the way I wish they would be.

What I should be doing instead is give them the compassion and nonjudgmental response that I crave. By griping over their critical behavior, their negativity, I'm only becoming the very thing I despise.

To truly change our external world, we need to turn inward and look at ourself.

This week instead of meeting the day with wants, what-ifs and wishes, try doing what our bloggers say. Meet your present circumstance as it is. Treat it with kindness. Love your body (big and small), your mind (anxiety, depression and all), and to meet whatever you're going through (bad situation, challenging marriage, etc.) where you are right now with as much compassion you can muster up.
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