Books

Living a Life by Design Instead of by Default

Some days, or maybe most days, you might feel like a passenger in the backseat of your own car. You are being driven to destinations you don’t want to go by a driver you didn’t pick. You feel stretched too thin. You are exhausted. You feel overwhelmed. You are attending events you’d rather not attend. Your to-do list is filled with tasks you don’t want to do. And the things you do want to do? Somehow those aren’t on the list.

This might mean that you're living life by default, not by design.

Thankfully, this is something you can change. In his eye-opening book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author Greg McKeown shares valuable tips on how we can start living (and working) by design. Essentialism is pursuing less and better (versus trying to get everything done). It is constantly asking the question: “Am I investing in the right activities?” And by "right," he means whatever is essential to you. It is being deliberate and thoughtful about our days.
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Books

Psychology Around the Net: May 21, 2016


They're at the tailend of the U.K.'s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) across the pond!

Similar to October's Mental Illness Awareness Week here in the U.S., the U.K.'s MHAW, supported by the Mental Health Foundation, is all about educating people about mental health and helping people learn the importance of taking care of their mental health.

Thus, you'll see some U.K.-related information in this week's post, including news about the royal's latest mental health campaign and new information about psychedelics and depression. Also catch up on the latest about relationships and mental health, strategies for better sleep, and the importance of doing things by yourself.

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Books

A Cancer Survivor’s Healing Plan

When I last saw my oncologist, he referred me to a counselor about some anxiety and flashbacks. It's one of the free services available to me as an ongoing patient being monitored post-cancer.

I had one appointment, and we had a good talk. He gave me perspective and helped me understand that I already do have a lot of life skills and ways to cope with anxiety as memory flashbacks happen. I just need to breathe through it and wait a few minutes for it to pass. It seems like a grief response, he said, and will get less frequent with time. But it's normal. It's intrusive but not disabling.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: May 7, 2016


As I mentioned last Saturday, I had a pretty stressful last week of April. I was crunched for time to meet an important deadline, and it looked like I was going to fail.

I did -- fail, that is -- but fortunately, my boss was completely chill about it. So, I spent this week finishing up and, given how tightly wound I've been for the past, oh, five or so weeks, I am absolutely ecstatic about today (well, "today" if you're reading this on Saturday).

Why, you ask?

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Books

7 Creative Shortcuts and Solutions to Simplify Life with Young Kids

Life with kids can feel anything but simple. Things rarely go as planned. You’re exhausted and could sleep for days. You feel like a mess surrounded by a whole lot of mess. Expert advice only makes you feel less-than and like you’re doing everything wrong. Which, naturally, only makes you feel more overwhelmed.

That’s what happened to author Asha Dornfest. Dornfest felt like she was drowning. For help she consulted parenting and productivity books and sampled time management systems, among other things. She assumed that other “more qualified people” would have the answers she needed.

“But expert advice didn’t fix my new life,” she writes in her book
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Books

4 Tips for Really Hearing Someone Even When It’s Hard

How often do we actually listen to other people when they’re talking? I mean listening without focusing on how we’re going to respond, without interrupting, without debating what they’re saying, without getting defensive. Probably less often than we like to think, even though listening is incredibly important. It’s important for building beautiful relationships and for navigating every area of our lives.

We need to listen carefully at work to our bosses and colleagues. We need to listen carefully to our clients. We need to listen carefully to our partners and our kids and to all of our loved ones. This is how we gain a deeper understanding of the people we’re interacting with. This is how we avoid misinterpretations and miscommunication. It’s how we resolve conflict. And it’s how we genuinely connect and strengthen our bonds.
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Books

4 Tips for Helping Your Kids Practice Mindfulness

Our kids get just as stressed out as we do. While they don’t have bills, a demanding boss or a continuously-increasing workload, they do have homework, classmates, teachers, bullies and big emotions. So it helps to have a variety of tools they can use to manage their stressors and regulate their emotions -- tools they can take into adolescence and adulthood. Because stress and emotions are part of everyone’s daily life. And because everyone benefits from having healthy coping strategies.

That’s exactly what author and clinical social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, provides in her newest book Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family. In this wise and down-to-earth book, Naumburg features practical and creative strategies for practicing mindfulness at home. She defines mindfulness as “the practice of choosing to pay attention to whatever is happening right here and right now, without judging it or wishing it were different.”
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Anxiety and Panic

To Deal with Chronic Worry Don’t Try to Get Rid of It

If you’re a chronic worrier, you likely take your worries seriously. You likely believe them wholeheartedly. Maybe you think of them as flashing signs of imminent danger.

What if I lose my job turns into, Of course, I will lose my job. And, of course, I’m too old to get hired, which means I won’t be able to find work. What if my manager hates my marketing plan, becomes She’s going to not only hate it but she’ll regret hiring me in the first place. What if I freak out during my presentation, becomes I will screw up.

You might try to fight your worrisome thoughts or reason them away. You might try to quell your worries by disproving them -- going to Google to find the answer, seeking reassurance from others, trying to reassure yourself.
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Books

Can’t Focus on Your Most Important Work? Try This.

In today’s world, doing “deep work” -- anything from writing an article, to learning a new skill, to creating an effective business strategy -- is tough. There are distractions at every turn. It’s hard to give a task your full attention when you’re trying to reply to email or stay on top of Facebook posts. Or you need to tweet out links to promote your work and connect with others.

Cal Newport, a writer and assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University, coined the term “deep work” on his blog
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Books

3 Reasons Not to Date Online Just Because You’re Lonely

It’s late in the evening. All your emails are read and the good TV is over for the night. You’re feeling a little bit… lonely. Unsure what to do, you open that dating app and start to swipe. You bring your laptop out of hibernation and start to scroll. You see faces of potential partners wiz by and for a moment, it helps.

Your smile returns.

We’ve all been in this moment -- the moment when a twinge of loneliness spurs an online dating session. But is this really a good habit to get into when feeling lonely?
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Books

10 Books on Happiness & Success for Your Reading List

Being an entrepreneur is stressful work. You pour blood, sweat, and tears into making your business work. Even though it can test you down to your last nerve, there’s nothing more rewarding than starting your own company.

While it can be challenging to successfully balance your workload plus family, friends, fitness and some personal time, there are few things that rings true for most successful entrepreneurs. It’s their unwavering commitment to continuous self-improvement in all areas of their life from their business prowess to their personal relationships.
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