Learning Resilience from Elite Athletes

Did you ever see young athletes who had great potential? They seemed to have all the gifts. You knew they were going to excel, maybe turn professional -- they were that good. But later, to your surprise, you learned they never realized their potential. They were good, but they never made it to the next level.

You may have dismissed it as "bad luck" or bad coaching. Often there is something else missing: an intangible factor. I call it "FACTOR R," for resilience.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. In athletics, adversity usually comes in the form of defeat, failure, injury, or even extreme situational stress and pressure.

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Psychology Around the Net: October 10, 2015

Today is World Mental Health Day 2015, and our bloggers here at Psych Central have worked tirelessly to bring you some of the most thought-provoking, enlightening mental health- and psychology-related posts around.

It's not just our job; it's our passion.

Fortunately, educating the world about mental health isn't just our passion, and today's Psychology Around the Net brings you tons of informational pieces on topics such as pop star Demi Lovato's mental health campaign, how some television shows miss the mark with mental illness, the British royals' active role in de-stigmatizing mental illness, and more.

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5 Surprising Things We Can Learn About Psychotherapy from Howard Stern

I like psychotherapy. I also like Howard Stern. Although his radio show is a shell of what it used to be -- airing only 3 days a week and irregularly at that -- Stern remains a self-aggrandizing enigma.

On one hand, he's infamous for his rowdy humor, endless fascination with his bowel movements, and juvenile bits, especially earlier in his career. But on the other, as he's grown older (he's now 61), he's also matured and slowed down a bit. He has been a regular user of transcendental meditation (TM), long before mindfulness became the latest fad. And he's also been a loyal psychotherapy-goer for decades, attending sessions a mere three times a week (from a high of four).

But whenever Stern talks about psychotherapy on his radio show, I tense up. Because while well-meaning, he inevitably says things about psychotherapy that are probably only true in his world... but not for the rest of us.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: September 19, 2015

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Although the official start of fall is rapidly approaching, we still have a few warm-weather days ahead of us. Before venturing out to enjoy yours, take a look at some of the hottest psychology-related topics we've gathered for you today!


Autumn Anxiety Is Real, and Treatable: Is your anxiety at an all-time high during the first few weeks of autumn? Try these five tips to keep it in check.

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Brain and Behavior

Coping through Comedy

I recently viewed “Misery Loves Comedy,” a 2015 documentary that examines the darker side of comedy. Do you need to be miserable to be comedic? Not necessarily, but this intriguing film highlights interviews with several comics who all wonder where their inherent drive to be funny stems from.

Interestingly enough, many relay that comedy can act as a mechanism to cope, to receive positive attention, or to manage personal distress. They’re certainly not alone.

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Authenticity: The Deep Hurt of Hiding Your True Self

"If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, 'You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,' and I don’t want that to happen." - Caitlyn Jenner, Vanity Fair
We've all heard the expression, "live your truth." It means knowing and being yourself without the need for external validation. You're honest, you don't make excuses for yourself and you're not looking for something outside of yourself to complete you. You set healthy boundaries, care for yourself, and live your principles. You are yourself fully and respectfully, and you don't "turn it off" just to suit others' needs or desires.
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Brain and Behavior

Bruce Jenner’s Journey to His Authentic Self

Bruce Jenner, renowned for winning the 1976 Olympic decathlon and widely recognized as part of the Kardashian family, recently disclosed a deeply personal endeavor: He has decided to change his gender and finally embrace his true self. He has been fighting internal unrest his entire life.

He recently sat down for an interview with television journalist Diane Sawyer, letting the public in on his journey.

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Brain and Behavior

Am I a Psychopath?

If you’ve tuned in to any one of the many prime-time television shows in the last five years, you’ve likely come across a suspenseful crime drama replete with personality-disordered characters. Many of us find ourselves plotting the crime better than the criminal, solving the case quicker than the "good guys," or discovering the hidden agenda halfway through the episode. I wager that many of you even empathize with the charismatic antagonist, at times, over the logical hero.

We are all quick to judge, analyze, question, and shame characters on the screen, all while making general comparisons to ourselves or our lives. What happens if there are strong similarities? What if you could plot a murder better than the serial killer? Did you root for the killer to escape from his or her consequential justice? If you said yes to any of these questions, does that make you a psychopath, too?

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Psychology Around the Net: April 18, 2015

Can you spot a genuine smile from a fake one? How much do you know about creating a mental health plan for your child before college? What about true happiness -- do you actually experience it?

Learn about these topics and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Psychology of Smiling: Can You Tell a Fake Smile From a Genuine One? Psychologist Richard Wiseman and his new photographic test for checking empathy will help you find out.

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