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?

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Understanding the Fascinating World of Dreams

“I was walking down a dark street, whistling and enjoying the darkness. Suddenly, I heard footsteps. Somebody was following me. I tried to run but my legs were cement. I couldn’t budge. I screamed. Nobody heard me. My heart was beating so fast. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do.”

Maria continued: “I woke up in a cold sweat, shaken by the dream and wondered what it meant. I couldn’t figure it out. I have no enemies. There’s nothing that’s scaring me in real life. So, I kind of just tried to get it out of my mind by telling myself it’s just a dream.”

Dreams are mysterious. We’re both fascinated and perplexed by them. When they frighten us, we try to push them aside, saying “it’s just a dream.” Too bad. We can learn a lot from our dreams once we learn to speak their language.
Continue Reading

Creativity

Tips for Delving into Your Nighttime Dreams — Because Doing So Is Key

Many of us don’t think much about our nighttime dreams. We might not even remember them. While some dreams may not be particularly meaningful, most dreams offer a wealth of information about ourselves and our lives.

“Dreams are the psyche’s way of expressing and exploring issues pertinent to our psychological growth,” said Kathryn Bikle, MA, LMFT, a therapist who uses depth psychology techniques such as dream work in her practice in Pasadena and Monrovia, Calif. This growth can include our relationships, spirituality and creativity, she said. When we explore our dreams, “we expand our understanding of who we are and who we can be in the world.”
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 12, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but from where I'm sitting it's a sunshine-filled, 70-degree day, and the last thing I want to do is be indoors!

Still, I suggest you take your phone or tablet or laptop or whatever (oh, technology) outside, because you definitely don't want to miss this week's updates in the world of mental health.

Read on for the latest on how to create habits that revive lost motivation, why binge-watching television could be linked to depression, what some mental health patients have to say about a certain Bernie Sanders comment, and more.

Continue Reading

Dreams

4 Tips for Discussing Your Relationship’s Future

When a relationship is shifting from casual to serious, there comes a moment when it’s necessary to discuss each person’s expectations for the future. Expectations, as I define them, are the aspects of your future you strongly believe will happen (as opposed to dreams, which may or may not come true).

Expectations are reflections of your closely-held beliefs about where your life is going. Expectations, when not met, can cause a grief that often surpasses the grief of not achieving a dream. Because they are so important -- and can be so painful when not met -- every couple should get to know each other’s expectations before becoming completely committed.
Continue Reading

Dreams

Better Sleep for a Better Life

While getting seven to eight hours of sound sleep each night is easier said than done, there are adjustments you can make to improve your odds of a good night's sleep. And what you do in the hours before you go to bed could matter most.

More than 90 percent of Americans use electronic communications in the hour before they go to bed. Allowing such stressors into your pre-sleep time is only going to keep you awake. A 2014 study suggests that late-night smartphone use is bad for your work the following day. This research found that using a smartphone late at night not only leads to poor sleep but also creates fatigue and lower engagement in the workplace.
Continue Reading

Dreams

How to Eliminate Recurring Nightmares

All of us have nightmares. Maybe in your nightmare you’re being chased by some terrifying but unknown entity. Maybe you’re surrounded by bloodthirsty vampires or hordes of zombies. Maybe you’re trapped in a room with snakes or spiders or any other animal you fear. Maybe you or a loved one is involved in a car wreck or a violent assault.

Maybe you keep having this nightmare over and over. And it’s so real, so vivid, so frightening that the last thing you want to do is fall back asleep.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 28, 2015


This week's edition of Psychology Around the Net covers everything from psychology and environmentalism, a new smartphone app for teens dealing with depression, and various misconceptions about psychology.

The Surprising Psychology Behind Why Some People Become Environmentalists: Psychologists have started using tools such as surveys and questionnaires to delve into this polarized topic.

Continue Reading

How to Work with Your Dreams

A lot of us are drawn to working with our dreams. Knowing where to start and how to go about it can be confusing. Here are some basic tools to help you with the process.

1. Tell yourself the whole dream. Tell yourself the dream from start to finish so that you have a sense of it as a complete narrative. Dreams sometime seem to open somewhere in the middle -- things are already in process. Capture this information as fully as possible.
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder: Do You Have an Abnormal Sleep Pattern?

I was always bad at sleeping. My mom still talks of nightmarish times trying to get me to sleep as a baby and toddler. As a child, I kept a flashlight and a book on my nightstand so I could stay up after lights-out to read. As I grew, this trend continued.

I’m never tired at a “normal” bedtime. In fact, late nights are when I do some of my best writing. I am, however, exhausted in the morning.

I spent years trying to fit the mold, and always just figured I was a night owl until I finally heard about circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Continue Reading

Dreams

Your Dreams Are Your Own and Bring Both Warnings and Gifts

“Letting go of the past means that you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”
- Don Miguel Ruiz

I grew up on a small cattle farm in the very small farming town of Savannah, Missouri with my grandfather and great grandparents.

My great grandmother used to sit outside on the back porch and string green beans or peel apples when the weather was mild, a worn dish towel over her knee and an ancient paring knife moving with practiced ease. As a very small child I would often sit with her, watching, and sometimes we would talk.

One evening we shared a conversation that would come to influence me for the rest of my life, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Continue Reading

Depression

Alive in My Dreams: Grieving During Sleep

I dreamt I was walking out of a bar because I didn’t know anyone there and everyone appeared to be leaving. Outside I saw my friend Don speaking to someone. From the steps of the bar I dove into his arms and hugged him. He hugged me back and laughed. It sounded like him. It felt like him.

He turned to leave, and I took his hand. It felt like his hand. The sky was pink and purple like the sun was setting somewhere behind us. I said, “Wait, I have to tell you something before I wake up. I love you.”

“It’s so embarrassing,” he told me, like he didn’t want to talk about his suicide.
Continue Reading

12