Ethics & Morality

4 Steps to Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries


Sometimes it just feels easier to please others than to stand up for what we really want. Why? Maybe we don’t like confrontation. Or maybe we just like making other people happy. That’s not a bad thing. It can feel great to give others what they want, but it’s important to recognize when they overstep the mark.

Personal boundaries are how we set our personal limits. They are how we separate ourselves as individuals from the influence and intentions of others. They are an essential tool for communicating our needs, our integrity and our self-worth, both to others and to ourselves.

Without them, negative emotions such as resentment, guilt, frustration or shame could take hold. Your relationships may become frayed, and your self-respect could suffer.
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Brain and Behavior

10 Flimsiest Excuses for Not Taking Action

When a decision needs to be made and work must be done, instead of springing into action and doing what’s necessary, too often the temptation is to offer an excuse. More often than not, the excuse is a lame one, such as the following:

I don’t know how.
Did it ever occur to you that you might have been given this task or project as a way to expand your skills, gain new insights, or expand your abilities? Don't push it aside because you are unfamiliar with it or lack experience in doing it. Doing so makes you look weak, ineffective and possibly lazy. Ask for help if you need it. That’s a more proactive approach when you need to take action.
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Brain and Behavior

The Making of a Happy Mind

The mind, just like any other entity in nature, follows some specific laws. The mastery of these laws can be immensely helpful in improving mental health and generating happiness.

Long before the discipline of psychology was established, philosophers started providing answers to the question of how to reach happiness. Tested by science, some their claims have been refuted, while others were confirmed, such as the following statement made by Epictetus in The Art of Living:
Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control and some things are not. It is only after you have learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility become possible.
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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: April 2, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I'm hoping you all ended your week with some funny April Fools' Day shenanigans, and are ready to start the weekend with some of the latest developments in mental health!

Read on for news on how men are more vulnerable to developing stress-related depression, how people with mental health issues fit in when it comes to physician-assisted suicide, ways you can effectively help another person cope with anxiety or depression, and more.

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Brain and Behavior

How Time of Day Can Affect Morality

For some people, morality appears to be a flexible concept. They might be good, honest, and upstanding in one moment and a liar and a cheat in another. Believe it or not, this sort of behavior might be a bit more common than you think. Someone’s shifting morals might have less to do with him or her as a person and more to do with the time of day.

Three Harvard Business School professors -- Christopher M. Barnes, Brian Gunia, and Sunita Sah -- published
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Anger

How to Handle Rejection Gracefully

I've been there. I’ve asked girls out on dates and they said no. I've asked for raises or applied for new jobs and have been shut down.

In each instance it’s important to remember to be graceful about how you handle the situation.

I realize it can be extremely hard to hear that something you had hoped for is not going to happen. But how you conduct yourself when you're faced with an ending that didn't go as you'd hoped shows what kind of character you have. Your behavior can set the stage for future encounters with employers or love interests.
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Disorders

How Solitary Confinement Affects People with Mental Illness

In 1990, Jack Powers was put in prison for robbery. A few years into his sentence, Powers witnessed the murder of one of his friends by members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Powers agreed to be a government witness and testify against members of the Brotherhood in exchange for a sentence reduction, but when he was denied the reduction, he decided to escape from prison in 1999.

He was caught a few years later and put in solitary confinement at ADX, the same place where the Brotherhood members he testified against resided. Even though Powers was diagnosed with PTSD due to his friend’s murder, he never received proper treatment and ended up horrifically mutilating himself several times.
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Celebrities

Create Your Own Definition of Beauty

Today, profoundly albeit subtly, the paradigm surrounding cosmetics has made many women want to attain looks similar to the celebrities they see on television and in movies. And women need not look too far, for with the parallel development of cosmetics and plastic surgery, these desires are readily brought into the realm of possibility.

This may seem like a non-issue, except it begs the question: How does this affect individualism? Quite clearly, individualism faces a very real threat. For this reason, we are in dire need of women brave enough to challenge the norm and redefine their own brand of beauty.
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Brain and Behavior

Living in a Bigger Story

Out beyond the shadows of our old thinking, a wholly different world appears. A world that delights in our explorations, our need to join with others. A world that welcomes and supports our endeavors. The world knows how to change and grow. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley & Myron Kellner-Rogers, A Simpler Way
We love epic stories, those invoking the heroic journey. We resonate and identify with larger-than-life characters, not simply because we are fascinated with their exploits, but because we are drawn to the archetypal qualities they represent. And that allows us to tap into the inner resources we can discover in our own inner treasure chest:
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Ethics & Morality

Buddhism, Spirituality & Dependency

Recently I attended a six-day Zen meditation retreat (sesshin in Japanese) which included the celebration of Rohatsu on December 8. Rohatsu is said to be the day that Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, came to his great enlightenment.

As a couples therapist and student of attachment theory, I cannot deny what seem to be inherent contradictions of this spiritual path and current research on healthy dependency. First, Siddhartha left his home, his wife, his newborn, his parents, and his duties as a prince to go alone on a spiritual quest. Accounts also say that he left at night and did not say goodbye to his wife or see his newborn son.

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Caregivers

Responding to Humanitarian Crises

According to World Vision, more than 12 million are affected by the crisis in Syria. That is far more than those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined.

Recent events remind us of a dark time in Europe when other refugees were denied haven and abandoned to fate. Once again, large numbers of people are targets of violence and trauma. After years of suffering, they have left their homes and everything they love and care for because life has become intolerable. They have endured a hellish journey to find safety. And then they have been greeted by faces and hearts of stone.

Thankfully, it seems that voices of compassion are prevailing and refugees are being allowed to proceed to refuge, as international law guarantees civilians fleeing war.

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Disorders

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health issues now are the leading cause of illness in the workplace. A study conducted by the American Institute of Stress in 2014 showed that job pressure was the leading cause of stress in the U.S. The annual cost to employers in health care and missed work topped $300 billion.

Ignoring mental health in the workplace doesn’t make good business sense. Research shows that companies in the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index (FTSE 100) that prioritize employee engagement and well-being outperform the rest of the FTSE 100 by 10 percent. We know that work performance and effectiveness largely is dependent on mental health and well-being. With as many as one in four of us experiencing mental health problems in the course of a year, organizations understand that this is an important issue for them and their staff.

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