Brain and Behavior

4 Tips for Feeling Successful

"If I try to fail and succeed, which have I done?" - Anonymous
I use the above quote with my college students. I try to challenge them to look at life from a different perspective. In challenging our perspectives I am not merely playing semantics -- I firmly believe that words actually do hold meaning. Words have the power to affect our emotions. By challenging ourselves to look at our own definitions from a new perspective, we have the ability to change how we feel.

How I define success influences how I feel about myself. Many of us have culturally learned that success is defined by tangible goods and wealth. We hear expressions such as “If I have more things than someone else, I am successful” or “if I have a title or initials after my name, I am successful.” Does someone else's level of success negate my perceived level of success? In other words, is one's success defined in relation to another's accomplishments?

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Brain and Behavior

Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Welfare Community

Before becoming a psychotherapist, I had a career in animal welfare. I’ve worn both the boots and the sandals -- that’s jargon for working on the law enforcement side and the shelter side -- and I’ve seen my fair share of trauma.

Whether you’re a humane officer or a shelter volunteer, a vet tech or an animal rights activist, you have likely seen, heard about, or experienced things that most people can’t even begin to understand. Long-term exposure to abuse and neglect, euthanasia, and grief-stricken clients not only can affect your work productivity and satisfaction, but it can also wear on you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you feel like you care so much that it hurts, you may be struggling with compassion fatigue.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How the Media Affects Body Image

Body image is the way we perceive ourselves when we look in the mirror. We imagine ourselves to look and act a certain way, even though we may look and act differently to those around us.

Someone has a positive body image if he or she is attuned to the reality of his or her physical shape and size. This person fully understands his or her weight, the form of his or her body (from curves to wrinkles), and the way his or her body moves and functions.

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General

5 Simple Ways to Relax and Recharge

Many of us have a hard time relaxing. Maybe just the thought of taking a break actually stresses you. And that’s understandable. Because, as “a society we value being busy, so it can almost feel that we are doing something wrong by relaxing,” said Agnes Wainman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and self-proclaimed self-care activist in London, Ontario.

Christine Selby’s clients regularly tell her that relaxing is a waste of time because it means they’re not being productive. That’s when she asks them why they’d bother relaxing at all. They usually mention that relaxing feels good or helps them to wind down and destress. “My next question,” she added, “‘Is that not doing something?’”
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Anger

How to Neutralize Emotions

There has been a lot of discussion on all sides regarding “emotion processing” and how to successfully handle what are coined as “negative emotions.” In the Pixar film "Inside Out," a few different emotions are cleverly assigned individual personas so that children (and adults) can interact with them in a tangible way.

So what are we to do with negative emotions? Which ones are they? They are broadly defined as sadness, anger, bitterness, greed, hate, jealousy, fear or anything that makes one feel bad about themselves. So when an unsavory emotion surfaces and it starts to cause you guilt, what do you do with it?

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Anxiety and Panic

Mind Games

What does your morning shower feel like?

“Come again, Matt?”

Yes, what does your morning shower feel like?

“Why? Before work, I typically hop in and hop out. Can’t be late for boss -- he’s a real jerk. I rinse off in 10 minutes. Why? Are you planning on opening a Turkish bathhouse?” you snidely remark.

Not quite. But I am interested in washing away the incessant worry that pervades our daily lives. That humming cacophony drains us, greying life’s days.
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General

The Commitment Conundrum: What It Takes to Create Lasting Love

If there’s a single word that stirs up deep emotions, it’s “commitment.” While some desperately seek it, others run the other way. What is it about commitment that is so appealing to some, while striking fear into the hearts of others? Can we revision commitment in a way that frees us rather than traps us?

Those seeking commitment want to know that their partner is taking the relationship seriously. Research that forms the basis for Attachment Theory tells us that we’re wired with a longing for safety and security. When I need you, I want to know you’re there. It would seem that making a commitment to the relationship might assure mutual security. But sadly, divorce statistics reveal that however seriously we may commit ourselves to a partnership, they oftentimes don't work out

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Autism

Autism and the Gift of Friendship

When you have an autistic child, you try your hardest to socialize him. Autistic children have difficulty with being social and understanding even the simplest things such as carrying on a conversation.

For this reason, psychological and educational organizations have developed what’s known as the “social group.” This is a group activity where autistic kids can essentially “meet and greet” and work on things such as talking to each other, empathizing with each other and simply enjoying each other’s company.

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Anger

Dealing with Disappointment When You’re Bipolar

Disappointment is harsh when you have bipolar. I have many times said things that are not very nice after finding myself disappointed in something that has happened.

Recently I found myself disappointed that a friend received a monthly radio show to discuss mental illness. I had been on the show a couple of times, and I had hoped to get the same thing myself. I then had to remind myself that it isn’t her fault and that she probably did what I didn’t -- stay in touch with the gentleman who was in charge. I only have myself to blame.

Before realizing this, though, I wrote my husband and called her some not-so-nice names. I was disappointed in myself, honestly, but what got to me was something I hadn’t felt in a while: bipolar disappointment.

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General

7 Ways to Take Good Care of Yourself as a Mom-to-Be on Bed Rest

Bed rest might sound like a dream -- like a vacation you’d love to have. But bed rest can actually be a terrifying time for moms-to-be, said Parijat Deshpande, a perinatal wellness counselor who works with women who are stressed, anxious and feel helpless during a high-risk pregnancy. It can be “hard, lonely and exhausting both physically and emotionally.”

Women can face a range of challenges. For one, many people might not understand exactly what you’re going through, making you feel even lonelier. You might feel bored, especially if you’re a go-getter, have a “type-A” personality or are used to staying busy, Deshpande said. You might feel guilty for all sorts of things -- for not being able to help out as much as you normally would, for not being able to spend time with your other kids, she said.
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Anger

5 Proven Ways to Avoid Losing Your Cool at Work

At one point or another, we’ve all felt totally irritated while at work: You pull an all-nighter on a project that then gets scrapped; a client criticizes your team for no apparent reason, or your co-worker shows up late for a meeting again, dumping all the prep work on you.
These office aggravations can make your blood boil. Your focus is immediately hijacked from the important task at hand. Instead, your mind goes into fight-or-flight mode and you become reactionary; not thinking clearly, blaming others, or beating yourself up for getting upset. In this state, you’re prone to making poor judgements and saying things you may regret later.
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General

What Facebook Personality Do You Have? A (Funny) Psychological Perspective



Social media attracts all types of personalities. Different folks come to Facebook for different reasons. Over the years, I have noticed some patterns in the types of persons who show up on your pages. They cover a wide range of personalities each with their own quirks. Some are adorable; others are outright disgusting and a nuisance. I have attempted to put together a list of those I have encountered. I’m sure you could add to this...
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