Habits Articles

Psychology Around the Net: November 22, 2014

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Young Woman Sleeping With Eyeshades..

This week’s Psychology Around the Net is jampacked with everything (OK, some things!) you need to know about sleep habits, disclosing mental illness in the workplace, trying to achieve happiness, and more.

There’s More to Sleep Cycles Than Being a Morning or Night Person: “In a small study being published in Personality and Individual Difference, research from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences found that in addition to the traditional night owl or lark, people tend to have different energetic times of the day that might counter their sleep patterns.”

What Habits Are Best for Creativity?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

What Habits Are Best for Creativity?When I tell people that I’ve been working on Better Than Before, my book about habit change, many people ask, “What habits are best for creativity? What habits help people think creatively — and also, actually produce?“

Often, people make the case for adopting a particular habit by pointing to a renowned figure who practiced that habit, with great success.

30 More Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery

Friday, November 21st, 2014

30 More Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery	In September I shared 30 prompts, questions and ideas to help you get to know yourself better.

This month I’m sharing 30 more.

When we get to know ourselves better, we know what we need. That means we can respond to those needs and make better, kinder decisions.

Raised to Be a Pleaser

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Raised to be a PleaserDo you have a strong need for approval from others? Do you have difficulty saying no, yet often feel resentful about what you agreed to do? Do you get overly involved with people’s problems, postponing attention to your own?

Try to please everyone and it’s likely you’re operating on overload.

How Meditation Helps Anxiety

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

How Meditation Helps AnxietyYou’ve probably heard or read that meditation is helpful for anxiety. It is — but not in the way you might think.

“Many people have the misconception that meditation is like a magic elixir that will quickly and effortlessly reduce their stress and anxiety,” said Tom Corboy, MFT, co-author of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD.

But the primary purpose of meditation isn’t to melt your anxiety. Instead, it’s to help you become more present right now, in this very moment, he said. “[T]he anxiety reduction is just a pleasant side effect.”

What Does Your Habits Manifesto Look Like?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

What Does Your Habits Manifesto Look Like?Writing a personal manifesto is a great exercise for clarifying your thinking — and it’s also a creative, absorbing process. I’ve written my Twelve Personal Commandments, and I also collect Secrets of Adulthood, which aren’t manifestos but are related to the same impulse.

As I’ve been writing Better Than Before, my book about how we make and break habits, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about habit-formation.

So I decided I should write my manifesto for habits.

3 Skills You Can Learn to Cope Effectively with Stress

Monday, November 17th, 2014

3 Skills You Can Learn to Cope Effectively with StressKnowing how to cope with stress healthfully may not come naturally, especially if your tendency is to beat yourself up. That only worsens your emotional tension and compromises coping. We also may perpetuate or even produce our own stress by thinking in absolutes or creating calamities out of any situation.

And we might experience stress when we fear that we don’t have the right resources to accomplish a task, said Jeremy Savage, MA, LPC, a professional counselor who specializes in the treatment of stress, depression and anxiety. These resources may include money, knowledge and energy, he said.

How Do You Relate to Your Environment?

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

How Do You Relate to Your Environment?I’ve been reading Brian Little’s interesting book, Me, Myself, and Us: the Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being.

Among other things, he discusses various  frameworks for understanding people’s different traits.

I’d never heard about the “Environmental Response Inventory” before, and found it very compelling. Created by George McKechnie, this set of traits is meant to identify the way that people are oriented toward their everyday physical environments.

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty Life

Friday, November 14th, 2014

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty LifeCultivating a healthy relationship with food can increase our zest and taste for daily life.

1. Notice how you feel. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and drop into what it feels like to be in your body. Does it feel dumpy, sluggish, drab, or low in energy?

Now, notice if there is a similar relationship to the foods you have been eating recently. For example, are you eating dumpy foods? Does your food look gray and dark? Overcooked, dull, lifeless? Simply notice if there is a relationship.

On a biological level, we are what we eat. Certain foods and their preparation carry potential vibrancy for increased flavor and life energy. See if adding more food with vibrant color and zest makes a difference.

How to Remain Calm in a Trying Situation

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

How to Remain Calm in a Trying SituationI’ve had my fair share of overwhelming times. There have been times where I’ve been so thrown back in my chair that I had to excuse myself from the situation to get a grip on things. If it wasn’t anxiety it was a punch to the gut as some sort of veiled insult or rejection. These things can happen often and it takes skill not to let them get the best of you.

Just yesterday I was hanging out with a girl I liked and she mentioned that she had a new boyfriend. That may seem trivial, and it probably is, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t taken aback. I’ve learned (with a lot of practice, though) to just roll with the punches. I don’t let trivialities get to me much anymore and I think it’s a skill that could benefit everyone.

Are You Living Authentically or According to Others’ Expectations?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Are You Living Authentically or According to Others' Expectations? Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done? You’re not heading in the right direction or being productive enough with your time? There may be a general malaise that creeps over you at the end of the day because you still haven’t gotten that raise or started working out or cut back on watching TV. You feel generally discontent because life isn’t looking the way you thought it would and you’re certain you should be doing more.

But what should your life look like and why? Where do these expectations come from and are they even what you want?

6 Eye-Opening Ways to Get to Know Yourself

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

6 Eye-Opening Ways to Get to Know Yourself When you know yourself on a deeper level, you can create a life that is meaningful and joyous for you, according to psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC. Art therapist Lisa Mitchell, MFT, calls this deeper level our “essence.” This is you at your center or core.

Knowing yourself also helps you distinguish your issues from someone else’s. “The better you know yourself and your psychology — your triggers, your relational themes and patterns, your biases, your tendencies — the better able you will be to both take responsibility for yourself as well as let go of that which is not yours to contain,” Marter said.

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