Habits Articles

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.

7 Habits of Highly Defective People

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The Seven Habits of Highly Defective PeopleAfter you have known people for a while, you realize they are defective. They’re cheap, crude, pushy, ignorant, loud, and unattractive. How did this happen? How did people who seemed so elegant and gregarious become the varmint-like creatures you want to avoid? What made them change into the dirty froth of humanity right before your eyes? Believe it or not, science has done some research on this phenomenon.

Highly defective people (HDP) have several common characteristics that reveal themselves over time. Their habits astound and mystify us. They might look different on the outside, but on the inside they are very much alike. They share common attributes that make them a kindred clan. One or two of these traits alone wouldn’t qualify them, but with a cluster of seven, you are in the presence of a HDP. In no particular order, here’s what to look for:

5 Ways to Boost Optimism

Monday, November 10th, 2014

5 Ways to Boost Optimism

Choose to be optimistic, it feels better. – Dalai Lama XIV

Is your glass half empty or full? Are your glasses rosy or is your future shadowed by a dark cloud?

Whether you live in the best or worst of all possible worlds depends on your point of view. What we pay attention to and how we interpret it is essentially up to us. This is especially true when we think of the future.

Your Brain Might Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Your Brain Might Sabotage Your Weight Loss EffortsEveryone knows weight loss is challenging. But you might not be aware of just how unsuccessful the task can be.

According to the 2011 Food & Health Survey, 77 percent of Americans were trying to lose weight or were avoiding weight gain. Simultaneously, 70 percent of the population was deemed overweight.

Psychology Around the Net: November 8, 2014

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

books-to-spark-creativity

This week’s Psychology Around the Net features information about the psychology of storytelling, how we recognize foreign accents, using technology to treat pet anxiety, and more!

Dig in!

The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling: Stories help us feel like we have control over chaos and give meaning to our lives.

WATCH: The Psychology of Accents: Ever wonder how our brains recognize foreign accents? What about how we even develop accents? BrainCraft explores the science behind these questions and more.

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