Addiction

Instant Gratification: When Right Now Means 5 Minutes

“If you act right now -- right this very instant, you can own this shimmering, heart-shaped pendant for the budget-busting price of $250. But you have to act this very moment,” a caffeinated TV blowhard shrieks into your television screen.

You cackle, questioning the (in)sanity of anyone spending $250 on a cheesy pendant. As the cackle disappears, you lean back and contemplate your own spending habits. You, self-described Mr. Thrift, just dropped $250 on a pair of must-have sneakers. The problem: Your exercise regimen consists of walking past the gym.

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Anxiety and Panic

Change Can Throw You Off

A lot of things have been happening in my life recently. I just got a big job that I’m very nervous about, it’s something that hard to do but I’m also looking for a challenge. On top of that I’m moving to a new place at the end of the month.

Suffice it to say that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff.

Anybody would have a hard time with two huge things on the horizon, but as I live with schizophrenia I have to be extra conscious of the compounding stressors that I’m putting on myself.
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General

Self-Doubt: How to Place Self Above Doubt

I should have tenure. Maybe even a corner office with a panoramic view of the quad. No question, I have the research background.

I second-guess (or third-guess) my decisions, craving irrefutable evidence that my decision-making is sound. As I analyze and overanalyze, sinking in mental quicksand, life whirs past. Indecision is a decision. And that decision is measured in missed opportunities.

As overthinkers, information is our frenemy. Analytical and creative, we are natural thinkers. Our inquisitive minds crave nourishment. But, in a lot of cases, we overindulge.
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Disorders

Are You Seeing a Good Therapist? 5 Tell-Tale Signs

You find a therapist online or through your insurance. Or maybe a friend recommends them. Either way, you call and make your first appointment. You start seeing this therapist for 50-minute sessions once a week.

But how do you know if your therapist is actually good? It can be tough to tell because therapy can seem like a mysterious, cloaked process. We generally know what makes a good primary care physician or a good dentist. But what do good therapists say and act like?
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: July 9, 2016


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

I hope my fellow Americans enjoyed last week's Fourth of July celebrations! Unfortunately, my neck of the woods has been devastated with rain and extreme flooding, so I didn't get to celebrate as much as I would have liked.

However, the sun is shining today, and it's time to catch up on this week's latest mental health news! Keep reading for information on how medical marijuana has lowered prescription drug use, see pictures one photographer uses to chronicle his quest for peace amid anxiety and depression, which habits say a lot about your personality, and more.

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General

4 Ways to Validate Yourself

“I put in a request for my annual review three weeks ago,” a friend told me. “I’ve reminded my supervisor about it, but she still hasn’t scheduled it.”

It’s bad enough to worry about whether or not you’ll get a raise or a promotion, but now my friend is left feeling like she doesn’t even matter. Work for her has meant lots of unexpected travel and many weekends on the job. None of these were part of her job description, and yet…
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Brain and Behavior

Getting to Know Your Three Brains: Part 1

Happy relationships make happy people. Perhaps the most important relationship we have is the one with our self. In fact, the better the relationship we have with our self, the better we feel, the easier life is and the better relationships we have with others.

When we judge our self harshly, we tend to judge others harshly as well. There is a direct correlation between how we treat ourselves, how we feel and how we treat others.

Regardless of whether you believe it, you do have power to change for the better. How do I know this? I know this because in my journey to become a health care professional, I had the great fortune of learning about the brain. This knowledge helped me tremendously.
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Habits

7 Tips to Finally Stop Procrastinating

How many times each day do you try to work yourself up to tackle some undesirable task? If you’re like me -- several times.

For instance, I’ve been refining my Four Tendencies Quiz. Almost 500,000 people have taken the quiz -- which is extraordinary -- and I’ve made adjustments to it, along the way, to make it better.

Analyzing the Quiz results takes a very different kind of brain work from the kind that I usually do -- and it’s not the kind of brain work I like to do. And so I put off that work, and put it off, and put it off. And then when I finally do the work, I get through it quickly and am so relieved to have it done. So why procrastinate?
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General

7 Confidence-Killing Words and Phrases to Ban from Your Vocabulary


If you have great ideas, you need to know how to communicate them. At work as in relationships, it all starts with conveying confidence. But a challenge many high-achieving women run up against are bad speech habits that have been conditioned in us over the years. Without us even knowing it, these verbal crutches can damage our internal and projected confidence levels and can even negatively impact how we’re perceived at work.

Women’s brains are naturally tuned for emotional intelligence and specialized for masterful communication. The female mind is hardwired to pick up nuances in spoken language and
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General

Why Self-Compassion Isn’t Self-Indulgent

So many of us think that self-compassion is the same as self-indulgence. That is, we think that self-compassion means sitting on the couch and zoning out while we watch TV. For hours and hours. We think self-compassion means shirking our responsibilities. We think it means buying things we can’t afford because we simply want them. We think it means being solely ruled by short-term pleasure, letting self-gratification dictate our actions.

We think it means not being accountable for our choices, said Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, a therapist in private practice in San Francisco. We see self-compassion as coddling ourselves and being hard on ourselves as the only way to achieve results, she said.
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General

How to Bring More Laughter into Your Life

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion, to the futility of thinking and striving anymore. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward -- and since I can start thinking and striving again that much sooner.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday
The next time you have a really stressful day, it’s your job to find one thing about your day and reframe it so you can laugh at it. Can you do that? I couldn’t imagine doing it either. Finding humor in everyday situations takes practice, and when you spend a lot of time dwelling on stress everything seems serious and urgent.
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