Habits Articles

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.

A Potential Way to Get an Extra Hour in Your Day

Friday, November 7th, 2014

clockalmostmidnightFor Better Than Before, when I talk to people about the habits they want to change, they often mention that they lack the time for a new habit.

To clear time to schedule a new morning habit, many people try waking up a bit earlier, but this can be tough for people who struggle to get out of bed.

Foods to Improve Your Mood

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Foods to Improve Your MoodScientists are beginning to recognize the link between diet, levels of inflammation in the body, and mood.

It is a commonly held belief that your gut is in fact your “second brain.” In fact, more serotonin (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter) is produced in the gut than in the brain. Eating anti-inflammatory nutrients on a regular basis can help you lower your stress levels, feel calmer, and maintain energy from the inside out. Processed foods, on the other hand, do the exact opposite.

It’s Not That I Stopped Thinking…

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

It’s Not That I Stopped Thinking…I’ve often attributed my success in managing bipolar disorder to the meditation practice I added to my treatment regimen years ago. While there’s no doubt that the noticing involved in meditation has helped me head off major episodes of mania and depression, I changed something else in my life at about the same time I began to practice. This adaptation may have equal weight in my wellness. What did I change? I stopped reading fiction.

Panic and the Media: Unraveling the Worry

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

News mediaA Manhattan doctor went bowling in my neighborhood recently and was diagnosed with Ebola the next day. It seems to be the only thing you see on the news anymore and it has people across the country truly frightened.

I got married in early October and my aunt, who’s from a small town in Arkansas, was anxious about flying into and out of New York airports. The 60-something Southern belle who’s in great health watches the news almost exclusively.

Your odds of dying from Ebola in the next year is 1 in 309,629,415, according to the Washington Post. You’re more likely to die in a flood, from a bee sting, or by simply suffocating in bed. But statistics aren’t necessarily enough to make people feel better. I understand that because I’m an anxious person.

The Power of Befriending Our Feelings

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

feelings____by_LestaAs a psychotherapist, I often invite my clients to notice and welcome their genuine feelings. Many clients feel relieved that it’s okay to feel whatever they happen to experiencing. And they feel reassured that someone (namely, me!) is interested in hearing their authentic feelings without judging them.

But some people are troubled by the prospect of opening to their feelings. They ask some version of the following: “Why would I want to feel those feelings? Why would I want to experience pain, hurt, or sorrow?”

5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Saving Yourself First

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”

- Robert Gary Lee

A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.

I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I did so quite poorly and ended up being an emotional basket case most of the time anyway.

Secrets of Adulthood: Nothing Is More Exhausting Than the Task That’s Never Started.

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

NothingIsAsExhaustingTask_124869Agree, disagree?

For the research for my forthcoming book about habit change, Better Than Before, I asked people about …

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-Compassion

Friday, October 24th, 2014

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-CompassionAs I wrote in this piece on journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery, part of building a healthy relationship with ourselves is keeping an open and honest dialogue. It’s continually asking ourselves questions and welcoming the answers. It’s getting to know ourselves, at our core.

Another part of building a healthy relationship is cultivating self-compassion. But I know that for many of us this is hard. Really hard. Being kind feels foreign, and unnatural. Instead, after many years, our automatic reaction may be to bash, berate and bully ourselves.

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