Habits

3 Pointers for Prioritizing Your Self-Care

Today, self-care has become a buzzword. And when something becomes “trendy” or seems to show up everywhere, we tend to write it off. It becomes a kind of background noise. Maybe you think self-care is a hollow synonym for pampering yourself -- and that doesn’t ring true for you. Maybe you think self-care is an indulgence. Something for people with plenty of time. And money. A luxury that doesn’t fit into your life.

While self-care...
Continue Reading

Happiness

Video: Be Passionate, Not Just Content

Let's say for a minute that instead of a therapist you have a genie that will grant you three mental health wishes. Whatever's getting in your way, bothering you, holding you back, poof, it's gone, solved by the mental health genie.
OK. So now what? There's nothing to make you unhappy anymore. Does that mean you're happy?
At the very least, it probably means you're content. Things...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: June 25, 2016


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Whew, I've had a stressful week. I've been juggling everything from major work deadlines to doctor appointments to preparing our guestroom for entertaining company all weekend, and honestly, the only thing that's helped keep me focused is my to-do list.

That's right. I am a huge advocate of to-do lists. I know some people avoid them, but, not I. I can't even explain the sheer elation I feel each time I mark off a...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

The Joy of Giving

In The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm wrote: “Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.” The more we give, the more we experience the world as the creation of our efforts and as a reflection of our aliveness. In the well-being of individuals that we support, we experience our aliveness. In the growth of communities to which we are genuinely dedicated, we experience our aliveness. The entity that we care for, whether it is a community, a fellow human being, or any living or nonliving form, is the source of our empowerment. In it we see our power; through it we feel alive.

For experimental psychologists, a cause and effect relationship, no matter how plausible and beautiful it sounds, cannot be accepted unless it is confirmed by means of experimentation. To test whether giving contributes to our well-being and whether giving is more joyous than receiving, Elizabeth Dunn and colleagues conducted an experiment at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Continue Reading

General

Self-Care: Living Life According to Your Values

Self-care isn’t a list of activities. Take a bubble bath. Take a walk. Take a dance class. Practice yoga. Get a manicure. Get a massage. Meditate. Listen to music. Light candles. Sleep in.

It’s not that these activities are insignificant. Rather, self-care is most meaningful when it’s connected to your values. In fact, that’s how clinical psychologist Erin Olivo, , MPH, defines self-care: “living your life according to your values.” Self-care is...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

4 Things That Hurt Your Thinking & Keep You Stuck

It's easy to get stuck in life. Most of us have experienced this feeling of "stuckness" at one time or another, feeling that despite everything we try and do, we can't move forward in our life.

One characteristic of being stuck is that our brain doesn't move forward. While our brain is nothing like a computer processor (which can handle millions of instructions per second), it does have a set, finite capacity of our attention. It can't be thinking of a hundred things all at once and attend to them all equally.

With a limited attention span and "brain cycles," what kinds of things can bring our brains -- and our lives -- to a screeching halt?

Continue Reading

ADHD and ADD

How to Stop Stressing about Work & Finally Fall Asleep

If you’re like most people, you’ve been affected by stress-related sleep problems at some point, lying awake at night filled with anxiety about your career and the future.

Often everyday worries about impending deadlines and your to-do list give way to bigger, more stressful questioning, “Is this job really what I want to be doing with my life? What if I quit? Will I ever discover
Continue Reading

Habits

How Can You Being ‘Drifting’ if You’re Working So Hard?

Drifting is the decision you make by not deciding, or by making a decision that unleashes consequences for which you don’t take responsibility.

If you want to dodge a fight with the people around you, or you want to please them, or you want to avoid a struggle with self-doubt or uncertainty -- you drift. In my case, I drifted into law school.

Because I think drift is so important, I made a vow to myself that I’d raise the issue anytime I spoke to students -- high school, undergraduate, or graduate. And it always strikes a chord.
Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading

Antidepressant

6 Ways to Achieve Genuine Happiness During Depression


Every time I watch television, I see commercials for anti-depressants and I’m taken back to a time in my life when I was severely depressed and ON similar medications.

I was so depressed that I was hospitalized for three weeks. The overwhelming feelings of fear, sadness, and anxiety were paralyzing.

Today I hear that depression is a "disease" -- that it's a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes it. It's estimated that
Continue Reading

General

Squashing Self-Criticism

I strive to use mindfulness in all facets of my living and being. For me, the most beautiful and valuable gift that mindfulness offers is permission to receive, and to let go, repeatedly, particularly of my self-criticism. This helps me stay connected to the good, rather than the critical parts of myself. It helps me to experience my wholeness, and the wholeness of human nature, of which I am a part. This breeds contentment within, allowing me to be more authentic with self and others.

Many of us are conditioned to acquire, or be in constant pursuit of things, feelings or status. Often we feel less equipped to honor and navigate loss in our lives. Mindfulness creates a larger space for joy, making it easier to find in times of struggle.

Continue Reading