General

How to Reject Rejection: Ice Cream Not Included

“It’s not you; it's me,” she coos. You grimace, swallowing the bitter words.

From romance to career advancement, rejection is a cold, cruel mistress. It pierces our identity, plunging us into a well of despair. We question our value, lamenting life’s unfairness. Even cruelty. Some people internalize its pain while others lash out on an unsuspecting family member or significant other.

The common denominator: You were wronged. And it hurts.

But instead of sulking or scowling, here are strategies to compartmentalize rejection for what it is: a temporary setback.
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Habits

Can Leopards Change Their Spots?

At the end of a frustrating therapy session, Emma turned to her husband and said, “you’ll never change.” Feeling defeated, she then turned to me and said, “My mother always said, ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots.’ Now I see what she means. Do you think that people ever really change the way they are? ”

“Of course I do!” I responded. “That’s why I’m a psychologist. That’s why I love my work. People can and do change -- when they’re open to it.”

Now it is true, that a total personality change is not in the cards for most people -- nor should it be. We are who we are. But changing aspects of one’s behavior (how we think, what we do, how we speak) is definitely possible and happens all the time as people adjust to new circumstances.
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Habits

Can You Cheat at Mindfulness and Self Compassion?

I have a client who laughingly says she loves to "cheat the system" -- find a short cut, an easier way, a faster route and get “more bang for her buck."

She remembers doing it as a child at school. When she was supposed to be learning how to touch type she got so frustrated with how slow it was she peeked under the hand-guard and typed faster by looking at the keys.

When she was studying and working in the corporate world she became addicted to multi-tasking -- if she could possibly get two or more things done at once she would definitely feel like she was “cheating the system”, saving time and getting more done.
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ADHD and ADD

Psychology Around the Net: November 5, 2016


I'm going to the mountains today; in fact, I might be there by the time you read this.

Of course, this isn't exactly unusual, given my state is fairly well known for its mountains. I'm sort of always surrounded by mountains, even when I'm grocery shopping. Nevertheless, earlier this week, a friend of mine sent a random text asking if I'd be interested in spending a day in an especially beautiful area of the state a couple of hours away.

"YES."

Without hesitation.

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Family

How Far Can Our Empathy Go?

I read this quote today and I had three thoughts almost simultaneously:
“Now, with regard to the people who have done things we call "terrorism," I'm confident they have been expressing their pain in many different ways for thirty years or more. Instead of our empathically receiving it when they expressed it in much gentler ways -- they were trying to tell us how hurt they felt that some...
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Habits

Moving Out of Fear and into Your Life

What is stopping you from achieving your goals in life? There are lots of things that may hinder you from taking the action required to make changes in your life, grow and reach certain goals. Fear can be one of those hurdles that continues to limit people from scaling greater heights. Fortunately, fear is a normal occurrence and it depends on your ability to move out of it in order to become what you have always wanted to be.

Fear is the sign of a window of opportunity. When you move closer to your dreams, you can rest assured that you will encounter fear. It is because of fear that you stop telling your truth and expressing yourself authentically. It then becomes challenging to move forward. However, did you know that you can move out of fear and into your life?
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Bipolar

You’re Depressed, But Are You Depressed Depressed?

Depression is a slippery word. Like many mental health terms, the way people use it in everyday speech doesn’t always line up with the clinical meaning of the word.

We might say: "This year’s presidential election is depressing." It’s understood, of course, that we aren’t literally claiming the electoral process has triggered a serious mood disorder that’s interfering with our day-to-day functioning.

In other cases, the line between colloquial "depression" and clinical depression gets a little more subtle. What’s the difference between being depressed and having a really bad day -- or a really bad month for that matter?
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Books

Psychology Around the Net: October 29, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers a myriad of interesting topics, if I do say so myself!

Keep reading for information on how the way you twist your paperclips could highlight your personality (yes, really), a new three-second brain exercises to help you find joy (it's a lot deeper, and yet just as simple, as it sounds), a few misconceptions some of us might have about male sexuality, and more.

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General

3 Creative Activities for Couples to Cultivate Your Intimacy

All relationships require regular tending. They require effort, attention and time -- like anything worthwhile. One of the best ways to tend to your relationship is to focus on your intimacy.

Intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s about cultivating your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual connection.

Specifically, intellectual intimacy is sharing thoughts or interests that each partner finds stimulating, said Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, an Arizona-based art therapist who believes in the value of creativity and communication in helping couples play, heal, and grow together.
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General

Consider These 10 Questions for Building a Fulfilling Life

Our society has all sorts of ideas about what a fulfilling life looks like. Lose 10 pounds right now, and be happier! Simplify your life! Be more productive than you ever thought possible! Own a brand new car for next to nothing! Do it all! Don’t do it all!

Our parents, grandparents, colleagues, friends, neighbors and others have their own ideas, too. Some believe that getting married, having kids and owning a home leads to a fulfilling life. Some believe that traveling around the world -- minus a mortgage -- does. Some believe that being an entrepreneur is fulfilling. Some believe it’s a 9 to 5 with plenty of free time during nights and weekends.
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Creativity

3 Suggestions for Revising Unsupportive Stories

The stories we hold about ourselves can expand or narrow our lives. One example of limiting narratives revolves around what we believe we’re good at and what we believe we’re bad at. Helen McLaughlin’s clients often create these kinds of stories, letting them dictate their decisions and days. For instance, one client might hold the story that she can’t ask her boss for a raise because she’s bad at anything resembling a confrontation. And she’s really bad at advocating for herself.

The problem? This narrative “locks her into a future in which she has little control over what she can and can’t achieve at work and in life,” said McLaughlin, a transformation coach who helps smart, motivated life-explorers to leverage their curiosity, discover what exists for them beyond their default future, and achieve their Big Thing. Plus, the client might’ve created this story based on inaccurate or outdated information—a moment from many, many years ago.
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