Happiness Articles

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?”

Psychology Around the Net: November 1, 2014

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

iPhone

Happy November, readers!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers smartphone technology for anxiety issues, dealing with unhappiness in the workplace, recovery from anorexia, and more.

5 Apps to Help You Cope With Anxiety: Guided meditations, soothing sounds for sleep, anti-stress quotes, and more.

How to Tell Your Boss You’re Not Happy at Work: Check out these three ways to get a conversation started with your boss–and possibly get your work back on a more challenging and rewarding path.

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 …

Relationships: Evaluating Your Return On Investment

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

relationship resolutions

For nearly 20 years I have been teaching at CEO Space, an entrepreneurial training and business growth conference. Being steeped in the concept of Return on Investment as it relates to money, I can’t help but transfer that concept to the realm of relationships.

Most of us start with “What is in it for me?” questioning what we are getting back in our partnerships, but I invite you to consider, “What are you returning others on their investment (of time, love, energy, money, prayers) in you?”

Psychology Around the Net: October 25, 2014

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

HSP in the city

Still afraid you’ll contract Ebola? Ever thought about how your city affects your happiness? What about reverse psychology–does that really work?

Read up on all this and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Quiz: How Does Your City Affect Your Happiness?: TIME has compiled 13 questions to help you determine if your city is contributing to or derailing your own happiness.

The Psychology Behind Our Collective Ebola Freak-Out: Are our extreme fears simply human nature?

How to Turn Your Anxiety Into a Productivity Booster: Check out these seven ways you can use anxiety to become more productive.

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.

You Must Learn to Love Yourself Before Extending Love to Others

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

loves-me-loves-me-not-flower-woman

Sometimes joy is found, not in what you receive, but in what you finally let go.

I can pinpoint “the happiest moment of my life” almost to the second. I was on a plane taxiing down a runway en-route to visit my parents in Chicago. The airline attendant began the all too familiar announcement: “Should oxygen be required, a mask will drop down from a compartment above your seat … if you’re traveling with an infant or someone in your care, make sure to secure your own mask first.”

The depth of those words suddenly hit me. Secure your own mask first. Being a mother now, I can hardly imagine the idea of putting myself before my child. Yet, at that moment, I understood this profound truth: You must love yourself and make yourself happy before you can extend that love and happiness to others.

7 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Habits Easier

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

7 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Habits EasierMany people were very intrigued by my interview with behavioral scientist Brian Wansink and his ideas. He studies eating behavior and consumer habits, and has a book that just came out: Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

I asked him for some of his top tips, and he gave me these excellent suggestions to “Help your kitchen make you slim.”

The Power of Kindness

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The FuneralThe last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had some issues with depression and paranoia. Living with schizophrenia is a rollercoaster and even little blips can turn into crises.

This depression, though, has had me feeling a deep sense of loneliness. The paranoia makes me feel ostracized from the world, and it’s really hard to feel like no matter where you go, you’ll never fit in.

This was weighing on me the other day until something happened that struck me. It put a long-overdue, sorely-needed smile on my face.

How Self-Compassion Builds a More Positive Body Image Than Self-Esteem

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Body Image

“Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.” — Diane Von Furstenberg

A new study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has touched on a somewhat taboo question: “What if women were to accept themselves with deep self-compassion — flaws and all?” In other words, what if we looked upon ourselves with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as we would a loved one or a dear friend? Would we gain a more positive body image?

The answer is yes.

Radical Self-Care for Moms

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Radical Self-Care for MomsAs a mom, when you hear that it’s important to take care of yourself, your eyes might glaze over and you may be thinking something like: “Another thing I need to add to my to-do list: ‘self-care.’ How am I supposed to do that?”

That’s the reaction Elizabeth Sullivan sometimes gets from her clients.

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