LifeHelper Articles

How to Be More Assertive at Work

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At WorkWe’ve all had days or weeks or months at our jobs where we feel like we’re being taken advantage of. You know the feeling: if it doesn’t come in getting passed over for an opportunity, it comes at the hands of either your boss or coworkers not giving you the respect you think you deserve.

You’ve also come up with reasons why these things happen. Sometimes it’s because Jerry from the art department is a brownnoser. Sometimes it’s because of your bad luck and the notion that you just can’t catch a break. Overall, though, you just wish you could be more assertive.

When Depression Lies & You Feel Like a Failure

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

When Depression Lies & You Feel Like a Failure

Anybody who’s grappled with depression knows this: depression lies (or hashtag #depressionlies if you prefer). It tells us the sweet, seductive story that our life is bleak, without hope and therefore, without meaning.

But perhaps nobody knows this more than people who head up a company and are responsible for the livelihoods (and in some cases, the very lives) of their staff and employees. They feel the burden of responsibility even more if they have investors, advisers and bankers.

We know it because of highly-publicized suicides like Aaron Swartz and Jody Sherman — people who had bright futures, but couldn’t see them through the cloudy haze of the lies depression tells.

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?A new study that will be presented tomorrow finds that 33 percent of students surveyed for a study at an Ivy League college said they did not think taking an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, like Adderall or Ritalin, is a form of cheating. Another 25 percent weren’t sure if it was cheating or not, and 41 percent thought it was.

It’s almost as if these college kids need to crack open a dictionary once in a while. Cheating is “to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.”

If you’re not taking an ADHD drug for ADHD but rather for its brain-boosting effects, guess what? — that’s cheating.

4 Proven Ways to Overcome Adversity

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

4 Proven Ways to Overcome Adversity   Does it seem like every challenge that you experience becomes a big headache in your life?

No matter what adverse events you are currently experiencing, there is a purpose behind each one. For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine that losing a child or finding out that you have cancer is a blessing. I know from personal experience.

Living with Extreme Sound Sensitivity

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Living with Extreme Sound SensitivityIf you feel disgusted to the point of rage when you hear the sound of chewing, swallowing, breathing, throat-clearing and other common “people” noises, you’re not alone. You’re also not crazy. Misophonia is a sound sensitivity disorder, which makes certain noises intolerable to the sufferer.

Although this condition is primarily neurological, the experience of these sounds can cause psychological distress. The term misophonia was developed by Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff, American neuroscientists. Literally translated, it means “hatred of sounds.”

Waiting: A Tough Skill to Master

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Waiting: A Tough Skill to MasterWho wants to learn how to wait well? Nobody I know. We want not to wait! We are busy people. We’ve got things to do, places to go. We don’t want to waste our time on the phone, in waiting rooms or in traffic. We can’t even wait for winter to be over with.

Because the digital age had made our life faster and easier, by contrast, the times we are forced to wait have become more annoying. Two examples:

The Most Important Question You’ll Ever Ask

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Most Important Question Question You'll Ever AskWhat’s the most important question you can ask?

You’re already asking it — we all are — but most of us aren’t aware of it. It’s called a “virtual question,” a question that lives outside of our conscious awareness but affects almost all of our behaviors. Our virtual questions shape our experiences and paint the backdrop of our lives, coloring everything. Changing your virtual questions changes your life.

In my therapy practice, I was recently working with a client who is caring for her elderly mother. My client shared with me how she was in terrible pain, emotional pain, watching her mother grow old. She didn’t know what to do to feel better. But after we discovered her virtual question, she experienced great relief.

5 Easy Ways to Combat Overthinking

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Combat OverthinkingDo you ever become trapped in an overanalyzing rut?

I tend to think a lot in general, but sometimes, I find myself looking at a subject way too closely and way too much, and the ruminating takes on a life of its own. (It might even revolve around an abstract concept as opposed to an actual event that’s occurring.)

When introspection becomes stressful, there are antidotes. Here are some of my personal suggestions…

How Does Low Self-Esteem Negatively Affect You?

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

How Does Low Self-Esteem Negatively Affect You?We live in a world where there is an epidemic of low self-esteem. It affects almost every aspect of our lives, from how we think about ourselves to the way we think about or react to life situations.

When negative influences and thoughts are prevalent — generated either from within ourselves or through others — it adversely affects the way we feel about ourselves. It also affects the experiences we have in our lives.

Over time this can lead to low self-esteem which can reduce the quality of a person’s life in many different ways. Unchecked, low self-esteem may even lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, sometimes with tragic results.

Talk the Talk: 10 Tips for Starting Therapy

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Talk the Talk: 10 Tips for Starting TherapyA friend of mine recently told me about her experience of starting psychotherapy. She said she would have liked a list of pointers to help her understand what she was getting into before she started. That sounded like a good idea to me.

It’s not uncommon to want a few signposts when we start a journey. Inspired by her, here are 10 things I think might be helpful to you if you’re new to, or thinking about, therapy.

Observe & Accept Your Thoughts, But You Don’t Have to Follow Them

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Observe & Accept Your Thoughts, But You Don't Have to Follow ThemOur minds are like cities. Some blocks are beautiful, safe, open and pleasant. Others are imaginative, colorful, creative and fun. Then there are the blocks that haven’t been cleaned in awhile and therefore are cluttered, littered, and foggy.

And like every city, our minds have blocks that are dark and dangerous. They lead to harm. To turn down a block like this is a choice, and can be a form of self-sabotage.

Our thoughts are spontaneous. But you don’t have to follow them.

The Many Faces of Empathy

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The Many Faces of EmpathyWhile empathy doesn’t come in as many varieties as are found in the cereal aisle, it is no more uniform than it is universal.

Empathy is generally understood as the ability to appreciate the ideas and feelings of another, even if those ideas or feelings are different from one’s own.

It is also volitional — I have to put on someone else’s shoes to be able to walk around in them awhile.

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