General

Navigating Your Natural Tendencies When You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

Being a highly sensitive person (HSP) comes with gifts -- such as greater empathy -- and some challenges. For instance, HSPs tend to get overwhelmed by their environments. We’re bothered by everything from big crowds to bright lights. (In an earlier piece we shared five ways to navigate this overwhelm.)

HSPs also are keenly aware of their shortcomings, and they’re especially critical of themselves, said
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Bipolar

The “Good Family” Myth

I first heard the term “good family” when I was 27. I had moved to a new town and joined a new church. A family, the Posts, who also attended the church, embraced me. They had me over on Sundays after the service for pot roast, carrots and potatoes.

I was fresh out of graduate school, working as an adjunct writing teacher at two universities, and both mentally and physically healthy.

The Posts were a family of two parents and of three girls of marrying age. They were interested in good families because they wanted the girls to marry good boys.
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General

When “I Can’t” Thoughts Run Your Mind and Life

Everyone experiences “I can’t” thoughts -- as in: I can’t go back to school. I can’t get a promotion. I can’t be successful. I can’t get that job. I can’t ace that test. I can’t write a long research paper. I can’t run that race. I can’t give a presentation in front of everyone at work. I can’t find love.


We think we can’t do all sorts of things. As psychotherapist Chris Boyd, MA, said, “There’s truly no limit when it comes to ‘I can’t’ thoughts.” In fact, he once heard a quote that “80 to 90 percent of our thoughts are repetitive, useless and negative.”
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Family

Learn to Love Yourself First

Most psychologists will agree that being loved and being able to love is crucial to our happiness. Sigmund Freud once said, “love and work ... work and love. That’s all there is.” But for many, the search for love causes a great deal of frustration and unhappiness. And what about self-love and its significance to our quality of life?

Whether you’re single, happily in a relationship, or in an “it’s complicated” couple, it’s our relationship with ourselves that sets the foundation for all of our other interactions and is the secret to having fulfilling and healthy intimate relationships.
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Anxiety and Panic

5 Tips for Highly Sensitive People in Navigating Overwhelm

When you’re a highly sensitive person, you have a rich and complex inner life. And you tend to get overwhelmed -- more so than non-sensitive people. You might get overwhelmed by bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, coarse fabrics and big crowds. You might feel frazzled when someone is watching you work or there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. And you might feel frazzled when there’s a lot going on around you.*

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) tend to get overwhelmed or over-stimulated because they “process more information from their environment and from within than others do,” said
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Does Crying Make You More Depressed?

“Live to the point of tears,” said Camus.

That’s not so hard if you have treatment-resistant depression or any kind of chronic mood disorder. You learn to take tissues with you wherever you go. In the middle of a depressive episode, especially, crying happens as naturally as sneezing or blowing your nose.

Two or three days of every month are tearful ones for me. Sometimes the crying is triggered by hormonal changes. Sometimes it is a release of stress. And sometimes I don’t really know why I’m crying. I just do.
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Habits

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? Your Health May Depend on It

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

Imagine a beautiful painting hanging on your bedroom wall. Every morning, just upon waking, you meditate on this inspiring work of art. You soon find that this daily practice energizes you and affects your entire mindset throughout the day, encouraging you to look for the beauty in life.

One morning, however, as you’re carrying out your morning ritual, you happen to notice a few of the artist’s mistakes.
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Anxiety and Panic

Networking for Introverts: 4 Secrets to Meet New People

Networking can be, at times, awkward and even produce anxiety. The thought of reaching out to people you don’t know to build potential business relationships can seem daunting. How do those “super connector” social butterflies carry themselves with such confidence while others stammer and stutter?

As it turns out, there’s a psychology to relationship building that will not only help you feel more secure when meeting new people, but will also transform your stack of business cards into meaningful connections that may advance your career.
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Books

A Great Way to Cultivate Gratitude

We know that being grateful is important. It boosts our energy and well-being. It helps us to cope with stress. Simply, it brightens our mood and helps us feel good. But sometimes we forget to give thanks. Sometimes, we give thanks only on certain days (such as holidays) and not on others (the days we’re exhausted, overwhelmed, burnt out). Sometimes, we count a few blessings to ourselves but quickly move on to something else.

In his book Gratitude Works! A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity author and psychology professor Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D, includes practices for cultivating, or growing, our gratitude. Because as he writes, “Through practice, giving thanks grows from the ground of one’s being. Grateful feelings, once buried, can surface if we take the time to notice and reflect… Gratitude is like fertilizer to the mind, spreading connections and improving its function in nearly every realm of experience.”
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Bipolar

How to Deal with Psychosis the Moment It Occurs

Psychosis is defined as being overwhelmed to the point of losing grip on reality. Sometimes this manifests itself as paranoia that people are going to kill you and sometimes it manifests itself as delusions that people are sending you secret messages through their body language or their words.

Essentially psychosis is when you start to fully believe that the things your brain is telling you are true and, for people with mental illness, psychosis is a big thing to worry about.

It goes without saying that a life of not being able to trust your own mind is not the greatest carnival ride in the world, but millions of people deal with it on a daily basis.
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General

3 Myths about Healthy Marriages that Most People Think Are True

There are many myths about what a healthy marriage looks and feels like. When we start seeing these myths as facts, we get into problematic territory. Many myths create unrealistic standards, which when we bring into our homes and apply to our relationship can hinder them. For instance, if you think you should only attend therapy when your problems are dire, you might be waiting way too long.

Below, Lena Aburdene Derhally, MS, LPC, a psychotherapist and relationship expert, shared three myths and the associated facts, along with several practical tips.
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Depression

How Much Should You Challenge Yourself with Depression?

“When you’re emerging from a depressive episode, how do you know when to push yourself -- in terms of commitments and challenges -- and when to be gentle with yourself?” someone asked recently on my depression community, Project Beyond Blue.

That’s one of the toughest questions facing people who have repeated depressive episodes because, no matter what they choose, they are sure it was the wrong choice. If you don’t take that night course, you feel like you wussed out. But the stress of studying for exams when your cognitive functions are in the toilet doesn’t really get you far either.
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