Mindfulness Articles

What I Wish People Knew about Depression

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

robin-williamsSomeone recently asked me to write on what I wish people knew about depression, in light of Robin William’s suicide. Here’s my response.

I wish people knew that depression is complex, that it is a physiological condition with psychological and spiritual components, and therefore can’t be forced into any neat and tidy box, that healing needs to come from lots of kinds of sources and that every person’s recovery is different.

Plagued with Low Self-Esteem? You Might Suffer from ‘The Uncertainty Curse’

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Woman staring and appearing to be a in a nervous and depressed state

Few states of mind are more synonymous with low self-esteem than uncertainty.

People with medium or high self-esteem are confident and secure. This confidence and security might wane a bit under stress, but it bounces back eventually: a basic, taken-for-granted assumption that one is okay, that one is capable and, often as not, correct.

That’s what differentiates us from them.

Your Inner Voice: Friend or Foe?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Your Inner Voice: Friend or Foe?Who is the person you speak to most frequently?

Why, it’s yourself, of course.

And what is the nature of those conversations? Do you tend to be harsh, nasty and punitive about who you are and what you’ve done (or haven’t done?) Do you frequently expect too much of yourself? Are you your own worst enemy? Does your self-judgment pierce your heart, deflate your energy?

If so, it’s time to take two paths to change your inner voice from foe to friend.

3 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others On Social Media

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

teen_computer09“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
~ Steve Furtick

We all have certain triggers that can cause our confidence to take a sudden nosedive.

For some, it’s a trip to the gym. If you’re self-conscious of your body, watching fit people strut their stuff in their tightest fitting gym clothes likely has you over analyzing your every body part.

For others, it may be a certain individual — a family member, friend, or enemy that, for whatever reason, leaves them with the dreaded feeling that they just aren’t enough.

How to Deal with Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 24th, 2014

inside_mind_schizophreniaI’m no stranger to nasty thoughts. I recognize when they’re present so innately that it’s safe to say it almost hurts. In my almost nine years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to battle my fair share of these thoughts and I’ve gotten so good at it that I can almost see them coming from a mile away.

If it wasn’t the notion that people were making fun of me it was the idea that I’m more important than anyone else, i.e. grandiosity.

I’ve been subject to many nights where I just stared at the ceiling in the dark letting these little monsters run and play their tricks through all corners of my mind.

Take Advantage of the Good Days

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

How Gratitude and Kindness Go Together for Brain-Changing HappinessWith the rollercoaster that is life with schizophrenia, you come to know not only the bad, tough periods where your symptoms are on fire but also the days where things are calm and you can sit still and listen to the breeze through the trees.

The bad days are hell and you feel it innately but when the good days roll around it’s incredibly easy to take them for granted. If nothing’s bothering you and your worries have dissipated it’s hard to find a reason to overthink.

I’m more than familiar with what it’s like to be so oppressed by paranoia and delusions that it’s hard to even think about leaving your bed.

Suffering From Jealousy? Try These 10 Tips to Overcome It

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

green hourglass bigst

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was the popular cheerleader in high school who seemed to have it all: perfect hair, teeth, and her hunky boyfriend made you wonder if you’d ever outgrow your awkward stage. Or maybe it was the rising star at work who beat you out for the plum promotion you wanted without seeming to break a sweat. Perhaps it’s your Facebook “friend” who is chased by a never-ending stream of “Amazing!” selfie-narrated experiences.

Whatever your source of envy, the green monster is no fun companion. Jealousy can not only debilitate your relationships with others, it can also wreak serious havoc on your health. According to Donna Fremon-Powell , certified Guided Imagery Therapist in La Habra, California, emotions like anger, jealousy, hate and resentment produce a chemical that’s very similar to arsenic. “Simply put, your negative emotions are poisonous.”

How Meditation Helps Anxiety

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

How Meditation Helps AnxietyYou’ve probably heard or read that meditation is helpful for anxiety. It is — but not in the way you might think.

“Many people have the misconception that meditation is like a magic elixir that will quickly and effortlessly reduce their stress and anxiety,” said Tom Corboy, MFT, co-author of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD.

But the primary purpose of meditation isn’t to melt your anxiety. Instead, it’s to help you become more present right now, in this very moment, he said. “[T]he anxiety reduction is just a pleasant side effect.”

3 Skills You Can Learn to Cope Effectively with Stress

Monday, November 17th, 2014

3 Skills You Can Learn to Cope Effectively with StressKnowing how to cope with stress healthfully may not come naturally, especially if your tendency is to beat yourself up. That only worsens your emotional tension and compromises coping. We also may perpetuate or even produce our own stress by thinking in absolutes or creating calamities out of any situation.

And we might experience stress when we fear that we don’t have the right resources to accomplish a task, said Jeremy Savage, MA, LPC, a professional counselor who specializes in the treatment of stress, depression and anxiety. These resources may include money, knowledge and energy, he said.

Psychology Around the Net: November 15, 2014

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

interview woman man job bigst

Job interviews, speech anxiety, and seasonal depression — oh, my!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers each of these topics and more.

Enjoy!

The Psychology of the Job Interview: Take these psychology tips, tricks, and techniques into consideration the next time you interview for a new position.

A Quick Cure for Speech Anxiety?: HINT: Not one of these tips involves imagining people in their underwear.

Developing Self-Awareness as a Parent

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Developing Self-Awareness as a ParentFor parents, being self-aware is key for connecting to their kids. When parents aren’t self-aware, they might get caught up in their own emotions instead of being present with their children. They also might not recognize that they’re unconsciously repeating the patterns of their own childhoods in their parenting today.

As Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, writes in her book Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters, “The coping skills and autonomic responses we develop over the years are like the air we breathe. More often than not, we don’t notice that air until it’s choking us.”

Are You Living Authentically or According to Others’ Expectations?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Are You Living Authentically or According to Others' Expectations? Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done? You’re not heading in the right direction or being productive enough with your time? There may be a general malaise that creeps over you at the end of the day because you still haven’t gotten that raise or started working out or cut back on watching TV. You feel generally discontent because life isn’t looking the way you thought it would and you’re certain you should be doing more.

But what should your life look like and why? Where do these expectations come from and are they even what you want?

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