Books

5 Ways to Live Well with Chronic Pain

None of us ever set out to live a life with chronic pain and illness, but it happens. There comes that moment when you are sitting in yet another doctor’s office going over your symptoms for the third time that week, and the physician is simultaneously squinting his eyes, trying to make sense of your laundry list of complaints while scribbling something in your file -- when you realize that your story might not ever have a Cinderella ending.

You panic. You may throw things (when you get home). Niagara Falls begins to erupt from your eyes. And then gradually, over time and much heartache, you embrace Plan B.
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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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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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Anxiety and Panic

5 Times to Embrace the Power of Negative Thinking


Yes, REALLY.

My whole life I have been told to embrace the power of positive thinking. This was something a lot of adults said to me, a negative, nervous little girl, riddled with anxiety.

Well, that and "stop worrying or you'll give yourself an ulcer."

Thanks, Mrs. Nicholson! Ulcers don't work that way! Anxiety is more than something other than an annoyance for you to deal with from 9 to 3! Fourth grade was a living nightmare and also I hate you!

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Memory and Perception

What’s in a Name? The Merging of Sound and Mood

Embodied cognition dances in a multi-dimensional universe, existing in thousands of separate guises...

Take, for example, the pair of odd shapes in this image. If asked which shape is called "bouba," and which is "kiki," 98% of people say the blob is "bouba" and the other is "kiki." The reason appears inherent in the shapes: the blob is softer and rounder, the other shape (kiki) is harder and sharper. Bouba is spoken in soft tones, while kiki is spoken in hard tones. The blob shape is calm, the pointed shape is manic.
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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

4 Ideas for a Happy, Healthy Halloween

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines the word “ mask” as both “something that serves to conceal or disguise” and something that is a “protective covering for the face.”

Human beings are the ultimate improvisers. The masks we wear allow us the flexibility to adapt to the myriad improvisations we find ourselves engaged in on a daily basis. From the drive to work, dinner with family, conversations with friends... we literally have no idea what’s going to happen next. Therefore, having this amazing ability for response-ability is relatively useful for successful living, at least in my perspective.
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Books

3 Tips for Helping Your Kids Develop Empathy

Every child is already empathic. We all are (with a few exceptions). We are wired for empathy. We are wired to connect, communicate and collaborate with others.

Empathy develops in infancy. “A child first learns to tune in to his or her mother’s emotions and moods, and later on to other people’s,” write Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl in their new book The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids.

They further explain, “What the mother feels, the child will feel and mirror. This is why things such as eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice are so important in the beginning of life. It is the first way we feel trust and attachment and begin to learn empathy.”
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Mindfulness

The Transpersonal Nature of Intimacy

“In Zen Buddhism, intimacy is a very important word. In the early Chinese literature of Zen ... it was used as a synonym for the ... breakthrough that’s more commonly called realization or enlightenment. When you are intimate, you are one with. When you are not intimate, you are in your head.”
- Aitken Rōshi, The Ground We Share
Most of us experience a deep longing for an intimate connection. But have you considered how this longing stems from the very same impulse that moves us toward a spiritual life?

A vital spiritual life is different than clinging to high-minded religious ideas. Spirituality is synonymous with being intimate with our world. It’s not about the ideas in our head; it’s about the love in our heart. It's about our capacity to open to something larger than ourselves. We come into direct contact with the quiet pulse of life that flows through us and between us.
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Creativity

6 Questions that Can Strengthen Your Inner Will

When 39-year-old Uzeyer Novruzov fell off his 18-foot ladder during the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent, my heart stopped. The balancing stunt once landed him in a coma for three days, but that apparently has not stopped the circus performer from attempting it over and over again.

The first thing he said when he rose to his feet was, “If you give me another 90 seconds, I can do it.”

“What the...?!?” I yelled to my husband and son as we watched Uzeyer beg the judges for more time.

Inner will -- THAT is what it looks like.
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Addiction

6 Signs You’re a Productivity Addict

Do a search on Google for “productivity” and you’re served up almost 18 million results.

Dive in and you’ll find blogs, websites, apps, op-eds, subreddits, consulting firms, podcasts, and scientific studies devoted to the art of efficiency.

Our obsession in modern society with doing more is rivaled only by our preoccupation with doing it harder, better, faster and stronger. We’re gunning the engines at max speed, cramming our work days full of tasks, then feeling guilty if we steal a quick second to call a friend or read a book for pure pleasure (gasp!).
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