Psychology Articles

The Psychology of Personal Space: Seat Reclining

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The Psychology of Personal Space: Seat Reclining

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard more and more accounts of airline flights being diverted because of an argument over reclining seats. Reclining seats are obviously not the problem — they’ve been available on most airlines’ flights for the past five decades.

The problem is that as airlines seek to eek out every dollar of profit from your pocket, many have decided to reduce the space between seats, making your personal space up to an inch smaller than it was just a year or two ago. The person in front of you trying to recline their seat isn’t to blame — the airline you’ve chosen to purchase a ticket from is.

But all of this really a battle over personal space. And no battle may be more emotionally involving than this one.

Is It Guilt or Shame?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Child punishmentI started this column about guilt — why it stalks me. Why, no matter how hard I try to be a good girl, I can’t get rid of the knot in my stomach that says I’ve been busted, just like I was with a bottle of vodka at band camp in high school. However, upon doing a little research on this topic, I don’t think guilt is so much my problem as shame.

They are related but different.

Dealing with Insults: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

P3270051My friend is waiting for a table at a local restaurant. She is one of those table stalkers, who intuitively knows who is getting up when. She’s been hovering over a certain table for a good half hour. She is most certain the table is hers until some guy comes out of left field and starts talking to the couple who is leaving. Then he sits down with his girlfriend.

This does not deter my friend from her mission. With the confidence of Marilyn Monroe, she plops down at the table with the guy and his girlfriend and unfolds a napkin over her lap.

Can Weather Affect Your Mood?

Friday, August 29th, 2014

weather-affect-mood

As most of the nation suffers through some of the hottest temperatures on record this summer, people are asking the question of how exactly does weather impact our mood. For instance, how does hot weather affect our mood? Does it make us more aggressive — or even more violent?

Does rain make us sad? How about cold temperatures… do they make us feel more like wanting to hunker down, hibernate, and isolate ourselves from others?

Let’s revisit how weather affects our mood and impacts our lives.

We All Need to Take it Easy Sometimes

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Vinoth ChandarThis past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.

When Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without …

Life is Like a Game of Tetris

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Life is Like a Game of TetrisI always loved the game of Tetris as a kid. I don’t allow myself the time to play it so much anymore, but maybe it would be a useful practice now and then. Tetris, while a game of speed and strategy, also teaches us acceptance, flexibility, and gratitude if we are open to learning.

There was nothing more satisfying than clearing four lines at a time. It was enough to bring jumping and shrieks of joy. It was even better when playing against someone else.

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in Psychosis

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in PsychosisIn the midst of a psychotic episode, whether the result of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one of the main motivating factors in our jilted decisions is the imagined symbolism in meaningless circumstances or objects.

I can remember when I was out on the streets of New York and Boston, deep in the midst of a major psychotic episode. I was convinced I had a mission to bring peace to the world, and though I was destitute, I wandered around following signs and colors and motions of passersby convinced there was some deeper symbolism or meaning in these insignificant things.

5 Facts Many People Don’t Know About Depression

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

5 Facts Many People Don’t Know About DepressionDepression is one of the most common conditions in the world. It affects all segments of society and virtually all cultures, said Constance Hammen, Ph.D, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California.

And yet many people don’t know much about depression or tend to misunderstand it. Some misconceptions “persist because depression has tended to be stigmatizing and people don’t learn about it, discuss it, or recognize it.”

Therapists Get Anxious, Too

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Therapists Get Anxious, TooMy heart was pounding, my breathing restricted, my hands sweaty.

My instinct screamed at me, “You’re too young to die. Turn back now.”

My rational brain said, “That’s just your anxiety talking. You’re only going up the stairs of a lighthouse.”

My rational brain also said, “Lean forward as you climb the stairs, because if your panic makes you pass out, you don’t want to fall backward into the spiral of doom.”

Awakening to Ourselves As We Are: The Essence of Mindfulness

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

by Hans-PeterThe renowned psychologist Carl Rogers famously said, “The curious paradox is that when I can accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

This statement is as simple as it is profound — and yet not easy to implement. Yet it embodies a principle that is a key to both psychological health and spiritual growth.

Psychology Around the Net: August 16, 2014

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

suicide-prevention-lifeline

This week’s Psychology Around the Net explores suicide and depression, happiness, and finding your life’s purpose.

Robin Williams Death Spotlights The Growing Risk Of Suicides Among Baby Boomers: Not only has Robin Williams’ suicide shined a spotlight on depression and how it can take hold of even those who make us happy, but also it highlights statistics not may are familiar with, such as the suicide rates among middle-aged Americans has climbed 30% in the last decade.

15 Myths About Suicide and Depression: Even though it’s more prevalent than AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined, many people just don’t understand depression and the suicide risk.

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