Anger

How to Achieve Mental Freedom

Living in a chaotic world can be a huge struggle when our external environment has more power than our internal selves.

There are different ways to determine if you are struggling to find a balance between your external and internal lives. Overthinking can be indicative of this struggle; external thoughts dominate your inner peace.

The internal locus of control drives us to actively fulfill the purpose we have set for ourselves. Feeling weak causes us to rely on external factors to dictate our drive. Ultimately, the problem is that we begin to live in a mental prison where we have little control over anything. And if the problem is mental prison then, consequently, the solution is mental freedom.

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Family

Can Too Much Social Media Cause Depression?

Most of us are familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s easy to get caught up in the virtual social world. You may feel instantly connected to people you haven't spoken to in years. Hours of our time can be spent witnessing our friends' family vacations, children’s momentous occasions, birthdays, weddings and even difficult life transitions such as divorce, sickness and deaths.

Social networking relationships can have a positive emotional effect. However, numerous studies have been conducted and articles written linking social networking to depression and social isolation, eliciting feelings of envy, insecurity and poor self-esteem. On the contrary, other studies indicate that social media sites can be positive for people struggling with social anxiety and depression.

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Brain and Behavior

Is the Cure for the Common Cold Within Reach?

Handshakes, High Fives, Fist Bumps, And Hugs
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” - Virginia Satir
In 2008 Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, gave each other a fist bump after a well-received campaign speech in Minnesota. The gesture went viral. It became the new handshake. Now, according to some, it may be trending as a health initiative.
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Anger

The Art of Apologizing

Apologizing is hard. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a halfhearted apology, you know how demoralizing that feels. In stark contrast, a good apology is elixir for relationship wounds.

Mara and Jack had been living together for a year. While dusting, Mara accidentally knocked over a glass figurine and it shattered against the tile floor. Unfortunately, it was the cherished award Jack received as an honor for his fine work in advertising.

Mara’s first impulse was to hide the evidence. She was panicked about how Jack would react. She entertained fantasies of running away to avoid his anger and upset.
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Creativity

Boredom Can Be Dangerous for Mental Illness

While I always recommend making time for relaxation, there’s one facet to having time on your hands that I must caution about.

All too often people with mental illness are left with idle time, myself included, which can lead to trouble. Spare time means more opportunity to worry and overanalyze things that happen. This is common among anxiety sufferers, but it can be even more of a problem for people in my situation, namely people who are living with schizophrenia.

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Anorexia

Psychology Around the Net: April 9, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

As you read this, I'm probably looking out my window wondering where spring went. (Snow? Really?) Or, if the weather forecast is wrong -- *fingers crossed* -- I'm outside romping around with my dog.

Regardless of your weather situation and how it affects your Saturday plans, you must check out the latest in mental health news this week first. Want to know about the possible negative impact of smartphone apps designed to help mental health management? We have it. How about signs that you're experiencing "sympathy pains" from your partner's depression? We have that, too.

Oh, and on a more upbeat scale, we've thrown in an inspiring call-to-action from the award-winning violinist and YouTube superstar, Lindsey Stirling.

Enjoy!

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Celebrities

Whom Do You Respect?

Take a minute and consider the question, whom do you respect? Should this be a long list or a very short one? The problem with a long list is the candidates probably can’t be well vetted. A short list may make us out to be too cynical.

Let’s define the size of the list. You can only put five names on this esteemed list. This won’t restrict you, just possibly be a cause for adjustment of the definition.

Maybe you’ve gotten this far and can’t figure out why you should bother to make such a list. It’s because this list is a reflection of who you have become, failed to become, or still desire to become.
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Anger

4 Steps to Surviving Infidelity

Of all the things someone can do to ruin a relationship, cheating is usually considered to be the most unforgivable. But if statistics are true, then nearly half of us will encounter infidelity at some point in our lives -- either our partner’s or our own.

Reactions to infidelity depend on many factors. Evidence suggests that, in the context of heterosexual relationships, men find it more difficult to forgive a sexual affair while women take emotional infidelity much harder. It is also much easier to move beyond an affair that’s voluntarily disclosed by the cheating partner than one that’s unexpectedly discovered.

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Children and Teens

The Benefits of Not Jumping to Conclusions

Human brains simplify information under stress. Largely out of awareness, we have a tendency to categorize experiences into extremes of good and bad, black and white, right or wrong. Most of life, however, happens in the gray areas. We lose the subtleties that are always there if we are too quick to know.

When I take something personally or feel stung by something someone said or did, I try to remind myself to get curious about other meanings, other ways of understanding the moment. For example, if someone is rude to me at a store, I could easily get angry and think to myself, “What a jerk!” But that thought process also gets me more riled up. That way of thinking fuels my anger, which makes me feel more agitated. My goal is to keep calm.

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General

5 Ways to Make Love Thrive

You may have discovered that despite your best intentions, you can’t control the course of love. While the experience of love is replete with awe and wonder, how to create conditions for it is not a great mystery. Rather than exhaust ourselves trying to control people, we’d be wiser to make skillful efforts to create these five conditions, culled over 35 years of being a marriage and family therapist.
Mindfulness

John Gottman, a psychologist an author of
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Bipolar

A Tribute to Patty Duke

As you probably know, actress Patty Duke died on March 29, 2016. Of course, her talent as an actress can’t be denied, but her mental health advocacy was equally important. This advocacy is what puts her in my personal Hall of Fame.

First diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, Patty Duke was one of the biggest spokespersons for people with the disorder. She made it a lifelong mission to dispel the stigma of the disease. She spoke openly about her illness in two books: Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness. Call Me Anna was published in 1987, almost 30 years ago. Patty Duke was completely out of the closet about her mental illness in the 1980s. That is a big deal.

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