Self-Esteem Articles

Psychology Around the Net: January 17, 2015

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The Paralysis of Analysis: On Overthinking

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net will help you fill your weekend with ponderings about potentially healthy ways to change your perspective, what it really takes to fall in love (or, at least, feel closer to someone), how your state ranks when it comes to mental health services, and more.

Enjoy!

5 Ways to Adjust Your Perspective in 2015: Feeling moody? Want more creative inspiration? What about help focusing on the “important things”? These five tips might surprise you.

6 Tips for Building Emotional Muscle When Life Gets Tough

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Woman outdoors holding flower smiling

If your emotional muscle is damaged from the past, it’s up to you to build it back up.

The scenario happens so often, it’s practically cliche:

A woman or man in an “unhappy” marriage meets someone new. Instantly, there’s a powerful connection, and maybe even an affair occurs; and, instantly, this person thinks she or he now knows how to be happy again.

The Reasons We Ruminate and How to Reduce the Cycle

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The Reasons We Ruminate And How to Reduce the CycleWhen we’re ruminating about something, we’re really obsessing about it. We overthink it. We blow it up in our minds. We review a situation over and over. And over.

Therapist Melody Wilding, LMSW, compared our ruminating minds to a broken record. Typically we ruminate about the past, including perceived mistakes and missed opportunities, she said.

Ruminating is “characterized by overwhelming self-criticism and negative self-talk about one’s failures and shortcomings.” We think that if we’d just done something better or had been better, the outcome would’ve been more positive, she said.

Why Compliments are Powerful

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Why Compliments are Powerful

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. ~ Mother Teresa

Psychologist John Gottman most likely agrees. His widely respected research found that in good marriages, compliments outnumber criticisms by more than five to one.

My book, Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love:30 Minutes A Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted, tells exactly how to hold a successful marriage meeting. They are short, gently structured conversations with your spouse which fosters romance, intimacy, teamwork, and smoother resolution of issues.

What is Commitment Phobia & Relationship Anxiety?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

commitment-phobia-relationship-anxiety

For most people, relationships are fairly easy things. They come as naturally to life as breathing or making a meal.

For some, however, relationships are not so easy. In fact, they present such a challenge to the individual, that a person can be said to have relationship anxiety, a fear of relationships, or suffer from “commitment phobia.”

Commitment issues in relationships are nothing new. But our understanding of how the fear of commitment for some people can be paralyzing has increased. And while you won’t find “commitment phobia” in any diagnostic manual, it is a very real experience of anxiety and fear.

Here’s the lowdown on commitment phobia and relationship anxiety.

4 Simple But Significant Ways to Start the Day with Self-Compassion

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

I'm Not Psychic: The Cold, Hard Truth about CatastrophizingSelf-compassion provides a bounty of benefits. It helps us create more meaningful relationships — with ourselves and with others.

According to psychotherapist Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, practicing self-compassion helps us tolerate difficult feelings instead of turning to distractions — such as a credit card or remote control — and becoming dependent on them, she said.

“This pattern can be painful, because it traps you in a never-ending quest to avoid discomfort.”

Self-compassion teaches us that we don’t have to turn away from discomfort. “In fact, feeling the emotions that are present allows them to flow, while avoiding them tends to keep them stuck.”

Learning from Abusive Relationships

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

When Depression Becomes DepressingRelationships are hard for everyone, but especially for survivors of child abuse. Before I started my recovery work, I spent years in relationships that were obviously abusive and damaging to my emotional wellness, but I was too blinded by my own trauma to see it.

My family had always taught me that survival depended on having a man in my life. In my family, women kept abusive men around because of this belief.

It was critically important for this to be ingrained in each family member as early as possible. There could be no understanding of their individual power. They must believe they could not survive without a partner or the abuse might not be tolerated.

How to Deal with Mental Illness Stigma

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

How to Deal With Mental Illness StigmaI’ve seen the worst of it. I’ve been asked if I’ve ever killed anybody and I’ve seen the disgust on people’s faces when I disclose the simple fact that I have schizophrenia.

Nine years in and this illness is so much a part of who I am. I imagine it’s the same for others in my boat, that not disclosing feels like I’m leaving a major part of myself out of the conversation. It’s become such a defining characteristic that I feel like I’m lying to people if I don’t eventually tell them.

The thing with me, though, is that I’m so practiced in social interaction that you would never be able to tell that I have schizophrenia.

A Surprising Way to Quiet Your Inner Critic

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

The Many Factors That Trigger DepressionSelf-criticism has many faces. It might be a subtle push toward producing better work, or it might be an aggressive or abusive assertion that you’re wrong, bad or seriously flawed, said Ali Miller, MFT, a therapist in private practice in Berkeley and San Francisco, Calif., who specializes in helping adults live more authentic, empowered and connected lives.

Self-critical thoughts have two things in common, she said: They’re very painful, and they’re founded on the belief that you’re not good enough.

They may sound like: “I’ll never amount to anything,” “I’m so lazy,” “I always ruin relationships,” “I’m a lousy cook/mom/dad/friend/worker/person.”

Introverts: You Were Born That Way

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Introverts: You Were Born That WayI hate people. I must hate people. I recently took a night class at a local university, and I didn’t learn any of my classmates’ names. I never spoke to any of them. I just knew them by description.

Asian woman with glasses. Asian woman without glasses. Australian woman. British woman. Dude with beard. Dude without beard. Am I a jerk? Maybe. But maybe something else is going on.

I’ve been called many things in my life. Reserved. Shy. I especially like anti-social; my older sister came up with that one (thanks, Jessica).

Hang On, It Does Get Better: On Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide Note

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Leelah Alcorn Transgender TeenBefore dawn on Dec. 28, 2014, a transgender 17-year-old in Ohio allegedly wrote a suicide note on her blog, walked to Interstate 71 and stepped in front of a tractor-trailer.

“Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in … because I’m transgender,” Leelah Alcorn wrote on her blog.

Leelah’s story has gained worldwide attention with Twitter users under the hashtag #LeelahAlcorn calling for acceptance and an end to the stigma surrounding gender nonconformity. But there is another group out there, the younger members of the LGBT community who need to know definitively that life does get better. It will get better.

Resolutions: Letting Go of Shoulds this New Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Letting Go of Shoulds This New YearAround this time of year, you’ll inevitably see articles about how so many of us fail to follow through on our resolutions. Within a few months or even weeks, we drop whatever intentions we originally had.

I think a big reason why we fail to stick to our resolutions is because they’re really “shoulds” — as in I should be more efficient at work. I should exercise more. I should be more focused on my goals. I should be more organized. I should eat differently. I should look differently.

“Shoulds” don’t speak to our deep desires. Rather, they’re steeped in shame.

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