How to Stop Beating Yourself Up for Messing Up

We tend to beat ourselves up for all sorts of things—for making a bad decision 2 years ago. For making a rude remark. For not going back to school when we were younger. For getting into debt. For staying in a toxic relationship for too long. For bombing an interview for a job we so desperately wanted. For not being productive. For being too sensitive. For misspelling a word. For giving a boring presentation.

Basically, for so many of us, the list is endless.

And, of course, we beat ourselves up for days, months, years. An insult-fueled record that plays on repeat.
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Eating Disorders: Learning to Be Okay in the Rain

Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. This hierarchy looks like a pyramid, with each level building on the one below it. The very bottom, basic need a person must fulfill is entitled the "physiological needs." A component within the physiological needs is food, i.e. eating. So, this may pose a thought for some: Why, if food were available, not scarce, would this basic need in life be so hard for some people to act upon?

This leads us to the question: What is an eating disorder?
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5 More Ways Writers Write Amid Digital Distractions

Digital distractions, like social media, texting, email and the Internet in general, can easily take us away from our creative work. They not only ensure we stop concentrating on an important project. But they also can lead us to second-guess ourselves and that project in the first place.

“No matter what, I try to avoid Facebook when I’m writing because it immediately makes me compare myself to every single one of my friends,” said Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of
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Psychological First Aid for Mental Health: World Mental Health Day

When we think of first aid, we typically think of the kind of aid administered to someone when they've experienced a scrape or bruise, requiring use of a bandage or some other aid to help the wound begin to heal.

But what do people think of when they hear the term, "psychological first aid"? I imagine it's a foreign concept for most people -- that we could provide some sort of psychological help to someone in need. Today, on World Mental Health Day, it's important to better understand this concept as it catches on with people around the world.

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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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When an Apology Is Not an Apology

Why is apologizing so difficult? Saying “I was wrong, I made a mistake, I’m sorry” is more painful than root canal therapy for some people.

As a psychotherapist, I’ve found that our ability to apologize is directly related to the shame we carry. Burdened with a deeply ingrained sense of being flawed or defective, we mobilize to avoid being flooded by a debilitating shame.

When we recognize that we’ve done or said something offensive or hurtful, we may notice an uncomfortable feeling inside. We realize we’ve broken trust and done some damage.
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Motivation and Inspiration

OCD: “The Bow that You Have to Keep on Tying”

“It just doesn’t feel right. I have to fix it until it is just so!” “I need to figure it out, and once I do, I’ll feel free to move on!” “I have to check all the windows, then I’ll be able to sleep peacefully.” “I have to repeat my prayers until I know God has really heard them.” “Not knowing whether I may hurt my child makes me anxious. I waste too many hours reviewing my behavior to ensure I haven’t harmed her.”

What do those statements have in common?

When individuals experience OCD, accepting uncertainty seems to be the greatest challenge. They have extreme difficulty moving on with their day unless they feel 100% sure the answers to their doubts have been resolved. Whether it is doing something until it feels right, checking or washing, or questioning one’s behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, uncertainty is a main cause for compulsions.
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Reducing One of the Most Painful Symptoms of ADHD

Many adults with ADHD feel shame. A bottomless, all-encompassing shame. They feel shame for having ADHD in the first place. They feel shame for procrastinating or not being as productive as they think they “should” be. They feel shame for forgetting things too quickly. They feel shame for missing deadlines or important appointments. They feel shame for not finishing tasks or following through. They feel shame for being disorganized or impulsive. They feel shame for not paying the bills on time or keeping up with other household tasks.

Shame is “probably one of the most painful symptoms of ADHD and one of the hardest challenges to overcome,” said Nikki Kinzer, PCC, an ADHD coach, author and co-host of “Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast." Some adults with ADHD live with shame every day, she said.
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Children and Teens

5 Tips for Teaching Your Kids Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is vital for adults. It reduces anxiety and depression. It’s been linked to greater well-being, emotional coping skills and compassion for others. Unfortunately, many of us have a hard time practicing self-compassion. Instead we default to blaming, shaming, and bashing ourselves. We assume that self-criticism is a more effective approach. (It’s not.)

This is one reason why it’s important to teach self-compassion to our children — to give them a solid foundation for the future. A foundation for being kind and gentle with themselves and processing their thoughts and feelings without judgment. These are important skills for being a healthy adult and building healthy relationships.

But kids also need self-compassion now.
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Video: Constructive and Destructive Perfectionism

When does perfectionism go from being a good thing to a bad thing? I'm not sure there's a perfect answer to this question -- but I'm going to keep looking for one.

As a writer, one way I think about perfectionism in the context of creating something new.

Sometimes when I'm writing I'll rework a sentence several times before I feel like I've found the words that express what I'm trying to say. This tinkering with words can become a little perfectionistic, but not necessarily in a bad way. If I just wrote down every sentence that popped into my head without a second thought, reading these blog posts would be a very different experience.
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How Do We Say No When We Feel So Guilty?

I take good care of myself. My family, friends and clients know this about me. I would not be surprised if behind closed doors I’ve been described as selfish. I am actually all right with that; I own this attribute.

Taking care of myself did not come easily. I worked at it as a matter of necessity. I take care of myself for many reasons, not the least of which is that it helps me be a better person. Quite a paradox! To be a better person, I have learned to be a selfish person. Let me explain:
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3 Strategies for Supporting a Loved One with Depression

Your loved one has depression. Maybe they’re isolating themselves. Maybe their energy and mood have taken a nosedive. Maybe they’re irritable and angry. Maybe they aren’t enjoying much, if anything, anymore. Maybe they’re having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Maybe they’ve mentioned feeling hopeless or worthless. Maybe they make negative comments about themselves. All. The. Time. Maybe they wear a happy face, but you know they’re struggling.

And, understandably, it’s really hard to watch. Because all you want to do is fix their pain. To make it go away. To make it all better.
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