Stress Articles

Psychology Around the Net: December 6, 2014

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

coping-holidays-mental-illness

Happy December, sweet readers!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net brings you information on holiday stress, naked selfies (what?!), improving your fitness, and more.

Enjoy!

6 Signs You’re Too Stressed About the Holidays: Do you dread parties? Are you afraid of disappointing others? What about extra resentfulness or forgetfulness? These signs and more could be indicators you’re way too stressed out about the holidays.

The Social Psychology of the Naked Selfie: Why do people keep taking naked photos and storing them in places where they know there’s a potential for hacking?

Too Stressed to Meditate

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Too Stressed to MeditateFor the past couple of years, meditation has been easy. I’d put in some hard work over the previous decade and had found a place of stillness each time I took to the cushion. Sure, sometimes what I met as I observed my mind was difficult, but my practice had become productive and indispensable.

I spent the last two years as a stay-at-home dad of a toddler. I did all of the dad, and much of the mom, stuff. I managed the house, cleaned (badly), cooked (very well), arranged activities and play dates, and did what I could to keep the family satisfied.

None of this was easy, but my daughter napped every day. And while she napped I had a solid 35 minutes to meditate, without fail. I taught a couple of classes each week, and led a Wednesday night drop-in meditation group, but that was more rewarding and fulfilling than taxing.

Then it all came to an end.

ADHD & Adults: Help for Organizing Your Household

Friday, December 5th, 2014

ADHD & Adults: Help for Organizing Your Household Almost every symptom of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) plays out in the household, said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and author of the book The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus and Get More Done.

Disorganization and distractibility lead to lost papers, unpaid bills, piles of laundry and lots of clutter, which can negatively affect relationships and spark blowups, she said.

Lack of planning leads to late dinners, leading to both cranky kids and parents, she said. (Plus, many kids with ADHD also are picky eaters, which complicates meal-planning even more, she added.)

Believe in Yourself: A Surprising Way to Boost Morale

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Believe in Yourself: A Surprising Way to Boost Morale

Recently, I read Christopher Isherwood’s memoir, My Guru and His Disciple. It’s an account of Isherwood’s relationship with Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu monk who was his spiritual mentor and friend for more than thirty years. (The photo shows Swami Prabhavananda on the left, Isherwood on the right, and Aldous Huxley between them.)

I was surprised to learn that Christopher Isherwood — who’s perhaps best known for The Berlin Stories, which was the basis for Cabaret — lived for years in Swami Prabhavananda’s monastery in Los Angeles, and considered becoming a monk himself.

How to Use Affirmations to Combat Negative Self Talk

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

negative mind map

Have you ever pasted up a big sign on your bathroom mirror that says something like, “You are beautiful!” to try to improve your mood and self esteem? And found that it works not at all?

We all have a mean voice inside our heads that criticizes us, often much more harshly than we would ever criticize another person. For many of us, this negative self talk manifests as specific repeating phrases, especially when we are feeling stressed or upset: “You’re such a failure.” “You’re so ugly.” “You can’t do anything right.” You’d never say this to another person, but there it is, knocking around inside your head.

3 More Obstacles in Therapy and How to Overcome Them

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Talk the Talk: 10 Tips for Starting TherapyLast month, in this piece, psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D, shared three top obstacles in therapy: feeling shame for having problems and needing to go to therapy in the first place; not knowing how therapy works; and having to trust a total stranger with our innermost thoughts and feelings.

This month we asked Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist who pens the Psych Central blog “Psychology of Success,” to share three additional obstacles in therapy and how to overcome them.

6 Tips for Approaching the Holiday Season

Monday, December 1st, 2014

6 Tips for Approaching the Holiday SeasonFor many of us, the holidays are stressful. Our stress might stem from having a narrow, rigid view of how the holidays are supposed to be, said Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, a therapist in private practice in San Francisco.

We might feel pressure, from ourselves and others, to have a joyful holiday. But we might not feel particularly joyful, or at least not all the time if our family isn’t close by or our relationship is complex, she said.

In fact, it’s not uncommon when you’re spending time with your family to “find yourself catapulted back in time, taking on roles and participating in dynamics that you may have believed you’d left behind,” Shinraku said.

7 Tips for a Saner Holiday

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

7 Tips for a Saner HolidayAs soon as autumn comes, people’s thoughts begin to shift to the holidays, and sometimes those thoughts are accompanied by difficult emotions such as depression, frustration, and anxiety.

For some, the holidays conjure up unpleasant associations, such as the first event without Grandma there, or prickly family get-togethers. Then there are financial worries, the pressure to come up with gift ideas, dealing with school kids on vacation, to-do lists, and much more.

Plagued with Low Self-Esteem? You Might Suffer from ‘The Uncertainty Curse’

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Woman staring and appearing to be a in a nervous and depressed state

Few states of mind are more synonymous with low self-esteem than uncertainty.

People with medium or high self-esteem are confident and secure. This confidence and security might wane a bit under stress, but it bounces back eventually: a basic, taken-for-granted assumption that one is okay, that one is capable and, often as not, correct.

That’s what differentiates us from them.

How to Navigate Anger When You’re Used to Stuffing it Down

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

How to Navigate Anger When You’re Used to Stuffing it DownMany of us are afraid of our anger, so we shove it down. We may worry that if we express it, we’ll do damage to ourselves or others, said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anger management in Rockville, Md.

We may say or do things at home or at work that we regret or will trigger negative consequences, she said.

Society also plays a role in shaping our fear or mistrust of anger.

Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression For people with depression, the holidays can be a challenging time. People with the illness “tend to have a negative view of themselves and their lives,” said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating depression in Rockville, Md.

“If they have overly idealized beliefs about what the holidays should look like, the resulting discrepancy can be very difficult.”

5 Sneaky Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

Monday, November 24th, 2014

depression symptoms

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years when it comes to our ideas about depression. In the 1980s and even the 1990s, people often still saw it as a moral weakness, a sign of being “crazy,” or as something to be dismissed completely.

Today most people not only know someone who has struggled openly with depression, but they can probably also rattle off a handful of symptoms just from watching the many depression medication television commercials that dominate the airwaves. The voiceover asks “Are you always sad and tearful? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? If so, ask your doctor about this medication.”

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