“If you’ve been a victim of any kind of abuse, that it’s almost as if someone is putting their poison, their hate, their fear into your body. And when you write, your pen is a little utensil, a little tool, to pour that hate out of your own body and put it onto the page.” – Author Cynthia Bond, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday
Everyone carries pain in some way or form. Some scars are visible. Others are hidden, but just as powerful. Emotional scars harbor pain that can quietly, but painfully dictate your life.
In our five posts this week, you’ll learn more about yourself such as why you’re the oddball of your family, why you ended up with a mental disorder and why you run from happy relationships and towards people that hurt you.
Writing could be the tool that heals your pain, but so can knowledge, self-reflection and awareness. They can answer questions, connect you to others that share your pain and in doing so transform your experience from hopelessness to one of hope.
“Hence every thing, that is new, is most affecting, and gives us either more pleasure or pain, than what, strictly speaking, naturally belongs to it. When it often returns upon us, the novelty wears off; the passions subside; the hurry of the spirits is over; and we survey the objects with greater tranquility.”
– David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, 2.3.5
This is a striking thing about habits — they tend to deaden. For better and for worse.
When a person has been resistant to every form of depression treatment, is it possible that their illness stems from a different place? In a recent New York Times article Hillary Jacobs Hendel, a psychotherapist, writes about a patient who experienced what she calls “chronic shame.”
Hendel’s patient, Brian, had tried every type of treatment but electroconvulsive therapy, which he didn’t want to do. After meeting with him, she learned that he was neglected as a child.
Maybe you’re having a rough day at work. You’re clashing with a colleague. You just got out of a pointless meeting. Or maybe you squabbled with your spouse or best friend. Maybe you’re exhausted or nervous about an upcoming presentation or exam.
Whatever the situation or stressor today, you could benefit from some relief. You might want to feel more relaxed. Or maybe you need to calm down so you can think clearly. Thankfully, there are many ways you can feel calmer in the moment. Below, two psychologists share 10 helpful strategies.
When a person hears they’ve just been diagnosed with any kind of cancer, the last thing running through their mind is taking care of their emotional health. But your emotional and mental well-being is probably just as important a component of any other part of your treatment, it needs your attention.
Yet another study has been published showing that your emotional and mental health are incontrovertibly tied to your physical health. And in the latest research, maintaining your mental health has been shown to be tied to more positive quality of life and less depressive symptoms.
The researchers also theorize that such improvements may also help a person combat cancer itself.
Last week, New York was hit with a steady snowfall and blankets of white covered the ground. This winter has entrapped us time and time again. Stuck inside. Icy roads. Frigid temperatures. Plans cancelled. What do they say about March? That it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb?
As I type this, the weather is beginning to change, and I feel inklings of spring — the start of something brand new, the season for beauty and rejuvenation.
So, how will spring’s gracious arrival benefit us?
I was going to write this post weeks ago when I first read the story about triggering memory.
But I forgot.
I also forgot where I put the notes, and the research. But, I did remember the number for the Chinese takeout and to invoice early as per my client’s request.
What’s that about? Why do some of these must-do details stick in our memories, while others — which we had contemplated just moments before — don’t?
Is this a familiar scenario? You’re sitting around the table, at home or at a restaurant. You and your loved ones have already talked about each other’s days. You’ve already discussed the delicious meal and any upcoming plans.
And now you’re sitting and maybe eating. In silence. Or maybe everyone is looking down and tinkering with their phones.
Disagreeing is not always easy. How do you handle a difference of opinion with your spouse or others? Do you express yourself truthfully and respectfully? Become angry or defensive? Or do you try to keep the peace with silence or by changing the subject?
Virginia Satir, a social worker and founder of the family therapy movement, specified five types of communication people use when disagreement exists:
Your partnership is rolling along pretty well. Long gone are days when you wondered whether you’d be accepted and wanted. You’re in a solid partnership, or living together, or married. You’ve settled into a comfortable routine with each other: shared dinners, sleeping together, and maybe caring for the kids.
In short, you’re coasting in your relationship. Other tasks, such as work, clamor for attention and the partnership is low-maintenance. All is well. Or is it?
As much as we parents like to protect our babies, we are also responsible for preparing and teaching them about the various realities of life. The ability to cope with disappointments, accept the consequences of their actions, develop problem-solving skills, and become functioning, independent adults depends largely on our parenting choices.
Self-respect, responsibility, and accountability are not things that come naturally to toddlers and young kids. We must repeatedly teach them, show them, and help them to develop these traits and skills through our own actions as well as the expectations that we set for them.
We often assume that in order to achieve our goals, we need to become more confident. We need to work through our deep-seated self-doubts and then take action. Because then we’ll be ready. Then we’ll be able to achieve what we want to achieve. We’ll feel more secure with ourselves. We’ll actually believe in ourselves.
While learning ways to be more confident can be valuable, you don’t need to put your goals on hold until you do.