World of Psychology

Mental Health America

How This Honolulu Bike Exchange Supports Community Mental Health

Every day at 3:30 p.m., young men in a neighborhood near downtown Honolulu participate in a culture circle at the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE), where they learn how to repair bikes. For the young men in Kalihi Valley, KVIBE is a second home that offers play, mentorship, and skill-building. They begin each culture circle by sharing their names, homes, and ancestors. This opening practice reinforces their sense of identity and why they matter.

Jeffrey Acido, an education and training specialist who works with KVIBE, says, “Anyone who can say these things with confidence has love for themselves -- this is mental wellbeing.”
Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 18, 2019

We survived Father's Day. But are you still recovering?

I am a little too.

One of the things I learned this weekend is why we people please and give in when we know we shouldn't. It's the aftermath of doing the right thing. And when I speak of the right thing, I'm talking about putting up boundaries, bowing out of parties that put you at risk for getting hurt, and choosing to take care of yourself instead of everyone else.

The repercussions of doing something you've never done before is scary. When you switch things up and give an unexpected response, it's possible it won't be well-received. People tend to dislike change so when you change, it triggers a domino effect making others uncomfortable that they might have to change themselves.

Even if your friends and family react with grace and kindness, you still have to deal with your own feelings of guilt.

There's baggage when we decide to do what's right for ourselves. Sometimes there's shame for being unable or unwilling to fulfill other's needs. There's the fear of disappointing others. There's the risk that you will lose relationships because of it.

All that anguish can make saying, "Yes," and doing the thing you usually do seem like the easier decision.

Something I heard this weekend on Embrace Change, a Buddhist Wisdom online summit, helped ease the discomfort.

Writer Rachel Neumann shared this short mantra that's helped me whenever I'm struggling with an emotion, feeling or experience:
"All that we have is each other and all that we have is this moment, and this moment is full of wonder."
Sometimes healing comes from healing other people's stories. Sometimes it comes from reconnecting with yourself or realizing there's no shame in how you feel. It can also come from building up your self-esteem as well as taking care of and loving yourself. These are all important topics we cover on the blog this week.

Cyberbullying: The Psychological Effects on Teens

Cyberbullying is the repeated and willful use of digital technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person. Cyberbullies use cell phones, computers and tablets. They use email, text messaging, social media, apps, forums and gaming in their efforts to humiliate their peers and others.

With today’s mandatory need for smartphones and 24-7 access to social media platforms, anyone can be a perpetual target. But because teens and young adults access these digital platforms so often, they are the most vulnerable. Staying “connected” online with friends is not always as innocent as it appears.

Feel Better in Just One Breath

Yoga has always been a source of strength and conditioning for me. Even as a child I was naturally flexible and athletic. The active, bendy part was easy, but the part of yoga that requires being still, breathing deeply, and quieting of my mind was nearly impossible for me and definitely not enjoyable. It's a little bit ironic that part later became absolutely necessary to achieve the type of peace I was seeking.

With anxiety that manifested as almost paralyzing self-consciousness, my mind was constantly analyzing every situation and circumstance, spending overwhelming amounts of time ruminating on words I had chosen in any given social context. I spent so much time inside my own head and it was absolutely exhausting.
Marriage and Divorce

Do You Know Your Style of Passion?

Studies by a Canadian researcher have identified two types of passion: harmonious and obsessive. According to Dr. Robert Vallerand, harmonious passion happens when we choose to do an activity we love and feel happy both during and after it. Harmonious passion with an activity leads to better engagement, higher levels of concentration, and greater well-being.

Obsessive passion is another matter. This type of passion occurs when an uncontrollable desire to engage in the activity causes pressure (like those who can’t stop playing video games). You are doing something you love, but the activity controls you rather than you controlling it. You have to do it and find it difficult to step away from it.

3 Steps to Break Your Painful Relationship Patterns

"Until you heal your past, your life patterns and relationships will continue to be the same; it’s just the faces that change." - Unknown
First of all: honey, you are not broken. We are all works in process. There is nothing inherently wrong with you. We all end up in a loop here and there. Sometimes it’s because we haven’t healed pain from the past. And sometimes it’s because we’ve healed our pain but still hold on to past habits. When we do this, past habits will promote the replaying of past events and, therefore, the pain will return.

Stay Funny, My Friends

Within scientific circles, humor is often treated as a “non-serious” topic. According to the article “The Importance of Humor Research” by Peter McGraw in Psychology Today, many scientists fear that their work would be disrespected if they dared to research the what, why, and how of humor. Yet, humor deserves much more reverence than professionals -- other than professional comics -- are willing to bestow upon it.

Sure, we all appreciate a good joke. We all feel better after a big belly laugh. For the most part, we’d rather invite opportunities that make us chuckle instead of frown. Mirth is a wonderful emotion! All too often, though, we focus on decreasing our less-than-fun emotional states such as depression, anxiety, and stress. What if, instead, we focused on increasing our humor quota?
Psychology Around the Net

Psychology Around the Net: June 15, 2019

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers ways you can be "good" at therapy (no joke), highlights an 11-year-old Montreal boy who created a video game to help kids understand mental health, how focusing on a few key habits can help keep you grounded when life gets hectic, recognizing postpartum depression in fathers, and more.

Get to learning!
Children and Teens

Honoring Stepdads on Father’s Day

It’s June. With Father’s Day approaching, the question again arises on the internet about whether to honor the Stepfathers and how. I wish the day would be renamed to something more inclusive. Fatherly Day? Male Role Model Day? All Male Nurturers Day? Whatever. Stepfathers who do what’s required to be real Stepdads deserve recognition and appreciation too.

Stepfather families comprise about 8.4% of U.S. married couples with children. That may not sound like much, but it translates to 16.5 million men being Stepdads and 4.1 million children who live with their biological mom and a Stepdad. That’s a lot of fathers and children!