World of Psychology


Feeling Vulnerable? It May Not Be a Bad Thing

Have you ever avoided asking for help because you felt that it might make you look incompetent? Or have you struggled to tell your colleagues that you made a decision that didn’t work out because of a concern that you’d lose their trust or respect.

When we talk about being vulnerable, it’s often in the context of personal relationships. Being vulnerable is also integral in other areas of life though, including the workplace. Sometimes, yes, it is easier, and it may be more socially or professionally acceptable, to hold back how we feel about something. But, in general, showing vulnerability has some real benefits; science says so. Here’s the kicker -- we perceive our own vulnerability differently from how others perceive it.

6 Ways to Model Emotional Regulation for Your Kids

I like to think of myself as a fairly even-keeled person. I have 20 years of training in the mental health field and I work daily at finding ways to be a more self-actualized mother, daughter, sister, wife, and employee. However, if there is one thing that sends me to the stratosphere, it’s when someone tells me to “calm down.” And yet, I say those words to my daughter all the time.  

As I write this, I’m swamped with several work projects, some family commitments, and a pending equestrian competition. In the midst of this stress, the least helpful thing people have said to me is to “calm down.” What I’ve realized, however, is that “calm down” is like an SOS from the people who have to deal with me. What they’re really saying is, “I don’t know how to handle you right now, so please stop.” Could that be what I’m trying to communicate to my daughter when I’m at my wits’ end and feeling desperate and inadequate and have no other tools in my toolbox?
Holiday Coping

How the Holiday Season Can Illuminate Our Compassion

As the anticipated holiday season approaches, a sense of cheer and excitement is nestled in the wintry air. Multi-colored lights shine throughout residential neighborhoods, illuminating the Christmas trees and menorahs inside various homes. White lights glisten on trees, shimmering like gold in the night. The streets are festive as families gather over Christmas and Hanukkah traditions and share stories and food and laughter and merriment. (I’m of the Jewish faith, but I’m lucky to celebrate both holidays.)

Since my boyfriend’s family is Catholic, I have attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve. At the end of the service, it is custom for everyone to say "may peace be with you" — to each other — but also to those we don’t know, complete strangers.
Brain and Behavior

A Link Between Marijuana Legalization & Car Crashes? Nonsense

In October, the Highway Loss Data Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a self-published report that suggested there's a strong correlational link between automobile crash rates and the legalization of marijuana in states. This would be harrowing news if the finding was based upon strong scientific evidence.

Unfortunately for these institutes, though, the research data is murky at best. And because these organizations self-published the report, rather than going through the scientific peer-review process, it's hard to take their findings seriously.

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: November 20, 2018

All the expectations that come with holiday parties can be overwhelming and stressful. But there are ways to manage the rest of the year's activities by beginning now.

Can you lower your expectations? Are you able to use these challenging moments to practice compassion and self-forgiveness? Can you focus your energies on what you can control instead of trying to control others? Could you create your own holiday tradition that involves helping others?

One of our top posts this week will prepare you for any interactions you have planned with a narcissist. See you post-Thanksgiving!

Instant Chemistry Doesn’t Mean True Love

Instant attraction isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Do you want to find true love in a more relaxed way, without all the pressure of everyone knowing that you're "looking?" But how do you know when you’ve finally found "true love", especially when you’re meeting so many people? True love seems to be everywhere and all around you.

You may believe you'll recognize true love when you see it, or you're depending on instant chemistry to know if your new love is "the one", but if that's really how it works, then why have you and many others just like you had your hearts broken so many times before?
Holiday Coping

Holiday Stress: 5 Tips to Manage It This Year

It seems like the holiday season starts earlier and earlier every year. Once September hits the aisles throughout stores become an odd mix of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all at once. Then November 1st rolls around and homes become a mix of pilgrims and pumpkin spice with Christmas trees and "Jingle Bells".

Along with the decorations, there seems to come an expectation that everyone should be happy and overjoyed during the holidays. But, for many, this isn't the case because "the most wonderful time of the year" brings with it a lot of holiday stress. If this is you, you don't need to let the stress of the season steal your joy.

Psychotherapy and Medication (and Thrift Shopping) Will Beat My Depression

For the last few months, I’ve been depressed, so much so that I haven’t been able to thrift shop. Thrift shopping is my cure-all. This particular kind of retail therapy usually takes away my mental -- and sometimes physical -- pain. But my presence hasn’t graced the local thrift stops because I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping and staying in the house. When extremely depressed, it’s difficult to get myself together to go out.

My mood has picked up. I’m thrift shopping again.
Children and Teens

Research Links Sleep Deprivation to Risky Behaviors in Teens

It’s a battle that goes on in most households nearly every morning—the alarm goes off, and teens struggle to get out of bed while harried parents try to hurry them along. We are just glad to get them out of the door and on their way to school, never giving more than a passing thought to their sleep deprivation. But maybe we should. New research now shows that sleep-deprived teens are more prone to risky behaviors than their peers who get a full night’s rest.

When considering factors that contribute to teen drug use, drinking, and other risky behavior, few parents, if any, suspect that sleep deprivation has anything to do with it. Sure, we might notice that our teens sleep longer or go to bed later than we’d like but that’s as far as we get.