World of Psychology


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!
Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 14, 2019

Father's Day is this Sunday. For some, the holiday is a joyous occasion to celebrate the men in our lives who earned our love, trust and respect. But for others, it's another reminder of what we lost, never had or will never be.

There may be things you're already doing to prepare for the day. But have you planned ways to protect your emotional health?

I've been reading The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. In it, he shares several creative techniques to improve your mood, change your thoughts and accept your current situation. If you're heading to Father's Day with fear and anguish, you might want to experiment with some of his exercises.

One is to focus on a negative thought and imagine it spoken in the voice of a humorous cartoon or movie character. For example, how would it sound if, "I'll never be a good enough father," in the voice of Darth Vader, Yoda or someone like Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Another exercise is to imagine something you're dreading, maybe a Father's Day filled with conflict and tension. But see it as if it was on TV. Change the color of the screen. Visualize the screen stretching or upside down. The intent Harris says is to realize it's just, "a harmless picture." If after a few minutes the image is still bothering you, he suggests adding a subtitle to the image. If you envision your father criticizing you as usual, a good title might be, "Oops! He did it again." Or if this is a story you tell yourself repetitively, you could say something like, "Messed Up Dad."

The idea is to play with your fears and concerns to defuse it, taking back your power from a thought that hasn't even happen yet. It's putting you back in the driver's seat so you can control how you feel in this moment.

If you need extra support for this upcoming holiday, one of our top posts explain why online therapy may be something you should consider. Also, our bloggers share why June is particularly difficult and how humor can get you through hard times.

Shame, When You’re Too Ashamed to Talk About It

Daily we all experience a variety of emotions. Certain things make us happy, others sad. We may see certain people and feel love, or see other people who make us angry. And although most of us don’t go around discussing each emotion we are feeling, we aren’t really thinking about hiding them either. There is, however, one emotion that people sometimes feel and go to great lengths to avoid discussing, showing or admitting. Shame.

Shame is a painful emotion that causes us to feel inadequate, unworthy and as though we have failed at, well, likely everything. It’s often confused with embarrassment or guilt, but it’s actually very different than either one. Although there are similarities between the three emotions, shame is a much deeper and damaging emotion than the others.