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Transforming Failure

My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them.

- Bono
I agree with Bono. Surviving a mistake or a perceived failure and transforming it into wisdom or a life lesson is inspiring. If you do an Internet search for quotes or articles on failure, there seems to be a never-ending supply. Like love, heartbreak, or jealousy, failure is a natural and challenging part of the human experience that none of us is exempt from.

Failure can be bitter and hard to swallow. We often cannot accept it very easily. It is a strong and intense experience that we may hide from, or refuse to admit to others because we are embarrassed, shamed, or defeated. However, like other bitter things found in nature, such as the coffee or cocoa bean, we have to process it to extract its rich gifts and reframe it into an insight, strength, or life lesson.

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Anxiety and Panic

5 Mistakes So Many of Us Make When Navigating Anxiety

Every one of us experiences anxiety. And we can experience anxiety about anything in our lives. Anxiety expert Marni Goldberg’s clients struggle with everything from worrying about the future to feeling like they’re not good enough to being overwhelmed by daily demands.

Many of psychotherapist Tracy Tucker’s clients struggle with a fear of the unknown. Much of the anxiety couples therapist Christine Holding, LMFT, sees in her office has to do with abandonment, rejection and failure.

Maybe you can relate to experiencing the above fears. Or maybe your anxiety is of a different flavor.

Whatever your worries, you may be unwittingly approaching your anxiety in ways that actually increase it. Many of us do. Below are five unhelpful approaches and what can help instead.
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Kaiser Continues to Improve, But Can Do Better for California

Apparently a $4 million stick wasn't big enough to encourage Kaiser Permanente in California to offer residents better mental health care in the state. While Kaiser fixed two of the deficiencies originally identified by the government agency charged with oversight of care in California, it still didn't fix two others to the agency's satisfaction.

The two issues still a problem for Kaiser are: providing timely appointments for behavioral and mental health services, and Kaiser's inability to share information with patients.

What's the point of offering mental health care if nobody can access it?

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Psychology Around the Net: February 28, 2015

Check out this week's Psychology Around the Net to learn more about smokers and their relationships to anxiety and depression, how your state ranks regarding the five aspects of life satisfaction, neurons that predict how we might react in particular situations, and more.

Neurons That Help Predict What Another Individual Will Do Identified: Scientists have located two groups of neurons in primates that: one that activates during cooperation situations and another that predicts how one will react.

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3 Stress-Busting Tips to Free Your Mind

Need to pull yourself back together super QUICK? Here are 3 fixes to ease your mind in no time.

Are you like me? Whenever I read the paper or watch the news and see stories about war, starvation, killing rampages, rape, and other atrocities, I feel anxious and worried. In addition to worrying about the fate of the world, on a personal level, I also sometimes feel frustrated by annoying work or family relationship issues.

Although I try my best to meditate every day to quiet my stress and remember my inner happiness, after 24 hours, I seem to collect a new array of fears or angers.
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Failure to Launch

John was never the greatest of students but he did manage to graduate from college in six years. Yay! His parents breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he had accomplished what he set out to do.

Now, three years later, Mom and Dad are feeling increasingly distressed. John is living back home and going nowhere. His motivation to get a job comes and goes. The bulk of his day is spent on social media, video games and getting high.

He shows little interest in becoming an independent, self-sufficient adult. If his parents would get him an apartment, he’d move in a minute. But the idea of working toward that goal is beyond him.

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5 Reasons You May Not Be Happy and What to Do about It

Take a breath. Sit quietly for a moment. Close your eyes, and ask yourself if you are happy. Take your time.

For many of us, something inside of us is asking for more. Something is asking us to pay attention.

Here are five reasons you may not be happy, and five things to do about it.

1. Acceptance.

Acceptance, while necessary, may be used as an excuse. How do you know if acceptance has gone wrong? Look at what’s happening in your life right now. If it’s not what you say you want, then your life is trying to tell you something.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: February 27, 2015

On Super Soul Sunday, Rob Bell told Oprah, "...when you get married you get a second set of eyes." The same can be said when you get children and about every business partnership, therapeutic relationship and friendship you have.

Relationships are like mirrors. They reflect what issues you're still struggling with. They show us what we still haven't worked on within our selves. They also give us another way of perceiving the world.

Years ago, I remember telling a friend quite smugly that I was glad to be single because it gave me the chance to learn about myself. She replied, "Relationships can teach you things too." We were both right. All relationships have something to teach us. The most painful ones are our greatest teachers giving us an opportunity to know ourselves better and grow.

As you'll read this week, a therapeutic relationship, the relationship you have with yourself and with the stranger on the street, all have something to teach you. The key is to be open, willing and ready to hear the lesson.

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The Perfect Office Design: Does Your Office Measure Up?

I’m a huge fan of the work of Christopher Alexander, and yesterday, for the hundredth time, I found myself urging someone to read his book, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. This strange, brilliant, fascinating book uses architecture, sociology, psychology, and anthropology to describe the most satisfying environments.

Instead of talking about familiar architectural styles and elements, it focuses on "patterns," such as the Sitting Wall, the Front Door Bench, Child Caves, the Sequence of Sitting Spaces, Sleeping to the East. I love these! I want them for my own apartment!
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Anxiety and Panic

Anxiety 101: Don’t Cross the Rocky Mountains in February

I know what you’re thinking. "Of course you shouldn’t cross the Rockies during the coldest, snowiest time of year." But while it may seem obvious that you could be setting yourself up for disaster, worriers like me throw ourselves headlong into harrowing obstacles all the time. We ignore that voice in our heads that says "I can’t handle this" and try to muscle through.

Self-doubt keeps us from listening to our highly sharpened instincts. We spend so much of our lives preparing, honing, gathering information and yet that doesn't stop us from throwing our better judgment out of the window. 
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Is Your Partner Depressed?

A married couple came to psychotherapist Rebecca Nichols, LPC, to improve their communication. The wife was having a hard time concentrating on conversations. In the last few months she’d become increasingly irritable and indecisive. And she constantly snapped at her husband. While the couple’s communication certainly needed work, it turned out that the wife was struggling with depression.

Thankfully, this couple sought help. Nichols helped the wife work through her depression, and helped both of them improve their relationship. But often depression goes unnoticed, especially when the signs are subtle.

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5 More Tips for Increasing Your Self-Confidence

In a previous post, we discussed five tips for increasing your self-confidence. Here are five more.

1. Speak your mind.

Being clear about what you want and need makes it much easier to set personal boundaries. Saying "no" sometimes gives the "yes" more meaning. Speaking up and setting boundaries does not necessarily mean you will never do anything to help others. It simply means that you are able to assess whether someone’s request is urgent or reasonable, and respond accordingly.

It is not necessary to become aggressive; there are acceptable ways to say what you need to say. Being truthful in a kind way shows a healthy sense of self-regard without unduly alienating others.
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