World of Psychology

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: March 20, 2015

"Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big, juicy creative life, of imagination and radical stillness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let it happen." - Anne Lamott
Reading writer Anne Lamott's words brings tears to my eyes. It's a reminder of all the things and people we let stand in our way of our true brilliance. We let our relatives prevent us from pursuing what we know would make us happy. We allow our past to stop us from achieving a successful future. We make excuses for our stagnation and allow our talents, creativity and beauty go to waste.

I hope her quote and this week's post will remind you about what you do have control over. That you with all your glorious potential, talents, and quirkiness have much to give the world...if you have the courage to share it.


What Habits Are Best for Channeling Creativity?

When I tell people that I’ve been working on Better Than Before, my book about habit change, one of the questions that people most often ask me is: "What habits are best for creativity?" They want to know what habits help people think creatively -- and also, actually produce.

Often, people make the case for adopting a particular habit by pointing to a renowned figure who practiced that habit, with great success. For instance:
Anxiety and Panic

How Anxiety and Guilt Affect Your To-Do List

Do you keep a running to-do list that never seems to end? Do self-directed commands such as "send emails" or "write resume" or "buy salad ingredients" always end up on tomorrow’s list because of a lack of time today? You may even find yourself saying, "There just aren't enough hours in the day!"

A new study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, brings encouraging news for those of us who feel we can never get it all done: It may not be more hours that we need, say the researchers, just an emotional readjustment of sorts. In other words, if you were to break down each item on your to-do list into minutes or hours, you would probably find that, yes, timewise, you could squeeze everything in this week.

Marriage and Divorce

5 Tips for Facebook-Proofing Your Marriage

Get offline and on with your relationship.

Beware what you say and do online, because it will come back to haunt you later!

Did you know that entire websites are devoted to helping people avoid getting caught flirting and cheating on social media sites like Facebook? This is partly in response to a new trend in divorce proceedings. A recent report says that Facebook is cited as proof of infidelity in about one-third of divorces!

Children and Teens

Parenting Advice: Understanding Your Teen’s Cyberlife

Like it or not, this is the world your kids are living in. You have to learn to live in it, too.

Unlike my parents, I have always had indoor plumbing. I am guessing when they first started putting toilets in homes that more than one person protested. "In the house? Why would you want that in the house?"

However, I never once heard my parents say, "Life was sure a lot better when we had to go outside in the middle of the night."

When I hear complaints about advancing technology, I think it is a lot like indoor plumbing. It may be questioned at first, but no one is going back to the outhouse.


How to Start Over — Starting With You

Often when a couple with a long history together comes to me in an attempt to save their relationship, I find myself recommending that they ritualistically end the old relationship -- even if they want to stay together.

It is a bit akin to having the right ingredients for a meal, but the wrong recipe. It is okay to say goodbye to that recipe, but that doesn't mean that you need to throw out the ingredients.


3 Simple but Significant Strategies for Shrinking Self-Criticism

Many of us say mean things to ourselves on a regular basis. I’m such an idiot. I’m such a failure. I can’t believe I made such a stupid mistake! Oh, wait, yes, I can. I can’t believe I get anxious over the smallest things. Why can’t I do anything right?

We berate ourselves constantly. The negative dialogue becomes so automatic we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It becomes the soundtrack to our lives, insults playing in the background between breakfast and lunch, during work and all the way to bedtime.


4 Warning Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

As a child, you probably remember the joyful feeling of receiving a holiday basket, many times (if you celebrated Easter) featuring a giant chocolate bunny, front and center. Large and beautifully wrapped in twinkly tinfoil, it was clearly the highlight of the entire gift. But chances are, once you bit in you were quickly disappointed. On the inside it was just hollow.

That is what a relationship with a narcissist is like. In the beginning there’s flash and excitement. Their presence is magnetic and he or she seems larger than life. They are intelligent, charming, and popular, and when they’re the center of attention, some of the spotlight shines on you, too, leaving you glowing with pride, importance, and accomplishment. Yet after a while, you discover that under the surface the relationship is hollow. Soon, the excitement and status wear thin.

Children and Teens

Common Things Parents Say to Their Kids about Therapy that Aren’t Helpful

Parents often use therapy as a last resort, said Kate Leyva, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in working with children, teens and families in Lafayette, Calif.

So by the time your child starts working with a therapist, you may be feeling helpless, scared, angry and ashamed. Many parents do, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist. "Many parents feel shame for not being able to 'parent' their child’s emotional and behavioral difficulties and struggles away."