Throughout history, hope was considered as one of the most essential human emotions. However, scientific knowledge has shown that a feeling of hopefulness can change the brain. American psychologist Charles Richard “Rick” Snyder offered a view of hope as a cognitive process, not just an emotion.Read More
People often refer to themselves as “swimming like a duck”. This is a reference to how calm ducks appear above the water but how fast they are paddling beneath to stay afloat. I myself have been known to use this analogy.
Today, however, I offer a new way of looking at “swimming like a duck”. One with a more positive frame. Ducks practice self-care and preen themselves in such a way that as water hits their feathers, it simply rolls off. How great would it be for us humans to learn how to perform self-care in such a way that as stressors hit us on a daily basis, we too are able to simply let them “roll off” our backs?
When we perceive a threat (stress), our nervous system releases chemicals and hormones that prepare our body for the “flight-or-fight” response. While acute stress is not necessarily a bad thing, as it prepares us to respond to a specific situation, chronic stress doesn’t allow our body to recover after such response. And this can negatively affect our health at the end of the day. In other words, excessive or chronic stress may harm our mental and physical health and, paradoxically, limit our ability to react.Read More
We tend to confuse guilt and shame for the same emotion because they often go hand in hand. However, these emotions are different, as guilt is related to behavior and depends on our compassion for others while shame involves feelings about self.Read More
Although we often think that joy and happiness fall under the same category, these emotions are very different. Yes, both joy and happiness describe our feelings of satisfaction, contentment, and pleasure. However, these feelings are triggered by different reasons and differ in their nature.Read More
Breakups among young people can be equally disturbing. Often, they are more crushing, because there are established biases that minimize the heartache young people experience. So, there is much less support designed to help adolescents to bounce back when healing form heartache.Read More
How often do you do things you don’t want to just because you don’t know how to say “no”? Many of us go along with saying “yes” to other people’s requests all the time. We are either uncomfortable saying “no” because we don’t want to disappoint others or to be seen as impolite or uncooperative. Sometimes we fear possible repercussions.Read More
During the decades-long research of achievement and success, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist and researcher Carol Dweck developed an idea of growth vs fixed mindset. According to Dweck, the distinction between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset can explain the difference in our performance and life success.Read More
Although children’s brains reach about 90-95% of adult size by the time they are six, their brain development is far from over. A teenager’s brain still intensively transforms before it starts functioning as an adult brain. In other words, your teen’s brain is still under construction, which strongly influences their thinking, behavior, and emotional reactions.Read More
Enabling behavior, simply put, keeps a person from dealing with the negative consequences of their actions. While it is natural to care for and help someone you love, be mindful of the fine line between being supportive of a loved one and enabling their behaviors. Differently from supporting and helping, enabling means allowing the enabled person to behave irresponsibly.Read More
School stress is a serious issue that kids, teens, college students and their families have to deal with. According to the report of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we have generations of college students nowadays that strive to perfectionism, showing increased signs of anxiety, depression, and stress.Read More
As a force that calls for action and keeps us going, stress is not necessarily a bad thing. However, persistent stress doesn’t allow your body to recover after the “flight-or-fight” response and it can seriously damage your health. So, yes, stress is important but left uncontrolled it can deeply hurt us and, paradoxically, obstruct our ability to act.Read More
A decision to re-invest in yourself is always a big one. Whether your personal transformation has happened as a part of your New Year’s resolutions or it has resulted from a major disappointment such as a harsh breakup, it is always a wonderful opportunity to improve your life.Read More
Thousands of thoughts cross our minds each day. And the large proportion of these thoughts are negative, random thoughts that pop up out of nowhere. They tend to flood our mind and make any situation seem worse than it actually is. These unintentional thoughts are known as ANTs or automatic negative thoughts.Read More
Being a teenager has never been easy. Adolescence is a period of growth and change. Teenagers naturally go through a phase of self-discovery and this often causes teen rebellion and confusion. For many teenagers, challenges of adolescence lead to disconnection, isolation, anxiety, and depression.
Thus, teaching teenagers self-compassion is vital in helping them understand themselves, the world around them, and their place in that world.Read More
Translated, word compassion literally means “to suffer with” which indicates empathy and mutuality in the experience of suffering. For example, grief different people feel when they lose a loved one is the same grief, although the circumstances of grief are different. The core experience of suffering is universal.
However, we often tend to forget that ‘no man is an island’ and that we have a lot in common with others. It is often hard to take the bigger human picture into account when you are in the midst of a painful experience.Read More
Observing another human being suffering, you will most likely experience compassion for them. You will feel moved by other person’s suffering and compassionately respond to their pain with care and desire to help. Additionally, compassion means understanding others when they make mistakes or even disappoint you rather than skipping to the harsh judgment of their actions (or even worse, their personalities). Compassion means that you are conscious of common humanity, realizing that imperfection and suffering are parts of the shared human experience.
While we often readily offer our compassion to others, we tend to judge and criticize ourselves for the same shortcomings and flaws.Read More
As a non-judgmental and receptive state of mind, mindfulness allows you to be still and observe and accept your negative thoughts and emotions with openness, rather than over-identifying with them or suppressing and denying them. This state of mind can help you become aware of your thoughts and feelings without constant self-evaluations.Read More
Self-compassion is a powerful skill that we can learn and practice. Being compassionate towards yourself has many benefits. When you learn to be self-compassionate, you will begin to treat yourself with more understanding and kindness. You will also be able to experience deeper self-knowledge and self-love.Read More
Whether it is our feelings, some painful events from our past, our mistakes, our mental health, our life choices, our desires, we all have something that we don’t reveal and don’t talk about. Why do people hide things? The reasons are countless. People hold up the truth to protect their reputation, hide mistakes, conceal poor performance or simply look better.Read More