I list the top 5 blog posts for you below, starting with number 5: 5. The Power of Positive Thinking; Put in Perspective There are times when thinking happy thoughts can help to make you happier, but there are also times when it can make you more upset. So, it is essential to know when to apply the power of positive thinking. 4. How to Stop the Self-Criticism and Feel Better About You Learn how to combine compassionate self-awareness with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies to reduce self-criticism and improve self-confidence and self-esteem. 3. How High Self-Esteem Can Get Us Down While high self-esteem can help you feel good about yourself, it can paradoxically lead to you being hyper-critical of yourself. So, it is important to understand it and be careful about how you pursue it. 2. How to Feel Good or at least Stop Feeling Bad We would all be like the population of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon – “where all the women are strong, all the men are good … [Read more...] about Top Five Making Change Blog Posts
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Mentalization – a concept developed by psychoanalyst Peter Fonagy – is the ability to understand on an intellectual and emotional level the way people (including you) think, feel, and experience themselves and the world. It enables you to understand why people act as they do and to have empathy for their experiences. With this way of understanding and connecting with yourself and others, you can maintain a compassionate stance in relationships, which will help nurture happy, healthy connections – including how you relate to yourself. It will also enable you to remain motivated to reach for goals and support yourself through difficult times. It can even help you to navigate situations and politics at work, since so much of that has to do with the way people think about and approach their tasks and others. To engage this amazing ability, you must be able to take the perspective of a third party observer. When you are seeing the world through your own eyes, so to speak, … [Read more...] about Proper Perspective and the Happy Life
The more you get to know a friend who is suffering, the more you appreciate and care deeply about their pain; and the more you naturally want to make it better. Similarly, as you pay attention to your struggles and gain more inner awareness, self-understanding will increase. And with it will come compassion, which will motivate you to seek a happier life. This might mean making some changes, but it also might mean just taking a new perspective in your current life. You can develop this compassionate self-awareness in many ways. Below is one approach: Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Be specific about the emotions you are experiencing. Ask yourself, “What am I thinking?” Consider your thoughts about yourself, others, and your situation. Rather than just thinking those thoughts, reflect upon them much as you would reflect upon someone else sharing their thoughts with you. Also, consider how these thoughts affect your emotions. For instance, you might observe … [Read more...] about Find Happiness Without Having to Change a Thing
One of the invisible obstacles that we don't see is our style of relating to others. It can create conflict, anger, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and a host of other kinds of distress. We begin learning right from birth how to relate to people. As infants, we respond to the expressions we see in our parents' eyes. Particularly through the early years of childhood, we form our understanding of who we are and how others will respond to us. Our style of attachment to our parents (particularly our mothers) becomes how we connect to others through our lives. One way to think about attachment styles is based on the work of Kim Bartholomew and involves people's levels of avoidance and anxiety. People can range from low to high on each of these. This lays out four basic styles of attachment: Secure Attachment (low avoidance, low anxiety): If you relate positively to others and yourself, you probably have a secure attachment style. Securely attached people are generally happy in their … [Read more...] about Learning Your Attachment Style Can Light Up Your Life
Source: tommaso79/Shutterstock We all have that “inner critic” voice in our heads. It's a nagging and persistent voice which tells us unkind, judgmental, or mean things. While it is impossible to completely get rid of your “inner critic,” you can take away a lot of its power through the practice of self-compassion. Some of my clients' inner critics are downright emotionally abusive. Many of my clients struggle with saying incredibly harsh things to themselves that they would never say to anyone else. When they first come to meet with me for therapy, often they don't even realize how mean they are being to themselves. Many of us are aware of the devastating impact that emotional abuse can have on people; however, it's less common to talk about the impact of emotionally abusing yourself. A variety of factors could contribute to people developing an abusive relationship with themselves. One might be internalizing emotional abuse that you … [Read more...] about Are You Emotionally Abusing Yourself?