HSP Summer Retreat Aug 12-14 2016

I am proud to introduce my dear friend and colleague, Natalie Harvey. Skilled in psychology and a dedicated performance consultant at Dale Carnegie, she is the founder of HSP Montreal, The Highly Sensitive People MeetUp group, and an HSP events host and organizer.

If you, or anyone that you know, is highly sensitive (15-20% of the population) you should check out the HSP website here where you can learn more about being highly sensitive, take a test to know whether you are or not a highly sensitive person, and find various resources available to you.

We are organizing an amazing summer retreat for this August in Vermont, USA – the first of its kind in this part of North America!! The Misty Hilltop Resort is a real gem and there will be well-known professionals and HSP coaches as well as various workshops and activities to help you harness your sensitivity. We are very excited! Click here for more information, talk to one of us from the organizing team, and to register. There are only 25 spaces and they are filling up fast.

We hope to see you there! 😉

There Are 5 Better Ways to Eat, and You Can Start Today

Source: There Are 5 Better Ways to Eat, and You Can Start Today | Psychology Today

How can you start incorporating mindful eating into your life? Use your five senses in five new ways! Learn how from these experiments:

1. The Crunch Effect.

Research indicates that eating loudly actually helps you eat less. In a recent study, participants were told to eat cookies quietly, loudly, or normally. Those who ate loudly ate the least. It may be that the participants were less worried about social rules and simply enjoyed what they were eating. Put a little cookie monster into your next meal and enjoy the munch. Continue reading

Come to our Stress Management Workshop

9 participants already registered, a few more spots are still left!

Stress Management

Saturday, Jun 4, 2016, 6:00 PM

McGill Faculty of Medicine – McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler (Drummond), H3G 1Y6, Room 208/209 Montreal, QC

1 healthy lifestylers Attending

Everyone experiences stress on a daily basis, but there is a simple way to take control and not let it overwhelm us! Come learn how to apply psychotherapy tricks to manage your stress, big or small, to help you excel at work and in relationships.This is a guided session with an experienced psychotherapist and a period of Q&A at the end that will a…

Check out this Meetup →

What does our inner voice sound like?

Source: What does our inner voice sound like? – Compass Orientation Services

Self-talk and the intensity with which it impacts emotions will vary greatly.

Self-talk is so subtle that it is pretty much automatic and thus, its impact on emotions and behaviour, is largely unconscious.

Anxiety bubbleAnxious self-talk is based on the premise that there is potential threat, and this perpetuates avoidance, which only further reinforces anxious self-talk. Thus, avoidance is anxiety’s best friend. Examples of anxious self-talk: Oh no
I made another mistake, what will my boss think? what is I get fired, what am  I gonna do if I lose my job!? Here we see how making a mistake has been interpreted as a potential threat.

There are a variety of techniques to help reduce and better manage anxious self-talk. Continue reading

Rewrite Your Life

Source: Rewrite Your Life | Psychology Today

Story Editing to Prevent a Downward Spiral

From writing down your experiences to reframing your perspective, myriad techniques can help you transcend painful setbacks and reshape your own story.

by Susan Gregory Thomas

My oldest daughter was usually quiet and exhausted on the hour-long ride home from seventh grade. Not this day. She slammed the car door shut and spat that a classmate had been “incredibly rude” to her. She veered into a rant on hypocritical teachers and finally inventoried the despicable qualities of nearly every girl in her class.

I asked her what was really going on, and she answered truthfully: For the past six months, my daughter, who is mixed-race, had been viciously bullied in racist attacks by girls at her Philadelphia school, often in classrooms, while teachers seemingly took no notice.

I pulled over and began calling every teacher and administrator involved. They would hear every detail of my daughter’s story, and then this story was going to end because she needed to know that it was over. Continue reading

Here’s how to get into the coloring habit

Source: Here’s how to get into the coloring habit – The Washington Post

Using coloring books to help relieve stress “is like learning a new habit,” says Craig Sawchuk, a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “New habits are best learned when you set aside routine time each day to focus,” he says. Sawchuk offered a few tips on how to get into the habit of coloring and to make the most of your time once you do.

Continue reading

Take a FREE 2-week webinar course: Living Your Calling

13010797_10100900508645359_1318403916692274435_nMeet Rosanna Tomiuk, a well-known personal & business life coach, professional athlete and musician, who is offering for the first time a FREE course online on “Living Your Calling”. She is quite an amazing person and public speaker, and you will not be disappointed! 🙂

Here is the link: Living Your Calling course

What You’ll Learn In This Introductory Course

How to:

  • Identify your passions
  • Gain clarity around what your strengths are
  • Discover the ingredients to living your calling
  • Make room for what matters in your life
  • Overcome the challenges you’ll face in living your calling

Week 1 Contents: DISCOVERY

Week 1 contents will be released on April 25th and can be covered at your own pace. Watch the videos and then do the corresponding Activity Sheets. The focus of this week is Discovery!

Week 2 Contents: ACTION

Week 2 Contents will be released on May 2nd. Like Module 1, you can cover the contents at your own pace. The focus of this week is Action!


Tune in to CJAD 800AM radio station tonight at 10pm

Tune in to CJAD 800AM radio station tonight (around Montreal,QC) at 10pm for an interview with our own Ivan Rubio (psychotherapist and counselor at PAE and Optima Santé Globale Inc., and founder of Compass Orientation Services) who specializes on the topics of anxiety, depression and self-esteem.

He is the host at many of our upcoming mental health events/workshops and will explain more about those as well 🙂

I have known Ivan Rubio, as a friend and colleague, for almost 10 years and his dedication and passion for mental health are beyond imaginable!

Check out his facebook business page below. His website is coming up very soon!



Come to our “Workshop: Understand & Overcome Your Anxiety” – May 27, 6:30pm

Workshop: Understand & Overcome Your Anxiety

Friday, May 27, 2016, 6:30 PM

McGill Faculty of Medicine – McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler (Drummond), H3G 1Y6, Room 208/209 Montreal, QC

1 healthy lifestylers Attending

This unique workshop will teach us how to manage everyday anxieties to increase our well-being and help us uncover blind spots that are holding us all back in the important aspects of our life! Come take advantage of this opportunity at a significantly reduced cost, and learn to use the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach that therapists us…

Check out this Meetup →


This unique workshop will teach us how to manage everyday anxieties to increase our well-being and help us uncover blind spots that are holding us all back in the important aspects of our life! Come take advantage of this opportunity at a significantly reduced cost, and learn to use the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach that therapists use to reduce and control anxiety.

Ivan Rubio, a psychotherapist, counselor at PAE and Optima Santé Globale Inc. and founder of Compass Orientation Services, will guide this workshop.

Number of participants: 10-25.

Healthy refreshments will be served.

A private psychotherapy session (worth 100$) will be drawn among attendants!

“Expanding our comfort zone & enjoying life. Learning various behavioral and cognitive techniques proven to help reduce anxiety.”

See you there 🙂

REGISTER HERE: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/workshop-understand-overcome-your-anxiety-tickets-24934345298

Venez voir notre “Atelier: Comprendre et Vaincre Votre AnxiĂ©tĂ©” – 20 Mai, 18h30

Atelier: Comprendre et Vaincre Votre Anxiété

Friday, May 20, 2016, 6:30 PM

McGill FacultĂ© de MĂ©decine – McIntyre Sciences MĂ©dicales
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler (Drummond), H3G 1Y6, Salle 208/209 Montréal, QC

1 healthy lifestylers Attending

Cet atelier unique nous enseignera la façon de gĂ©rer nos angoisses quotidiennes pour augmenter notre bien-ĂȘtre et nous aidera à dĂ©couvrir nos points faibles qui nous empĂȘchent de rĂ©ussir dans les aspects importants de notre vie! Venez profiter de cette occasion Ă  un coĂ»t considĂ©rablement rĂ©duit, et apprennez Ă  utiliser la thĂ©rapie comportementale e…

Check out this Meetup →


Cet atelier unique nous enseignera la façon de gĂ©rer nos angoisses quotidiennes pour augmenter notre bien-ĂȘtre et nous aidera à dĂ©couvrir nos points faibles qui nous empĂȘchent de rĂ©ussir dans les aspects importants de notre vie! Venez profiter de cette occasion Ă  un coĂ»t considĂ©rablement rĂ©duit, et apprennez Ă  utiliser la thĂ©rapie comportementale et cognitive (TCC) que les thĂ©rapeutes appliquent pour rĂ©duire et contrĂŽler l’anxiĂ©tĂ©.

Ivan Rubio, psychothĂ©rapeute, conseiller au PAE et Optima SantĂ© Globale Inc. et fondateur de Service d’Orientation Boussole, guidera cet atelier.

Nombre de participants: 10-25

Une collation santé sera servie.

Une sĂ©ance de psychothĂ©rapie privĂ©e (d’une valeur de 100 $) sera tirĂ© au sort parmi les participants!

«L’expansion de notre zone de confort et profiter de la vie. L’apprentissage de diverses techniques comportementales et cognitives Ă©prouvĂ©es pour aider Ă  rĂ©duire l’anxiĂ©tĂ©. ”

INSCRIVEZ-VOUS ICI: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/atelier-comprendre-et-vaincre-votre-anxiete-tickets-24934686318

Do You Have to Love Yourself Before Someone Else Can?

Source: Do You Have to Love Yourself Before Someone Else Can? | Psychology Today

There’s a common belief that, in order to truly love others, you must first love yourself. In order to have happy and healthy relationships with others, especially in romantic relationships, the thinking goes, individuals must first believe that they are lovable people of value themselves. Indeed, entire schools of thought in therapeutic settings within psychology have been focused on this very idea, such as person centered therapy and rational-emotive therapy.

What does it mean to love yourself in a manner that benefits not only you as an individual but also your interpersonal relationships? Researchers have long focused on high levels of self-esteem as the primary way that people feel good about themselves. As discussed in previous posts here, high compared to low levels of self-esteem generally predict individuals pursuing closeness and connection in their romantic relationships, especially when facing threatening circumstances Continue reading

12 Surprising Ways Sleep Makes You Happy, Healthy and Wealthy

Source: 12 Surprising Ways Sleep Makes You Happy, Healthy and Wealthy

Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. — Thomas Dekker

Are you struggling to control your weight?

Do you catch every cold going around?

Are you struggling to concentrate at work?

Is your sex drive slowly shrinking?

And are those bags under your eyes slowly enlarging?

Face it, you’re tired.

No, not tired, exhausted.

You’re one step away from overwhelm or burnout.

And if you’re honest, you know it’s impacting on your partner, your kids, your work and your health.

And it might just be killing you.

I used to be the same, but I finally understood why a good night’s sleep should be top of my, and your, to-do list.

Continue reading

Join us for our 1st workshop on anxiety! :)

Workshop: Understanding & Overcoming Anxiety

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016, 6:30 PM

McGill Faculty of Medicine – McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler (Drummond), H3G 1Y6, Room 208/209 Montreal, QC

1 healthy lifestylers Attending

This workshop will teach us how to manage everyday anxieties to increase our well-being and help us uncover blind spots that are holding us all back in the important aspects of our life! Come learn the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach that therapists use to reduce and control anxiety.Ivan Rubio, a psychotherapist, counselor at PAE and O…

Check out this Meetup →

Expert Q&A: What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Source: Expert Q&A: What Is Emotional Intelligence? « WebMD Interviews

Marc Brackett, PhD, studies the ways emotions affect our relationships, mental health, decision-making, and academic and workplace performance. As director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Brackett and his team are helping schools across the country teach students the principles of emotional intelligence. Their research shows that learning to harness emotions can help both children and adults thrive at school, home, and in everyday life.

WebMD: What is emotional intelligence? Continue reading

18 Behaviors of Emotionally Intelligent People

Source: 18 Behaviors of Emotionally Intelligent People – Motto

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results. Continue reading

How Healthy are Your Defense Mechanisms?

Source: How Healthy are Your Defense Mechanisms? | Psychology Today

Freud may not have been right about everything but he certainly knew his defense mechanisms. His belief that we need defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from knowing just how much we are possessed by sexual and aggressive drives is now generally refuted. However, there is still relatively widespread acceptance that defense mechanisms serve an adaptive purpose. Having a healthy set of defense mechanisms can help you keep in check your anxiety, frustrations, feelings of low self-esteem, and despair over the losses that life occasionally deals you.

One research team in particular seeks to discover the hidden truth behind our tendencies to hide the truth from ourselves. Psychiatrist George Vaillant, who heads up the Study of Adult Development at Harvard University, discovered a number of years ago that the key to psychological health in adulthood is the use of what he calls “mature” defense mechanisms. His taxonomy of defense mechanisms became the basis for American psychiatry’s classification of personality disorders ranging from the “acting out” and dramatic cluster (antisocial and borderline personality disorders) to the more restrained cluster in which people’s pathology is less overtly expressed (schizoid and paranoid). Continue reading

How to trick your mind into being happier

Source: How to trick your mind into being happier – Business Insider

Do you ever feel mad or sad or anxious and wish you could just snap out of it?

Well, you might just be able to.

Amit Sood, an MD and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, has spent two decades meeting with hundreds of scientists, reading thousands of research papers and books, and studying tens of thousands of patients and students to figure out how we can stop our minds from being consumed by stressful thoughts.

In his book “The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness,” Sood concludes that the human brain is continually switching between two modes: default mode, which is when our minds are distracted or begin wandering, and focused mode, in which our minds are highly focused on something interesting. Continue reading

Uncertainty is more stressful than pain, say neurologists

Source: Uncertainty is more stressful than pain, say neurologists – Medical News Today

“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey, but sorrow is, at least, an arriving.” So says Father Vincent in “Cry, the Beloved Country,” Alan Paton’s celebrated novel about South Africa.
Which way to go? Not knowing the outcome can be tougher than the outcome itself.

Now, research published in Nature Communications suggests that knowing that something bad is going to happen is better than not knowing whether it will happen or not.

Findings show that a small possibility of receiving a painful electric shock causes people more stress than knowing for sure that a shock was on the way. Continue reading

Meditation: could it replace opioids for pain relief?

Source: Meditation: could it replace opioids for pain relief? – Medical News Today

The US is currently in what has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an opioid epidemic. Now, a new study investigates alternative forms of pain relief and concludes that mindfulness meditation is an effective way to reduce pain.
A woman meditating
Even when the body’s opioid receptors are chemically blocked, meditation is able to significantly reduce pain by using a completely different pathway, researchers say.

According to the Institute of Medicine, around 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, costing over $600 billion each year.

And with those monetary costs come public health costs; Medical News Today reported earlier today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued new prescription guidelines in an attempt to prevent prescription drug misuse and reduce overdoses. Continue reading

6 Ways to Become More Likely to Succeed

Source: 6 Ways to Become More Likely to Succeed | Psychology Today

Imagine this scenario: You’re about to give a big presentation. There’s an eager audience waiting to hear what you have to say. You believe in your idea and you know that this opportunity could lead to bigger and better things for you. If you were facing this scenario, what mindset would you likely be in? What thoughts would be running through your head? Would you be focused on a plan for success, or on hopes of avoiding failure?

There’s a big difference.

If you were focused on success, you might think about how you’ll deliver your presentation in a way that will resonate best with the audience. If, however, you were focused on avoiding failure, you might only be thinking about how to survive your presentation without embarrassing yourself. Continue reading

Finding “The One” Is Overrated: Emotionships Matter More

Source: Finding “The One” Is Overrated: Emotionships Matter More | Psychology Today

One and done—that’s how some people think about their relationships. Find “The One” and now you have mastered your relationship challenges. In your spouse you have the person who fulfills all of your wishes and needs, especially your emotional needs. You have the person who cheers you up when you are sad, calms you when you are anxious or angry, and cheers you on when things are going well. Popular songs romanticize the idea with lyrics such as “you are my everything” and “I just want to be your everything.”

Ever since I started writing about single life, I have questioned the wisdom of this. (Okay, so I made fun of it, calling people who are expected to be another person’s everything SEEPIES, “Sex and Everything Else Partners (link is external).”) I’ve often asked whether this sort of intensive coupling has its risks.

Now a series of soon-to-be-published studies shows the power of The Ones over The One. What is powerful, what seems to be linked to greater satisfaction with your life, is having different people to help you with different emotions. These are “emotionships” rather than relationships. Continue reading

The 7 Characteristics of Emotionally Strong People

Source: The 7 Characteristics of Emotionally Strong People | Psychology Today

Emotionally strong people manage the stresses of daily life more effectively, and recover more quickly from challenges and crises when they arise. Since emotional strength refers to a person’s internal coping abilities, can we accurately judge a person’s internal fortitude based on what we see on the outside?

Popular culture often portrays emotionally strong people as quiet, stoic types who never complain and whose emotional expression during crises is limited to jaw-squaring, fist-clenching, and silent dramatic stares into the horizon. Any signs of emotional ‘leakage’ (i.e., expressing emotional distress in any way) or tears (especially in men), is often viewed as evidence the person has difficulties coping and is emotionally weak. Continue reading

What Are We Here For?

Source: What Are We Here For? | Psychology Today

Denoyauteur / Wikimedia

“What the heck is that thing?” “And what are the different parts of it used for?”

These are the questions that I asked of students in a recent Evolutionary Studies Capstone class. I got lots of innovative answers:

  • It’s used to measure body parts?
  • An apple corer!
  • Used to work on cars?
  • It’s designed to conduct biopsies on humans…maybe?

Good answers. But: No, no, no, and no. This thing is an olive pitter.*

So let me ask you this: Once you know the function, or the purpose of this thing, don’t you see it differently? Look again at that picture. Now you can totally see: You put the olive on the little cup-like bit, squeeze, the dagger-like bit comes through the olive, takes out the pit—release, and there you have it!

Once everyone knows it’s an olive pitter, it’s like magic: You totally get it. Not only do you understand the function of the entire tool, in a holistic, gestalt sense, but you also understand the purpose of the different elements of it. Once you know what it’s for—once you understand its function—you understand the whole thing. (I borrow this example from renowned Harvard evolutionary psychologist, Steven Pinker, who discusses it in his book, How the Mind Works.) Continue reading

Real People Talk About Psychotherapy

Source: Real People Talk About Therapy | Psychology Today

Therapy has so often gotten a bad rap,” says Silvina Irwin, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the Los Angeles area. “We have a society that overly values ‘pulling yourself up [by] the bootstraps.’ A common fear is that to seek help is to admit that you are weak, or that you will be perceived as being weak.” And, of course, it can be intimidating to think about discussing your most intimate struggles with someone you don’t know. Still, says Irwin, when people are able to overcome fears about therapy, the benefits can be profound.

To demystify the idea of talk therapy, I spoke with people around the country who were willing to share how it has helped them. Here’s what they had to say:

 “The best part was hearing, ‘This is totally normal. You are totally normal.'”

Continue reading

What to Do When You Can’t Get Out of an Argument

Source: What to Do When You Can’t Get Out of an Argument | Psychology Today

In a perfect world, no one would ever need to put off a difficult conversation with a significant other. We would be Zen-like all the time, sensitively speaking from our hearts. We would steer clear of accusations, and be crystal clear on what we want to have happen next. We would be stellar listeners and paraphrasers eager to make things right with the people we love the most.

But the world is not perfect, and we are very human. Continue reading

What To Say When Things Go Wrong

Source: What Mentally Strong People Do When Things Go Wrong | Psychology Today

Explanations and excuses are not the same thing. It is rare to hear someone say, “Sorry I’m late. I should have left my house sooner.” You will much more likely hear, “Sorry to keep you waiting but traffic was terrible,” or, “I would have been on time, but I had to stop at the store and it was really busy.”

There is a critical difference between an explanation and an excuse: An explanation accepts full responsibility for a mistake. An excuse places blame, minimizes liability, and tries to avoid consequences.


Explanations are pivotal to repairing your relationships and learning from your mistakes. Excuses, on the other hand, hold you back. Trying to convince others—or even yourself—why your shortcomings are justified can be self-destructive. Despite the problems associated with excuses, for many people they have become commonplace. Continue reading

The High Price of Pushing Kids Too Hard

Source: The High Price of Pushing Kids Too Hard | Psychology Today

Millions of kitchen tables and cell phones witness conversations between parents and friends about when to push foot-dragging children along the road to school readiness, summer camp, or whatever imagined goal line the parent frets some other child might cross first.

Waiting for a developmental skill to emerge in its own time seems just too passive in the 21st century. It leaves many parents today to conclude that pushing will work better than supporting. They wonder only how hard to push, not whether to push at all.

What is the better solution? Don’t push—period. Continue reading

Are Separate Bedrooms a Sign of a Doom, or a Lifeline?

Source: Are Separate Bedrooms a Sign of a Doom, or a Lifeline? | Psychology Today

When we hear that a couple sleeps in separate bedrooms, we immediately assume that their relationship is in trouble. We tend to think that when couples “sleep together” they are having sex. Therefore, separate bedrooms must mean that a couple’s sex life has evaporated and divorce is likely on the horizon.

While one partner sleeping on the couch or in the guest room can mean that the couple is not getting along, it doesn’t always mean that. A surprising new trend is that couples who share intimacy and an active sex life are choosing to sleep in separate bedrooms, and for an entirely different reason: They are simply trying to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, 26 percent of Americans say that they sleep better when they sleep alone. Continue reading

Become a More Loving Partner

Source: 7 Ways to Become a More Loving Partner | Psychology Today

You may already be rolling your eyes at the vast oversimplification of this title
and if you were to go back to read the many articles I’ve written on relationships, you’d know that I don’t think the secret to romantic success can be boiled down to one simple piece of advice. However, if people ask me what the most important action we can take to improve our relationships and stay in love is, I do have an answer:

Just be kind.

Yes, the suggestion seems obvious on one hand, but it’s actually really hard for most couples to take at a certain point in their relationship. Many people I’ve talked to resisted the recommendation, responding, “I can’t do that,” or, “Why would I be nice to him (or her)?” Continue reading

9 Signs Your Child Has Entitlement Issues

Source: 9 Signs Your Child Has Entitlement Issues | Psychology Today

Most of us have watched as the youngster—your child or a friend or relative’s child—tears into her gifts. She sees what is in one package and quickly moves on to the next. A parent stands by reminding her to say “thank you,” often fruitlessly. Feeling somewhat helpless, the parent herself comments on how special the gift is, just what her son or daughter wanted.

Twin Design/Shutterstock

The birthday party, particularly the “over the top” extravaganza, is only one way parents indulge their children and cultivate their sense of entitlement. We delight in seeing our children’s faces light up when they receive exactly what they want, when we drop whatever we are doing to drive to someplace they have to be “right now!” or when we agree to finish their school project so they can get a good night’s sleep. Continue reading

A Third of Adults Lack Regular, Refreshing Sleep

Source: A Third of Adults Lack Regular, Refreshing Sleep

One of every three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

About 35 percent of U.S. adults are sleeping less than seven hours a night, increasing their risk of a wide variety of health problems, CDC researchers reported on Feb. 18 in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night has been associated with increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress and death, the study authors said. Continue reading

Immersive virtual reality helps patients with depression

Source: Immersive virtual reality helps patients with depression – Medical News Today

Virtual reality therapy could help treat depression by encouraging people to be easier on themselves and improve their chances of breaking the cycle of depression, says a new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open.
[depressed man]
A virtual reality scenario could help patients to feel better about themselves.

In 2014, 6.6% of American adults experienced at least one bout of major depression.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines depression as a “period of 2 weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration and self-image.” Continue reading

6 Steps to Confronting Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Source: 6 Steps to Confronting Passive-Aggressive Behavior | Psychology Today


Do you know someone who is overtly cooperative but covertly defiant? Do you live or work with a person who chronically procrastinates, carries out tasks with intentional inefficiency, or acts as if he or she is the victim of your impossibly high standards? If you know this feeling of being on an emotional roller coaster, chances are good that you are dealing with a passive-aggressive (link is external) person.

Passive aggression is a deliberate and masked way of expressing covert feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2009). It involves a variety of behaviors designed to get back at another person without the other recognizing the underlying anger. In the long run, passive-aggressive behavior can be even more destructive to relationships than aggression. Over time, relationships with a person who is passive-aggressive will become confusing, discouraging, and dysfunctional. Continue reading

Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

Source: Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

You’re having problems at work or at home. You’re stressed, and it’s beginning to show — in more ways than one. You’ve noticed a bulge around your mid-section that wasn’t there before. Where are these extra pounds coming from?
Stress could be one of the culprits. It plays a role in weight gain. While it can make you have less of an appetite at first, long-term “chronic” stress actually boosts your hunger. Continue reading

Recommendation: Screen Teens for Major Depression

Source: Recommendation: Screen Teens for Major Depression

Experts add that more research is needed to determine whether kids under 12 should also be tested.

Primary care doctors should screen all patients between 12 and 18 years of age for major depression, but not younger children, preventive health experts say.

Screening of adolescents needs to be accompanied by accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and appropriate follow-up, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) said in a final recommendation released Monday. Continue reading

12 Crucial Questions About Your Relationship’s Future

Source: 12 Crucial Questions About Your Relationship’s Future | Psychology Today

With the start of the New Year, many of us choose to reflect upon and evaluate how our lives are going. We look at what’s working, what’s not working, and any changes we may want to consider. Most often this analysis is focused on basic lifestyle concerns like diet, weight, smoking, exercise, and the like. (Read: “I want to look good when bathing suit season hits.”) Sometimes, however, we uncover larger issues related to career, home life, and, most importantly, relationships.


To be honest, evaluating relationships is tough because they are never as perfect as we’d like them to be. If and when you choose to look at a particular relationship this year—a marriage, an ongoing romance, or even a close friendship—it is actually wise to accept the fact that no relationship is perfect. Continue reading

The Price of Loving Someone Narcissistic or Borderline

Source: The Price of Loving Someone Narcissistic or Borderline | Psychology Today

In my clinical experience, I have found that having a relationship with someone who has severe narcissistic or borderline personality disorder often leads to one of the most upsetting relationship experiences a person can have. In short, the closer you are to someone with one of these personalities, the worse the emotionally injury. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a parent and child, or close friends, the experience can take a toll.

It can break your heart and shatter it to pieces.

First, consider the following questions:

  • Do men and women with severe narcissism or borderline personality intend to cause such pain?
  • Are they evil or do they “get off” on playing mind games and hurting people?

In a word: No. Continue reading

The New Trick to Getting Someone (or Yourself) to Change

Source: The New Trick to Getting Someone (or Yourself) to Change | Psychology Today

Whether you want a resolution to actually stick this year or you want your workplace team to do something different, behavior change can be hard. Although there are lots of theories about what motivates people to create long-lasting change, new research shows the secret might be simpler than you think.

The Question-Behavior Effect

A new study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology (link is external), concluded that asking the right question is the key to behavior change. In what they coined the “question-behavior effect,” researchers found that asking a question about future behavior speeds up an individual’s readiness for change.

For example, rather than telling someone—or yourself—that it’s important to invest in a retirement fund, ask, “Are you going to set aside money for retirement?” That question offers a gentle reminder that investing is important and it causes some slight discomfort to someone who isn’t saving any money.

That discomfort is what motivates people to change. When an individual isn’t exhibiting a healthy behavior, the question serves as a reminder of their choices. Continue reading

Deep Breathing: Step-by-Step Stress Relief

Source: Deep Breathing: Step-by-Step Stress Relief

When you or your kids are stressed and need to relax, don’t point them to the TV or the pantry. Chips or channels don’t provide relief. Instead, take a deep breath.

Deep breathing is an easy way to relax and let your worries go. You can do it pretty much anywhere, and it only takes a few minutes.

Also called belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and abdominal breathing, it helps ease stress. It can also lower your blood pressure and relax tense muscles. When you learn healthy ways to relax, it can be easier to avoid unhealthy choices. Stress makes it harder to make healthy choices like picking good foods or finding the energy to exercise. When you’re relaxed, you can be more mindful. Continue reading

Happiness: Can a Positive Attitude Make a Real Difference?

Source: Happiness: Can a Positive Attitude Make a Real Difference?

The Rumor: A positive outlook helps create positive experiences

Bad stuff happens. But is it possible that simply approaching life with a glass-half-full attitude can actually cause better things to occur?

The Verdict: Happiness is born of both positivity and negativity

Turns out a healthy dose of pessimism can, at times, be a good thing. A study published by the American Psychological Association says that two-thirds of pessimists lived longer and had healthier lives than more upbeat people. Continue reading

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – an excellent resource for patients and their loved ones!

Source: Managing Your Cancer | Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has an excellent website for patients and their caregivers and loved ones.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you surely have many questions. You can get answers there. You’ll find step-by-step guidance and resources.

Find the website here.


Concussion triples or quadruples risk of suicide

Source: Concussion triples or quadruples risk of suicide – Medical News Today

Concussion multiplies the long-term risk of suicide in adults, especially if it happens on the weekend, according to research published in the CMAJ.
[head injury]
Concussion symptoms abate quickly, but the long-term effects can be severe.

Suicide is the 10th most common cause of death in the US, with 41,149 cases in 2011, or 13 per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is normally associated with a psychiatric illness, such as depression or substance abuse.

Concussion is the number one brain injury in adults, affecting around 4 million Americans each year. It is defined as “a transient disturbance of mental function caused by acute trauma.” Continue reading

One Surefire Tip For Making Yourself Do What You Need to Do

Source: One Surefire Tip For Making Yourself Do What You Need to Do | Psychology Today

There’s a saying that you should never trust a skinny chef. By that logic, you should never trust an out of shape behavioral designer (link is external). Yet, over the past four years, I’ve discovered some incredible ways to hack my habits and improve my life. I have taught myself to love running, dramatically improved my diet, and found the focus to write a popular book (link is external).

Understanding how the mind works and using it to affect my daily behaviors has yielded tremendous dividends. However, there is one goal that’s nagged at me for years: Despite my best efforts, I’ve never been able to achieve going to the gym consistently. I hate lifting weights. Hate it. I disdain the strain, the sweat, the smells—all of it. The only thing I like about working out is the results. Unfortunately, there’s no way to enjoy the benefits of going to the gym without, you know, actually going to the gym.

That’s not to say building muscle is all that important. Diet has a much greater impact (link is external) on body weight and health than exercise. But given that I’ve already hacked my diet and no longer struggle with eating right, I wanted to finally get to the bottom of this challenge. Continue reading

Easily stressed teens have increased hypertension risk later in life

Source: Easily stressed teens have increased hypertension risk later in life – Medical News Today

High blood pressure is a large and growing problem in the US. A new study that followed 1.5 million teens through to adulthood investigates the role of early psychological parameters on the likelihood of developing hypertension.
[Stressed teenage boy]
A new study links a teen’s ability to cope with stress and hypertension later in life.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is both common and dangerous.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, equating to around 70 million people.

Consistently high blood pressure raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in America. Continue reading

How Mindfulness Helps Your Health

Source: How Mindfulness in Life Helps Your Health

You’ve heard the buzz about “mindfulness,” but you’re not sure what it is or how to apply it to your life. Turns out, it’s as simple as taking a few moments to focus on yourself.

What Is Mindfulness?

Being mindful means paying close attention to what’s happening in the moment. Put simply, mindfulness is about being present.

It means noticing what’s happening inside your mind and in your body. (Your stomach hurts when you think about doing your taxes.)

And it means being aware of what’s happening around you. (Flowers are blooming on your route to work.)

When you’re being mindful, the key is not to label or judge what’s happening. Your feelings aren’t good or bad. They just are.

In that way, mindfulness is about observing. You notice your life with a little distance, instead of reacting emotionally.

The opposite of mindfulness is being on autopilot. That’s when you do things without any thought or consideration. Continue reading

Depression may pass from mothers to daughters

Source: Depression may pass from mothers to daughters – Medical News Today

Depression appears to be passed down from mothers to daughters, say researchers who have been looking at similarities in brain structures between generations. The research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
[depressed woman and baby]
Similarities in brain structure suggest daughters may inherit depression from their mothers.

Around 8% of Americans aged 12 years and over are affected by depression. It is commonly found in both mothers and daughters, previous human studies have reported. Continue reading