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Saturday, September 20, 2014

#FF 9/19/14 Wonderful Weekend Review: Self Help, Earth Wind & Fire's September and Sunday's Comics

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Thought for the Day: Somehow I thought things might slow down once the summer ended, but it feels like life has speeded up. Here's this week's review of Fabulous finds. It's a mix of psychology articles, a little music for your soul from Earth Wind and Fire and a lot of funny photos and GIFs (like the one on the cover). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday's Psychology Trivia: Which Comes First? Depression or Low Self Esteem?

Thought for the Day: it's Thursday, making it time for some Psychology Trivia. All week I have been posting what I called a mini-series of articles on the importance of de-cluttering your brain of negative self talk (If you missed the earlier posts, check out: Motivational Monday:Cleaning Out The Closets In Your Mind, Tuesday's Psychology Tips: How To Stop Negative Thoughts & Improve Self Esteem, and Wednesday's Words of Wisdom:The Main Reason People Cling To Self Doubt And Negative Self Images).  I decided to complete the series with today's trivia question which is a chicken or the egg type question:
Which comes first?
      a) Depression then low self esteem, or
      b) Low self esteem then depression
Psychologists have wondered whether depression leads to low self esteem or negative view of oneself leads to depression for years. Since they are clearly correlated, it is hard to prove causality. Do you think you know the answer? Read on to see if you are right. As with all the psychology trivia questions that I share here, answer is far from trivial. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: The Main Reason People Cling to Self Doubt and Negative Self Images

Thought for the Day: As I promised, today's Words of Wisdom are part of a mini-series on cleaning out self doubts and negativity from the internal closets of your minds. On Monday, I introduced a client's dilemma and some ways to fight depression. Yesterday, I offered 4 specific tips to help stop negative thoughts and improve one's self image. Today's quote will address why it may be hard to follow the tips, even if you want to change and know the suggestions could help. Here's why it is so hard:
     "Paradoxically, the main reason people cling to self doubts and negative self images is fear of venturing outside their comfort zone."
You may be wondering, how can low self esteem be a comfort zone? I know it sounds counterintuitive but here's why...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: Cleaning Inner Mirrors: How To Stop Negative Thoughts & Improve Self Esteem

Thought for the Day: Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of cleaning the outdated, negative self thoughts out of closets in your mind. I relayed a story of a client named June who is tormented by self doubts. Today, I will offer some suggestions which can help fight negative self talk and doubts. 

Current psychological studies have found that your thoughts impact on how you feel.  It's not surprising that negative thoughts can bring you down while positive thoughts can be up-lifting. Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of depression is negativity. When someone suffers from depression, not only do they see catastrophe around every corner, they also are plagued by  constant questioning of their self worth. This is true for people regardless of their professional and personal accomplishments. The consequences if depression is left untreated can be deadly. The recent suicide of Robin Williams is a sad reminders of the dangers of depressive thinking. 

The most successful treatment for depression combines antidepressant medication with psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral techniques have been highly effective. If you are suffering from self doubts and recrimination like June, here are 4 things you can do. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Mondays: Cleaning Out The Closets In Your Mind

Thought for the Day: For the past couple of weeks, in anticipation of the change of seasons, I have been working on a fall clean up. A few times a year, I focus on my closets. Each time I do, I come up with better ways to keep things organized and in clear view. I try coordinating color and types of clothing, use plastic boxes, label things and think that I have found the solution to disarray in my closets. I donate the impulse "bargain" purchases that often I have not worn making them expensive mistakes. I give away clothes that don't fit anymore and put other things away for the off season. When I finish, my closets look wonderful. However, over time the clutter seems to magically reappear. I take advantage of the change of seasons and the need to switch from summer to winter apparel, to set out to conquer my closets one more time.

This morning, while thinking about what I want to write, several ideas arose, not just for Motivational Monday, but for the other weekly segments of this blog. If you like this segment, you may want to come back for the Tuesday's Psychology Tips, Wednesday's Words of Wisdom and Thursday's Psychology Trivia. It may be like a mini-series of posts addressing ways to de-clutter your internal closet and reset your mind. This too is an ongoing process which can be beneficial for our mental health.

When I think about the process that led to today's post, "Cleaning Out the Closets of Your Mind," the ideas actually began following a meeting with a client on Friday. I'll call her June (not her real name). June is a very bright accomplished woman who has been struggling with depression most of her life. On Friday, she reported that the change in seasons and some anniversaries of difficult life events that occurred in the fall contributed to a very dramatic decline in her mood.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

#FF 9/13/14 Wonderful Weekend Review: #911Memorial, #Psychology Finds, #Songs4theSoul & #Comics

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Thought for the Day: I chose the GIF cover of today's magazine because it was filled with sunshine, butterflies and a feeling of hope for the future. I hope it eases the sadness which the moving photos from the 9/11 Memorial bring. It is hard to believe it has been 13 years since the attack. The magazine also includes some interesting psychology finds on "The Power of Sleep." a different photographic perspective on #Autism, and ways to improve To-Do lists. Saturday's Songs for the Soul include a powerful musical tribute by Neil Young to the 9/11 heros on Flight 93, "Let's Roll," and an article in honor of Bob Crewe, singer and songwriter for Jersey Boys ("Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man" and "Rag Doll") who died Thursday at the age of 82. In addition, some music from Ravi Shankar and some amazing dance moves. Perhaps it should become a new area of  competition at the Olympics. Finally, a few comics for your weekend enjoyment. 

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

9/11/14 Special Edition: 9/11 and Terrorism: Are We Winning Battles But Losing The War?

Thought for the Day: Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of 9/11. I had planned to write this post, but spent most of the morning watching the Memorial Services instead.  On 9/11 over the years, I have often felt the need to turn off the television and reflect privately on the events of 9/11,  but this year I felt compelled to watch  the powerful images of grief, resilience and rebuilding that the families, New York and our nation have made. I could not help thinking about the recent attacks by ISIS on innocent American journalists and Arabs who disagree with ISIS'  beliefs. President Obama's announcement of a strategy in the eradication of ISIS was also running through my mind. We all owe the people who lost their lives and their families to make every effort possible to win the complicated battle against terrorism.
    As a psychologist with expertise in trauma, resilience and conflict resolution, I also feel an obligation to examine this challenge from a psychological point of view. This post is in no way comprehensive, but I hope it will raise questions and help you come up with ideas that you will share to help find creative ways to resolve this important dilemma which threatens the civilized world.