Symptoms Articles

Top 5 Self-Sabotaging Habits to Stop Right Now

Friday, October 24th, 2014

More than 150 people and counting have taken at least one of our new email coaching programs. Hope and I have learned a lot about the self-sabotaging habits that people tend to struggle with.

woman knock outI’d like to share the top 5 self-sabotaging habits with you, with a few key insights about each.

First, a self-sabotaging habit is a recurring behavior that takes us in the opposite direction of fulfillment and happiness. Knowing this, you’d think all of us would simply stop.

Yet, experience with clients and in our own lives tells us that it’s not that simple in practice.

Yes, by all means, STOP your self-sabotage. Just quit it.

And when you can’t seem to get yourself to simply do that, seek education and guidance. You’ll need it. When you just cannot keep yourself from doing things that cause you harm, then you need more information and guidance.


Is Your Pleasure Principle All Jacked Up?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

shrug1The pleasure principle suggests that people seek pleasure and avoid pain. It’s the theoretical motivation behind human behavior. 

It makes perfect sense. Or does it?

Why do people make choices, then, that lead to pain?

For example, a woman has been dating a guy who has shown all the red flags. He won’t admit mistakes. He shows little interest in her. He’s had that angry, dangerous look in his eye more than once.

Yet, she keeps on dating him, upping the ante until his true colors blossom in the form of hurt and rejection.

Or, a man knows that if he just does his duties around the house, his wife will stop nagging him. He knows because he’s experienced this. Yet, he drags his feet, watches TV or tinkers in the garage until she’s so frustrated that she becomes a broken record of nag.

He hates the nagging more than anything. It makes him feel controlled. Yet, he keeps doing the very things that invite more nagging into his life.

Or, you see the plate of donuts and cakes in front of you. Of course, you know that if you indulge, those pastries will leave you feeling bloated and sick. On top of that, you’ll feel like you’ve let yourself down again – like a loser.

Yet, you eat.

What’s going on?


20 Ways You Might Be Punishing Yourself

Monday, October 20th, 2014

self -punishmentMany issues we face would make much more sense if we simply admitted up front that we feel we deserve to be punished.

And our various problem behaviors and feelings serve that purpose.

Seriously.

At least we’d be starting from a practical and productive place.

Instead, most of us start to solve personal problems by complaining. Then we play an endless, neurotic game of cat and mouse with our psyche that leads nowhere. I’ve done my share of this, believe me.

Let’s stop the shenanigans and cut to the chase.


4 Things to Remember When the Going Gets Tough

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

SeniorwomanWhen the going gets tough, smart people make a choice.

The choice often involves two options:

1.    Persist (the tough get going)

2.    Quit (which is often a smart thing to do)

It’s difficult to know which is the smarter choice, so I’ve written an entire life skills post about this (it even includes a free worksheet).

For this post, we’ll assume that the smart choice for you is to keep going in spite of how difficult things have become.
Here are four things to remember as you persist in your chosen direction.
1. You’re choosing this.

If you’re working on a goal or solving a problem in your life, it can help to realize the point at which you chose to do exactly what you’re doing. Otherwise it might be tempting for you to consider yourself a victim, which would be really bad news.

If you’re working on a goal, you chose that goal.

If you’re facing challenges in a relationship, you’re choosing the relationship. (Even if it’s your parents or siblings, you’re now choosing to remain involved with them).

If you’re dealing with a challenges at work, you chose your job. Even if it’s unfair, you’re choosing to go along (and it may be a necessary choice).

Getting in touch with the free choice you made – or are actively making – is empowering. Don’t be a victim. It will sap your strength.

2. Asking for help is a noble thing.

Refusing to ask for help denies you access to a world of resources that you need. Chances are there people who want to support you. Are you asking?

Often, we don’t ask for help because we’re too proud. We’re embarrassed that we can’t do it all on our own. This is self-sabotage – a path to failure. If it’s your ego you are concerned about, then you should definitely ask for help when you need it. You’re much more likely to be successful.

3. You have built in resources for this.

Most of us have deeper mental and emotional resources than we typically use on an average day. Is it time to access yours in a stronger, more …


The Common Mental Habit that Creates Negative Cascade of Stress Symptoms

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Stress ManStuff goes wrong, right?

There isn’t a fix for that. We live in an imperfect world. The question is, are you doing the one thing that has been scientifically proven to take things from bad to worse?

The simple mental habit mentioned below has been shown to create the following symptoms:

• Chronic stress
• Reactive responses (as opposed to proactive responses)
• Low quality relationships
• Feelings of depression, isolation and despondence
• Lack of sleep

Recent research has pegged a mental habit – rumination – that guarantees low satisfaction, depressed mood and low productivity in people who do it consistently. The context of the study was a work environment, although it certainly applies in other areas of life.


Research Reveals Positive Feelings Key to Weight Loss

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Yes Word on Scale Lighter Weight LossWith 25% of the adult population of England and 33% of Americans tipping the scales of obesity, researchers are now investigating the psychology of weight loss success and body image.

They want to determine what makes the difference between success and failure, from a scientific point of view. The Technical University of Lisbon along with Bangor University have developed and tested a behavioral intervention program to study the effects of women’s body image on her ability to lose weight.

The results of the research show a clear connection between how a person feels about her physical image and her ability to lose weight. The study, published in BioMed Central’s International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, shows promising results.


Lack of Quality Sleep Could Trigger Suicide

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Alarm clock insomniaOver 14 000 senior adults aged 65 years and older were studied over a period of ten years by researchers from the Stanford University of Medicine. The results of this long-term study drew a troubling conclusion regarding suicide rates among the elderly population.

Published in JAMA Psychiatry, the findings of the study suggest that seniors who have difficulty getting proper sleep were much more likely to commit suicide than those individuals who reported having consistently good sleep and being well rested.


21 Signs That Your Worries Are Out of Control

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Bad things happen from time to time, do they not?

And it makes a lot of sense to prevent them from happening.

Yet, sometimes the bad things in life just show up.

Does worrying about it help?

woman low self-esteemWell, worry is a signal that something bad might happen. It’s useful. Worry let’s you know where to direct your attention to solve potential problems.

If you did not have the ability to worry, who knows what you would allow to happen in your life. It would be dangerous.

• If the company you work for is in trouble, you worry about money.
• If you find a lump under your skin, you worry about your health.
• If you child is failing school, you worry about his or her education.

If you handle the worry well, you allow it to spur you into action. You plan to get a new job, perhaps. You see a doctor right away. You meet with your child’s counselor and teachers. You get on it and solve problems where you can.

Handle worry like this:


Can Narcissists Learn Empathy?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Surrey have attempted to find out whether patients suffering from narcissism can learn to show empathy for another person’s suffering.

Their study, which is being published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, has shown that it may be possible.

husband's attitudeOne of the main hallmarks of narcissism is a lack of empathy for others. This has a negative effect on their personal relationships, social interaction, and social behaviors. In most cases, this is because their lack of empathy means that they are unconcerned with the effect their actions have on others.

For this study, researchers chose to focus on patients who exhibit subclinical narcissism. This diagnosis is given to patients who are psychologically healthy while still exhibiting some narcissistic traits. This form of narcissism is more common than narcissistic personality disorder.

To examine whether narcissists could be capable of empathizing with another person’s suffering, they asked study participants to read an excerpt describing the break up of a relationship. No matter how severe the hypothetical scenario was, high-narcissists did not show any empathy for the subject. This was true even in situations where the subject of the excerpt suffered overwhelming depression.


One Night of Sleep Deprivation Leads to Increased Food Purchases

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

When you have been sleep deprived for just one night, you are more likely to experience a greater hunger for food the following day. You will also be subject to impulsive food buying, according to a new study out of Sweden.

Alarm clock insomnia

A study by the Obesity Society, which was published in the Journal of Obesity, found that there were higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, in those who had been sleep deprived for a day. Those who had gotten a full night’s sleep had much lower levels of ghrelin.

In the study, the researchers hypothesized that there would be an impact on higher functioning decisions and self-control when shopping for food at a supermarket. Those who were sleep deprived would feel this impact and therefore be more likely to make calorie driven food choices while shopping.

The study indeed found that the sleep deprived subjects purchased more calories and grams of food than they did after having a full night’s sleep. Despite the subjects having a standardized breakfast before shopping during their sleep deprived state and their normal state, the grocery shopping done while sleep deprived resulted in a +9% and +18% increase in purchase of calories and grams of food, respectively.

We’ve heard many times that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. This study shows how poor sleep translates into high calorie food purchases, which is a key part in the cycle.

Need to lose weight? Focus on getting better sleep. Here’s how:

It’s easy to suggest sleeping better, but very difficult to pull off if you are the one lying in bed at night, tossing and turning. When your busy mind has a mind of it’s own, it is not necessarily open to suggestion.

This is why you may benefit from learning about your brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN).

The Default Mode Network is the area in the brain that is responsible for ‘self-referential thoughts’ (autopilot thinking). When you are not consciously engaged, your default mode activates. This is when the brain generates thoughts and feelings on its own. When you lie in bed …


 

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