How many times have you thought that you wish you had more time in your hands so that you can follow your dreams? Or, that you wish your life would be different and you could distribute your time better so you can follow your passion?
If you have asked yourself these questions and you have noticed a pattern of regret and "stuckness" coming up interestingly often, there is a high chance that you might be standing in your own way. You might be sabotaging yourself subconsciously with some specific behaviors and actions.
It's been 5 years since I registered at the Chamber of Commerce with my private practice "AntiLoneliness", and today I am as excited as I was on my first day.
Excited to be part of the Mental Health community, excited to help and support, excited to expand and to create.
What have we done in 5 years?
Hundreds, thousands of amazing things, but here are the top 5 we hold dear to our hearts:
Social media is a paradox. It can get us closer to others, but it can also leave us feeling inadequate and lonely. It can help us develop ourselves or lead us down the path of social media burnout.
The good news is that we can choose how social media affects our wellbeing. Here we explore some concrete steps we can take to make social media our friend.
Social media is one of the latest technological advances that have most effectively changed our everyday lives. It has shaped our daily habits, our economic structures, and how we relate to one another.
Our social media channels have become the first and last thing we do in our day. And despite the many benefits social media has granted us, there is a darker face to it. We are referring to the negative consequences that occur due to our excessive use of social media; social media burnout.
If you are reading this, there is a chance that you are well acquainted with the timeless problem of avoiding situations that make us feel uneasy, anxious or restless. Sometimes we question ourselves, is avoiding good or is it harmful in the long run? Today our psychologists will explore just that.
In this quick paced world we sometimes underestimate the power of pausing. No, we are not talking about the wonderful practice of meditation. We are talking about pausing to understand what is going on inside your mind.
Pausing and observing your thoughts is one of the main pillars of one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. An approach that can help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout and many other mental health issues. This is CBT, and today we bring forward a metaphor that will help you understand this approach better.
Burnout is on the rise. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen burnout steadily increasing and affecting the wellbeing of thousands of people. At this point, many people are aware of burnout and how it can impact our life. But one side of burnout is not widely recognized. This is compassion fatigue.
Compassion fatigue is the silent lurker in the lives of psychologists, therapists, and anyone working on the service of others. But, it is sometimes met with stigma. Particularly as these professionals are equipped with the knowledge and tips to help themselves.
But some forget one crucial thing: therapists and psychologists are also humans.
The articles around the international press about millennials being the burnout generation keep multiplying. The pandemic is not helping with our mental health either. Depression is also on the rise. But is there a link between depression and burnout?
5 Powerful Benefits of Walking Mindfully in Nature + Tips
Yesterday I had an epiphany. After a long day of work, I went walking in nature. I spent a few hours enjoying the view and listening to the chirping birds. As I was amid these natural wonders, I began thinking about the incredible health benefits and therapeutic power of having a short walk in nature. During my journey, I took photos of the sea, admired the tall trees, and noticed the subtle changes in the water. I felt relaxed and in awe, and as I came back, I realized I have to share this experience with you and share with the world the fantastic benefits a short walk in nature can bring to our mental health.
9 ways that perfectionism can lead to burnout
First of all, let’s clear out a really common misunderstanding.
We believe that perfectionism is a healthy mindset that leads to perfect results, perfect achievements, perfect life, to perfection.
However, the truth is somewhat different: perfectionism is the stress we feel in order to be perceived as perfect by others or ourselves and the exhausting effort we put in order to deal with that stress.
In other words, perfectionism feels like we are not enough and we need to try more in order to become so. And when we say “try”, we mean try a lot.
Why we need trust more than fear, especially right now
After almost six weeks of isolation, working from home, keeping 1,5 metres away from everyone around us and stocking up on food, what we learned from this pandemic is not crystal clear yet. Are we going back to normal? And what is “normal” exactly? Is this “normal” better or worse than before?
Some of us have been drawn into fear and all the scary scenarios about the future. Some of us were more hopeful and trusting. And most of us were just drifting from one side to the other, back and forth, a never-ending bounce from fear to trust.
Which emotional phase of the coronavirus pandemic are you at right now?
Here we are, all together, in the midst of a worldwide threat, trying to keep our head above water; trying not to panic and, at the same time, trying to be as well-informed as possible.
For the first time after many decades we are dealing – on a massive level – with an invisible enemy: a virus no one knows how to extinguish. And an isolation without a deadline.
How do we feel? Our feelings are on an overwhelming rollercoaster, and we go through many phases through that period. Let’s take a look at them.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Perfectionist
As we wrote in our previous article ‘How Much of a Perfectionist are you?’, perfectionists tend to feel that nothing they ever do is good enough; that they need to work unrelentingly in a bid to better themselves, or else there’ll be negative consequences. If a perfectionist feels he/she is not meeting the high standards they hold for themselves, they will often experience distress or inner unrest which can affect negatively their mood or result in anxiety.
With this description perfectionism sounds like a really unpleasant, unwanted trait. So why do so many of us personify it? Well, as behavioural psychology tells us, everything we do is done because we believe it will be of benefit to us (or it has benefitted us somehow in the past) - and perfectionism is no different. The perfectionistic thoughts described above breed by definition an intense drive to perform well, and their continued presence in our lives can be put down to the successes and external validation (who doesn’t love compliments?!) this increased drive once brought us.
How addicted are to our phone?
I was sitting in waiting the dentist the other day. It was full of people waiting to be treated. I had not forgotten to take my mobile phone with me, so I was looking around the room; posters, pictures, and magazines. I then turned my attention to the people sitting. All of them apart from a more elderly lady were looking at their mobile phones. I thought to myself, "at least I am not the only person not connected to my phone". Then a few seconds later the lady gets her phone out and starts texting. And here I am alone among people buried in their phones, not acknowledging each other. There was something about this experience that made me step back a little and think about the role of technology in our lives and how it can enable but also disable our genuine connections with others.
The seven most difficult feelings for emotional eaters
All theories of emotional eating share the assumption that before emotional eating occurs, we tend to experience a negative affect that we cannot properly regulate. This affect may prompt us to employ strategies that we have available but that are not necessarily adaptive in the long term. This is an important finding, since it suggests that the problem is not necessarily associated with negative emotions per se, but rather with the lack of adaptive coping strategies available to regulate our negative affect.
Another 6 apps that boost your mental health
Mental well-being and inner balance are not a luxury. They are a necessity. In a world of constant worrying, being busy, commuting, changing and adjusting, we need some stability, and that’s something that needs to come from within.
So, we continued our research on applications that you can install on your mobile phone and that can help you find more inner peace and become more mindful within your environment. In our previous article, we shared 6 apps that boost mental health, and here we continue with another 6 (there are a lot, indeed, so we had to choose wisely).
6 apps that boost your mental health
Technology has often been blamed as the villain of the contemporary world, bringing more trouble and threats than help and comfort to our once-peaceful-and-simple life.
For example, smartphones. We spend so much time in front of our screens, looking forward to getting a “like” or a reaction from our followers, to see how our friends are spending their time and how much fun they are having, as well as comparing our body, our friends, our holidays and our happiness with theirs.
The result? We feel like we will never be as good as them, have as much fun as them, be as loved as them, and so on. Yes, it is true that smartphones have been blamed for giving us a lot of trouble since they were invented, from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to panic attacks or even to making us feel depressed.
Are smartphones just bad news? Are they nothing more than a way to feel miserable about ourselves? One could say it all depends on the way you look at it…
Familiarizing ourselves with our emotions
During an argument with a partner, friend, or parent, has it ever occured that they were begging you to share what you were feeling, yet all you could do was stand there frozen?
Did you ever find yourself in situations where you intellectually knew what was happening yet had no idea what you were feeling or experiencing emotionally? As if suddenly, there were no words in the dictionary to choose from.
Are you someone who tends to ‘react after’, not reacting to situations as they are happening, finding it almost impossible to FEEL what is happening at a specific time such as during an argument? As a result, you may have come across to others as if you ‘didn’t care’, as if the situation did not affect you?
“Listen to your gut”, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
These are everyday sayings which actually refer to the concept "psychosomatic symptoms". So what exactly are they?
The word ‘psychosomatic’ combines two ancient Greek phrases. ‘Psyche’, the Greek for soul, is commonly seen in words like psychologist, psychiatrists, psychedelics, etc., and is a reference to the concept of the mind. ‘Soma’ is the Greek term for our body; that is, our limbs, organs, bones, head, face, genitals, and anything else we consider as part of our physical anatomy.
Psychosomatics, then, is a term describing the influence of mental or emotional states on bodily symptoms and sensations.
Food and Emotions: the invisible connection
Nowadays only few of us see food purely as a source of nutrition for our bodies. Food is generally associated with pleasure, reward and a whole range of human emotions and conditions.
Just think of all the projections of popular culture depicting people eating cartons of ice cream after a break up or sipping tea in order to fill up discomforting silences.
What is Self-Compassion?
"Be kind to yourself."
We can hear this quite a lot, but what does it actually mean? Being kind to ourselves relates to the act of self-compassion. Before we think about self-compassion, let’s focus our attention to compassion. Compassion is the process of being aware of suffering in others and the drive to do something about that in order to sooth or prevent it. The word compassion may hold different connotations for us.
What is Empathy?
Empathy is our capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position, considering their emotions and experiences.
To get into the other person's shoes, as it is widely known.
Empathy is innate to human beings and it is our neurological response to another person’s emotions. The response to what is felt by another person occurs automatically and often out of our conscious awareness. From an early age we are wired to experience what another person is feeling which provides essential learning cues and marks our successful development.
How our inner critic can affect our relationships.
Being on the receiving end of criticism is never easy. Being criticised probably comes in moments when we feel ourselves most vulnerable - whenever we make mistakes, feel embarrassed or fear disappointing others. Having somebody to judge us about being wrong, foolish or inadequate is very unpleasant and challenging experience for anyone. However, the impact of criticism to different people varies immensely and is based on one major factor - their childhood.
Plato said “opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”
People talk. And we hear. People tend to have opinions about everything and anyone. It doesn’t matter if their opinion is an argument or “just saying”, they will feel entitled to express it and we will fall for it. In other words, many of us tend to see ourselves through other people's eyes. Every day, every moment of it, we feel judged about our looks, how we behave, how smart we are or if we are being good partners or good parents.
There’s something really sad about Christmas.
You can see it in all these commercials with families gathered around the table, blissfully celebrating the festive days with their loved ones, exchanging perfectly-wrapped presents next to shiny Christmas trees, with everyone smiling and feeling so lucky to have each other.
What??? You can’t see it yet?
To give you a hint:
In this “merry” picture, projected through media and social media...
...where are the people who are grieving the loss of a loved one?
...where are the people who can’t spend time with their friends and family because of work?
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.