The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.–Marty Feltman. Mental health providers encourage their patients to keep journals. Sometimes it’s almost obsessive. We journal! Everyone should journal! Write like you’re fighting for your life! But why do we write? I guess it’s because the empty page is a place to […]
Do you ever race through life struggling to keep up? It’s about that alarm clock going off in the mornings, a quick jump in the shower, an even quicker rush through breakfast, and the oh-so-disturbing traffic on your way to work when you’re running late. It’s that busy “busy-ness” that pushes you through the day, […]
Think of life as a spectrum: on one end you’ve got the worse-case outcome. That’s where most anxious people lean when they consider their future. But if you’re going to invest energy into the worst outcome, you should invest that same energy into best-case scenario. You can’t have one without the other.
This article is based on a workbook I wrote a decade ago called, “What to Do When You’re Too Depressed to Think.” Thus the title. The book hit 200 pages, which means this post waxes on the long side. So sorry for the long-windedness. Hang in there as you read it, and take lots of […]
It would be nice if we had a magic wand that calmed people down and solved conflict with a flurry of the stick, but things aren’t so easy. Consider the following situation. You ask your new roommate to remove her belongings from your shelf in the bathroom. You don’t mean anything bad by it. She’s […]
In the language of Freud, defense mechanisms are the unconscious things we do to deal with difficult emotion or stress. They are kind of like absent-minded coping skills, and we all use them. They’re natural and normal. They help us deal with life struggles. But, just like coping skills, defense mechanisms come in different flavors. […]
Picture this scenario: You’re a college student. You’ve been working very hard on a paper for class when Don, another student, steals the paper and presents it to the professor himself. The professor is impressed with Don and gives him an A, then dings you for copying him. You can’t prove that you’re the original […]
Muscle relaxation can be helpful for anxiety, as well as for anger, stress, insomnia, and agitation. People with stress or anxiety often feel so keyed up during the day that they don’t even remember what it’s like to be calm. Muscle relaxation exercises release the tension in the muscles and help a person relax, lowering […]