Not only does a little self-loathing do great harm...we must be vigilant about noticing all instances in order to stop its negative effects.
I read a lot of articles on psychology, self-help, nutrition, happiness, mental health, marriage, dating, and a host of other topics. I hope and believe all this reading makes me a better therapist and a better human being. The downside is that sometimes ideas blur together and it takes a really outstanding or meaningful concept to hold my attention for more than a few minutes. So when I found myself thinking about the same sentence for several days in a row, I knew I had to share. Here it is: implement a zero-tolerance policy for your inner critic.
I am not much of a fan of implementing a zero-tolerance policy for most things. It’s the sort of black-and-white thinking that sets people and systems up for failure. Zero tolerance for alcohol turned into a costly and violent fiasco in the United States. Abstinence has never proven to be an effective method of birth control. My zero-sugar diet has only increased my sugar cravings ten-fold.
In honor of my 50th birthday, I will set 50 small goals in 2016.
I was reading a novel this week and came across the term, “first principles.” After doing a bit of research on the various meanings of the term, I found this definition in the Cambridge Dictionaries Online: “the basic and most important reasons for doing or believing something: We seem to have forgotten why we're fighting this campaign - we really need to return to first principles.” Synonyms for this are cause, drive, motive, and reason.
I’ve been thinking a lot about compromise in relationships: specifically I’ve been thinking about what compromise means in the bedroom. What happens when (inevitably) one person wants sex more frequently than the other partner?
This is a topic I’ve been considering for many years. Way back in 1985, I was a 19-year old Christian college student, attending a pre-marital class put on by one of the pastor’s wives at our church. When it came to sex the group was segregated (naturally) and Marge (I swear that was her name) addressed the table of young women. “Don’t make him beg,” she said. “Make sure you take care of him."
Tips for managing divorce or separation with children.
One of the hardest aspects of counseling children is watching parents engage in long, bitter custody battles. These battles are expensive and exhausting for both parties and are always hard, or downright damaging, for children. Below are some ideas about ways to minimize stress.
1. Avoid speaking badly of your ex.
It’s hard. It feels impossible, especially when your ex is not abiding by this same principle. The reality is that talking badly of your child’s other parent is not helpful to your child. You will only confuse and hurt them by putting down the person from whom they received 50% of their dna and with whom they are likely spending at least some of their time. Follow the old rule of, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Simply smile and nod as you allow your child to talk about their other parent. Go outside and scream later.
I cleaned off some shelves this weekend and I came across an article that reminded me of these effective techniques for combating depression and anxiety. I teach these principles every day in session and, when practiced, they can make a big difference in people’s lives.
Notice that phrase, “when practiced.” Everyone says they want to feel less stressed, less anxious, or less sad, but so few people follow through. I get it; everyone is busy or distracted. I also know when we are fighting serious stress, anxiety, or depression it can be hard to do things that are good for us instead of relying on old coping skills like drinking, sleeping too much, or reaching for the remote and a box of cookies. I promise you, however, consistent baby steps toward these new skills will reap a big payoff in terms of feeling better.