It’s easy to feel anxious, sad, irritated or otherwise negative when we find ourselves in difficult situations – but sometimes this is because of the messages that we tell ourselves (i.e. the beliefs that we have) rather than the reality of those situations.
I often hear friends as well as clients talking about themselves and their situations in ways that are more negative than their situations might actually warrant. To … Read more
Three studies have shown that a simple trick can dampen down negative emotions AND boost mental performance. What’s the trick? Answer: sitting or standing with erect posture.
In the first study, scientists headed by Erik Peper at San Francisco State University asked 125 students to complete a mental mathematics exercise. Half of the students sat upright; the other half sat slumped while they completed the mathematics task.
All of the … Read more
Do you ever worry that the people around you are judging you silently? Or do you sometimes receive comments or criticism from people that make you feel you’re being attacked?
If you ever feel judged or attacked, you’re definitely not alone. Here are five tips on coping in such situations:
1. Defuse the thought
Identify the specific thought that’s worrying you. Are you telling yourself something like “I’m going to … Read more
A client of mine I’ll call Joanna had a tendency to take things personally. When projects went wrong at work and her colleagues pointed out her mistakes, she either got irritated and angry or she retreated and sulked.
Another client called Rupert wanted to change his life. He wanted to get a new job – but he wasn’t able to find the motivation within himself. When we first met, he … Read more
What makes you happy? You can probably list a few things straightaway. But it turns out that quite a lot of behaviour has the potential to make you happy.
A pair of researchers at the University of Helsinki recently conducted a clever study looking at the effects that different behaviours had on people’s mood. The investigators asked several dozen people to report on their behaviour five times a day over … Read more
Sometimes things can seem really bleak and hopeless. Maybe you’ve suffered a big disappointment at work or you feel rejected by a friend or loved one. Or perhaps it is world events that make you feel that things are gloomy.
If you’re feeling down and want to feel more confident about life again, here are 3 actions that psychologists often suggest to clients:
1. Buoy your spirits
Don’t allow yourself … Read more
What do you argue about with the people in your life? Maybe you have argued with your romantic partner about the division of household tasks, sex, fidelity and jealousy, or communication. Perhaps you’ve had past disagreements with family members or close friends over their behaviour or your behaviour.
Sometimes, the desire to be proven right and the other person wrong can become so strong that people can lose perspective. Thankfully, … Read more
There’s a solid body of research showing that positive emotions such as gratitude are good for us. You may already know that the ‘3 good things’ exercise has been shown in more than a few studies to help most people to feel more positive about themselves (for example, I wrote about it in my Confidence book).
If you haven’t come across the exercise before, the idea is that you simply … Read more