The Imperfection of Perfectionism

pyramid red blue berries

Many people strive for some form of perfection. Whether in their work, in their appearance, in their relationships, in their expectations of others. There are a number of problems with perfectionism not the least of which is that it is simply not possible. Perfection is an ideal, which, almost by definition, is unattainable. Like trying to stand in the middle of a rainbow; as it’s approached, it recedes.

The other problem is that the criteria used to gauge perfection are suspect. How did we arrive at the criteria? Is the criteria valid? And, even if we were to judge the criteria as valid, will it remain so through time? If our expectations change, then how perfect could the criteria have been in the first place? Perfection suggests no room for improvement. It’s the ultimate, the top of the line, can’t get any better. It’s perfect! The irony of perfectionism is that to hold such a high standard, as an ideal, is an imperfection; it is an irrational and illogical standard by which to gauge and determine success or happiness. Continue reading The Imperfection of Perfectionism

What About Psychological Fitness?

exercise brain lifting weights

We hear a lot about physical fitness. Every town has at least one gym. You see people jogging around, and television infomercials are filled with the latest workout program or gadget to help you get into shape. There is no question that physical fitness is important.

But what about psychological fitness? Continue reading What About Psychological Fitness?

Use Boundaries to Keep Your Individuality When You Fall in Love

love has boundaries

Falling in love and building a relationship is wonderful, but it can destroy individuality if you’re not careful. Expressing boundaries will help you maintain your individuality and a healthy relationship.

A relationship can create an all-encompassing, overwhelmingly positive feeling. During the initial stages people often call an “infatuation phase,” boundaries melt and dissolve. We merge together. Our life becomes theirs, theirs ours. We lose ourselves. Continue reading Use Boundaries to Keep Your Individuality When You Fall in Love

Take Control of Your Emotions with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

control your emotions picture

We often believe we are at the mercy of situations and events. The long line at the bank made us upset. What that person said got us depressed. There are so many situations in our lives that have the power to make us feel happy or sad, angry or calm.

And yet, is that really what is happening? Does the situation actually control our moods and emotions? Continue reading Take Control of Your Emotions with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This Easy New Year’s Resolution Will Make You Happier

woman smiling street

Weight loss/fitness is the most popular New Year’s resolution and the one the highest number of people give up on soon after they proudly declare it. Wouldn’t you rather pick a New Year’s resolution that’s easy to stick to?

Do you want your resolution to make you happier in two seconds or less? You can, right now. But you need to do something very simple:

SMILE! Continue reading This Easy New Year’s Resolution Will Make You Happier

Holidays Stressing You Out? Change Your Thinking with 3 Tips

woman stress holidays

We look forward to the holidays with anticipation and, perhaps, some trepidation. There can be a lot of stress and pressure during holiday activities. This short article will present some thinking tips for the holidays, some ideas you can use to make the holiday season less stressful and more pleasant.

Thinking Tip #1: Get Away from “Should” Thinking and Into Preferences

One of the most common ways in which we get ourselves upset is by thinking other people ‘should’ or ‘must’ behave or act certain ways. If a family member is being selfish or shortsighted, we will be upset with them. It would be nice if they were less selfish and more thoughtful, but there is a big difference between thinking they should versus a preference of it being nice if they would.
When we acknowledge it as a preference that is not happening, we are mildly and temporarily disappointed. When we believe they should act a certain way, we can be upset, sometimes enraged for extended periods of time.
The tip here is to shift your thinking that others ‘should’ or ‘must’ act a certain way to thinking it would be nice if they did but certainly not a requirement for your enjoyment and peace of mind. Continue reading Holidays Stressing You Out? Change Your Thinking with 3 Tips

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Are You Making A Hell Of Heaven?

cognitive behavioral therapy female hand word web

The poet John Milton, in his epic poem “Paradise Lost” (1667), stated — through the voice of his character Satan — “the Mind is its own place and, in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

I can think of no better or more eloquent statement to summarize the teachings of cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]. CBT operates on the premise that our thinking is the precursor to moods and emotions, which is then the basis for a lot of behaviors, both heavenly and hellish. It is not the outer event that makes us feel any particular way but how we interpret and evaluate that event that makes us feel happy or sad, depressed or joyful, frightened or safe, energized or lethargic.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is not positive thinking. It is more about realistic thinking. Continue reading Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Are You Making A Hell Of Heaven?

Win The War On Worry

Win The War On Worry

When we worry, we engage in a debilitating mental and physical processes. This is the last thing our minds and bodies need.

It’s time to win the war on worry.

We like to go to war when we consider something to be wrong or bad: the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war against crime. But here’s a groundbreaking idea for you, how about we wage a war on worry – and win. Unless of course, you really, really enjoy worrying.  Continue reading Win The War On Worry

The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

Simply put, anticipatory anxiety is a discomforting and disquieting mind game you play on yourself. Do I have your attention yet?

You’re going to the dentist and you feel anxious. You’re about to go take a test and you feel anxious. You’ve been asked to have a meeting with your supervisor and you feel anxious. Do you see a pattern forming?

Anticipatory anxiety is a common discomfort experienced by millions of people. Continue reading The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

Are You Depressed, Or Is Something Else The Problem?

Are You Depressed, Or Is Something Else The Problem?

You may be depressed, but you could also be experiencing sorrow, grief, sadness, or a yearning for something you miss. Do you know how to tell the difference?

You’ve probably heard of this popular saying: Depression is anger turned inward. It means the anger that you may be holding within has nowhere to go – it simply festers inside. Just like undigested food can turn putrid, the anger can evolve into depression. You may feel lethargic and dull, uninterested in anything – including getting out of bed. You may find yourself crying, or being moody and irritable. Your sex drive may be reduced to nothing and you could be feeling suicidal. Continue reading Are You Depressed, Or Is Something Else The Problem?