Are You Contributing to Other People’s Mental Health Issues?

Hands pulling against woman's face

You may wonder: Is your mental health dependent on your neighbor’s (and vice versa)? In some ways, yes — there is, in a way, a mental health ripple effect.

Just as when a pebble is thrown into water and causes ripples, your words, actions, and feelings affect those around you, who in turn affect those around them, and so on. Continue reading Are You Contributing to Other People’s Mental Health Issues?

What is Healthy, Respectful Masculinity?

Man playing with a dog

Masculinity is a hot topic these days, but it is also difficult to adequately define, leaving many people wondering — what is healthy masculinity?

Largely, it depends on who you ask, but to better understand healthy masculinity, it is helpful to start by looking at two key components: Why it’s important, and how masculinity becomes toxic. Continue reading What is Healthy, Respectful Masculinity?

How to Be Brave About Your Mental Health

Lion lying down

Talking about intimate experiences, of any type, is tough. You’re being vulnerable, unsure of your audience’s reaction, worried about oversharing or making your audience uncomfortable. But to end the stigma surrounding mental health, those with mental health issues are being encouraged to be more honest and brave, and open up about their mental health needs.

This kind of transparency can help remove the taboos and stigma associated with mental health and make society more comfortable talking about it. After all, when it comes to physical wellness, we understand that health is a broad spectrum. Some people wear glasses. Some have bad knees. Why not be as open about our mental health and the conditions associated with that? Why feel ashamed? Continue reading How to Be Brave About Your Mental Health

Am I Being Assertive or Stubborn?

Donkey on a beach

Winning arguments isn’t a personality flaw. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for your beliefs. “Assertive” is an admirable personality trait — just like “good-hearted” and “honest.”

“Stubborn,” though? That’s a name no one wants to be called.

When an assertive personality starts to tip into obstinance, friends and family may drift away and work performance might suffer. No one wants to spend time with you anymore — and that sucks!

How do you know if you’re toeing the line? Here’s how to tell if you’re being assertive or just being a jerk. Continue reading Am I Being Assertive or Stubborn?

How to Own Your Instincts (and Beat Your Insecurities)

a woman's hands on her lap

I have a loud inner critic.

It’s this nagging voice in my head that constantly tells me all the ways I’m messing up, falling short, disappointing people, and making a fool out of myself. This sneaky voice pretends it’s protecting me from failure when in reality it’s just getting in the way of me owning my instincts, trusting my decisions, and feeling confident about my abilities.

In her 15 years of working as a professor and licensed Talkspace psychotherapist, Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, has observed how people’s insecurities affect them across different settings. Continue reading How to Own Your Instincts (and Beat Your Insecurities)

A Therapist’s Guide to Sunday Scaries

I hate Mondays

Have you ever had a great weekend, only to find that around midday Sunday (or later) a sense of worry or dread about the upcoming work week hits? If so, then you have probably experienced the “Sunday Scaries.”

This anticipatory anxiety seems to be more common these days. As a culture, we’re often overworked, underappreciated, and struggle with managing our work and personal lives. This can all add up to a difficult start to each week. Sometimes it might feel as if you’re dreading heading back to work the following day. If you’ve ever felt the Monday morning blues, just think of the Sunday Scaries as the appetizer to a Monday blues’ entree. Continue reading A Therapist’s Guide to Sunday Scaries

4 Strategies for Dealing With The Mental Health Implications Of Chronic Illness

Hospital bedroom

Chronic illness can take many forms. Common types that I see in my practice include migraines, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and chronic back pain, all of which are associated with depression.

No matter what type of chronic illness you have, you are likely all too aware of the profound effects it can have on your mental health and day-to-day functioning. Although chronic illness is a massive challenge to your psychological functioning, there are some ways that you can moderate its impact on your perspective and emotional wellbeing Continue reading 4 Strategies for Dealing With The Mental Health Implications Of Chronic Illness

How Financial Issues Impact Your Mental Health

Woman with coins over his eyes

It is fashionable to believe that finances shouldn’t have much of an impact on your mental health. According to the media, mental health should be equivalent across various socioeconomic classes. However, when you are struggling financially, it can have a very real effect on your mental and emotional functioning. Continue reading How Financial Issues Impact Your Mental Health

6 Ways to Recover When You Slip Up

Person stepping on a banana

Once the dregs of February and March hit, it’s easy to look back at our starry-eyed New Year’s selves and laugh. “You thought you could lose 30 pounds this year?,” we might chuckle. “You’re dreaming.”

Whether you wanted to lose weight, stop drinking, run more often, or just commit to taking your wee poodle Murphy on more walks, soon enough resolve hits reality. And sometimes, when the going gets tough, we fall off the wagon. Continue reading 6 Ways to Recover When You Slip Up

6 Ways to Build Your Intuition

Looking into a crystal ball

Making a tough decision means trusting your intuition. But how do you determine what’s actually intuition, and what’s anxiety, fear, or anger? Any number of emotions can cloud your judgment, obscuring the truth of what you want.

To simplify decision-making, learn how to trust your intuition. Practice ignoring fleeting thoughts, dismissing anger and fear and choosing your desires — not anyone else’s.

Here’s how to know what your gut wants. Continue reading 6 Ways to Build Your Intuition