I've been blogging for psychologytoday.com, the website for Psychology Today magazine, since 2010. My "beat" includes the "3Hs" of happiness, habit change, and healthy aging, along with related topics. To link to my blog feed, please click here: www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower. Check out a few of my readers' favorite blogs below.
8 Things You Didn't Know About Your Mind...
And 8 Ways to Harness Its Unique Powers for Your Benefit
The mind is a mysterious and elusive thing. This list reveals some of the weirdest things about your mind and what, if anything, can be done about them.
1. No one knows exactly what the mind is or how the brain creates it.
It's weird that the mind even exists. How does “something as sublime and insubstantial as thought or consciousness … emerge from three pounds of gelatinous pudding inside the skull?” No one knows. Moreover, even though the mind is created by the brain, the mind can operate with some independence from the brain. In fact, the mind can actually change the brain.
What you can do about it: Nothing. Just be amazed.
2. “Thinking” is the way you talk to yourself.
A useful way to think about thinking is to describe it as the way or ways you talk to yourself. For practical purposes, “thinking” and “self-talk” are the same thing.
What you can do: To find out what is on your mind, figure out what you are saying to yourself. If you don't like your self-talk, change it! (Blog continues here.)
The Five Most Common Reasons We Get Annoyed
"Annoyance" is an unpleasant feeling, but, like all feelings, it serves useful purposes.
To annoy means “to rouse to impatience or anger.” Think of it as a highway rumble strip on the edge of full-blown anger. It could be a clue that you’ve gotten off course and need to steer back to your own lane.
At times we’re tempted to deal with our feelings of annoyance by discounting them: “Oh, I shouldn’t feel so annoyed at such a little thing.” And sometimes a little perspective does hold annoyance and anger at bay. But your feelings of annoyance might be trying to tell you something important, such as one of these five things:
1. You need to set a limit. Someone is asking you a question that feels much too personal and you feel irritated. The irksome tingle of annoyance...(Blog continues here.)
Why Saying Just One Word Can Calm Runaway Emotions
I used to feel nervous when I spotted a certain imposing woman who was several rungs above me in the hierarchy at work.
One day, I admitted, “Boy, I really feel intimidated by her.” Intimidated. As soon as I said the magic word to myself, my fearful feelings abated. Acknowledging my fear had helped reduce it to more manageable levels; later, I considered how I could constructively deal with my emotion.
I had just experienced the magic power of labeling. Putting my emotion into a word—even a scary one like “intimidating”—had paradoxically helped me get a grip.
If you would like to experience the benefits of labeling, here's how to get started: (Blog continues here.)
Know Yourself? Six Ways to Figure out Who You Are
"To know yourself is the beginning of wisdom." This famous quote is often attributed to Socrates. But what exactly do you know when you “know yourself?”
This blog will reveal six elements of self-knowledge that can help you understand your own identity. As you live your daily life, you can look for clues to these important building blocks of the self. (Blog continues here.)