Can You Improve Your Gratitude?

Out of the 24 possible character strengths in the VIA Character Strengths Survey, only five are strongly associated with satisfaction with life. People with hope, zest, gratitude, curiosity and the ability to love and be loved as their top strengths seem to have higher life satisfaction. Gratitude has never been a strength of mine. EveryContinue reading “Can You Improve Your Gratitude?”

What’s a Better Life Goal than Happiness?

When I type ‘Happiness books’ into Amazon.com, over 60,000 results appear. Happiness is clearly a popular topic. However, when I hear people say to me in therapy that they “just want to be happy”, I find it hard to write this down as a goal for them to achieve in therapy. The problem with strivingContinue reading “What’s a Better Life Goal than Happiness?”

Five Lessons I Learned After Being Fired

When I was 18, I graduated from high school in Virginia in mid-2004. After a fantastic road trip across the USA, I returned to Australia and needed to find some work until I could attend University in February 2005. My first job after I returned was walking around and doorknocking at people’s houses, trying toContinue reading “Five Lessons I Learned After Being Fired”

Is Vanuatu the Happiest Country in the World?

The latest Happy Planet Index puts Vanuatu second in the world in terms of sustainable well-being. To determine a country’s score on the Happy Planet Index, they look at a country’s well-being, multiplied by their life expectancy and then divided by their ecological footprint. The only country with a better Happy Planet Index score isContinue reading “Is Vanuatu the Happiest Country in the World?”

The Mental Health Impact of COVID-19

Initially, the pandemic had a significant and negative impact on our mental health. Here is some data that looked at self-reported levels of distress, anxiety, and depression across the USA in 2020: As you can see, anxiety, depression and distress all spiked in March and April but remained relatively consistent from June 2020 to JanuaryContinue reading “The Mental Health Impact of COVID-19”

What Qualities Do You Try to Teach Your Children?

Deep in the World Values Survey results, there are some really interesting findings to me based on how people from each country answered questions. Some of the most fascinating ones were around values that parents consider important in trying to pass on to their children. There were 11 values that parents were asked about, andContinue reading “What Qualities Do You Try to Teach Your Children?”

How to Predict Whether or Not a Couple Will Break Up

John Gottman is a legendary relationship researcher. He began using “The Love Lab” as his research centre at the University of Washington in 1986. Here, he would have couples stay in the apartment at The Love Lab, and watch as they bring up an old topic that they would typically fight about. During this conflict,Continue reading “How to Predict Whether or Not a Couple Will Break Up”

The Importance of Seeing Fully Qualified Professionals

Please consider the following scenario: You require open-heart surgery to fix something that could otherwise severely impact your quality of life or kill you prematurely. I’m guessing that you would have a pretty similar hierarchy to most people of who you would try to book in for the surgery: The best heart surgeon in theContinue reading “The Importance of Seeing Fully Qualified Professionals”

What Does Australia and the USA Care About in Comparison to the Rest of the World?

If you look at the above findings from the seventh wave of the World Values Survey, neither Australia nor the USA is the most traditional or secular of all the countries surveyed. The USA is about as close to the middle as possible, showing a slight preference for Secular Values over Traditional Values (about 0.10Continue reading “What Does Australia and the USA Care About in Comparison to the Rest of the World?”

What if Being a Therapist is Unhealthy?

The Oura ring that I use to track my health gives me three primary scores every day. When I wake up, I receive a readiness score, a sleep score and an activity level score from the day before. All of these are out of 100, with the higher daily score perceived as better.  To achieveContinue reading “What if Being a Therapist is Unhealthy?”