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?”
Category Archives: Psychology
How Does It Feel to Have Your To-Do List at Zero?
It’s quite strange. Yesterday, I managed to finish off the last thing on my to-do list for the week. For the first time in a long time, I had nothing that I had to do. Sure, there are some things that I would like to do in the future. However, nothing required me to takeContinue reading “How Does It Feel to Have Your To-Do List at Zero?”
What Things Really Matter to You?
When I think about how to best help someone, I am reminded of what psychiatrist Irvin Yalom found when he asked 20 clients what was most beneficial to them about their time in therapy (Yalom & Leszcz, 2005). The average client had spent an average of 16 months in therapy, and was just about toContinue reading “What Things Really Matter to You?”
The Little Things That We Do Matter Over Time
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu I love the above quote by Lao Tzu. It highlights that all of the little choices in life are important, especiallyContinue reading “The Little Things That We Do Matter Over Time”
Isolation and Loneliness: Which One Is More Damaging to Our Long-term Health?
Just the other day, I was having a debate with a client about isolation versus loneliness. He believed that social contact with others was a more significant predictor of well-being, whereas I thought how close we felt was more important for long-term health and happiness. In other words, he thought that the number of interactionsContinue reading “Isolation and Loneliness: Which One Is More Damaging to Our Long-term Health?”
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?”
Are You Looking After Both of Your Selves?
Imagine that you could go on a holiday to anywhere that you want to go in the world. However, you couldn’t take any pictures or tell anyone what you got up to while you were away or afterwards? Furthermore, you can only experience the holiday while away and feel all the emotions you do inContinue reading “Are You Looking After Both of Your Selves?”
What Are the Virtues and Faults of Your Personality Style?
You may not be the right fit for everyone or everything, but no one is. What is more important is to first try to understand yourself, change what you would like to and are able to, accept what you do not want to or cannot change, and then find the places and people that love and appreciate you for who you are.
How to Improve Your Motivation
The problem of just using fear for motivation is that it triggers our fight-or-flight response. It increases our cortisol levels if we trigger this response too often, so in the long run it isn’t so great for our mental and physical health.
The Four Ultimate Concerns in Life
I’ve been afraid to say this for a while because of how it will be perceived, but my favourite book of all time is actually a textbook. So before you think that makes me someone you would never want to speak to, I’ll ask if you have ever read anything by Irvin Yalom, American PsychiatristContinue reading “The Four Ultimate Concerns in Life”