Procrastination is not about being lazy. It is not about being complacent. In fact, most procrastinators care very much about how things turn out. Procrastination is a way to avoid the fear of failure until the last possible moment. Then we say, “Oh, of course I did badly, I didn’t have enough time.” Or we just do good enough, so our best possible work goes undone and not judged by others. Procrastination is a fear-driven behavior. It is the opposite of going all in. Another problem with procrastination is that it provides all of the stress on the mind and body of actually doing the work, without any of the reward. We spend our time and energy thinking about the work we should/want to/need to do. We worry about when and how we will do it or how it might . . . read more
I try not to take offense, but it seems that scientists are obsessed with eliminating my job. Some want to see machines replace trained therapists to help you with your emotional problems. That seems a little weird, since emotions are the only thing a computer cannot do at this point. At any rate, I’m a pragmatic person and I’ll support anything that helps people. The New York Times is reporting that apps may in fact help people with anxiety and depression. A recent article explains how a video game-like app helps people overcome ways of thinking that lead to anxiety and depression. So, today I’m setting up all of my clients with my iPhone and taking off for a hike. Okay, no, wait a minute… if you read the full article, you realize that they are less than sure about . . . read more
I spend a lot of my day talking with people about the foundations of good mental and physical health: quality food, exercise, and sleep. Yes, we all know about these things, but we dismiss them as too obvious or too difficult. So I’m the broken record reminding everyone (including myself) that these are the unavoidable essentials. Starting with sleep is always helpful because if that’s in line, the other things are more easily addressed. It’s the foundation. You must sleep to have good mental health. The good news is that some fairly simple changes are clinically proven to help promote sleep: fall asleep and wake up the same time each day, avoid light when trying to sleep, get into the light when waking, avoid caffeine after noontime, do restful activities 1 hour before bed. These recommendations work, but only if . . . read more
My tip today is for all of us who sometimes do too many things at once, speed more than we should, or gulp down food without proper chewing- slow down! It is the natural rhythm for late fall to get slower, quieter and more reflective. I’m convinced slower does not mean less productive or less accomplished- just more intentional, intuitive and relaxed. How can you slow down?
Thanksgiving sneaks up fast, at least it always does for me. This year I’m determined to give it more attention. That’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of gratitude and how it can be vitally important in promoting wellness and fighting both anxiety and depression. Thanksgiving is a perfect holiday for exploring the idea of gratitude and how it can improve our lives. How we perceive the world has a dramatic impact on our mood. This is the foundation of many types of therapy, most famously Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The philosophy is: change how you think and you’ll change how you feel. One of the big challenges is that most Americans live very deficit-focused lives. I would assert that we have been trained to over-focus on information that is critical and negative. We see what we . . . read more