Mental Health

The Power of Proving Yourself Wrong – Self Improvement Article

One important attitude behind self-growth in any area of life is: always be open to the possibility that you are wrong about something. Because only by admitting you’re wrong can you truly learn, grow, and change yourself. My favorite way to prove myself wrong is to play “devil’s advocate” toward my current beliefs. I assume the opposite of what I believe is true, and I begin to search for facts and evidence that support this opposing view. Often when I…

Read More

A Great Tool for Habit Change and Motivation – Self Improvement Article

Gamification is the process of using “gaming elements” in non-gaming situations. The basic idea is that by making an activity seem more like a “game,” individuals will be more motivated and focused to continue that activity and stay committed to it. One of the most common examples of this is when businesses use rewards and badges for customers who have been loyal to their company. The more products you buy, the more you work your way to different “reward tiers,”…

Read More

What Are Your Superpowers? Create Unique Names for Your Strengths – Self Improvement Article

Do you have superpowers? When it comes to self improvement, we often focus more on our weaknesses and what we want to fix about ourselves rather than our strengths and what we are already good at. The main reason for this is that we tend to have a “negativity bias.” Our minds are designed to solve problems and fix things. And as a result, we take our strengths for granted and instead we spend most of our time thinking about…

Read More

Early Experiences That Influence Mental Health – Self Improvement Article

Psychology research is clear that our childhood and early experiences can have a massive influence on our happiness and well-being later in life. While most of this research has focused on how negative experiences can impact our mental health into adulthood (such as poverty, abuse, or neglect), a new study published in the scientific journal JAMA Pediatrics looked into how early positive experiences can influence mental health in a good way. First, this article will review the key findings behind…

Read More

Social Comparison and “Keeping Up With The Joneses” – Self Improvement Article

You don’t measure up with anyone, because you can’t accurately compare yourself to others. One of the ultimate traps in life, especially when it comes to our happiness and well-being, is spending too much time comparing our lives with others and trying to measure it in relation to someone else. We compare ourselves in virtually every area of our lives. We compare each other’s homes. We compare each other’s jobs. We compare each other’s bodies. We compare each other’s relationships.…

Read More

Multi-Stage Meditation: A 15-Minute Routine – Self Improvement Article

Meditation is becoming one of those habits that we all know is good for us, but we have trouble actually doing it on a consistent basis. When I first learned about meditation and tried it out, it was about 10 years ago. Since then my practice has been very sporadic. I enjoyed it and could see its benefits afterwards, but I could never transform it into a steady habit. However, meditation is slowly become as essential to my daily routine…

Read More

4 Ways To Take The Burn Out of Burnout – Self Improvement Article

Every day we work towards achieving a new goal. Be it staying overtime to earn more money, abstaining from sweets to lose weight, or simply trying to stay awake till the end of the day on a dull Monday morning. As humans, ambition is what drives us. The sense of satisfaction we receive when we succeed keeps us striving for more. But what happens when we overwork ourselves beyond our limits? We often think we can muscle our way to…

Read More

5 Ways Being Grateful Benefits You – Proven by Research – Self Improvement Article

“Be grateful for what you have!” You must have been told this a thousand times, especially when things weren’t exactly going your way. Why do people say this? Does being grateful actually help you lead a happier life? If these questions have bugged you even momentarily, we’re here to answer them. It’s not easy being grateful when there’s still so much we haven’t achieved, so many people out there with more than us, and so many problems we face on a…

Read More

Are You Getting the Optimal ROI on Your Wellness Plan? Checklist For You (Part 2) – Career Development, Self Improvement Article

  Segmenting Health Factors Many wellness programs segment health into only physical health, which defies modern science. The mind-body connection has been proven since 1985. Also, since the turn of the millennium neuroscientists have identified multiple parts of the brain that are activated during a spiritual experience, and since then the relationship between spirituality and our mental, emotional, and physical health has been further explored, tested, and understood. One 2001 study supported that “religious involvement and spirituality are associated with…

Read More

Let People Know When You Are Having a Bad Day – Self Improvement Article

Often times when we lash out or get angry with someone, it’s not the other person’s fault – but our own. We are ultimately responsible for how we respond to other people. When we are angry or frustrated and we take that out on someone else, that’s often due to our own mismanagement of our stress and emotions. Of course it’s “easier said than done.” When you find yourself amped up and heated, it becomes increasingly more difficult to regulate…

Read More

How I Stopped Scrolling My Life AwayPick the Brain – Self Improvement Article

“What did you mean you didn’t know?! I posted it on Facebook!” How many times have you heard this statement from friends and family members? Staying away from social media is not easy. Everyone you know is on one single platform.  Even when you want to switch to an entirely new one, where would you go!? That is called the network effect. You’re “stuck” in this one place since everyone you know congregate on that same platform. I was a…

Read More

At the Brink of Losing, I Found MyselfPick the Brain – Personal Development Article

“I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realise is that you’re not alone.” ~Dwayne Johnson Did you ever bow down to your mind demons? I have… but that experience taught me the best lifetime-lesson. My life was not a fairytale. But fortunately, my fight was never for bread and butter.  I had every means to suffice my materialistic desires. I had beautiful people around in the form of friends and family. But the ironical…

Read More

When To Keep Your Mouth Shut and Preserve Your Energy – Self Improvement Article

When someone says a stupid or rude comment in front of you, it’s tempting to want to immediately respond to it. However, often it’s best to just keep your mouth shut and ignore it. Of course, practicing silence is easier said than done. We have a natural impulse to want to defend ourselves when we feel personally attacked or someone says something that offends us. But what good comes when you feel the need to always respond to others or…

Read More

Tips for Improving Long-Term Mental Health and Addiction RecoveryPick the Brain – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

Though it may be a surprise for some, mental health problems are commonplace. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 44 million American adults deal with mental health symptoms on an annual basis. That’s nearly 20% of the country’s adult population. Thankfully, similar to physical conditions like joint pain or eczema, mental health problems can be treated and managed before they become increasingly debilitating over time. That’s why it’s so important to develop strategies for improving your mental…

Read More

How Your Personality Shapes What Types of Exercise Work Best For You – Self Improvement Article

Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but many have trouble transforming that belief into action and making exercise a consistent habit in their lives. One reason may be lack of motivation or discipline, but another reason could be that you just haven’t yet found the type of exercise that works best for you and resonates with you. The more we know ourselves, the easier it is to create new habits that work for us. So the first step toward…

Read More

8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing – Self Improvement Article

When we want something, we generally imagine the form it will take when it manifests. If we’re not careful, however, we can find ourselves attached more to the imagined form than the actual desired outcome. This is like placing an online order and expecting it to come in a blue box shipped by UPS. If we then receive a red box delivered by FedEx, we might not realize that it’s what we ordered, and never even open it! For example,…

Read More

How Meditation Can Help With AnxietyPick the Brain- Self Improvement Article

Putting it rather simply, meditation is the intentional process of forming a higher level of awareness through stopping thought and sharpening focus. Meditation is not easy, but when done properly, has amazing healing properties when it comes to stress and anxiety. Since anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States alone, meditation is becoming more mainstream than it ever has before, with apps like Headspace and Calm paving the way for normalcy. You don’t have to be a pro…

Read More

Meditation for Loneliness – Meditation Article

“Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season you…” – Hafiz What does it mean to not “surrender loneliness so quickly”? For most of my life, I would have preferred to surrender my loneliness yesterday. Loneliness felt like a painful, aching, hollow feeling at the core of my gut. It was my constant companion and I most certainly did not want it there. At some point in my twenties, I decided if…

Read More

Lost In A Depressive Haze – Self Improvement Article

Often I find myself drowning in ugly thoughts pertaining to life and death. Why are we alive? What is the bigger picture? Why do we continually tax ourselves with the struggles of mundane life as we head for an eminent death? Do we strive for material possessions totally in vain, or is there something gained in the striving for more? If we do actually make it to a place called heaven, what was the point of being here to begin…

Read More

Why Meditation Doesn’t Always Work and What To Do About ItPick the Brain- Self Improvement Article

How often have you carved out time to meditate, only to squander those twenty to thirty minutes obsessively thinking of what you need to accomplish, or drifting off to sleep from exhaustion only to emerge with your anxieties intact? I can certainly attest to having this type of meditative experience and I’m not the only one. My clients often express that meditation makes them more frustrated and sometimes even erroneously validates their sense of being a failure, simply because they…

Read More

A Thought Experiment to Spark Change – Self Improvement Article

One of the biggest obstacles to self improvement is overcoming your self-image. Your “self-image” is a mental picture of how you view yourself and how you believe others see you. This includes not only physical characteristics (like height, weight, and body shape), but also mental characteristics (such as your personality, confidence, skills, and attitude). We often consider this self-image to be an objective truth. We think to ourselves, “Of course I know who I am! How could I not?” But…

Read More

How to Deal with Anxiety in Just 3 BreathsPick the Brain- Self Improvement Article

Anxiety is a common daily struggle for many. With constant work stress along with competition and comparison fueled by social media, anxiety has become somewhat of a social “norm” in our modern society. In the United States alone, anxiety affects approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54, mostly in stressful work and school environments. Many turn to medicine and doctors, which might seem like the easiest solution. But, what about those who are looking for more…

Read More

“The Most Important Habit I’ve Changed Is Going from Being Self-Critical to Being Kind to Myself While Holding Myself Accountable.” – Self Improvement Article

Interview: Lori Gottlieb. Lori Gottlieb is a bestselling writer and a practicing psychotherapist. I can’t remember how I became aware of her work. Did I meet her at an event? Did I read a magazine story she wrote? Do we have a mutual friend? It’s lost in the sands of time, but for some reason, for several years, I’ve paid particular attention to the career of Lori Gottlieb. I know I read her books Marry Him: The Case for Settling…

Read More

The Art of Taking a Step Back – Self Improvement Article

When something happens to us in life, our instinct is often to immediately take action and respond to it. Make a mistake at work? Slam the desk. Someone pisses you off? Snap back at them. Want that slice of cake? Grab it and take a bite. Someone cuts you off while driving? Honk your horn and throw up the middle finger. React. React. React. Life is one continuous cycle between things happening to us and us responding to them. And…

Read More

How It Can Help Manage Anxiety – Self Improvement Article

As someone who’s had anxious tendencies most of my life, I love to ask basically everyone I interview about their go-to tips, tricks, and exercises to alleviate those racing, toxic, worry-laden thoughts. And most people have something to share—after all, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults. Often, it’s a breathing exercise, a supplement, or a dietary strategy, but recently, someone recommended a strategy I’d never heard of: acceptance and commitment therapy…

Read More

How We Learn From Our Parents How to Respond to Stress and Anxiety – Self Improvement Article

A lot of what we learn in life – including how we regulate our stress and emotions – is picked up by what we observe from others when we are developing at a young age. Our parents and upbringing can play one of the biggest roles in what habits persist later in our lives. This is why paying attention to family patterns is so essential for learning how to improve yourself and changing unhelpful behaviors. If you’re an easily stressed-out…

Read More

How To Find The Therapy You Need – Self Improvement Article

When readers leave comments here on Simple Mindfulness asking for help or advice, I do my best to share what I know that may help.  In some cases, that’s enough.  In others, it’s clear that the reader needs more in-depth help than I can offer in a comment.  In those cases, I frequently recommend that the person seek professional help – a licensed therapist of some sort. But how does one go about seeking such help?  What are the steps? …

Read More

Hangxiety = Social Anxiety + Alcohol – Self Improvement Article

Social anxiety and alcohol are a common combination, but they can lead to some destructive patterns that ultimately hurt us in the long-term. For many with social anxiety, alcohol can be an effective way to diminish their nervousness and inhibitions, making it easier to socialize with others. There’s an obvious reason alcohol is called a “social lubricant.” At the same time, using alcohol to overcome your social anxiety is a bad idea from many different angles. To start, using alcohol…

Read More

New Study Finds That Mindfulness Can Help Cure Loneliness – Self Improvement Article

We often hear about the best workouts and diets to live a long life, but longevity relies on many other factors, as well. Loneliness and isolation, for example, can actually increase your risk for depression and even early mortality, but new research published in the journal PNAS may have found the key to solving this problem. The Carnegie Mellon study found people who did a smartphone-based mindfulness training reported feeling less lonely and were actually more social. Through a two-week…

Read More

Shameful Secrets Can Hurt Your Mental Health, New Study Finds – Self Improvement Article

Keeping secrets can be stressful. You worry about someone finding out or what people might think of you. Oftentimes, you can’t stop thinking about that one thing you haven’t told anyone. Well, according to new research, it may have to do with shame. A new study in the American Psychological Association found that when people felt shame about a secret, they were more likely to ruminate over it compared to someone who felt guilty about their secret. The researchers asked…

Read More