The Concept of Compassion in Psychology — Human Performance Psychology

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Paul Gilbert for people struggling with shame and self-criticism. It is an integration of ideas concerning: Jungian archetypes; evolutionary approaches to human behavior, suffering, and growth; neuroscientific and cognitive-behavioral ideas… Read More The Concept of Compassion in Psychology The post The Concept of Compassion in…

The Concept of Compassion in Psychology — Human Performance Psychology

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15 Self-Care Ideas to Help Improve Your Mental Health — Olivia Lucie Blake

It’s so important to look after not only physical health but mental too. As this period of time continues where there is so much worry, anxiety and stress.I think it’s even more important to look out for each other and acknowledge that we need to take time for ourselves. And don’t feel bad for it […]

15 Self-Care Ideas to Help Improve Your Mental Health — Olivia Lucie Blake

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“Love hormone” oxytocin could be used to treat cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s — One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder in which the nerve cells (neurons) in a person’s brain and the connections among them degenerate slowly, causing severe memory loss, intellectual deficiencies, and deterioration in motor skills and communication. One of the main causes of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of a protein called amyloid β (Aβ) in clusters […]

“Love hormone” oxytocin could be used to treat cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s — One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

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Don’t Be A Slave To Technology

iMac computer on white desk in bright lit room

Hooked On Apps

With modern-day technology right at our fingertips, it can become very easy to fall trap to an addiction. Whether it’s dating apps, gaming or binge watching Netflix all day, everyone has a tendency to surf the border between a normal experience vs. a pathological one. This is because technology does a great job at targeting our reward center in the brain known as the nucleus accumbens. This is where the neurotransmitter dopamine is released, making us feel good!

It’s very difficult for us to step away from technology because it’s so prevalent in our lives. Unless you decide to go live in the great outdoors somewhere in Colorado or Montana, you’re going to be surrounded by technology whether you like it or not. Unless you decide to live without cable, internet or even a cell phone, then you’re going to be surrounded by technology. It’s scary to say but there’s almost no escaping it!

So what can we do so that we don’t feel enslaved to it? We have to harness the willpower within us to balance our lives. Consciously, we know that we need to make a change but we often lack the strength to do so. It’s easier to succumb to our habits of relying on technology because it provides instant gratification, on a conscious level and all the way down on a neurochemical level. Minute amounts of dopamine release is enough to keep us engrained in our daily technological habits.

The willpower that I am talking about involves putting aside your technological habit and replacing it with something else, whether it’s for 5 minutes or a couple of hours. The replacement obviously should be something not related to technology, such as reading, exercising, socializing, etc. Most people fail at this point because they realize that they should be doing something else, but end up just doing what is easier; in this case, technology.

It’s quite a challenge these days to get involved with activities that don’t incorporate technology, especially as it continues to rapidly evolve. Honestly speaking, it sometimes feels like a virus that surrounds us 24/7. This virus might be more deadlier than COVID-19; it might not kill you, but it certainly has the potential of psychologically harming you over many years to come. How about the young man who committed suicide after he found out that he owed $750,000 dollars on Robinhood after an unsuccessful investment? But let’s not view technology as a virus because it seems too gloomy to do so, but it is food for thought!

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I Am Immune To Negativity

Young black man with glasses holding hand on chin

Positive Affirmation: Negativity

“I am immune to negativity because I don’t allow outside forces to influence me and affect my emotions, state of mind and mental wellbeing. Negativity does not penetrate me because I am comfortable in my own skin and do not allow outside forces to break into my psyche in order to put me down. I can walk through life with many arrows shot at me and I will not fall because I stand straight and tall and I am confident in my actions. I am immune to negativity day and night!”

I Am Free Of Internal Noise

Colorful brain diagram labeled with words

Positive Affirmation: Internal Chatterbox

“I am free of internal noise which constantly whispers negative messages into my mind and attempts to degrade me on a daily basis. I am free of this internal noise because I have full control over my mind and I decide what comes in and goes out. I am the master of my mind and no outside force can influence it without my permission!”

Why Mental Health Is The New Medicine

Shallow focus photography of white bald man holding brown chess piece over chess board

Paying More Attention To Your Mental Health

As we continue to move forward with every passing year, society will come to appreciate the importance of mental health. This is because with every passing decade, societal events seem to be getting worse; I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic. How much longer will people continue to experience adverse events in society and not have an honest conversation with themselves about their mental health?

I predict that society will shift its focus more from physical ailments onto mental ones. Genetics we can’t control, but a great diet, a sound sleep hygiene and a consistent exercise routine are things we have heard of over a million times; in other words, we already know what we need to do to stay physically healthy and fit. But can the same be said about our mental health? Do we really know how to stay mentally health?

If we do, then why have mental health cases increased during this coronavirus pandemic? Because we have no clue how to stay mentally health! We have a pandemic hit and CNN and Fox News pounding more negative news into our minds, leaving us nervous, worried, anxious and some even psychotically-destined! Most of us have not even encountered this virus and have never developed any physical symptoms, yet our mental health has taken a hit!

Has anyone ever stepped back to think that maybe the real target of this virus was not our physical health but our mental? The body is very sturdy and can survive many physical ailments; if it weren’t, we wouldn’t have survived as humans to see the year 2020. But our mind is weaker than our body because it’s vulnerable to fear, manipulation and confusion; through control of the mind, our body slowly breaks down.

It’s time to wake up and pay more attention to your thoughts. It’s time to pay more attention to what you feed your mind. It’s time to pay more attention to what sources of information you rely on. It’s time to pay more attention to what you are reading. It’s time to pay more attention to your emotions because they always stem from your thoughts first. It’s time to pay more attention to your environment. It’s time to pay more attention to your dreams.

It’s time to pay more attention.

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Psych Patients Desire Authenticity

Two women and two men wearing blue face masks with Mona Lisa painting on wall

I Want To Learn More About You

It’s not so much the content of what you say but your approach and delivery. Anyone can walk in with pride and command a patient to do this or that, but the chances that the patient will listen to you or open up are not that high. An honest approach followed by consistent listening and the development of rapport and a strong therapeutic alliance will take the patient much farther into his or her treatment.

This is because like anyone in life, psychiatric patients desire authenticity. Patients are very good at sniffing doctors who are authentic from those who just go to work to make a living. The former are the ones who tend to be of the most help, regardless of the medical school or residency which they have attended. Patients want a doctor who can connect with them and put them before the doctor’s pride and image.

It’s very difficult for psychiatric patients to deal with their mental illness, especially when they are involuntarily locked into a psychiatric unit for up to 60 days at a time. Not only are they battling their internal demons, but their environment which is a closed unit with windows, some computers and a television displaying negative news from around the world. The last thing that they need is a doctor who is not authentic in their ways.

On the other hand, many physicians are struggling themselves with balancing work and their personal lives. Especially in the field of psychiatry, it’s not easy to listen and talk all day about other people’s problems and then go home and take care of yourself and your family. There is currently a high burnout rate among physicians around the world; the stress and pressure of the job is very demanding and adds up over time.

Many physicians don’t actually intend to mistreat a patient with disrespect; they are just so stressed out themselves that their encounter with the patient may come off as non-empathetic. But this is the difference between great physicians and mediocre ones; the former know how to keep their stress levels in check and maintain their professionalism at all times.

Overall, the field of psychiatry is not an easy one. Many believe that it’s not difficult to just sit around all day and talk, but talking everyday for 8-12 hours does become very tiring, especially if your life is not balanced. Whether patient or physician, everyone has a different struggle that they experience, but at the end of the day, we should all aim for authenticity and respect and nothing less.

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Taking The Next Step

White dog running on narrow wooden bridge

The Courage To Try Something New

Part of maintaining excellent mental health has to do with developing courage to step out of your boundaries and try new things in life. It’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone when you’re so used to your routines, but sometimes your comfort zone is what is contributing to your poor mental health and you don’t even know it. It’s wise to reevaluate your life from time to time to see if you are doing everything you can to better yourself.

Many people continuously suffer from poor mental health by performing the same routine year after year. Some of these people are alcoholics, drug addicts or unemployed; they either prefer to stay in their current position or have lost the strength and courage to try something new. That’s never the place that you want to reach in life but sometimes life will bring you there if you don’t act quickly enough.

What I mean is that time flies; one minute you’re in your current situation and the next your still in the same exact position ten years later. When you don’t take control of your life, then life ends up taking control of you. When this happens, everything becomes unpredictable; even your mental health!

Stepping out of your comfort zone may feel uncomfortable at first, but once you actually do it and get over the initial hump, it often feels rewarding. As with anything in life, the more that you do it, the easier it becomes. The same applies with your mental health: you have to continuously keep it in check to make sure that you are doing everything you can to be happy. If you slack on your mental health, then it will slack on you.

So don’t be afraid to take the next step in life, even if you are scared and insecure about the process. Courage is something that you need to consistently work at if you want to be able to climb taller mountains and sail bigger seas. Without courage, it becomes quite difficult to experience bigger and better opportunities in life. Courage is what can also get you out of your current mental slump and into a more prosperous state of mind, but it takes a lot of will, desire and patience.

You can do it!

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The Second Wave Is Forming

Digital map with number of total deaths from coronavirus

Coronavirus 2.0

Just when we thought that the coronavirus scare was going way, we were pulled right back in with more news of a second wave expected to hit next winter. However, this wave is expected to be worse because it will be at the start of the influenza season, where two forces will join together to attempt to take down as many humans as possible. The scary part is that we haven’t even finished with the first wave.

So if this is correct, then what will the next 7 months look like? Will we recover from this first coronavirus wave and relax for a while, before we gather the troops at the border and prepare for a second round of bullets? This goes to show you how much more powerful and deadly natural disasters can be as compared to human evilness.

But let’s not ignore all the other natural events that will also continue to occur, such as earthquakes and forest fires in California, hurricanes in Louisiana and Florida and tornados in middle America. In addition, influenza, the common cold and other potential diseases will hit as well. And for those who believe in global warming, well . . . you can add that too.

Let’s not forget the economy which is being slowly destroyed by the current wave of the coronavirus. The federal government is printing trillions of dollars out of thin air as if we had a magical money tree; this tactic will not work in the long run and they know that very well. But they must try something as desperate times call for desperate measures.

With the unemployment rate continuing to rise, many Americans will continue to remain out of work, relying on their savings and potential future governmental stimulus checks. Even if this current coronavirus clears up, many Americans will not be able to go back to work because their businesses are now buried. All of this will further contribute to poor mental health and many Americans will find themselves with a new diagnosis.

How are you handling this current pandemic and the news of a possible second wave this upcoming winter?

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