Make your environment match your goals

Make your environment match your goals

Surfing through TED Talks on YouTube recently, I saw a piece of a talk about healthy eating. One simple idea caught my attention and stayed with me. The speaker was making the point that in order to make a lasting change in behavior, it is important to have one’s...
Make life changes, but without overcompensating

Make life changes, but without overcompensating

Ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, is quoted as having said, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” In our efforts to make necessary changes, there is one mistake we often make—we tend to overcompensate. We sometimes go beyond...
Think twice before Googling answers to all of your questions

Think twice before Googling answers to all of your questions

I wondered when the word “Google” became a verb. I didn’t have to wonder long, because I Googled the question: “When did Google be . . . ?” Of course, I didn’t have to finish typing the question because it promptly appeared in the drop down menu. Apparently, many...
Coming to terms with drudgery

Coming to terms with drudgery

We love to get excited about our special projects, whether they are of a personal or a professional nature. We may think of how great it will be to get a college or graduate degree, marry our best friend, have our first child, remodel the kitchen ourselves or to join...
The role of fantasy in mental health

The role of fantasy in mental health

We seem to have a love-hate relationship with fantasy. Sometimes we go to great lengths to deliberately break from reality and have an experience that is fantastic, unreal or out of this world. On the other hand, sometimes we have a more critical perspective and say...
The two main building blocks of assertiveness

The two main building blocks of assertiveness

A useful way to think about what constitutes an assertive response is to consider these two fundamental building blocks: first, there needs to be a clear awareness of what you feel, and second, there needs to be a clear understanding of what you want. Conceptually,...
Four phases along the journey of acceptance

Four phases along the journey of acceptance

When unpleasant circumstances present themselves and cannot be changed, the Serenity Prayer invites us to accept them, with serenity. But how do we do this? What does it mean to “accept?” Where do we start? An abstract concept like acceptance can be better understood...
Don’t be afraid to see features of your parents in yourself

Don’t be afraid to see features of your parents in yourself

We often talk about the traits we “get” from our parents. “I get my eyes from my mom.” “I get my business sense from my dad.” It can be useful to categorize such traits according to the following three criteria: whether they came from our mothers or fathers; whether...
The art of apologizing

The art of apologizing

A well-delivered apology has the potential to heal wounds, restore trust and advance a relationship that might otherwise be stagnant or, worse, slipping away. Yet there may be some misconceptions about what it does and doesn’t mean to apologize, and we’re not always...

Articles

Psychological Fitness

“Psychological Fitness” is my monthly column featured in the Binghamton, NY Press & Sun Bulletin since 2004. This page highlights articles, or adaptations thereof, from that column.