Faith in others, and yourself, is a choice and it matters

Faith in others, and yourself, is a choice and it matters

When a quarterback throws a pass, he doesn’t throw it to the receiver, exactly. He throws it to where he expects the receiver will be in a few seconds. And when the receiver runs away from the quarterback hoping to complete the pass about to be thrown, he does not run...
Understanding the term ‘overreacting’

Understanding the term ‘overreacting’

“How can I talk to you when you get so upset and overreact like this?” “I know I’m too sensitive, I just can’t help the way I react when this stuff happens.” It’s not uncommon to hear people accusing others or themselves of being too sensitive, getting too upset or...
Why we resist changes we want to make

Why we resist changes we want to make

A husband complains that no one helps him with the yard work, but if they do, he says, “Never mind.” A mother dreams of resurrecting a social life outside of the house, to have a break from the kids, but if lunch invitations do come, she inevitably declines. A high...
Hold on to your self amidst the storm of blame

Hold on to your self amidst the storm of blame

In his poem entitled, “If,” Rudyard Kipling starts with advice regarding the familiar struggle to hold on to ourselves in the face of blame and doubt: If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when...
Notice the present moment

Notice the present moment

A wife asks her husband, “So aren’t you going to say anything?” The husband panics; he silently races through the list: “Is it our anniversary? Did she get a haircut? New blouse? Paint the living room? What am I missing!?” Finally he surrenders and she tells him. “Oh,...
Understanding self-medicating and the Pleasure Principle

Understanding self-medicating and the Pleasure Principle

Freudian psychoanalysis spoke of the Pleasure Principle, the simple idea that humans seek to maximize pleasure and reduce pain. When we don’t feel well, we might stand in front of our medicine cabinets and look for something to make us feel better. Either we’re...
Learning from mistakes

Learning from mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes we sometimes make is that we don’t learn well from our mistakes. We know that those who are successful have become so not by avoiding or preventing all mistakes, but by learning from them. It’s one thing to make a vow to learn from...
Identify the vulnerable feelings underneath anger

Identify the vulnerable feelings underneath anger

When we are asked why we got angry in a certain situation, there’s a good chance that we respond by pointing to what someone else did that bothered us. “Because she never listens to me!” “Because he’s always yelling at me!”  We tend to believe that our anger is the...
Make mindful choices with television and technology

Make mindful choices with television and technology

More and more, restaurants are posting nutritional information next to the selections on the menu. One health-oriented research group, Cochrane, reported that when calories are disclosed on menus, people order meals with 7.8% fewer calories. This is a good example of...
Healing the voids left from unmet childhood needs

Healing the voids left from unmet childhood needs

Many of us did not have perfect childhoods. Despite the many blessings that we probably did have, most likely we also had some significant challenges. We certainly had disappointments, but some have had even worse. Some have survived serious conditions such as family...

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.