Posts tagged: Negative thinking

Why ‘no regrets’ is a terrible mantra


We have so many sayings about regret. Don’t cry over spilled milk. Better safe than sorry. You always regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. But for the bevy of homespun wisdom that we often take as common sense, there’s a little unexamined assumption buried under all the aphorisms. They all assume that regret is a bad thing.

But is it really? Sure, there are things that you wish you could go back and do differently in your life. There are mistakes that nag at your conscience. But just because regret can sometimes be painful doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful. In fact, regret is a necessary part of being a good person and a vital component to realizing your goals. One way to think of regret is as the psychological growing pains of being human.

How regret fuels personal growth

Simply put, regret is the
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What’s with all the pettiness?


Pettiness, by definition, focuses on the insignificant. So why spend time thinking about it? Because, for all its smallness, pettiness is a signal of something bigger that can stand in the way of relationships and success.

Now that worries us — more so because pettiness is on the upswing. To help us understand what it means and what to do, we spoke with Dr. Emily Stein, a psychologist in private practice in New York City, affiliated with Mount Sinai
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How to battle negative thinking and win


When life doesn’t go as planned or feels out of control, it’s tempting to fall into a downward spiral of negative thinking. Your mind goes into a tailspin of what-ifs and worst-case-scenarios. Fear and worry take over.

Constantly battling those self-defeating thoughts is both draining and stressful. And think of the ways that energy would be better spent — whether it’s accomplishing goals, setting new ones, or just enjoying life.

Even if you’re not dealing with a major challenge like a break-up, job loss, or a health problem, a negativity spiral has the power to paralyze. Whatever the cause, your happiness depends on being able to stop those critical or defeatist forces in their tracks.

A mindful end to the negative thinking

Negative thinking can be a hard habit to break, but it’s possible to interrupt the automatic cycle if you stay AWARE — a simple mindfulness practice
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How to negotiate a power struggle at work


Power struggles personify the worst kind of office politics. They sap energy. Distract from purpose. And hold the potential to derail success and happiness.

It’s the rare individual who actually enjoys a power struggle. Most of us want to do what we’re paid for, joke around with our colleagues, and feel like we’ve contributed.

That’s not so easy when emotions are running high. Empathy is replaced with an “us or them” mentality that can quickly escalate. Then we’re stuck either dodging bullets or picking sides. What other choice do we have?

The heart of the struggle

Power often evokes the image of a corner office where people in expensive suits lay down the law for the rest of us. But the reality is, power — and the fight for it — can come from anywhere.

To help us understand workplace struggles, and how to respond to them, we asked our colleague Sara Kalick
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21 tiny ways to stop feeling hopeless


When hopelessness hits, we feel sunk. All our worst stories swirl in our head, punctuated by words like can’t, won’t, never, impossible. Life feels bleak.

If only there were a switch we could flip that would turn our thoughts and emotions around.

Until there is (we’re not holding our breath), we can take tiny steps that will gradually restore our faith in possibility. To start, summon your strength and any of the twenty-one ideas below that feels right for you. Consider the smallest sense of relief as great progress, because it is. Then engage your relief to try another.

One request: If you believe your depression is clinical, please reach out to a professional.

When you’re feeling hopeless, ask yourself:

1. “How important is this to my life overall? Does it really make everything else worthless?”

2. “What can I control?”

3. “What makes me feel worse? Should I do something other than play the same game on
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3 steps to let go of that grudge


holding a grudge

Holding a grudge can be all-encompassing. Just the mere thought of someone who was rude to us, betrayed us, or otherwise hurt us triggers a tightness in our throats all the way down to our stomachs. Getting angry can feel empowering at first. But staying mad causes collateral damage in ways we may not even realize.

For one thing, harboring negative feelings can block us from experiencing positive ones. What’s more, when we dwell on how we’ve been wronged, we tend to talk about it a lot. If this is true for you, how might the grudge you’re holding onto be affecting your relationships? Is it possible that you’re so wrapped up in what happened that you aren’t as available to friends and family members as you’d like to be?

Staying mad also zaps our energy and can affect our health and well-being. Dr. Karen Swartz, a psychiatrist and clinical programs director
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How to feel better in your bathing suit — and enjoy your summer


Bathing suit

It’s summer. Finally. So we start to fantasize about a trip to the beach, only to interrupt our reverie with fear or loathing about how we’ll look in a bathing suit. Or we go to the beach, but when our friends peel off their extra layers to jump in the water, we hang back. We don’t want to expose the parts of us that are too big, too small, too lumpy — too imperfect.

If this resonates, you’re not alone. One survey found that 89 percent of American women are unhappy with their weight. And men are hardly immune from the pressures to look a certain way. As Shape recently reported, the implications of a negative body image strongly affect our happiness:

Researchers from Chapman University in California surveyed over 12,000 participants about their body image and attitudes about their overall happiness and satisfaction with life while
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How to get past rejection


Getting rejected stinks, plain and simple. We wanted something — a job, a fresh opportunity, a relationship with someone — and we didn’t get it. What’s to like about that?

Nothing — right?

Even worse than the initial sting of rejection is the ripple effect it can have on our lives. We start to doubt ourselves. Our motivation plummets. We’re afraid to put ourselves out there again.

Here are three strategies for getting past the awful feelings that rejection brings with
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3 ways to conquer money worries


Stuck moment: I didn’t skip her party because I don’t care. I’m just trying to be responsible about how I spend my money. That means pulling back on the fun stuff. But she doesn’t understand — she doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle.

* * *

Money is important. It’s hard to get by without it. We do our best to earn more, save well, and spend wisely so we can do the things we want to do. But sometimes it feels like it’s never enough.

That’s when we start worrying about the things we can’t afford. We don’t take that vacation. We bail on an outing with friends. We can become so frugal that we get stingy with ourselves — and lose sight of why we’re saving money in the first place. We might even get resentful.

When financial discipline turns into self-denial, we need to check our attitude. Take a look
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Are you driven by love or fear?


love or fear

Life is complicated — but your motivation isn’t. Without exception, every action we take is motivated either by love or by fear. For example:

• Acting weird around someone we’re not sure about: Fear (What if we don’t get along? I don’t want to feel disliked by someone I don’t really connect with.)

• Offering constructive criticism, even though it makes you sweat: Love (I want this person to do well. I won’t withhold the information he needs to do that.)

• Telling someone it’s okay, even though you think it probably isn’t: Fear (I’m not sure how to tell him otherwise. He might react badly. I don’t want to feel bad about it.)

• Sharing the responsibility for a situation your partner created: Love (I care about improving this situation, for everyone involved. Blaming her for it won’t help change things.)

Whether it’s an everyday quibble (your boyfriend is being difficult) or a really big deal (your
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