If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In a new study, participants who paid attention to their physical and mental feelings showed small but meaningful reductions in anxiety, depression and pain.
Rachael Rettner, LiveScience
Tue, Jan 07 2014 at 9:20 AM
Meditation programs may help reduce anxiety, depression and pain in some patients, but may not lead to a boost in positive feelings or overall health, according to a new review study.
The review analyzed information from 47 previously published studies with a total of 3,515 participants. Each study included a group that participated in meditation (usually for a few weeks or months), as well as a control group that participated in another activity that required similar time and effort, such as learning about nutrition or performing another type of exercise.
Participants who practiced mindfulness meditation for about eight weeks to six months showed small but meaningful reductions in anxiety, depression and pain. Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation in which people learn to pay attention to what they are feeling physically and mentally from moment to moment.
Most of the improvements in pain occurred among participants who had visceral pain (pain in internal organs).
Meditation programs were not more effective than exercise or cognitive-behavioral group therapy at reducing anxiety, depression and pain, the review said.
Excessive concerns about making mistakes, pernicious self-doubt, harsh self-criticism, impossibly high standards or expectations for performance, a strong and chronic tendency to evaluate one’s performance as not measuring up to levels expected by oneself or others - these are features of maladaptive perfectionism that predict psychological distress.
In a longitudinal study across the semester of a sample of predominantly female undergraduate students, Kenneth Rice, Clarissa Richardson, and Dustin Clark from the University of Florida examined the relations between measures of perfectionism, procrastination, and psychological distress. They explored a number of different potential models that might explain the relation among these variables, with a particular emphasis on a model where perfectionism leads to more procrastination that increases psychological distress. Interestingly, this isn’t what they found. Before I tell you what they did find, let me explain a little more about perfectionism and its possible relation to procrastination.
Have you given some thought to making any New Year’s resolutions this year? The tradition of setting goals for the New Year goes back about 4,000 years to the Babylonians when once a year people made promises to the gods in hopes of receiving good fortune in return.
January 1 became the first day of the year in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar developed a new calendar, switching from a lunar one to a solar one. He named the first month of the Julian calendar after the two-faced god Janus. Janus could look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead at the same time. The Romans exchanged New Year’s gifts that symbolized good fortune, such as branches from sacred trees and, later, coins imprinted with the likeness of Janus.
Although the date for the start of the New Year is not the same in every culture, the day is a time for making promises and for setting goals for the year ahead. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about half of our population here in the United States makes resolutions each year. Popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans are: losing weight, exercising and giving up smoking.
The approach of a new year is also a good time to set some business resolutions. Think of 2014 as the year you can attain some new heights in your career. Here are six areas to examine. The specifics are up to you.
I've always been interested in the wisdom of our elders and often do a practice with students and clients when they've seemed to veer off the path of what truly matters in their lives. I ask them to project themselves forward many years from now looking back onto this very moment right now, what do they wish they would've done? Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent many years working in palliative care caring for those who were dying. She eventually published a book called the The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
Regrets can be seen as something that's good if they give us insight into what we can change today for the better. Here are the top five. Use them as a north star to help guide your actions in the days that follow toward an even more fulfilling life. Although we can veer off the path, when we notice the star, we can always come back to it.
NEW YORK — Throughout life, even shortly before death, the brain can remodel itself, responding to a person's experiences. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, offers a powerful tool to improve well-being, experts say.
"We now have evidence that engaging in pure mental training can induce changes not just in the function of the brain, but in the brain's structure itself," Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told an audience at the New York Academy of Sciences on Feb. 6.
The brain's plasticity does change over time, Davidson pointed out. For instance, young children have an easier time learning a second language or a musical instrument, he said.
Exercise for the mind
The idea of training the brain is not a radical one, said Amishi Jha, a neuroscientist at the University Miami and another panelist for the discussion.
"How many of you think engaging in certain kinds of physical activity will change the way the body works? Our cultural understanding now is that specific types of activity can alter the body in noticeable ways," Jha said, adding that this cultural understanding may be shifting to incorporate the mind as well. [10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp]
The biggest struggle in life is the struggle to know, embrace, and accept ourselves, with all of our faults and imperfections.
Love and appreciate yourself - you're all you have
By Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Created Oct 1 2012 - 5:54pm
Many of us were raised by parents who were themselves victims - who were not taught to see their own worth, or who were not really seen by their own parents. Our grandparents generation faced massive trauma and upheaval due to the Second World War and the Great Depression. The focus was on survival and minimizing the damage, rather than on love, appreciation and intimacy. Individuals and families today face the challenges of long commutes, longer working hours, and global economic uncertainty. These stresses can beat us down, or make us build walls around ourselves that are so dense that even our dearest friends, partners, spouses and children can't get in. Yet, there is another way.
When we have the courage to let the walls down - to know and embrace ourselves, despite our human failings, we also open the door to connecting in a more caring, empathic, intimate way with the ones we love and with all living beings. Our brains are wired for survival, but also for empathy. We have mirror neurons that fire when we see other people's pain. Let us learn to love ourselves so we can be more open and compassionate to others, and so we can take down the walls that limit who we can be and what we can contibute. The quotes below are intended as inspiration for your inward journey. Become more mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Know your vulnerabilities as well as your strengths and achievements, and learn to love yourself for both. I have included categories that define some different facets of self love, including awareness, acceptance and growth. Following the quotes is an exercise to help you better know and accept yourself.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Gustav Jung
You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are. ~Yogi Bhajan
We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. ~Mary Dunbar
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything worth having costs something, and the price of true love is self-knowledge.
Becoming acquainted with yourself is a price well worth paying for the love that will really address your needs.- Daphne Rose Kingma
My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.Shakti Gawain
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Be True to Yourself
Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it. - Unknown
Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own. Carl Gustav Jung
The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else. ~E. E. Cummings
Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.” - Anais Nin
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have. - Abraham Lincoln
The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself - Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore. C. JoyBell C.
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James
It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to. ~W.C. Fields
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. ~Malcolm S. Forbes
Scarcity of self value cannot be remedied by money, recognition, affection, attention or influence. ~Gary Zukav
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” - William James
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Our entire life … consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.” - Jean Anouih
I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be?” - Golden Hawn
Your problem is you’re … too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” - Ram Dass
To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections. Sandra Bierig
Believing in our hearts that who we are is enough is the key to a more satisfying and balanced life.- Ellen Sue Stern
You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha
You can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing. ~Ram Dass
It's not your job to like me...it's MINE! ~Byron Katie
Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. - Rumi, thirteenth century Sufi poet
Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives. - Louise L. Hay
A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.- Ken Keyes.
Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.- Margo Anand
If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.- Barbara De Angelis
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.William Shakespeare, Henry V.
To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don't wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now. Alan Cohen
I celebrate myself, and sing myself.- Walt Whitman
Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
I love myself for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now.- Louise Hay
Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it - Thaddeus Golas
There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self. ~Hindu Proverb
It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~George Eliot
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness.” - Jean Vanier
When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. ~Jean Shinoda Bolen
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.- Edmund Hillary (first man to climb Mt. Everest).
Exercise to Develop Self-Acceptance
Divide a piece of paper into two columns. In one column, write down all the things you like about yourself; your personal strengths, difficult situations you have overcome, people whose lives you have touched, personal accomplishments, and values that increase your self-respect. On the other side, make a list of your personal weaknesses or issues that you still struggle with. Perhaps you are selfish, sometimes, or avoid taking responsibility. You may have treated other people in a careless way, or not followed through on your commitments. Disorganization and lack of self-control may have cost you opportunitoes - you may feel lonely, or heavier than you would like to be. Whatever these issues are, bring them out into the light of day to be examined, and they will automatically feel less shameful. At the end of the exercise, read both the strengths and the weaknesses column aloud. Next, put your hand on your heart and say "i am strong; I am weak. I am flawed; I am broken. I am vulnerable. I am human. And despite these flaws, I give myself permission to love myself unconditionally. I am a growing, evoving being, who uses past mistakes as a fuel for my journey of growth. I accept myself as I am, and I set an intention to become the person I want to be."
Read these quotes and do this exercise often. Spend time meditating on the patterns in your life that serve you and those that hold you back. Connect with the pain that disconnection from yourelf has caused, and hold it gently in your awareness. By doing these things, you will grow in self-awareness, mindfulness, and compassion. When you learn it is enough to be you, you will also learn to accept and love other people with more compassion and less judgment.
About The Author
Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. is a Practising Psychologist in Mill Valley and San Francisco, California, and an expert on mindfulness, communication, parenting, family & work relationships. She has published more than 50 articles, abstracts and book chapters, appeated on radio shows and acted as a source for national media, incuding CNN.com, Men's Health, Cosmopolitan, BBC 4 in the U.K., and O, the Oprah Magazine (South African edition). Previously a Professor at a training institution for clinical psychologists, she is now a practicing psychologist, speaker, and consultant. Dr Greenberg provides workshops, consulting, and keynotes for organizations, wight loss, parenting, and life coaching and psychotherapy for individuals iand couples. Visit my therapist website: