Shame – is This Emotion Secretly Ruling Your Life?

Shame is a word we attribute with many meanings. We say we ‘feel ashamed’ if we mess up at work, or disappoint a partner. Or ‘don’t shame me’ if someone is putting us down. The examples above really talk about guilt – – our awareness that our actions have upset others. Shame might be triggered by a poor choice … [Read Entire Story]

Everyone Else’s Fault? How to Stop Projecting Feelings Onto Others

What is projection anyway? You don’t want to go out for the evening, but convince  yourself the other party actually doesn’t find you interesting and that’s why you’re cancelling. You are incredibly attracted to a colleague, but get angry at them for flirting with you. In a fight with your sister you stay very calm, pointing … [Read Entire Story]

11 Tools For Building Confidence – Starting Today

It seems that in today’s modern world,  confidence is a currency similar to money – we all want more of it, and it never seems enough. This is in part because of the self-help movement’s connection of confidence with success. (But this concept is actually a myth- more on that later.) It’s possible many of us actually … [Read Entire Story]

Comparing Yourself to Others – Can It Ever Be Helpful?

From a parent telling us we have been better behaved than a sibling, to a teacher who keeps a chart with students’ names and gold stars, we are taught the idea of comparing  from very young. In psychology, the human drive to compare ourselves to others is called “social comparison theory”. Social comparison theory The theory … [Read Entire Story]

Low Self-Confidence – How Much of a Problem Is It, Really?

It’s easy to blame many of our problems in life on low self-confidence. But is your confidence as low as you think? And if you do struggle to be confident, how worried should you be when it comes to your psychological health?  What is self-confidence? Self-confidence is both a state of certainty and a positive … [Read Entire Story]

12 Steps to Overcoming Bitterness

Anger involves outrage followed by action, as you decide how best to handle your situation. Bitterness can feel worse than anger because it involves feeling helpless. Referred to as ’embitterment’ in psychology circles, bitterness happens when you feel there is no action left to take because everything is out of your control. While it might be … [Read Entire Story]

The New Self Care – Can It Protect Your Psychological Health?

Once seen as just about taking care of your physical health, such as eating well and exercising, self care is now viewed in a much more holistic manner. Not only is there your physical health to take care of, but also your mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. Really, you can practise self care … [Read Entire Story]

10 Excuses That Hide Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Emotional abuse (also called psychological abuse or mental abuse) is any form of non-physical abuse designed to cause damage to another person’s mindset and erode their sense of wellbeing. It most often involves someone imposing their power over you in a way that attacks your sense of confidence and makes you depend on them, whether … [Read Entire Story]

How to Listen to Yourself – Do You Know What You REALLY Think and Feel?

You spend years of your life thinking you are on track, and on paper it all seems a success. And then one day you stop and realise that you actually aren’t happy. What went wrong? There’s a good chance that you never learnt how to listen to yourself, but have mistaken the chatter in your head … [Read Entire Story]

Self-Compassion – a Better Way to Raise Your Self-Esteem?

Too often we try to grow our self-esteem by only focussing on the positive, acknowledging our talents and strengths but carefully avoiding any perceived flaws. While this can give us peaks of confidence, it can also backfire and lead to comparing ourselves to others and criticising ourselves. So is there a better way to raise … [Read Entire Story]

Impostor Syndrome – Is it Sabotaging Your Career?

Do you tend to dismiss your career success as “just good luck”? Doubt your ability to do things, even when a lot of the time you end up perfectly capable? It could be you are afflicted by “impostor syndrome”, a term some psychologists use to describe an inability to recognise your own success, competence and … [Read Entire Story]

Who Needs Approval?

There are certain core needs shared by every person on the planet. Some of these needs are physical such as food, water, and air. We also have emotional needs. Once our physical needs are met, filling our core emotional needs becomes our number one priority in life. The need for approval fits into this category. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, the desire for validation is one of the strongest motivating forces known to man. Whose validation do we want? Well, it all depends on whose opinion we value most. A child wants … [Read Entire Story]

Hate to Let Others Down? How to Be Better At Saying No

Perhaps you  tell yourself it makes your life easier to just say yes all the time, or that it’s just the way you are, a ‘nice’ person. But it’s actually more about lacking personal boundaries, and in the long run not knowing how to say no to others can have serious consequences for your relationships … [Read Entire Story]

The Psychological Cost of Never Saying No

No. Such a powerful little word, and as toddlers we all seem to have no trouble using it. No, you can’t have my toy, and no, I don’t want to eat those vegetables. And yet somewhere along the line, many of us turn into adults who seem to have an absolute allergy to saying no. Or … [Read Entire Story]

Volunteering – 5 Reasons Why It Really Does Help Depression

“Give to others”. Sound like Sunday School advice? Think again. Give to others is now one of the five recommended ‘Steps to Mental Wellbeing‘ promoted by the UK’s National Health Service. “Acts such as volunteering at your local community centre can improve your mental wellbeing,” claims the NHS website. Can it be true? Is volunteering really … [Read Entire Story]

10 Simple Ways to Instantly Build Self Confidence

Lets face it, self confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality and the more self-confidence you have, the more likely it is you will succeed. Although many of the factors affecting self confidence are beyond your control, there are a number of things you can consciously do … [Read Entire Story]

Is Low Self-Esteem Causing Your Depression?

Low self-esteem and depression come together so often the question becomes, which one causes the other?  Two psychological views developed on this matter. On the one side is the ‘scar’ model, where depression is seen as eroding self-esteem. On the other side is the ‘vulnerability’ model, which believes low self-esteem brings on depression. Recent research … [Read Entire Story]

Do You Have the Unemployment Blues?

A few hours ago you were feeling competent and content. Maybe even a bit cocky, wondering if it was time for a new challenge. Suddenly, all that is out the window. You’ve lost your job and your world has changed. Why does joblessness cause such low self-esteem? Part of healthy self-esteem is a realistic appreciation … [Read Entire Story]

7 Ways to Have a Stronger Sense of Self

Why do you need a strong sense of self?  Life is often challenging and full of surprises.  Without a strong sense of self it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Imagine that your life is a sea and you are swimming along. All fine, if the sun is out and the water is smooth. Then say the … [Read Entire Story]

How to Be Your Authentic Self

Do You Speak With Your Own Voice? In a literal sense, those of us who are blessed with the power of speech all speak with our own voice. But at a deeper level, many of us struggle to find our own emotional voice, and we often find it impossible to actually vocalise our own inner … [Read Entire Story]

Warning – the Negative Effects of Facebook ARE Real

What is the latest verdict about Facebook and our minds? Is it positive, or are the rumours of the negative effects of Facebook true? [Read Entire Story]

The Truth About Dieting – 7 Things Psychotherapy Can Teach Us

If you haven’t either tried dieting, or at least considered it, you are an increasingly rare statistic. With 45 million Americans dieting each year, and in the UK women having tried on average 61 diets by the time they reach 45, diets are seen as a ‘normal’ thing to do. But are they really normal and harmless?  What …All [Read Entire Story]

The Truth About Overeating – A Case Study

Who doesn’t eat too much, now and then? But when is overeating not okay? When is it a problem, or even an addiction? And can diets ever really help with overeating, or is there another way? Jane Rudd*, who attended sessions with a CBT practitioner (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and then [Read Entire Story]

Self Esteem – It makes us who we are

Self-esteem is a term in psychology that reflects a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. A person’s self concept consists of the beliefs one has about oneself, one’s self perception. Self esteem is that part of our emotional make up that makes us who we are. When we have healthy self esteem we are capable of achieving almost anything we set our minds to doing. Our self esteem is like a lighter that sets off the fire in our emotional furnace. When we are young our feelings get hurt more easily because we have not yet learned how to deal with hurt feelings. … [Read Entire Story]