In my last column, I talked about how many people operate on a double standard – they show support and warmth towards others but are often self-critical and punitive towards themselves.
But what about the opposite instances? What about when we are quick to judge others, showing them none of the regard we would like to be shown ourselves?
Do you operate on a double standard in your daily life? That is, are you supportive and generous towards other people but often harsh and self-critical towards yourself? My latest columns looks at the double-standard technique, a simple but powerful cognitive therapy strategy which is especially useful if you have perfectionist tendencies or are prone to self-criticism.
My last column suggested that self-criticism, avoidance, routine worrying, not exercising, and routinely discounting the positives in one’s life are great ways of being unhappy. Here are a few more tips on how to be as unhappy as possible.
Worry shows I care, it’s irresponsible not to worry, worry prevents bad things from happening, worry motivates me, worry protects me from negative emotions - do you have positive beliefs about worry? Answering some of the questions in this piece will help you find out.
One reason why worriers worry is because they have positive beliefs about worry, not least the unhelpful and untrue notion that worry is a positive personality trait, that worry shows you care and are a good person. If you really believe this, then you’re never going to kick the worry habit, because not worrying will leave you feeling uneasy and guilty. Let's take a closer look at the difference between worrying and caring.
I never thought I would be talking about Vladimir Putin to make a point about mental health but, well, here we are. In this piece, I talk about how Putin blundered by buying into his own propaganda about Ukraine and how all of us should heed the message of CBT and learn to question our thoughts and beliefs.
We tend to slow down as we get older, but is there a danger that many of us slow down too much? Here’s a story about a retired man I met on holidays last year; a story which captures, I hope, the importance of staying active and hungry as you get older.
Can you think yourself young? That was the title of a recent Guardian article exploring research into positive attitudes to ageing. A positive attitude, the author suggested, can lead to a longer and healthier life, while negative beliefs can be very detrimental indeed.
Is there hard evidence for such a claim, or is this happy-clappy nonsense? My latest column examines the research and talks about the importance of maintaining a sense of purpose and confidence as you get older.