As children, we all develop certain ideas about ourselves, about others, about the world. These core beliefs can profoundly shape our lives – sometimes for the better (if you have positive core beliefs), sometimes for the worse (if you have negative core beliefs). Negative core beliefs are overgeneralised, rigid and prejudiced. They are not true. So why do they feel so true?
I’m often struck by the bile and verbal abuse on social media, particularly Twitter. In normal life, people tend to be respectful of acquaintances who don’t share their opinions. The online world is less polite in this respect. Venting on social media can be an outlet for your frustrations, but you should resist the urge to do so – black-and-white, hyper-critical thinking can become a bad habit, hurting your mood and relationships.
Sometimes, you can get away with bad decisions – for example, a drunk driver not crashing on their way back from the pub – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a bad decision. Similarly, you can be unlucky; good decisions can lead to unforeseen outcomes. My latest Southern Star column talks about outcome bias, and how it can lead to unnecessary regret, rumination and self-criticism.
Brewing fresh coffee before the morning chores, cosying up with a hot water bottle as you settle into your Saturday night movie, changing into lounge clothing after turning off the laptop - we all have our own little rituals. My latest Southern Star column explores how rituals can enrich experience and create meaning.
Dr Marsha Linehan, who founded DBT and is one of the most celebrated psychologists in the world today, spent two years in a psychiatric hospital when she was 17. Marsha eventually found a way out of her own personal hell and resolved to ‘help people find the path to getting out of hell’ themselves. In this column, I explore Marsha's invalidating relationship with her mother, her intense self-loathing, and her advice for people who hate themselves and who try to be someone they're not.
People sometimes recoil when the word “acceptance” is used, because they think acceptance equates to approval. However, accepting the reality of a situation doesn’t mean you approve of it. This article explores the importance of what DBT founder Dr Marsha Linehan calls radical acceptance – 'complete and total openness to the facts of reality as they are, without throwing a tantrum and growing angry’.
When you think of somewhere that inspires awe, you might think of somewhere like the Cliffs of Moher or the Grand Canyon. However, all kinds of everyday sights – the vastness of the sea, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet on an autumn day, dappled sunlight filtering through a leafy canopy – can inspire awe. My latest column examines a new study which explores how we can boost our mental health by taking short 'awe walks' in our everyday life.