My last column looked at the power of anticipation, and how looking forward to positive events is a free source of happiness. However, what if you rarely allow yourself to look forward and get excited? Not only that, what if you are more familiar with negative anticipation, and frequently spend days dreading an upcoming event? My latest column looks at why anticipatory anxiety is a bad strategy and why it's like you are "bleeding before you are cut".
Do you ever look back on something that once seemed important to you and wonder: wow, why did I think that was such a big deal? My latest Southern Star column explores why "nothing in life is as important as you think it is, when you are thinking about it".
“There’s no point in trying”, “things will never get better”, “I’ll never be happy” – are there times you feel like giving up, like everything is hopeless? Don’t give into those feelings. Here are four tips on things you can do right now that will help lift those difficult feelings.
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.
Thoughts are just thoughts, not facts. Unfortunately, we often over-identify and fuse with our thoughts – and that can be a real problem when the thoughts are negative and punitive. For example, you might react to the thought “I’m useless” as if you are really useless, making you feel sad and hopeless. In this column, I give some tips on how to casually defuse from negative thoughts.
Sometimes, our emotions cause us to do things that aren’t good for us. However, you don’t have to be a prisoner to your emotions. In this article, I examine the opposite action strategy – that is, do the opposite of what your emotions are telling you to do.