People often make the mistake of thinking that good mental health is all about positive thinking. As a result, many people turn to books like Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking or Rhonda Byrne's The Secret. That's not a good idea: an excessive emphasis on positive thinking can be very dangerous, as America discovered under the leadership of Donald Trump.
Have you ever found yourself worrying about something you’ve got to do in the near future – say, giving a work presentation to a large group of people – and thought: if I’m this anxious now, imagine how freaked out I’m going to be on the day itself?
Here’s the thing: chances are, it won’t be that bad at all. My latest column is about anticipatory anxiety and explains that the anxiety you feel when anticipating a feared event is not a true predictor of how you will feel on the day.
Research indicates there is a very specific formula which predicts whether a couple are likely to be generally happy or unhappy. The magic ratio is 5:1 – you want to have roughly five positive interactions for every negative exchange. In this article, I explain why it's crucial for couples to seek out simple opportunities to increase their positive bond.
Would you be happy if someone told you your life would be exactly the same 10 years from now? Probably not; most people recoil at the thought. At the same time, people are often afraid of change. What’s going on? My latest column explores why we often choose to stick with things that aren't working for us and asks: are you putting up with unhappiness because you are afraid of uncertainty?
To manage anxiety, you must first understand it. And to understand it, you must know your brain was not designed to make you happy; it was designed to help you stay safe and to stay alive, even if that means spooking you out and sending countless false alarms. How often the brain sends these false alarms, how often we feel fear, is partly determined by how we live our lives.
Cancelled exams, predictive grades, online classes – 2020 has been an enormously uncertain year for young people. My latest column offers some pointers as the school year resumes amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
An estimated one in six adolescents have self-harmed at least once while research indicates about 6 per cent of young people are actively and chronically self-harming. What should you know about this serious and growing problem?
“Selfish”, “idiots”, “name and shame!” There's been a lot of dramatising on social media in recent months, which isn't too surprising when one considers the tensions and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. When times are difficult, it's important not to make a bad situation worse by choosing drama over calm. A dramatic, black-and-white worldview isn't boring, but be careful - it can breed resentment and become a bad habit.