When we encounter something new, we often feel a mixture of curiosity and anxiety. Curious, because newness can be intriguing, exciting; anxious, because newness can also bring uncertainty and risk. This column explores why we often let anxiety win this internal battle, but suggests we should do the opposite: that is, do what you value and follow your curiosity.
I recently talked about exposure therapy and the importance of facing your fears. But what if you fear the thought of relaxing and being 'too happy'? One way of changing this mindset is by devising what I call emotional exposures. This article explores the aim of these emotional exposures: to drop that guard, to give give yourself permission to hope and be happy.
"I must always feel completely in love with my partner, or else he is not 'the one'"; "I noticed another attractive person so I must not love my partner"; "I often get angry with my partner so I must not love him"; "Other couples are happy all the time".
All-or-nothing thinking, catastrophising, hyper-responsibility, excessive 'should' statements – my latest column explores thinking errors often seen in cases of relationship OCD (ROCD).
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?
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.
Scientific evidence shows astrology doesn’t work, but many people swear by it, relating how a fortune-teller made all kinds of accurate predictions about them. What's going on in such cases? I explore what the research – and a former astrologer – has to say.
In last week's Southern Star, I explored the downsides of superstitious thinking. The column is reproduced below. Are you superstitious? Would you feel uncomfortable if you walked under a ladder or lost a lucky charm you carried around with you? Or perhaps you think there’s probably no truth to these old notions, but there’s no harm in heeding them anyway? Is this true? Are these just harmless quirks? Or can holding onto superstitious beliefs get you into trouble? Certainly, many people are...
Last week's 'Your Mental Health' column (pictured opposite) explored how learning to tolerate uncertainty is an essential skill that can help alleviate depression and anxiety. The piece is pasted below. Let’s say you’ve left a phone message for someone and you don’t hear back. What do you think is the most likely explanation? Some will assume the person didn’t deem them important enough to ring them back. Others might suggest the person didn’t get their message, or that they were too...
This week's 'Your Mental Health' column in The Southern Star explores how being able to tolerate uncertainty is one of the most important skills a person can practice in order to combat depression and anxiety.