Merry Christmas 2022

HeartyPsych wishes its followers and readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Sunshine Blogger Award

I was graciously nominated by Theodora from her blog Amazing grace for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am very grateful to Theodora. She writes beautifully about faith, God, and grace. Please visit her blog and show some love.

I also want to thank JJ from the JJ’s blog who had nominated me for the same Award on 21 July, 2019.  Her blog includes great articles on life, spirituality, relationships, and love. Please visit her blog as well.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

“The Blogosphere community holds several awards that bloggers use to nominate a blog in appreciation for its creative, inspiring, or motivational content.”
“The award also helps other blogger receive recognition and free exposure for their blogs.”

Award’s Rules

There are some basic rules to follow if you decide to participate:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog so everyone can visit.
2. Answer the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
4. Notify the nominees by commenting on their blog post.
5. List the rules and display the Award logo on your blog post.

Eleven questions from Theodora are:

1. How old is your blog?

9 months old.

2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Reaching out to those who need the information shared on HeartyPsych, the most and helping them, in some way, to lead a better life.

3. How important do you think Social Media is for the success of a blog?

Very important for increasing a blog’s reach quickly.

4. How would you define a successful blog? In other words, what do you think a successful blog looks like?

A blog that people look up to, enjoy reading, and visit again and again.

5. Describe your feelings when you received your first blogging award nomination?

Very happy and grateful to the one who nominated HeartyPsych.

6. Have you ever thought about monetizing your blog?


7. If so, what do you think is the best method for monetizing?

Still looking for the best method.

8. What kind of post do you find easiest or most enjoyable to write?

9. What do you think is best, long or short posts?

A blog should have a judicious mix of both types.

10. Funny/weird Question: What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

11. What is your favourite way to unwind after a hectic day?

I nominate the following bloggers:


Freddie Mercury Online

mjf jeeshan

DR. MARTHA CASTRO NORIEGA, MD, UEBD “Livingstrong and Happy” TELEPHONE—> 01152-664-3732942 EMAIL

Human Performance Psychology

Create Space

Lost In Nowhere

Beauty Talk


The Alchemist’s Studio

Travels and Adventures of Joyful Stephanie

Posts by these bloggers’ are positive and interesting. It is always a pleasure to read them.

My questions to the nominees are:

1. How old is your blog?

2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

3. How important do you think Social Media is for the success of a blog?

4. How would you define a successful blog? In other words, what do you think a successful blog looks like?

5. Have you ever thought about monetizing your blog?

6. If so, what do you think is the best method for monetizing?

Thank you for reading and congratulations to the new nominees!

On Reaching 100 Posts: THANK YOU

We are immensely grateful to our followers, visitors, and fellow bloggers for all the love they have showered HeartyPsych with. Reaching the mark of 100 posts would not have been possible without their support. Guy! your Visits, Likes, and Comments mean the world to us. They motivate us to keep posting good-quality content and keep sharing helpful information that can help us all be a better person and live a better life, besides becoming more and more aware of mental well-being and mental health issues. We hope that you all would continue to support us in future as well, while we, here at HeartyPsych, strive to do better than yesterday 🙂

Man and woman in love

To Love and to Be Loved—This Is the Psychology of Love

Whether we are aware of it or not, love is all around us. If only we could realize it. There are many people who love us. Think of your family, friends, and the partners who cherish us. But the biggest question to ask ourselves is what love is.

Different people interpret it in a variety of ways. Some take it to be the emotional feeling they share with their partners (for those who are in a relationship or marriage). For others, it is that care that they receive from their parents, siblings, and other people who are close to them. But all of this brings us to one conclusion: love is everywhere, even if some people are oblivious of it.

However, the psychology of love looks at things in a deeper way. It can be said that different types of love do exist and all affect people in many ways. Do you know that love can change the way a person behaves? Yes, it can. This is one of the factors that we will look at in detail here in a bit.

Types of Love to Know

Before we delve into details of how love changes people, let us look at the types of love that everyone should know.

  • Agape love – This is love with no conditions or boundaries. But who else can give such selfless love than one who is connected to you spiritually? That is why the Greeks thought of this as a love that is not given by people to people, but by a supernatural being to people.
  • Erotic love – This has a strong connection to the good of fertility. It is love that is related to procreation in human beings. Greeks believed that one could not control this love. Thus, when two people are in erotic love, they end up in marriage and have children as a result.
  • Affectionate love – This should not and never be confused with erotic love. Affectionate love, according to those who have dated online on websites like Happymatches, is love that you give to people who cannot be considered as your life partner. It is often short-term with some people today doing it on a contractual basis. It typically has mutual benefits.
  • Self-love – Everyone loves themselves. This is driven by the instinct that people will always treat themselves in a special way before anyone else can do so. It is pretty obvious that people love themselves.

There are many other types of love that exist and each one affects people in a different way. The part of the body that is mostly affected by this is the brain, so it is no wonder that love is more psychological. The brain triggers many other things in the body through chemical reactions to alter behavior, feelings, and even what people say.

Psychological Effects of Love

Love changes how people view others and other things. Let’s use an example of erotic love. When a person meets the perfect partner and falls in love, they will tend to push all of their other friends to the side. If there were other close people who also wanted to have a relationship with you, a distance will be created without even thinking about it. Even if some feelings were developing towards them, this will quickly fade away. It is even possible for love to change from one type to another during such a transition.

Some people get so influenced by those that they love or those who love them that they copy their behavior. This is common in married couples or those who are engaged in a long-term relationship. According to experts, love has a strong effect on how people think and behave, and this is evident in many social types of research that have been conducted in the past.

Loving and Being Loved

Because love has a strong influence on how we think, it is worth knowing the best way to love and even how to be loved. How we do it matters to others and also ourselves. It is the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction and between being happy and not being happy in life.

Before you start showing love, mostly for the sake of a relationship, you need to understand what type of love it is between erotic love and affectionate love, or in normal words, serious love and casual love. It is not fair to approach the other person with a pretense of showing them erotic love only to dump them later because all that you needed was affectionate love for a short time.


When everything is clear all from the beginning, both parties will be moving in one direction as far as their thinking is concerned. Psychologically, this is the best direction to take. Millennials should read these insights well and apply them to avoid confusion when loving and being loved. However, the information will remain helpful to anyone

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Full moon in the dark sky

Why Do We Still Believe in ‘Lunacy’ During a Full Moon?

Full moon and treesIt’s sometimes called the “Transylvania effect.” In the dark sky, the clouds shift, revealing the full moon’s eerie silver gleam, and the people on Earth below go mad. It’s a story that gets repeated by doctors, teachers and police officers. The science, though, says something different.

Blaming the full moon for strange behavior is a time-honored tradition. In the first century AD, the Roman philosopher Pliny suggested that the full moon caused more dew to form, which led to increased moisture in the brain, and that, he said, led to madness.

The idea that the full moon makes people crazy didn’t go out of fashion along with togas, though—in the 1700s, a British legal expert and judge wrote, “A lunatic, or non compos mentis, is properly one who hath lucid intervals, sometimes enjoying his senses and sometimes not and that frequently depending upon the changes of the moon.” (The word lunatic, by the way, comes from the Latin luna: moon.)

In the 1970s, a popular book posited that just as the moon controls the tides, its gravitational pull affects the fluid sloshing around in human brains. Even today, you might hear stories about classrooms of students misbehaving and people getting hurt in freak accidents around the full moon. But there’s one big problem with all these theories: they’re not true.

For decades, researchers have pored over hospital records and police blotters, and time and time again, they’ve come up with the same answer — the full moon doesn’t seem to be associated with more strange things happening than usual. No uptick in births, no synced up menstrual periods and no madness.

“I’m not aware of a single replicated finding in the literature that there’s a link between the full moon and odd behavior,” says Scott Lilienfeld, a professor of psychology at Emory University. Often, studies that do make this claim don’t hold up to scrutiny. In one paper, researchers posited that there are more car crashes during the full moon. They later retracted it after realizing that many of those full moons were on weekends, when more people are on the road. But despite the lack of evidence, lots of people still believe that the full moon makes things… weird.

But despite the lack of evidence, lots of people still believe that the full moon makes things… weird.

It’s not quite clear where the superstition came from in the first place. But in defence of believers of “lunacy,” the moon does exercise some influence on Earth, from the pull of the tides to the mating cycles of corals and glow-worms. It’s not surprising that people wondered if the moon might be shaping their lives too.

Lilienfeld notes there might be some correlation at work, if not necessarily causation. Before artificial lighting, the full moon might have kept people up at night, including people with mental illnesses that are exacerbated by lack of sleep. The bright sky could have led them to leaved their houses and congregate, says Lilienfeld, “And that may have caused a commotion.”

But no matter where the idea came from, it was probably easy for people to find evidence for their suspicion that bad things happened when the moon was full. “Our brains tend to be predisposed to seeing patterns, even when they’re not actually existent,” says Lilienfeld. “Once people have an idea in their head that the full moon is linked to odd behaviors, […] they may end up seeking out, even unintentionally, instances in which there is a full moon and something strange happens.” We don’t pay attention to the uneventful full moons, but the strange ones stand out.

This pattern of thinking, where we pay extra attention to things that might be dangerous or important, is an example of what psychologists call cognitive bias. It might be hardwired into the way we think, as a means of self-preservation. If you’re walking in the forest and a snake-shaped something springs out at you, you’ll jump out of the way in case it’s a snake. But more often than not, you just stepped on a stick. It makes evolutionary sense to move, though, just in case — our brains operate on a “better safe than sorry” model. The same goes for keeping an eye on the full moon.

And while cognitive bias could protect us from a branch/snake, superstitions like assigning power to the full moon might protect us in a different way.

“The world is very scary, and the world is unpredictable, and it may give us a pleasure, a relief, to think the world is not as uncontrollable, not as unpredictable as we might believe,” Lilienfeld says. “Whether it applies to the full moon, I don’t know, although I do suspect that anything that gives us a sense that we can predict something might provide us with a measure of psychological reassurance.” Things break, people break, and it’s nicer to think that it’s the fault of a bad moon rising than that the world is just a strange place no matter what the sky looks like.

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a weeping boy with sunflower

5 Grief Quotes

1. Grief is so human, and it hits everyone at one point or another, at least, in their lives. If you love, you will grieve, and that’s just given.

Kay Redfield Jamison

2. Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone. His own burden in his own way.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

3. Grief is the price we pay for love.

Queen Elizabeth II

4. Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.

William Shakespeare

5. The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler

depiction of human brain

Memories: How Do They Form and Fade?

Have you ever wondered why some of your childhood memories are still fresh in your mind even after decades, while some recent ones fade in minutes? Researchers have recently discovered the neural processes that cause some memories to fade quickly while making other memories stable over time.

Using mouse models, researchers from California Institute of Technology have determined that strong, stable memories are encoded by “teams” of neurons all working in synchrony, providing redundancy that enables these memories to stay over time. The study helps in understanding how brain damage due to strokes or Alzheimer’s disease may affect memory.

Published in the journal, Science, the study was conducted at Biology research professor, Carlos Lois’s laboratory. The professor is also an affiliated faculty member of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech.

The team, led by Walter Gonzalez, a postdoctoral scholar developed a test to examine mice’s neural activity as they learn about and remember a new place. In the test, mice explored a 5-feet-long enclosure where unique symbols denoted different locations along its white walls. A treat (sugar water) for mice was place at both ends of the track. The activity of specific neurons in the mouse hippocampus (the region of the brain where new memories are formed) known to encode for places, was measured while the mouse walked around.

The researcher noted that when a mouse was first put in the track, it was not certain about what to do and so moved left and right until it came across the treat. In these cases, when a mouse took notice of a wall symbol, single neurons were activated. But over several experiences with the track, the mouse became familiar with it and remembered the site of the treat. As it became more familiar, more and more neurons were synchronously activated by seeing each symbol on the wall. Basically, the mouse was recognizing its own location with respect to each unique symbol.

In order to investigate how memories fade over time, the researchers then withheld mice from the enclosure for up to 20 days. Upon coming back to the track after the sabbatical, mice that had formed strong memories encoded by higher numbers of neurons remembered the task promptly. The mouse’s memory of the track was clearly identifiable when analyzing the activity of large groups of neurons, in spite of some neurons showing different activity. Alternatively, using groups of neurons enables the brain to recall memories while having redundancy, even if some of the original neurons fall silent or are damaged.

Gonzalez clarifies, “Imagine you have a long and complicated story to tell. In order to preserve the story, you could tell it to five of your friends and then occasionally get together with all of them to re-tell the story and help each other fill in any gaps that an individual had forgotten. Additionally, each time you re-tell the story, you could bring new friends to learn and therefore help preserve it and strengthen the memory. In an analogous way, your own neurons help each other out to encode memories that will persist over time.”

While earlier theories about memory storage suggest that making a memory more stable requires the strengthening of the connections to an individual neuron, this study proposes that increasing the number of neurons encoding the same memory enables the memory to stay for longer. The study has great implications for designing future treatment that could boost the recruitment of a higher number of neurons to encode a memory, and could help prevent memory loss.

Desperate woman

September: National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month Feature

Nobel Laureate Albert Camus said, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.” He was right. Suicide not only represents the suffering of the one who commits it, but also augurs the ripple effects it is going to have on the near and dear ones of that person.

Suicide is a serious public health issue and one of the leading causes of death in the world. According to WHO, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally.”

Millions of people die every year as a result of suicide, and therefore, it is pertinent for nations to raise awareness of this mental health crisis.

Suicides can be prevented if warning signs are identified early and appropriate measures are taken in time. Creating awareness at population, sub-population and individual levels can go a long way in preventing it.

In order to raise awareness, many countries observe September as National Suicide Prevention Month. During the entire month, individuals and organizations join hands to promote community awareness of suicide prevention. September 10, is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day to remember those affected by suicide and to reaffirm worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.


Banner carrying bipolar disorder as text

5 Bipolar-Disorder Quotes

1. “I am often asked what is the most important factor in treating bipolar disorder. My answer is competence. Empathy is important, but competence is essential.”

Kay Redfield Jamison

2. “I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away—yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of the earth’s orbit – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – and wanted to shoot myself.”

Søren Kierkegaard

3. “. . . many drugs now treat bipolar disorder. Medication is critical and should be combined with psychotherapy. Compliance is a major problem. Patients believe that once they’re better, they no longer need the medication. It doesn’t work that way.”

Kay Redfield Jamison

4. “Evidence is strongly suggesting bipolar disorder—previously known as Manic Depression—may be dramatically increasing in modern society.”

Gordon Parker

5. “There are a lot of studies that suggest a higher rate of creativity in bipolars than the general population.”

Kay Redfield Jamison

Banner carrying Anxiety as text

5 Anxiety Quotes

1. “Our possibilities of happiness are already restricted by our constitution. Unhappiness is much less difficult to experience. We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful to us than any other.”

Sigmund Freud

2. “Meeting with anxiety can free us from boredom and sharpen our perception, If there is anxiety, there is life.”

Rollo May

3. “Whenever you avoid alarming situations, you almost always increase your anxiety about them.”

Albert Ellis

4. “Anxiety is the gap between now and later.”

Frederick Salomon Perls

5. “Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity for anxiety and ambiguity.”

Carl Jung

Also read:
Sleeping Problems and, Anxiety and Stress—A Two-way Street
Self-Help Techniques to Manage Anxiety
Childhood Anxiety Related With Later Alcohol Problems
Test Anxiety—Strategies to Overcome

woman lying on bed with sleeping pills on side table

Sedative Sleeping Pills CNS — Drug Addiction Advice

Sedatives are drugs that depress the central nervous system, aka the CNS. There are several different things which are caused by sedatives: Calmness, Relaxation, Reduction of anxiety, Sleepiness, Slowed breathing, Sleepiness, Slurred speech, Staggering gait, Slowed breathing, Poor judgment, and Slow and Uncertain reflexes. Often times sedatives are referred to as other names other than…

via Sedative Sleeping Pills CNS — Drug Addiction Advice

Human eye

How Going Against Intuition Leads to Self-Deception

Has there ever been a time when you had an intuitive feeling about something but you went against it? Regardless of how that particular outcome played out, it probably felt uncomfortable to go against your gut.

It’s common to think of intuition as having a kind of magical source. But it is really built out of a series of authentic experiences that reinforce our ways of thinking and ways of being over time. Once you experience success following a certain path of choices, you are likely to repeat that pattern of thinking. Likewise, if a series of choices leads to a negative outcome, you will remember that information for next time. 

Over time and experience, we begin to develop a sense that we affectionately refer to as our “gut feelings.” It is hard to say how accurate these feelings are in guiding our individual choices, but one thing is certain, they have a significant impact on our self-perception and how we relate to one another.

When we go against our gut, it can be a form of self-betrayal. This can be hard to reconcile. Our intuition is so closely linked to who we are, when we doubt it, things can quickly become confusing.

In the book Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box, published in 2000 by The Arbinger Institute, the authors explain how this process happens to us step by step:

1. An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called an act of “self-betrayal.”
2. When I betray myself, I begin to see the world in a way that justifies my self-betrayal.
3. When I see the world in a self-justifying way, my view of reality becomes distorted.

They go on to give an example of a young couple and their newborn infant. Both parents exhausted and bewildered by the sudden and extensive changes in their lives and sleeping patterns, like many a typical night in this circumstance, the baby begins crying. The father’s first intuitive thought is, “I should get up and tend to the baby.” But instead, he decides to pretend to be asleep and waits for his wife to wake up and care for the baby, going entirely against his first impulse. He has now betrayed his intuition. Once this happens, it is easy to begin to justify his self-betrayal with thoughts about his wife such as, “she should get up with the baby, I have to work all day tomorrow.” Or, “I washed the dishes and did bath and fed the baby tonight, it’s her turn to do something.”

Just like the father in this scenario, once we betray our intuitive feelings, we quickly begin to inflate the view of ourselves in terms of what we have done right while we equally inflate our view of others in terms of what they have done wrong, or have failed to do. It is through this process our perspective becomes skewed.

You can imagine the type of interpersonal conflict to which this may lead us. As we continue to deny our initial impulses, we layer upon layer self betrayal and self deception, getting farther and farther away from our natural, true, and transparent feelings, and more and more intricately bound up in our feelings of defensiveness, reactiveness, judgment, and doubt.

And the impact of self-deception is far reaching. The Arbinger Institute describes self-deception this way, “It blinds us to the true causes of problems, and once we’re blind, all the “solutions” we can think of will actually make matters worse. Whether at work or at home, self-deception obscures the truth about ourselves, corrupts our view of others and our circumstances, and inhibits our ability to make wise and helpful decisions.”

So how can we sort out if we are listening to our authentic intuition or being blinded by our own self-deception? We start with investigating our motives and exploring whether they are honest or ulterior.

And from there, it’s simple. We try to do better. We make one decision at a time, always striving for authentic, transparent communication, knowing we will have some missteps along the way. Just as the momentum can get going in the direction of self-betrayal, we have the power to turn the momentum in the direction of self-trust.

As we grow in this skill, we grow in our ability to trust our natural impulses and to trust our intuition, one gut feeling at a time.


The Arbinger Institute (2000). Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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Also read:
Using Your Intuition for Self-Care

The 4 Personal Traits That Make It Hard to Take Criticism


“Scott, I feel uncomfortable at parties sometimes when you tell a story real loud. I know you’re not doing it on purpose, but it embarrasses me. Can you try not to talk so loud?” Andrea said to her husband.

Immediately, Scott’s face turned red. He felt a combination of shock, rage and hurt. “I-I-I-,” he stuttered. Then he ran down the steps to the basement, slamming the door behind him. Downstairs, he turned his music up as loudly as he could and started lifting weights furiously.


“So now that I’ve explained all the great strengths you bring to the job, Rebecca, there is one thing I’d like you to try to improve over the next year,” her supervisor said as they discussed Rebecca’s 6-month job evaluation. “I want you to work on giving your direct reports more clear feedback about their performance.”

As her supervisor explained that she wasn’t challenging her employees enough, Rebecca’s field of vision literally went blank. Her thoughts were swirling so quickly in her head that she barely heard anything else her boss said. “How can she say that?! I just gave someone feedback yesterday. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I’m going to start looking for a new job.”

Do you identify with Scott or Rebecca? Is it especially difficult for you to hear negative comments about yourself, your actions or your performance, even from people who you know deep down have your best interests in mind?

4 Personal Traits That Make it Hard to Accept and Respond Well to Criticism

  1. Lack of self-knowledge. How well do you know yourself? Do you know your own strengths and weaknesses, talents and challenges, preferences and tendencies? What do you want? What do you like? And why? Not knowing yourself deeply and well leaves you overly vulnerable to other people’s opinions. It also leaves you with little to call upon when you need it. If you knew yourself well enough, when your wife gives you a specific critique, it’s OK. Because you know you have plenty of other strengths that make you good enough as a person even if you make a mistake. If Scott had enough self-knowledge he would feel somewhat hurt by Andrea’s comment, but he would be able to think it through and realize that people generally like him, that he has natural good humor, and that Andrea’s discomfort is more about herself than him. He would say, “Oh, OK Andrea. I’ll try to be aware.”
  2. Low compassion for yourself. Everybody makes mistakes, no exceptions. It is what we do with those mistakes that matters. When you have compassion for yourself, there’s a voice in your head that helps you think through criticism, take responsibility for your mistake while at the same time having compassion for your humanness. I call it the Voice of Compassionate Accountability. It steps in when you receive criticism and talks you through it. If Rebecca had the Voice of Compassionate Accountability, instead of thinking about a new job, she would have been thinking: “OK, so she thinks I’m not giving negative feedback to my people. I do know I’ve always struggled to say difficult things. Even though I’ve been trying, maybe I need to try even more. My overall communication skills are good. I can rely on those to help me. This will be a work in progress.”
  3. Difficulty managing your feelings. Scott and Rebecca both have this challenge in common. They are each when receiving criticism, flooded by emotions that render them helpless at the moment. Both feel a combination of shame and anger immediately upon hearing the criticism, and neither knows what to do with it. Neither has the skills to notice what they are feeling, name those feelings or manage them so that they can have a conversation.
  4. Lack of assertiveness. Assertiveness is a skill. It is the ability to speak your truth in a way that the other person can hear it. To be assertive you must first know what you feel and manage those feelings, as described in #3. When you’re aware of your anger you can listen to its message. It may be telling you to speak up and protect yourself, and it is vital that you listen. If Scott had assertiveness skills, he might say to Andrea, “Everyone was loud at the party, and I didn’t think I was any louder than anyone else.” Andrea would respond by speaking her truth. They would have a back-and-forth conversation, and this might enable them to learn about each other, listen to each other, and perhaps forge some kind of mutual understanding.

The Role of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)

These four character traits are all hallmarks of one common childhood experience. In fact, they are essentially the footprint of Childhood Emotional Neglect or CEN.

Growing up in a family that does not address the feelings of its members (the definition of CEN) leaves the children to move into, and through, adulthood lacking some vital skills.

How can you learn who you are when the deepest expression of that, your feelings, are ignored by your parents as they raise you?

How can you have empathy for yourself when your parents were unable to show you compassion and empathy while they raised you?

How can you learn how to manage your emotions when your emotions were ignored in your childhood home?

How can you know how to speak your truth when, as a child, your truth was not accepted by your parents?

How to React Well to Criticism

Before you start to think it is too late for you, I want to assure you that it is absolutely not.

You can begin to work on thinking of criticism in a new way: like someone’s opinion, which may or may not be true, and may or may not be useful to you. You can realize that criticism is often a useful and valuable way to become a stronger and better person.

You can start to pay more attention to the best source of strength, purpose, connection, validation and direction available to you, your feelings.

To learn much more about Childhood Emotional Neglect, how it happens, and the struggles it leaves you with throughout your adulthood, see the book Running On Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect, available in bookstores and online everywhere.

Most people who grew up with CEN have no idea that it happened. To find out if you grew up with CEN, visit and take The Emotional Neglect Test. It’s free.


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five children looking at their cellphone

8 Ways to Prevent and Address Your Child’s Addiction to Smart Devices

Addiction to smartphones or computers to communicate, get information, for entertainment, or to complete day-to-day chores is quite common. After all, resorting to digital-era technology is not only the swiftest way to all sort of information at just a touch of a button but also the easiest way to get all sorts of things done—from paying bills to ordering stuff online and to what not. Although our reliance on phones and computers is growing day-by-day, it is, at the same time, worrying to see children as young as three, playing games and watching videos on phones for hours. The fact that too much of screen time is detrimental to a child’s growing brain cannot be overstated.

Too much of screen time also interferes with child’s performance at school. It has been reported that Children who use smartphones at an early age have difficulty socializing and have delayed communication. Those who are in school and spend too much time on these gadgets have also been found to spend less time in playing outside and are also at greater risk of cyber-bullying. However, in today’s time, it is not that easy and simple for parents to restrain their kids from using phones and other such devices since everyone around them is using phones, tablets, or computers and sometimes children need information as well from the web to complete their school projects. In fact, teachers too these days, communicate through whatsapp rather than providing the information in students’ diary, which makes avoiding smartphones all the more difficult.

Research has shown that addiction to technology can be as severe as any other addictions. And so parents are often confronted with the question as to what should be the right age to introduce their kids to these gadgets. Well the answer to this question is not that straight or simple as every child has his or her maturity level. Yet, it can be said that the later the better; the more you can delay the better it is. At least wait until your child is in eighth grade or middle school. Even then you need to first set some rules regarding the use. You can also start by buying your child a basic phone rather than a smartphone.

We sometimes see parents giving their 2- or 3-year-old kids phones while eating out, or while parents are watching movies in the hall, their reasoning being that the kid would get distracted and wouldn’t disturb or that the kid throws tantrum to get the phone. Well, this is a completely wrong logic; You don’t give your child matchsticks, knife, or scissors to play with, when he or she throws a tantrum for it, then why giving in when your child demands your phone. May be some parents don’t really understand the dangers of using cell phones at such an early age or perhaps sometimes they are simply too tired to attend to their child. In such cases, giving their phone seems right to them and more like a convenient option. But they don’t actually realize that this comes under irresponsible parenting. Parents need to understand that the earlier the child starts using phones and other such devices, the higher the possibility of getting addicted to these devices in later ages. Besides, too much screen time is one of the leading causes of illnesses related to sedentary lifestyle. Obesity among young kids has been found to be because they don’t include enough physical activities in their routine or because they eat while watching TV or videos on phone or while playing video games.

Here’s how you can help your child get rid of or prevent his or her digital addiction:

1. Set family rules: Before you introduce your kids to devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops, set some rules regarding the use of such devices. Set screen time in advance. Tell your children beforehand the purpose for which they can use these devices, and under what conditions they can lose access to them. These rules will be more effective if you involve your child too in the process.

2. Start with the basics: If your child demands a phone because all his/her friends have one, then you can start with basic phone models that can be used for communication purpose. Instead of smartphone, get him a simple basic mobile phone. Alternatively, you can lend your phone to help your child exchange messages between or make a call to his or her friend.

3. Don’t substitute toys with smartphones: These days children start using digital devices at a very early age, all because their parents use these devices as substitutes to toys. Remember, use of such devices is as harmful to a 2-3 year old as it is to older children. Never make it a habit to use smartphone as pacifier for your children. Instead carry their favorite toy along and let them play with it.

4. Encourage outdoor activities: One of the major drawbacks of using such devices is that children start spending less time in outdoor activities and become glued to these devices. A healthy and effective way to avoid this is by scheduling a regular outdoor activity as part of the child’s daily routine. It would be much better if you too take part in such activities.

5. Set an example: Remember! children see what their parents do. So you too need to set an example for your child. If you tell your children to stop spending too much time on phones, or tablets, while you yourself are busy on the phone all the time, they are most likely not going to listen to you. Therefore, if you want your children to follow screen time rules, you need to follow them yourself as well.

6. Set family values: You need to discuss with your children the place these devices have in your family’s value system. Since there will come a time when your child might tell you that all his or her friends have smartphones and that their parents don’t restrict them from using these devices. At such instances, your family values will help you and your child deal with these pressures to conform to the society.

7. Give them desktop: There comes a time when your child actually needs access to internet in order to complete his or her school projects and other such activities. Besides, one cannot deny the fact that internet is the quickest way to get access to knowledge and information. Therefore, if you truly feel that your child needs access to internet, give them a desktop instead of smartphone. Desktops have been found to be less addictive since they require sitting at the same place. An added benefit is that parental monitoring is much easier on desktop.

8. Communicate: It is really important that your children understand that the rules are imposed not to keep them from progressing further, but for their own good. Communicate to your children why you don’t want to encourage device usage; especially when other parents have already started giving their children smartphones or other such devices. Your children must understand that you are not against technology, but you are also aware of the dangers of technology usage and technology addiction. Getting this message across is very important and it will also help your children understand your point of view. Your children will understand that your rules are not just mindless authority assertion but rather a carefully designed system to keep them safe and healthy.

Also read:
8 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Bullying
Why Children Lie and What Parents Can Do to Prevent It
10 Techniques to Help Your Child Resist Peer Pressure
Father’s Role and Importance in Child Development

Human forehead

Using Your Intuition for Self-Care

Intuition is sometimes thought of as the sixth sense. Basically, it’s an inner knowing that does not involve the mind, or intellectual or logical processes. It’s when we feel something instinctually without needing to be analytical. When we have an intuitive feeling, we’re receiving ideas without being aware of where they’re coming from.

Following your intuition means that you’re listening to your inner voice, which can be a huge tool in the decision-making process. A study done by Lufityanto, Donkin, and Pearson (2016) found that nonconscious emotional information can boost the accuracy of decision-making while also increasing an individual’s sense of confidence. In addition, it was found to speed up the actual decision-making process. This is fascinating information and confirmation that trusting our inner voices and intuition can be a positive action.

According to transpersonal psychologist Frances Vaughan (1998), intuitive awareness falls into four main categories: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, which we can use independently of one another.

An example of inner knowing as it pertains to the physical self might be when we’re in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation and we feel a sensation in our body, whether it’s a headache, stomachache, or a sense of anxiety. This points to a form of inner knowing that offers a message: “Learning to trust your bodily responses is part of learning to trust your intuition” (p. 186). If your body is giving you information, then it’s a good idea to listen because the information can ensure your safety. If you habitually have the same response to the same situation, it might have to do with a preexisting (perhaps childhood) trauma. Being mindful of this reaction will allow you to cope.

An example of emotional inner knowing is when you feel that someone’s energy or vibes are either positive or negative. Most often, this will affect your behavior when you engage with them. Often there’s no particular reason for how you feel; it’s just felt at a vibrational level. Moving forward, these vibrations can provide you with valuable information. Those who experience this type of intuition might have a tendency for synchronistic and/or psychic experiences. For example, you might be thinking about someone and then that person phones you.

Mental inner knowing, according to Vaughan, pertains to an awareness accessed through images or “inner vision.” You might see patterns in a situation that was previously chaotic. This sort of inner knowing or intuition is sometimes referred to as “having a gut feeling.”

Spiritual inner knowing or soul guidance might be associated with mystical experiences. Experts have suggested that regular meditation practice can foster and enhance a sense of this type of intuition.

In his classic book You Are Psychic! (1989), Pete A. Sanders says that psychic abilities can be tapped into using the “psychic reception areas.” He identifies four different psychic senses in the body: psychic feeling (in the solar plexus), psychic intuition (knowing or inner awareness), psychic hearing (on both sides of the head above the ears), and psychic vision (the third eye or the place between the eyebrows). In the same way that some of us are auditory or visual learners, we each have strengths in one of these psychic areas. Sanders says that in order to face challenges and make good decisions, it’s important to learn your own psychic strength because it can affect how you live your life. Also, when you know the psychic strengths of your loved ones, you can communicate with them more effectively.

How to Tap into Your Intuition

1. Begin a regular meditation and mindfulness practice. Meditation will help you tap into your subconscious mind and is a powerful way to awaken your intuitive powers.

2. Use the intuition “psychic reception center.” This was discussed by Sanders and describes a spot on your head where you receive intuitive messages. The idea is to imagine a funnel on the top of your head, with the larger end of the funnel touching your head and the narrow part extending into the universe. When you need to tap into your intuition and focus on something, place this imaginary funnel on your head and focus your awareness on that area. Be receptive to the messages you receive.

3. Maintain a regular journaling practice. Journaling is a wonderful way to tap you’re your intuition. For example, try to think about a recent situation you’d like more insight about. Focus on that event and pay attention to the thoughts that emerge. Write in your journal what comes to you. As you go about your day, observe others, and see if you can pick up any messages from their body language even before they speak to you. It’s all about “tuning in.” When you have the opportunity, jot down your observations in your journal.

4. Practice creative visualization: Shatki Gawain wrote two seminal books on the subject — Creative Visualization and Developing Intuition, which work hand in hand. Creative visualization is a technique where you close your eyes and use your imagination to create what you want in your life. It can open you up to new creative energies that will help you tap into your intuition.

Begin with a few minutes of diaphragm breathing. Then, let go of any thoughts that enter your mind, and imagine them fading away. Picture yourself in a cave where you remove all your clothes and lie down. Feel the moisture dripping from the ceiling, as its acidic nature begins to dissolve your skin, organs, and body systems. Think of yourself as a skeleton, while being completely aware. Being stripped of everything can offer a magical opening into your intuitive self and may also help you tap into your inner voice.


Lufityanto, G., C. Donkin, and J. Pearson. (2016). “Measuring Intuition: Nonconscious Emotional Information Boosts Decision Accuracy and Confidence . Psychological Science Online.

Sanders, P.A. (1989). You Are Psychic!. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Vaughan, F. (1998). “Mental, Emotional, and Body-Based Intuition.” In Inner Knowing, by H. Palmer, Ed. New York, NY: Jeremy Tarcher.