I have a plethora of opinions concerning depression. Considering I have been to therapists my entire life, those opinions war with each other and force a place into my brain. I do have depression, or to be exact, I suffer from Bipolar disorder which entails both depression and mania. I was told that this was a disease, that I would suffer for the rest of my life. I am medicated, as well.
So imagine the churning of my thoughts when I read that depression may actually be the gateway to a spiritual enlightenment, that on the other side of some door, I could find the answer to my pain. Of course, this doesn’t include the mania, and that’s a subject for another day.
So basically, is depression an illness or simply a step toward becoming one with all existence? I have to look further now, since, of the late, I’ve been hungry for knowledge in all areas. Now this, I have to examine, as well.
Enlightened by the darkness
Dr. Lisa Miller, researcher and professor of clinical psychology at the Columbia University, through a dark time in her life, discovered there may be more to depression than illness. Driven by her despair during infertility and sharing this despair with her husband, Miller began to gradually absorb the messages of healers and helpers along the way. These healers offered support with words of wisdom about greater things in store for the Millers. Not only were there words of wisdom, but included in this journey were objects, animals and healers bound in synchronicity. What some may have seen as strange moments of coincidence, the Millers saw as a sign of what was to come. Maybe these synchronicities held the answers to their questions.
These moments ultimately left Miller with questions, questions about whether or not depression was really a disease.
If depression was a disease, then why do traumatic events in life cause this state-of-mind?
Miller’s team of researchers set out to find the answers to these questions, and they did! The study recruited a great number of those who suffered from a severity of depression which included long family histories of the ‘illness’. They paired these individuals with those who had long lineages of spiritual presence, for comparison.
It seems that the brain does actually look different in those who are depressed as opposed to those who have experienced spiritual enlightenment. Both groups showed a marked influence in the cortex region of the brain. For those with depression, the region was withered and small. Those experiencing spiritual enlightenment, however, had large thick regions in the cortex. To Miller, depression and spiritual enlightenment seemed to be opposite sides of the coin, so this discovery was not all that surprising. It wasn’t just a metaphysical connection, it involved polarity.
Could it be? Could the cortex region only be experiencing starvation? If so, depression could indeed be a journey of reaching spiritual nourishment.
Wavelengths of the human brain
To help fortify this belief, results revealed that women, who had endured suffering before reaching spiritual enlightenment, exhibited an alpha wavelength, the same as with monks during meditation. There are four wavelengths that the human brain can exhibit, including alpha, gamma, beta and delta. Alpha is the same frequency emitted by the earth, better known as the Schumann Resonance, so this means…
The spiritually engaged brain vibrates at the frequency of the earth’s crust.
– Dr. Lisa Miller
So, with this, new-to-my-ears information, I can add an additional layer to how I see depression. I cannot say that I am 100% convinced of this notion, but it is interesting. Miller does state that not all those who suffer from depression, suffer because they are on the road to an awakening, just some. I don’t know what differentiates the two either. One thing is for certain, whether it’s enlightenment or just an invisible disease, as I have come to believe over time, depression can be treated. Maybe, the deeper the depression, the closer you are to the answer. Just keep up the good fight, the answer could be right around the corner.
Source: The Learning Mind
The most important thing you need to know about the subconscious mind is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of what you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort. You need to start taking care of your subconscious mind. It is vital to maintain your mind in a state of expectation of only good events and make the usual mode of your thinking based solely on loyalty, justice and love.
Faith and belief are the foundation of the subconscious. Do not forget that “you will be rewarded according to your faith”.
A Protestant minister who suffered from lung cancer wrote about his methods of transferring thoughts of perfect health into his subconscious mind: “Two or three times a day, I put my body and soul in a relaxed state, repeating these words:
“My feet are completely relaxed, my legs are relaxed. Right now, my stomach muscles are relaxing. My heart is beating quietly, my breathing is calm and relaxed. My head is completely relaxed, my whole body is completely relaxed and calm.”
After about five minutes, when I got into a drowsy, sleepy state, I repeated: “The perfection of the God’s plan finds its expression in me. My subconscious mind is filled with thoughts of that I have perfect health. My image is spotless before God.” This priest managed to heal himself.
Here are some brief recommendations to help you use your subconscious power for your best:
1. Your subconscious mind not only controls all the processes of the body but also knows the answers to the various questions and can solve many problems.
2. Before going to bed, refer to your subconscious mind with a specific request and soon you will see its miraculous power in action.
3. Anything that is captured in your subconscious mind will directly affect you in the form of emotions, circumstances and events. Therefore, you need to watch closely what thoughts and ideas govern your mind.
4. All experiences arise from unfulfilled desires. If you are focused on various issues and problems, thus will be the reaction of your subconscious mind.
5. When you have a specific goal or dream, consciously repeat this statement: “I believe that the power of the subconscious, which gave me this desire, will embody it in me now.”
6. Stress, anxiety and fear can disrupt the natural rhythm of breathing, heart rate and work of any other part of the body. Cultivate in your subconscious mind thoughts of health, peace and harmony, and all the functions of the body will return to normal.
7. Fill your subconscious with expectations of the best experiences and emotions, and your thoughts will become a reality.
8. Imagine a positive outcome of your problems, fully feel the enthusiasm from what has happened. All your fantasies and feelings are clearly accepted by your subconscious and then implemented in life.
However much we would like to avoid them, rejections are a regular part of life. We get ignored by neighbors, out posts don’t get ‘liked’ on Facebook, our sexual advances get rebuffed by our partners, our colleagues go to lunches without us, we get blindsided by divorce, fired unexpectedly from our jobs, and ostracized by our families or communities. Rejection come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they all have in common is how much they hurt.
Why do rejections hurt so much? The answer is quite surprising.
When scientists did fMRI studies (functional brain scans) they discovered that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is also why almost every culture around the world uses the term hurt feelings to characterize how we react to rejection—our feelings literally hurt.
There is good reason for rejection to mimic physical pain in our brain, or at least, there was good reason. Back in our hunter gatherer days, being ostracized from our tribe was akin to a death sentence, as we were unlikely to survive alone. We therefore developed an early warning system to let us know when we were at risk for getting ousted. People who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to correct their behavior, stay in their tribe, and live to pass along their genes.
Now that we know what happens in our brains when we get rejected, let’s look at what happens in our minds.
1. Rejection causes surges of anger and aggression that we take out on those around us.
Getting dumped by someone we’re dating would make anyone angry. But the anger rejection causes is not just a momentary reaction. Numerous studies have demonstrated that even mild rejections make people subsequently redirect their anger and aggression toward ‘innocent’ bystanders such as our friends and family members. Because this can occur hours later, we might not be aware that having our poetry submission turned down that morning contributed to our barking at our partner when we got home that night.
The more significant the rejection, the more anger and aggression it is likely to generate. Indeed, in 2001, the Surgeon General of the U.S. issued a report stating that rejection was a greater risk for adolescent violence than drugs, poverty, or gang membership. Rejection is also the trigger for many incidents of violence against women. Of course, most people are not violent. But being irritable, having an edge to our tone, and losing our cool when we should not are all examples of ways in which we might be reacting to small rejections we’ve suffered in the recent past.
Seeking emotional support from someone who cares about us and hearing a kind word can help soothe our anger, especially if we do so immediately following the rejection.
2. Rejection damages our ‘need to belong’.
Another legacy of our tribal days is that we have a basic need to feel as though we have a place within our group—that we belong to a tribe. This need becomes destabilized when we get rejected, which adds to our discomfort and emotional pain.
One way to address this often unconscious need is to reconnect with our core group. Making plans to visit with or talk with a family member or someone from our ‘inner circle’ can help alleviate this internal tension and help us feel more connected and less alone in the immediate aftermath of a hurtful rejection.
3. Rejections make us join ‘fight club’ and beat ourselves up.
One of the most common yet unfortunate things we do after a rejection, especially a romantic one, is to list all our faults and inadequacies and kick our self-esteem when it’s already down. The reality is that most romantic rejections are a reflection of insufficient fit or match. The incompatibility might be in lifestyle, goals, interests, or appearance—one person prefers blonds and we’re a brunette, or another likes guys with scruff and we tend to be clean shaven—but that’s all it is, an insufficient fit.
Seeking fault in ourselves only deepens the emotional pain we feel and makes it harder for us to recover. Therefore, to avoid harming your already battered self-esteem, go with the interpretation that is most likely and least damaging—that you weren’t the right match for the person. If they give you the ‘It’s not you, it’s me” speech—believe them!
4. Rejection temporarily damages our ability to think clearly.
Just as it’s difficult to focus and concentrate when we have a terrible tooth ache, the emotional pain we feel after a rejection makes it difficult for us to think clearly. Studies found that merely thinking about being rejected or being alone was enough for people to score substantially lower on IQ tests, tests of decision making and tests of short term memory.
Therefore, when we’re in the immediate aftermath of a rejection, we should take time to address our emotional pain before we jump back into work or studying—when it’s possible to do so. One way to ease emotional pain is to reaffirm our self-worth by reminding ourselves of what we have to offer in the relevant sphere—as romantic partners, employees, or friends.
For example, if we were rejected by a dating partner, we should make a list of the valuable and meaningful qualities we believe we possess such as, loyalty, caring, supportiveness, emotional availability, having good listening skills, and others. We should then write a couple of paragraphs about why the quality is important in relationships and how we would manifest it in future situations.
Using such self-affirmation exercises has been shown to reduce emotional pain, boost self-esteem, and restore cognitive functioning after a rejection. Make sure to write things out, as writing helps us ‘absorb’ the message far more effectively than just thinking it through.
5. Rejection causes us to over generalize.
When we get rejected we tend to focus so much attention on our immediate hurt and what led to it that we are likely to lose perspective and overgeneralize the incident. Instead of lamenting a specific breakup we tell ourselves, I’ll always be alone!” Instead of feeling bad about getting rejected by a potential employer we say things like, “I’ll never find another job!”
We all tend to overgeneralize when we get rejected and we typically convince ourselves that our exaggerated fears and despair are warranted. However the truth is one breakup has nothing to do with another. The fact that you didn’t click with one person does not mean you won’t click with the next one, as everyone is different. The same goes for employers, friends, and any other rejection scenario.
In order to avoid deepening your emotional pain and damaging to your self-esteem even further, watch your language. Make sure to state things accurately and to not overgeneralize. Describe specific incidents and avoid phrasing things as themes and patterns. For example, don’t call your friends and say, “I got dumped again. Why do these things keep happening to me?” Instead, say, “He/she broke it off.” Or “It didn’t work out.”
Recognizing the five unconscious ways we react to rejection and taking steps to address them will minimize the emotional pain and anger you feel, help your self-esteem recover, and restore your clarity of thinking. Remember that psychological injuries are similar to physical ones—we can and should take steps to treat them. Doing so will make them heal faster and prevent them from becoming ‘infected’ and causing further damage down the road.
Source: Pick The Brain
In love compatibility, Aquarius is a quirky, independent and quite tricky to pin down individual, but one with a huge amount of love and joy to bring to the right partner. If you’re in love with an Aquarius, read on for a quick guide to the 5 Aquarius relationship secrets you should know.
1 – Debate is Good
Everything turns into a debate with Aquarius, but the first and probably most important love secret about this sign is that debate is a good thing. It is not the same as having an argument. Repeat that to yourself often if you’re in love with an Aquarius. Differences of opinion are often healthy for relationship compatibility; Aquarius is an expert at differences of opinion, managing to hold numerous contrasting opinions on the same subject before breakfast, so your relationship should certainly involve a healthy amount of intellectual to and fro. Even if you tire of the constant discussion and would rather just agree with your Aquarius lover for the sake of a quiet life – don’t be tempted. As soon as the intellectual battling dies off, Aquarius will be looking for a new partner elsewhere. Almost uniquely among zodiac signs, compatibility for Aquarius increases with the amount of sparring going on.
2 – Give your Aquarius Lover Options
In a similar vein, nothing is ever cut and dried for your Aquarius lover. When you need him or her to make a decision and you need it to be the decision you want it to be….resort to the same tactics you might use with a small child. Give them options. If you want to go out for the night, offer them a choice of cinema or gig, rather than a choice of going out or not going out. Think toddlers and vegetables – you know, do you want broccoli or carrots rather than do you want veg. It’s devious, but it works, and in terms of your relationship compatibility, Aquarius will thank you for not limiting their freedom and for still giving them a chance to make a choice.
3 – Be Willing to Abandon Routine
Aquarius is an unpredictable sign, ruled by Uranus, and your Aquarius lover has a pathological horror of routines, rules and regulations. Deciding that you must do the same thing at the same time each week is one of the quickest ways to lose an Aquarian’s heart, so be prepared to be spontaneous. This could be tricky if you’re more set in your ways than your Aquarius partner is, but you’re going to have to compromise on this one, because this freedom is simply too important to your partner. Try to look delighted when he or she announces that they’ve booked a surprise night away on the same day as you’re meant to be visiting your Mum. They haven’t done it deliberately. Honest. Compatibility Aquarius style means adjusting to the unexpected just when you could really do with the tried and tested.
4 – Limit Emotional Scenes
Although your Aquarius lover has many talents and great qualities, emotional depth isn’t one of them. This sign is cool and quite emotionally detached, and is frankly frightened and turned off by major displays of emotion at either end of the emotional scale. If you’re the dramatic sort, try to tone down your reactions of joy and despair into something a little more regulated, something your Aquarius partner can cope with. In terms of your relationship compatibility, Aquarius needs you to level off those highs and lows just a touch.
5 – Be a Friend
Because Aquarius is such an intellectual sign, compatibility for them is a mental thing as much as it is a physical one. The relationship will thrive if it’s based on a shared friendship and mutual interests, so do try to take an interest in your Aquarius lover’s quirks and pastimes. It might seem contrary to suggest that you focus on being friends first and lovers second, but that really is the way this sign works when it comes to compatibility. Aquarius will love and respect you all the more if you don’t push the point and don’t try to force the relationship ahead of its time.
Out of all the zodiac signs, compatibility issues occur most frequently for Aquarius, because of this sign’s independent streak. For a full low down on your relationship with an Aquarius, try an Astromatcha astrology compatibility report, and go beyond the confines of Sun signs alone.
As a Pisces, I can tell you pretty confidently that we’re a pretty tough group to read.
Don’t get your panties in a bunch, though — I love myself and all my fellow Piscean friends, but you have to admit, you either have no idea what’s going on in your Pisces-friend’s head, or you are the Pisces who constantly feels misunderstood.
Well, I have good news!
You’re not alone, and you can thank your sun sign for all that confusion.
Here are 10 reasons why no one understands a Pisces, and why that is totally okay:
1. Pisces is the 12th sign of the zodiac.
Being that Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, those born under this sign have a mix of characteristics from all the eleven preceding signs.
This means that Pisces are somewhat at a constant battle in choosing how to feel and that non-Pisces have an extra hard time figuring out how one feels.
Pisces are pretty indecisive, even with the silliest of decisions. However, they are also very open-minded. A Pisces is the friend who always says yes, even if it means he or she has to cancel later (guilty).
This battle of characteristics force Pisces to think before feeling. Yes, Pisces can be quite impulsive, but they think before they act first even if it doesn’t seem so.
Being this way means they are always willing to try new things at least once.
2. Pisces are always seeking new experiences.
Pisces are constantly looking for new things, but don’t let this offend you; they are most happy when they have someone along side them, experiencing these new things as well.
A Pisces would most successfully be in a relationship with someone who is just as stir crazy and up for anything.
If a Pisces feels trapped, he or she will most likely revert to his or her impulsive side and jump at the first opportunity for change.
3. They are compassionate and charitable.
Did anyone else cry while watching the new GE commercial? I did.
It can seem like a Pisces’ compassion even for strangers is a little over the top, especially in this world. But, it really is a good thing and it’s totally genuine. When you need someone to be compassionate with you, you’ve got it.
4. They have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy.
Pisces are, at heart, dreamers. Jupiter and Neptune, the latter of which represents illusions, rule them.
Pisces shift from goal to goal and sometimes, those goals may seem impossible. To a Pisces though, the goals are as close to reality as it gets. Silly fishes.
5. Empathy rules.
Pisces are extremely empathetic. Sometimes, they place another’s emotions over their own, and this can be chaotic because they are then left to fester in their own ignored emotions.
This is also great because if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or genuine advice, a Pisces will selflessly give it.
6. They can only think straight when they’re alone.
Locking yourself in your room for an hour usually means something is wrong, right? Not necessarily for Pisces. If they are socializing 24/7, they are probably on autopilot.
A Pisces needs to take time to him or herself to gather thoughts and feel productive.
7. They are inherently introverted.
This basically means that they are always trying to surround themselves with new people, but they don’t know when those people switch from new people to actual friends.
A Pisces finds it difficult to be his or her full self around people to whom he or she doesn’t feel close.
This can come off as fake or closed off, but in reality, it is most attributed to a Pisces’ innate curiosity about other people’s lives and stories. Excuse Pisces and their many questions.
8. They accept literally everyone.
This has gotten me, personally, in a bit of trouble. A Pisces assumes the best in all people. In fact, it was probably a Pisces who coined, “innocent until proven guilty.”
A Pisces-hosted party is an interesting sight — people of all walks of life are welcome, as far as a Pisces is concerned.
9. They’re a little oversensitive.
And by a little, I mean a lot. Words cut deep with Pisces, so this might be why your Piscean friend hasn’t been as chatty lately.
Be careful with your words and be honest with how you feel because Pisces are also sensitive to others’ emotions. If you’re feeling stressed, a Pisces can feel it. Trust me.
10. They need role models.
… And they look for it in everyone. If you feel like a Pisces looks up to you, it’s probably because one does.
Without a role model, a Pisces feels lost and usually can’t decide what his or her next goal or step should be.
Author: Ilia Jones
It’s not easy loving a Pisces.
Members of this sign can be a bit wishy-washy and emotionally driven, and they’re constantly living in a dream-like state.
As a Pisces, I know all of my partners have had to, in one way or another, adjust and adapt to my ways.
What can I say? It’s difficult when you are naturally drawn to just going with the flow.
If you are in a relationship or looking to pursue a relationship with a Pisces, here are 10 things to keep in mind:
1. They seek true love.
Pisces need to feel loved, though they won’t always explicitly state it. Being with a Pisces is more than just sharing a bed or a home together; they seek a deep spiritual connection.
This could be due to our dreamy state, but Pisces want to believe true love can exist between two people.
2. They are devoted.
Of all the signs in the zodiac, Pisces are the most romantic and caring. They display their affection with beautifully romantic and elegant gestures, further demonstrating their creativity and devotion to their partners. Pisces let their hearts speak and rule over them.
3. They are intuitive.
Pisces always listen to their guts. They can sense when something is wrong or off.
If you are having a bad day, or maybe stayed out too late and don’t want to get in trouble with your partner, don’t try to lie to Pisces. They will call you on it.
4. The are passionate.
The sexuality of Pisces is very romantic and mystical. One of the biggest turn offs for a Pisces is crude behavior, as they prefer sweetness and passion.
Sex with a Pisces is intimate, passionate and mind-blowing. Pisces will always give!
5. They are deep.
Communicating with a Pisces can be difficult sometimes, as their thoughts can go down elaborate paths. Understanding and communicating with them requires you to follow their winding road of thoughts.
6. They are giving.
Pisces are notorious for their indecisiveness. When dating a Pisces, it has to be remembered they are givers, they’ll sacrifice and they are all about the flow.
Feel like watching a chick flick, but your Pisces wants action and gore? He’ll sit through and watch your movie without a peep because he is with you, and you are happy!
7. They need alone time.
Sometimes, when the tough get going, a Pisces will become a recluse and avoid everyone and anyone. Because of their high emotions, Pisces can become overwhelmed. They will need to escape, and this may come in the form of drugs, alcohol and thrill-seeking bad habits.
It’s important to show your support and be there for them when they are ready to come out of hiding. Like fish, they can startle easily and hide even longer.
8. They value simplicity.
Pisces enjoy simple pleasures. Yes, they enjoy the being with their friends, but they aren’t really a fan of large crowds.
When it comes to dates, Pisces would rather have a simple dinner than a crowded, elbow-to-elbow restaurant. That isn’t to say they wouldn’t mind these things on occasion, but balance is key.
9. They are dreamers.
Though Pisces love living in their dream worlds, the last thing they would want for you to do is pop their bubbles and ruin their illusions.
Though you may think it’s time for them to come back down to Earth, popping their bubbles is essentially shutting down who they truly are. Pisces can live and handle the two realities with ease, and it often contributes to their creativity and inspiration.
10. They’re loyal.
Pisces are not usually the ones to leave relationships.
Like the element of water of which they are a part of, they adapt to the container of life and the relationships they find themselves in.
Loving a Pisces can be hard at times, but know you will have their love forever. Their happiness will always be tied to making sure you are happy.
Author: Merylee Sevilla
In a perfect world, each person we interact with would be nice, kind, considerate, mindful, generous, and more. They would get our jokes and we would get theirs. We would all thrive in a convivial atmosphere where no one was ever cross, upset, or maligned.
However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Some people drive us crazy, and we (admittedly) drive a few mad as well. Those we dislike are inconsiderate, rushed, malign our character, question our motives, or just don’t get our jokes at all — but expect us to laugh at all theirs.
You might wonder whether it is possible to be fair to someone who ruffles you all the time, or someone you’d rather avoid eating lunch with. You might wonder if you should learn to like every person you meet.
According to Robert Sutton (a professor of management science at Stanford University), it’s neither possible — nor even ideal — to build a team comprised entirely of people you’d invite to a backyard barbecue.
That’s why smart people make the most out of people they don’t like. Here’s how they do it.
1. They accept that they are not going to like everyone.
Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking that we are nice people. We think that we are going to like everyone we interact with — even when that’s not going to happen. It’s inevitable you will encounter difficult people who oppose what you think. Smart people know this. They also recognize that conflicts or disagreements are a result of differences in values.
That person you don’t like is not intrinsically a bad human. The reason you don’t get along is because you have different values, and that difference creates judgment. Once you accept that not everyone will like you, and you won’t like everyone because of a difference in values, the realization can take the emotion out of the situation. That may even result in getting along better by agreeing to disagree.
2. They bear with (not ignore or dismiss) those they don’t like.
Sure, you may cringe at his constant criticism, grit your teeth at her lousy jokes, or shake your head at the way he hovers around her all the time, but feeling less than affectionate to someone might not be the worst thing. “From a performance standpoint, liking the people you manage too much is a bigger problem than liking them too little,” says Sutton.
“You need people who have different points of view and aren’t afraid to argue,” Sutton adds. “They are the kind of people who stop the organization from doing stupid things.” It may not be easy, but bear with them. It is often those who challenge or provoke us that prompt us to new insights and help propel the group to success. Remember, you are not perfect either, yet people still tolerate you.
3. They treat those they don’t like with civility.
Whatever your feelings are for someone, that person will be highly attuned to your attitude and behavior, and will likely reflect it back to you. If you are rude to them, they will likely throw away all decorum and be rude to you too. The onus; therefore, is on you to remain fair, impartial, and composed.
“Cultivating a diplomatic poker face is important. You need to be able to come across as professional and positive,” says Ben Dattner, an organizational psychologist and author of The Blame Game. This way you won’t stoop to their level or be sucked into acting the way they do.
4. They check their own expectations.
It’s not uncommon for people to have unrealistic expectations about others. We may expect others to act exactly as we would, or say the things that we might say in a certain situation. However, that’s not realistic. “People have ingrained personality traits that are going to largely determine how they react,” says Alan A. Cavaiola, PhD (psychology professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey). “Expecting others to do as you would do is setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.”
If a person causes you to feel exactly the same way every time, adjust your expectations appropriately. This way you’ll be psychologically prepared and their behavior will not catch you by surprise. Smart people do this all the time. They’re not always surprised by a dis-likable person’s behavior.
5. They turn inwards and focus on themselves.
No matter what you try, some people can still really get under our skin. It’s important that you learn how to handle your frustration when dealing with someone who annoys you. Instead of thinking about how irritating that person is, focus on why you are reacting the way you are. Sometimes what we don’t like in others is frequently what we don’t like in ourselves. Besides, they didn’t create the button, they’re only pushing it.
Pinpoint the triggers that might be complicating your feelings. You may then be able to anticipate, soften, or even alter your reaction. Remember: it’s easier to change your perceptions, attitude, and behavior than to ask someone to be a different kind of person.
6. They pause and take a deep breath.
Some personality characteristics may always set you off, says Kathleen Bartle (a California-based conflict consultant). Maybe it’s the colleague who regularly misses deadlines, or the guy who tells off-color jokes. Take a look at what sets you off and who’s pushing your buttons. That way, Bartle says, you can prepare for when it happens again.
According to her, “If you can pause and get a grip on your adrenaline pump and go to the intellectual part of your brain, you’ll be better able to have a conversation and to skip over the judgment.” A deep breath and one big step back can also help to calm you down and protect you from overreaction, thereby allowing you to proceed with a slightly more open mind and heart.
7. They voice their own needs.
If certain people constantly tick you off, calmly let them know that their manner of behavior or communication style is a problem for you. Avoid accusatory language and instead try the “When you . . . I feel . . .” formula. For example, Cacaiola advises you to tell that person, “When you cut me off in meetings, I feel like you don’t value my contributions.” Then, take a moment and wait for their response.
You may find that the other person didn’t realize you weren’t finished speaking, or your colleague was so excited about your idea that she enthusiastically jumped into the conversation.
8. They allow space between them.
If all else fails, smart people allow space between themselves and those they don’t like. Excuse yourself and go on your way. If at work, move to another room or sit at the other end of the conference table. With a bit of distance, perspective, and empathy, you may be able to come back and interact both with those people you like and those you don’t like as if unfazed.
Of course, everything would be easier if we could wish people we don’t like away. Too bad we all know that’s not how life works.
Featured photo credit: sachman75 via flickr.com
I’ll readily admit that I’d f*ck someone ugly if he were super smart. When a guy can challenge me intellectually, I literally get wet. I’m not even kidding right now.
When I see a guy in glasses, sitting behind a book on the train, I don’t even see anything else. I just want to jump him because he looks smart.
I am so into smart guys. I don’t even care if he’s an assh*le, as long as he’s smart AF.
I once had a man approach me at a cafe and ask me about a Russian novel I was reading because he also loved Solzhenitsyn. Needless to say, buddy boy got my number and into my pants two weeks later. Sorry not sorry.
I am a proud sapiosexual. And I am not alone. Generation Y is teeming with us.
A sapiosexual is someone who finds sexual stimulation from the way a person’s mind works. It means you literally are attracted to intelligence. Looks take a backseat to a person’s wit.
When you think about it, why shouldn’t the brain be the thing we’re attracted to? Why would you want muscles over conversation? Why would you want looks over books?
It’s the brain that makes the man or woman. Looks fade; knowledge is forever.
Science is finally getting behind what we’ve all known all along: Smart is sexy.
According to Diana Rabb, a PhD in transpersonal psychology:
The brain is the largest sex organ. Those who admit to being sapiosexual will say that they are turned on by the brain and tend to be teased or excited by the insights of another person.
Sound familiar? If you are anything like me, all you want is a troll with an amazing, dark sense of humor, cultural knowledge and a hankering for Salinger.
As foreplay, the sapiosexual person may crave philosophical, political or psychological discussions because this turns [him or her] on.
So for us, intelligence is the way to get us hot and bothered. If a man can engage in a healthy debate with us or make us think in a different way about something, that’s the first step to sex.
For some, foreplay is a little heavy petting, but not for the sapiosexuals of the world! A little talk of politics or our favorite authors and we are going to need to get it in immediately.
Ugh, I’m kind of turning myself on right now thinking about smart men in glasses telling me something about “Heart of Darkness” and allegories.
Sapiosexuality: It is a real thing.
Smart man, strong sperm.
Researchers from the University of Mexico have found a connection between a man’s virility and his intelligence.
The study tested the sperm of 400 men after putting them through intense mental testing.
Those with higher IQs directly correlated with having healthy sperm. Therefore, smart men have the strongest sperm.
Women are attracted to intelligence because their ovaries can sense that choosing a smart mate means a better chance of having babies.
Women are all about getting the best sperm to make their babies. We’re selective like that.
If you like his brain, you’re going to like his sperm.
High intelligence, high sex drive.
Research conducted by the sex toy company Lovehoney found a direct connection with high IQ and libido.
As reported in Medical Daily, the company found that students from “elite” universities were among the most frequent toy buyers. So, it’s the smartest among us who are also the most sexual.
While the research shows the amount of sex you’re having may be inversely related to your intelligence, your sex drive is actually more rigorous.
So if you’re dating a man or woman who is especially brainy, you can probably bet he or she is going to be especially horny as well. Who doesn’t want to be having more sex?
As a highly sexual woman, I have to say this is wonderful news. Smart sex is good sex.
We feel like we have something to prove to our parents.
If you go home with someone, and he doesn’t have a lot of books, don’t f*ck ’em! – John Waters
I see this quote everywhere these days, from tweets to Instas. This generation has rallied around intelligence.
Despite what older generations may think, Gen-Y is a generation of readers and writers. We’re thinkers and creatives more than anything else. We dream big.
We crave knowledge. We want to understand the world around us. Since we’re constantly faulted for our love of selfies, Instagram and partying, we’ve started to push back against the backlash.
We’ve started a Millennial movement around being smart. It isn’t attractive to be stupid.
We revere intelligence and see it as sexually appealing because we want to show the world how smart we actually are.
Take that, Gen-X! Take that, Mom!
We aren’t wrapped up in our gym selfies and food pictures; we’re wrapped up in Steinbeck and Socrates.
We want to show how far we’ve come cerebrally despite all of this technology and vacuous bullsh*t we’re surrounded by.
Dumb is never cute.
We’re trying to get our hands on everything we can to improve ourselves. If you’re not smart, you’re not appealing.
Your mind is the sexiest thing you have. If we can win people over with the wit of our personalities instead of our looks, we’ve emerged victorious.
We’re writing on every forum we can get our name on. We’re devouring paperbacks on the subway.
We’re looking down on anyone without a college degree, and we’re absorbing all of the information the Internet can provide for us.
We’re utilizing our resources for the greater good.
Despite how superficial and narcissistic we’re made out to be, we’re actually the most highly educated and authentic people out there.
We’re attracted to intelligence because we understand its worth. We can see past the emptiness of celebrity gossip and reality television and into what is really important.
We love with our minds first and our hearts second.
Author: Gigi Engle, Gigi Engle is a Staff Writer for Elite Daily, covering all things sex and love related. She’s completely insane, but in a good way. Follow her on Facebook, Insta and Twitter @GigiEngle
Source: Elite Daily
Over the course of our lives, we run across all types of people—and the fact that we’re prone to classifying them as “types” shows just how much we tend to believe that people are certain ways by nature. The truth is, many aspects of our personalities and emotional make-ups are brought on over time by the psychological habits we have adopted: the ways in which we interpret events, the thoughts that run through our heads like clockwork, and the explanations we give ourselves for how the world works. Few people would endorse wanting to become bitter and negative human beings, and yet it’s not an uncommon sight to see, especially for people who have experienced more than their share of tough times. Want to have a more hopeful and optimistic outlook on life? See if you can diminish the following mental habits, and go from there.
1) Not forgiving others. Many people equate forgiveness with forgetting that something happened altogether or saying that it was okay that it did. That’s not what forgiveness is about. And many people claim that they have forgiven someone for something, and yet in reality, they have not. What real forgiveness means is allowing yourself to be free from the resentment of having been wronged, to accept that something has occurred and to believe that you deserve to move on from it. It’s to declare your independence from perseverating on how to get revenge on another person, to stop dwelling on how to make them “make up for it” and continuing to let that corrode your emotional well-being. It is letting go in its healthiest, truest sense. Forgiveness doesn’t minimize the wrongness of someone’s actions. It just allows you to no longer be hurt by them. Forgiveness is associated with reduced depression, stress, and hostility, and improved self-esteem and even physical health. When you look at its benefits, you’ll see it’s about being kind to yourself, not doing a favor for someone else.
2) Not forgiving yourself. Even more kind is allowing yourself to move on from your own mistakes. Regret, embarrassment, shame, and guilt from a single mistake can haunt you for years. And the ensuing negative thoughts, stress, and pessimistic outlook on life can create a dynamic where you view the world in a bitter way—all because you feel like you are unworthy of feeling okay. In fact, forgiving yourself has been shown to help reduce feelings of depression. If you find yourself plagued by thoughts of past mistakes, start noticing and exploring them. When are they at their worst? What feelings do they bring on? What makes them go away? If you are locked in a never-ending fight with the thoughts, trying to “reason” your way out of them, see if instead you can learn to accept their presence without endorsing their meaning. “I’m having the thought again about the time I really was cruel to my parents. Hi, thought. I hear you there. You can’t hurt me right now, though, because I’m deciding what to have for lunch.”
3) All-or-none thinking. It is amazing how frequently all-or-none thinking seems to underlie such a variety of unhealthy psychological states. From panic to low self-esteem, from perfectionism to hopelessness, it is not uncommon to uncover hidden and not-so-hidden patterns of this dysfunctional thinking in my clients when they are struggling with a negative worldview. What all-or-none thinking does, by its very definition, is make your outlook on life more rigid. It magnifies negativity by making it appear bigger than it really is. It keeps your mind focusing on what’s gone wrong rather than what’s gone right, and it sets you up to see the bad in people, things, and life more often than the good. See if you can catch yourself making this mistake in daily life. Are you inherently uncomfortable with shades of gray, and do you prefer things to be more black-and-white? That might be good for organizing a closet, but when it comes to how you process bad things happening, it can hurt you.
4) Holding others to a higher standard than you hold yourself. When you are constantly disappointed and annoyed with people around you, it could mean that you are having an unlucky break and not being treated the way you deserve. It could also mean that you are choosing ill-fitting people to accompany you throughout life. Or, more likely, it could mean that you have a set of overly rigid standards for other people’s behavior that you don’t apply to yourself. In fact, sometimes we are hardest on others when we see our own traits in them—things that we don’t like to admit or look at. Seeing them in others makes us uncomfortable. Like the classic hypocrite who crusades against sins far smaller than the one he or she commits in their private life, it’s bound to create a disconnect within us that causes stress, hostility, and negativity. Examine what’s really going on when you’re chronically frustrated with someone, whether it’s the stranger in the left-hand turn lane or your messy roommate. Are you looking at the whole picture? What if you, instead of bathing in the negative energy, chose to reflect on the last time you made a mistake and the way it may have looked to others? Sending empathy to others, even when you least want to, can be a surprisingly powerful tool to take away the anger.
5) Believing that things will never get better. Severe hopelessness can be particularly dangerous, putting people at increased risk for depression and even suicide. But even milder beliefs about how things will never improve can do significant damage day-to-day. “My sister will never get her act together,” “I’ll never be able to pay off my student loans,” and “The world is a bad place and getting worse” are all beliefs that show hopelessness and can blind a person to significant evidence to the contrary. A lifetime is, for most of us, a decades-long ride that sees many highs and many lows, and many ebbs and many flows. Believing that there is a downward trajectory obstructs the beauty of everyday things and keeps you hopelessly and inaccurately believing negative ideas—giving them a staying power in you that they don’t deserve. Imagine how much peace you can feel simply by allowing yourself to believe that harmonious and beautiful things are out there in the world, yet to be experienced. It takes practice to see them, but they are there and always will be.
6) Believing you have less control over your life than you really do. Learned helplessness, first identified by Martin Seligman, involves the belief that we don’t have control over our situations even in cases when we do, and so we convince ourselves we shouldn’t even bother to try. This mindset has been shown to be correlated with depression, and for some people it follows a period of time when they really did not have much control over their lives—perhaps suffering from abuse or neglect, for example. But when the beliefs that we have no power persist after we, in actuality, have gained power back, we deny ourselves the potential to make our lives better. And we increase the likelihood that we view the world as an inherently demoralizing place, convincing ourselves that we can’t make a difference. The more that we can feel that we can steer our own ship, the more we can build a life that suits us. Are you underestimating your ability to get out of that dead-end job, find a partner that treats you well, or develop a peaceful resolution to your years-long fight with your brother? If so, you are doing yourself a great disservice—and increasing your chances of letting your mindset harden into a bitter one.
7) Believing the myth of arrival. The myth of arrival refers to the idea that once you have “arrived” at a certain point in your life, everything will fall into place and the life you have waited for will finally begin. But sometimes this belief, that things will automatically get better once a certain thing happens, can be nearly as damaging as believing that things will never improve, because the former sets you up for a devastating letdown when things actually don’t get better. “Once I finally meet the one/get my promotion/lose those twenty pounds/live in a bigger house/get my kids settled into independent and successful lives… then I’ll be happy” are common ways of thinking. But putting our happiness on hold and in the hands of a random life event that may or may not have any effect whatsoever on our happiness is giving way too much power to an external situation and not nearly enough to ourselves. It robs us of the ability to find joy on our own terms. It makes us miss the proverbial journey because we’re so over-focused on the destination. And worst of all, it sets us up for the crash that comes when we realize that it wasn’t those twenty pounds that were making us depressed—it was the fact that we were depressed, for different reasons entirely, that made us put on twenty pounds in the first place.
8) Overgeneralizing. It was one of the “cognitive errors” that Aaron Beck first identified as putting people at higher risk for depression, and it often manifests itself in believing that if you fail at one thing, you will fail at everything. The tendency to overgeneralize—to turn a setback into a mountain from a molehill—also underlies a lot of people’s thinking patterns who have pervasive negative views of the world outside of themselves. Sometimes this type of thinking can even look like paranoia (“Give anyone an inch, and they will take a mile” or “Just about everyone will take advantage of you if you let them.”) It’s true that not every human being out there is a paragon of virtue, but it’s also true that there is a heck of a lot of goodness if you look for it. And just because there are scammers out there doesn’t mean that you should stop helping those who aren’t. After all, helping others gives us a mood boost. Examine your beliefs to see if you are—against all available evidence—overgeneralizing the world into a dangerous or hostile place, which may show hostility coming from within.
9) Not practicing gratitude. By now you’ve probably heard it, and I’ve written about it in this very space: Being grateful for things big and small brings big changes to your mentalhealth. It is much harder to be bitter about your late-arriving dinner (“I AM NEVER COMING TO THIS RESTAURANT AGAIN!“) and have it ruin your whole night if you allow yourself to acknowledge how gorgeous the blooming trees outside the restaurant window were while you waited, or the fact that you are able to afford to pay someone to cook you a meal at all, or the fact that you were with someone who could make you laugh, no matter how much your stomachs were growling. Some people may think that gratitudemeditation or keeping a list of things that you’re grateful for is hokey. But would you rather be a little hokey or be the person who goes their whole life without the mental and physical health benefits (lessened depression, improved immune system functioning and heart health, among many others) that gratitude brings?
Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., is a speaker and licensed clinical psychologist. She is the author ofThe Friendship Fix and an upcoming book about the psychology of everyday life (stay tuned!), and serves on the faculty of Georgetown University. Her mental health advice column Baggage Check has appeared in the Washington Post Express for more than eleven years. She speaks to audiences large and small about relationships, motivation, and work-life balance and is a television commentator about mental health issues. Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter!
Source: Psychology Today
Attending Catholic school in Brooklyn, I felt loved by the Catholic nun who was my second grade teacher. But one cold morning that quickly changed.
We were lining up to enter the classroom when the nun suddenly shouted, “Spit out the gum!” Being a good Catholic boy, I’d never consider flaunting the rules, so I was stunned by the accusation. “I’m not chewing gum, I feebly replied.”
I was confident that my protestation would resolve the matter. But my innocence was shattered again: “Yes you are chewing gum,” the nun insisted. “Don’t lie!”
Ouch! I could feel my stomach churning and a horrible sinking feeling to be assaulted by a second accusation. Sinking into deeper trouble, I wondered if I should dare to protest again.
I trusted that if I spoke the truth, justice would prevail. Mustering some sheepish courage, I muttered: “But I’m not lying… look!” I opened my mouth so that she could witness the lack of evidence. The final blow to my dignity and innocence descended when she coldly responded, “That’s because you just swallowed it!”
Yikes! Nothing I could say or do would disabuse her of her perception. I was in an emotional prison with no “get-out-of-jail-free” card. I felt powerless, helpless — a tragic character in a Kafka-esque nightmare. The negative mirroring damaged the interpersonal bridge, which creates shame, as Gershen Kaufman discusses. Our relationship was never the same again.
I now understand this episode as an initiation into the rough and tumble of real life, where oftentimes we’re not seen as we really are. Being condemned as guilty evoked the shame of being falsely accused, disrespected, and bad. In psychological terms, I recognize this incident as an early attachment injury — a relational trauma that, if unrepaired, tends to be carried into our adult lives and relationships.
If you can identify with my experience, know that you’re not alone. The first step toward healing old shame and attachment trauma is to recognize it. There’s nothing shameful about acknowledging the multiple ways we’ve been injured in our lives — and realizing how it has affected our tender heart.
Softening Our Wound Activation
As a marriage and family therapist, I often see couples who unknowingly step into the minefield of each other’s old wounds. False indictments of having an affair or being attracted to other men or women, or other bogus accusations can reactivate old traumas. It’s impossible to defend oneself when the accuser’s mind is made up. There’s no way to produce evidence of one’s innocence. Continued protestations fall flat when a partner insists that they’re right and that you’re in denial.
How can we deal with such a quandary? Responding defensively to false accusations may only add fuel to the unfounded attacks. But saying nothing may convey that we’re guilty as charged.
Here are some guidelines that may help soften the cycle of accusations and defensiveness–and the resulting isolation and loneliness. And, of course, couples therapy may be helpful when couples reach such an impasse.
1. Be Gentle with Your Old Wounds
When you are feeling falsely accused, notice whether old wounds are getting activated. Does this remind you of something from the past? Is it evoking the sorrow or loneliness of not being seen or is it reminding you of painful breaches of the interpersonal bridge of trust?
If old, painful memories are surfacing, be gentle with yourself. Practice self-soothing by taking some slow, deep breaths. Bring a friendly mindfulness toward the sensations in your body that are getting activated; hold these feelings in a caring, gentle way.
2. Be Sensitive to Each Other’s Wounded Places
We all carry old attachment wounds. Revealing old wounds — letting your partner see your areas of vulnerability and sensitivity — may evoke empathy and understanding. Then, when you’re being falsely accused or attacked, you might reveal what’s getting touched in you rather than getting defensive or irate.
Maybe say something like: “When you ask if I’m having an affair, it really hurts me. I don’t know how to reassure you that I’m not. It touches an old place of not being seen and trusted.”
Perhaps your partner’s accusations are signaling old betrayal wounds or not receiving enough verbal reassurance or affection. If these wounds and needs were uncovered and expressed more directly, they might be heard more easily. If your partner is not able to express this, do your best to be gentle with their felt sense of insecurity, as well as being more present in the relationship.
3. Know that You’re on Solid Ground
When you’re falsely accused, know that there’s something going on with your partner. Perhaps some old hurt or fear is getting activated in them. Take a deep breath, stay in your body, and realize that this is about them, not about you.
Knowing that you’re on solid ground may help you to self-soothe rather than feel compelled to defend yourself — assuming that you are on solid ground (there is no affair, etc.). Maintaining your sense of self-worth and not succumbing to shame, you’re better positioned to hear the deeper feelings or insecurities that your loved one is trying to convey, even if their manner of delivery is difficult to hear.
Close relationships are the place where our deepest longings arise — and where our fear of loss of connection can be activated. Being gently attentive to what is arising within ourselves and being empathic to our partner’s wounds can help heal old injuries, build trust, and deepen intimacy.
John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT is author of the award-winning book about relationships as a spiritual path, DancingwithFire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships. His other books include The Authentic Heart and Love & Betrayal. He has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for 35 years in the San Francisco Bay area and has lectured and conducted workshops internationally.
Deviant Art image by machihuahua
Source: Psychology Today