Monthly Archives: February 2015

How Constructively Confronting Our Emotions Can Make Us Happier

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No one enjoys experiencing negative emotions. After all, they’re painful. Our brains are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. As such, we suppress jealously, envy, shame, embarrassment, guilt, fear and anxiety, berating ourselves for feeling that way. We associate these feelings with weakness, suffering in silence and isolation.   Constructively confronting our negative emotions, without abandoning our emotional selves, […]

Classic Defense Mechanisms: The Good and the Bad, Part 2

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As a follow-up to my last blog, here are some helpful tips for recognizing defense mechanisms, and strategies to help counter them: 1. Keep a journal. Set aside time each day to write about your feelings. It will help you gain clarity and context. 2. Try to identify the feelings you might be avoiding by using […]

Classic Defense Mechanisms: The Good and the Bad

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Defense mechanisms keep us in check and balanced. But, as with most things in life, there are healthy defense mechanisms (which prevent us from acting out in negative ways) and unhealthy ones (which simply make things worse). DMs help us manage our unconscious and unacceptable thoughts and urges, curbing anxiety and the other negative feelings […]

The Perils of Black-and-White Thinking

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Black-and-white thinking—also known as polarized or all-or-nothing thinking—occurs when we process people and circumstances as either “all good ” or “all bad.” In such a mindset, tasks must be done in a certain way and lead to a specific outcome. When those lofty expectations aren’t met, black-and-white thinkers often see themselves as failures and are unable to […]

How to Change A Midlife Crisis to A Midlife Transformation

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Midlife is often a time of contradictions. On one hand, many psychologists have defined midlife, like adolescence, as a time of “Sturm und Drang”—emotional and mental disquiet. Others believe individuals in midlife have fewer psychological symptoms, higher levels of marital satisfaction, and, in general, better life satisfaction. The term “midlife crisis” was first identified by […]

Coping with Holiday-Related Stress

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For many women, the holiday season represents an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones, a time to create pleasant memories, and to make up for the other part of the year that we may have felt we were not being a good enough mother, wife, daughter, sister or friend. We send holiday cards to people […]

Striking a Healthy Balance Between Age and Beauty

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I recently had the opportunity to speak with Vivian Diller, Ph.D. the author of Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change, which is a book about helping women strike a healthy balance between letting their looks matter and accepting the inevitable fact that their looks will change as they age. As a […]

Patterns of Overeating in Women

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Many articles have been written about women and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, but little has been written about women and emotional eating, also known as binge eating. Everyone overeats from time to time: taking an extra helping at holiday dinners or overeating during periods of high stress, for example, when coping with […]