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Centerpointe Research

Mental health

Happiness Is Contagious

The lilt in your voice, the smile in your eyes are contagious.  Happiness is the most contagious with little kids.  It is easy to improve their mood by doing this.happiness-is-contagious-wx-70842

We often look without seeing, hear without listening.  We miss so much precious information when we are in too much of a hurry to go somewhere or do something to spend the time to process it.  It is surprising to discover that the smiles of children sparkle; their voices tinkle with a tune.  Little children spread happiness and it is contagious.

Usually if we can’t accept what we are hearing or seeing, we just deny it.  Psychically other people can be an open book if we are reading their expressions to get more information about them so we can understand them better and help them.

English: A Swedish box of chocolates called &q...

English: A Swedish box of chocolates called “Aladdin” (top layer, identical to the bottom layer). Svenska: Den svenska chokladasken “Aladdin” (övre lagret, identiskt med undre lagret). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spread the word.  Life can be a bowl or cherries or a box of chocolates if you want it to be.  Ever start the day by getting out on the wrong side of the bed?  That has serious repercussions.  Pay attention to how you start the day and do it in a different way for your own sake.

 

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Bringing The Light To All, Answering Life’s Questions

Bringing the Light to all and consulting on life changes.  Please join me here as I further my goal in life of helping others answer life’s questions.  No, I didn’t start out this way.  I was lost as many of you were or maybe still are.sun on hand gesture

Some may call this wisdom, the knowledge that I have gained.  Some may think that I have had a life changing experience or experiences, a painful one or ones at that.  Maybe the pain is what led me to seek different methods of self-help and ultimately led me to dedicate myself to the spiritual side of psychology, mindfulness, Carl Jung, and…

It all seemed to start with some unanswered questions about my life purpose, the universe, and the future.  I would like to share these answers that I have found with you and helping you at the same time to recognize that you may have had some of these questions too and even came up with the same answers.  You are not alone.

At first life’s  the answers I found may have not seemed to fit and even made me more uncomfortable than the facts that I was brought up with.  I didn’t think that so many people in this world could be wrong.

Also I have found over the years that some of the answers I did originally find find no longer worked.  I had the idea that when one made life decisions, career, marriage, children, etc. that they would stick with them.  Also I felt that only certain answers were acceptable and that what I liked to do was not necessarily what I should do.

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical...

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical psychology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also I often picked reasons for doing things that while they were the easiest were not the best.  For example, I picked a Big Ten graduate school close to home that offered a clinical psychology program (my preferred area of interest).  What I didn’t realize then was that I had to find a professor whose area of interest in research was something I would be comfortable with as I would have to do a masters thesis and maybe a dissertation in this area.

The type of practical courses offered by the school in clinical psychology were taught by these same professors whose real area of interest was research, not clinical practice.   Also some of their research was aimed at discrediting those who performed psychological evaluations and did psychotherapy.

Carl Jung integrated psychology with spirituality

The answers I found were not all out there; but they were found within.  Along the way, I found I was not alone in my search.  Others had the same yearning I did to find the answers.  Others like Carl Jung had gone on the same journey and could lead the way.

 

 

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Facing Your Past Anxieties

Anxiety

Anxiety (Photo credit: Joana Roja – work and migraines – coming back..)

Facing your past anxieties is difficult.  Just when you think you have faced them all, something new comes up.  I become down right unreasonable, short with other people, and reclusive.  Anything you are afraid of facing like being unsure about your self, damaging a relationship, etc. can occur.

I have been fighting it rigorously for the past five years with mindfulness and meditation.  These two techniques can help you in facing your past anxieties, but they can’t eliminate them all.

You ultimately have to form your own theories about psychology and then begin to implement them and see if they work.  I have been cultivating a positive attitude and am working on being less judgmental of myself and others.  Working on yourself is important whether you do it with a form of self-help or you do it in a group or you do it with a therapist or counselor.  Some people find that their religious beliefs do this for them.

 

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Anger Causes You Stress

Anger Controlls Him

Anger Controlls Him (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anger causes you stress.  Anger can eat you from the inside out..  It is usually not your servant.  Something happens and you have to blame someone, somebody else or yourself.  This (you probably think) will give you more control over your life.

Not that anger will solve anything especially if you don’t do something with it.  We have all heard of the flight or fight response.  Your body gets ready physically to do one or the other.  When these changes are short-term and occur when you are ready to use them, they can be helpful, not harmful.  If they result in a prolonged alarm response, then they can be harmful.  They are there to motivate a person to react.

Externalization therapy, ala Dr. Elisabeth-Kubler Ross, encourages the expression

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

of these sometimes harmful emotions.  You can beat a pillow, tear up a phone book, scream, or cry to release them.  Doing this can also result in other people in the group who are watching becoming upset about their own problems and needing to do some externalization work too.  No comments by the persons watching on the persons doing this technique are allowed.

Anger can be like a freight train coming toward you which increases in speed the closer it gets.  How can anybody be reasonable in this situation?  Yes, you can count to ten, leave the situation, decide to discuss the problem later when tempers are not hot.

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Intellectualization

Intellectualization occurs when you tend to explain everything away.  People say you are

Cast of characters in The Big Bang Theory. Fro...

Cast of characters in The Big Bang Theory. From left: Howard Wolowitz, Leonard Hofstadter, Penny, Sheldon Cooper and Rajesh Koothrappali. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

all in your head. You ignore your gut feelings and you tend to be less emotional than other people.  You try to find an explanation for everything.  However, you may be unconsciously programed to react in a certain way without thinking about it and can’t find an explanation for why you do what you do.  Things in the unconscious are unconscious and that is why you don’t know why you are doing what you do.

Intellectualization goes hand in hand with blocking in psychotherapy.  This occurs when a person starts to remember something and immediately forgets what it was.  Things in the unconscious are there for a reason and remembering them can be uncomfortable and therefore, they get blocked.  Emotions are attached to these memories which are repressed and feeling these emotions is unacceptable for various reasons.  Episodes of abuse are often forgotten and not remembered because of the horrible memories attached to them and the fear that telling someone might result in rejection or death.

Intellectualization occurs in persons for whom being emotional usually is unacceptable and for whom giving a reason for doing something is more often acceptable.  The problem with denying feelings is that a person can become unemotional and not experience good feelings as well as bad.  Geeks and nerds are often considered to be unemotional in this way.  For an example of this watch The Big Bang Theory.  Of course being overly emotional can be also unacceptable too.  This type of character has also been successfully portrayed in situation comedies and comedy sketches as well.

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Suicide, What’s The Matter

I have a hard time with condemning people to hell and with not burying suicide victims in a consecrated cemetery.  Even those who believe in reincarnation do not give an

inch.  Victims have toDetail of The Death of Socrates. A disciple is...

come right back and deal with the same situation that was associated with their suicides.  I have noted recently a change in attitudes toward homosexuality and homosexual marriage by politicians who have discovered that at least one member of their family is a homosexual.  What next?  Will there be a change in some prominent people’s attitudes towards suicide when one of their family dies that way?

Suicide is often committed when people are experiencing the dark night of their soul.  Mother Teresa had one of these experiences, but I don’t know if she thought of taking her own life when it happened.  At one point I even thought of giving my own life (which I felt was worthless except for this purpose) so that others could be saved.  Martyrdom is overrated.  How can people come to think of themselves as so worthless?

People are constantly competing with each other to be better than somebody else.  Some people become suicidal when they think that they have lost this competition.  Others have so many demons that their life is torture.  For some people dying a “natural” death is so agonizing and costly for the survivors that they want to save themselves from the torture and not handicap the survivors who are already grieving with medical and funeral bills. Combat veterans realistically relive the horrifying nightmare of combat over and over again without any relief.

Believe it or not, I am not encouraging suicide.  I am just trying to get you to see the state of mind that some people are in when they are thinking about suicide.  At the time, there appears to be no way out, but suicide.  Suicidal people often feel that they are alone and friendless and have exhausted all other ways to solve their problems.

Wait a minute.  There are  people (often with personality disorders) who repeatedly make suicidal gestures, but even they can miscalculate and commit suicide when they didn’t intend to.  A dosage they thought was not lethal turns out to be lethal or the person that they counted on to rescue them does not turn up on time.

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Being Self-Objective

It is very scarey when you realize that the people around you, especially the people in positions of power, are not being honest with themselves let alone other people.  Realistic self-confidence is healthy, but unrealistic self-confidence is dangerous not only for the person who has it but also for others.  The best source of knowledge a person can have is that of persons including him or herself who are willing and able to tell a person the truth no matter how unsettling.  People make mistakes; they make the wrong decisions; they overlook a vital necessary fact or source of information; and they are afraid to admit it because of the feared consequences.  People around this person collude with them because they fear the power and authority that person wields.  The higher up you go the more likely this is to happen.

This can happen in psychology and psychiatry when professionals are making (sometimes) life or death decisions.  One theory of psychotherapy is to help a person to be more honest with themselves and to be more open and honest about what they do and why they do it.  If the therapist can’t be a role model for the patient, he or she is either a fake and/or feels very insecure in the position that they have put themselves in.  No one is a saint and the person most likely to admit this is a person who others would call a saint.  The problem is that viewing the practice of psychology or psychiatry as a business does not promote the career of a mental health professional who develops wisdom and with it the requisite self-knowledge.  Materialism and the welding of power have been made more important than promoting the health and happiness of mankind.

In a perverse way, lack of self-confidence can promote dishonesty and deception.  People can make wrong decisions in an attempt to prove that they are the one in power.  They may have made a mistake but can or will not admit it and then it requires that they implement other equally wrong decisions to support the idea that they were right about the first decision or decisions

Confidence and Paranoia

Confidence and Paranoia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Middle Way

Being so bound up in life that everything that happens creates drama is not the way to live. It is better toMiddle Way, Summertown, Oxford

take the middle way. Taking the middle way does not mean that you don’t have any feelings; but it does mean that you don’t get so excited or upset that you can not think rationally. It is okay to cry or get mad but not to the point that you overreact and do something which you might regret later. Being suicidal or homicidal is not taking the middle way. Things happen and life goes on anyway. Grieving is a natural process which leads towards the eventual but not necessarily a quick acceptance of the loss.  Anger can be handled by writing in a place that is for your eyes only such as in a journal. It can be acted out safely by beating a pillow with your fists. We should not let negative emotions ruin our lives and crowd out positive emotions such as joy and love. Enjoy positive emotions, but don’t let them go to your head. It is wonderful to fall in love with your heart , but it is not safe to ignore subtle signs that this person might not be as wonderful as we initially thought that he or she was. Don’t lose your head when experiencing a strong emotion. That new car that you love might be a gas guzzler and expensive to drive. Take the middle way.

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Second Guessing

(Photo credit: the|G|™)”]housewife [derogation]It was part of my upbringing and now I do it myself.  When I am second, third, even fourth guessing my decisions, I don’t get anything done.  There is a human dynamo around here that must not second guess herself.  She does as much in one day as three ordinary people would do.  God, bless her.

Anticipating people’s behavior is another problem.  I get out of the way before someone else tells me and we sometimes bump heads because of this.  Second guessing this way is part  of a learned pattern aimed making the doer more secure.  Security is one of our basic needs.  Housewives and moms stayed home in the past and depended on their husbands to survive.  If the husband was unhappy, everybody was unhappy.  He even might abandon them to their own resources.  Not too far to from  homelessness, is it?

You can never second guess what a person will say or do if you ask them for their opinion.  Confrontations don’t happen sometimes because of an ongoing conversation in the head with me, myself, and I discussing what the other person will say, how they might react, and what this would do to me.Second guessing leads to low self-esteem.  The person doesn’t trust him or her self.  He or she may focus on all the mistakes he or she made and not on the things that turned out right.  It also results from a regime as a kid where criticism is over-utilized.

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Do You Think About What You Do

Defence mechanisms

Defence mechanisms (Photo credit: kevin dooley)

Or do you just do it?  Is your intuition leading you in the right direction?  Or are you often finding that your intentions are misunderstood?  You don’t always create the right impression.  You can’t make the other person react the way you want them to react and/or make them react the way other people have reacted in the past for you.

You need to be alert and sensitive as to how the other person you are dealing with is accepting your contribution.  The sooner that you pick up on the fact that this particular action of yours is not going over well or being taken in the way that it has been taken by others in the past the sooner you can set things right.

Often people blame the other person for not taking it well and don’t consider their own contribution to the problem.  This leads to the use of various defense mechanisms by the person who does not recognize that acknowledging the other person’s reaction is better than denying it, rationalizing it away, or forcing the other person to accept their interpretation of it.

This often happens in abusive situations where the aim of the person is to control the other person’s behavior.  Passive aggression and mental abuse often accompany this type of behavior.  This person, rather than admitting that he or she did something wrong as far as the other person was concerned, continues to reinforce the idea that they were just teasing, were misunderstood, or didn’t mean what he or she said.

 

 

 

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