Read our posts about mind

Why Self-Compassion is as Important as Self-Esteem

Why Self-Compassion is as Important as Self-Esteem

My eleven-year-old daughter was complaining about her friend Mary. ‘She’s keeps boasting about her new school,’ she confided, looking despondent. ‘It’s got the most amazing netball courts and clubs for everything...and she’s got much nicer clothes than me...' As she began to sob, spouting a familiar litany about how her life was so much worse than Mary’s, I thought of Kristen Neff. She’s an American academic from Houston, who has put numbers to what I’ve long suspected as the mother of two daughters: the competition game starts young, and girls in particular...
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Under Pressure: Societal Goals and Stress

Under Pressure: Societal Goals and Stress

Failure to achieve important goals induces stress. Although some of these important goals (such as the need for control, competence and relationships) are universal, there are substantial variations between societies in the way goals are expressed. People’s goals are determined to a large extent by the society in which they live. If, within a particular society, high value is placed on things that most people achieve, then most people will experience few stressors. However, if high value is placed on things that few achieve, then many people will experience...
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How To Deal with Passive Aggressive Behaviour

How To Deal with Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Passive aggressive behaviour can be one of the most difficult behaviours to deal with because it’s expressed in obscure, underhand ways. The person may appear passive on the surface but is really acting out their resistance towards you in an indirect or hidden way. When someone is behaving with disguised hostility, they don’t reveal their true motives and you end up tying yourself in knots trying to work out what’s going on. You may find yourself getting upset and angry but can’t be entirely sure it is justified. Passive aggressive behaviour: verbal Typically,...
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Why Do People Respond to Stress Differently?

Why Do People Respond to Stress Differently?

People experience and respond to stress in different ways. There are seven reasons why this happens: 1) Personality There are several dimensions of personality, but the most important dimension, the one that explains most varience, is neuroticism versus stability. The term ‘neurotic’ has a meaning in common usage and one that isn’t flattering. By contrast, to the psychologist, the dimension of neuroticism - or negative affectivity - is simply a dimension on which people vary and should not imply a value judgement. Nice people can be neurotic! A person high in...
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Writing Music to Overcome Depression

Writing Music to Overcome Depression

One afternoon I had a moment of clarity and wrote all of the words, in one prolific sitting, to a song for my Dad. He moved to America when I was four and I dragged a heavy anchor of anger and disappointment behind me most of my life as a result. I describe in the piano ballad how I was confused and missed him as a child, felt that he didn't know me as a teenager, as an adult I needed him and finally in the present day, I forgave him. Along with a very long letter, I sent this song, which I called ’The Gift’, to my Dad in the mail. It was the closure that I...
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