Date Tags advice

If a manuscript is rejected for publication, researchers think it's due to the arbitrary selection of a particularly critical reviewer, as opposed to the quality of what they wrote. You can use a watch to time your session, but don't peek at it every two minutes to see how you are doing. Your concentration will be completely lost, and agitation will set in. You'll find yourself hoping to get up before the session is over. That's not meditation--that's clock watching. Don't look at the clock until you think the whole meditation period has passed. Actually, you don't need to consult the clock at all, at least not every time you meditate. In general, you should be sitting for as long as you want to sit. There is no magic length of time. It is best, however, to set yourself a minimum length of time. If you haven't predetermined a minimum, you'll find yourself prone to short sessions. You'll bolt every time something unpleasant comes up or whenever you feel restless. That's no good. These experiences are some of the most profitable a meditator can face, but only if you sit through them. You've got to learn to observe them calmly and clearly. Look at them mindfully. When you've done that enough times, they lose their hold on you. You see them for what they are: just impulses, arising and passing away, just part of the passing show. Your life smoothes out beautifully as a consequence. "Discipline" is a difficult word for most of us.

It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you're wrong. But self-discipline is different. It's the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. It's all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page won't do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up--restlessness, anxiety, impatience, pain--just watch it come up and don't get involved. Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline. It is patience. Codependency is difficult to define, but it is sometimes referred to as "relationship addiction" because it involves excessive emotional or psychological reliance on another person, typically someone with significant needs of their own. Codependency is common among people struggling with mental health issues because it usually arises from unresolved childhood trauma and deep feelings of worthlessness, the very things that fuel depression. Compulsive buying is a disorder recognized by mental health professionals, thought to have roots in a poorly regulated search for validation and identity through material purchases, among other causes.

Whatever the origin, an addiction to shopping frequently results in adverse consequences--in the areas of financial well-being, relationships, depression, and anxiety. Based on research we've already discussed, gambling is the only behavior formally recognized as an addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It leads to a host of negative outcomes, including severe depression. In psychological parlance called "Body Dysmorphic Disorder," this condition is an excellent example of an otherwise healthy behavior that can spin out of control and lead to adverse life consequences. A person addicted to exercise will spend too much time at the activity, to the detriment of their professional and personal life; will exercise to the point of physical harm; and may experience withdrawal anxiety when their routine is interrupted. In the next chapter, we will talk at length about how unresolved toxic emotions--anger, fear, and guilt--contribute to depression. But the unregulated expression of anger, in outbursts of rage and even physical violence, can become a compulsive behavior beyond a person's ability to manage. For that person, losing control becomes the only way to get relief from runaway emotion. That leads directly to the other two toxic emotions: fear of losing relationships and guilt at being unable to improve. Combined, these form the perfect recipe for depression. That's a daunting list of addictive substances and behaviors. There is no point in pretending that tackling one or more of these in yourself will be easy, quick, or simple. It will take committed focus and effort. But the good news is, dealing with your addictions will immediately pay off in every area of your life--including mental health. The short-term benefit of clinging to compulsive behavior pales in comparison to the priceless treasure of freedom, health, and well-being. So, where do you start? With detox. No matter what substance or behavior has you trapped in dependency, the first step will always be to break its immediate power over you. That means accepting the difficult realities of withdrawal because you are determined to escape the much worse consequences of inaction. Be prepared for your body and mind to rebel, because they are, initially, just as determined to stay stuck in the mud.

But it's a battle you can win--one you must win to progress in your quest for freedom from depression. After a period of time, your mind will begin to clear and you can use the following questions to recover your perspective and empower you to make new choices. Unfortunately, nagging is a result of frustration, anger or simply feeling like you've exhausted everything else you can think of doing...so instead of asking for what you want (assuming that won't work), you whine, complain, criticize or nag. The problem is, in my experience and virtually all of my friend's experiences in their romantic relationships, nagging creates a defensive reaction in the person being nagged at. And, for the person doing the nagging, it creates even more frustration than he/she began with! Instead of nagging, criticising or complaining about what you're not getting (romantic flowers sent to your workplace, sweet words of appreciation, more frequent date nights, more frequent sex, etc.) represent the change you WANT to see in your relationship. For example, if you want more romance from your partner, be romantic towards them first. Send them flowers. Or, cook them a romantic meal. Stop the nagging, and replace it with passionate kissing. Or, simply tell the man/woman in your life how much they mean to you--and leave it at that. A simple gesture holds the potential for really great things--things that can shift the entire dynamic of your relationship. Set the tone for what you want, and they'll likely reciprocate it! And so, we evaluate evidence in a biased fashion. We pay particular attention to evidence that supports our point of view, and either ignore or discount the importance of evidence that contradicts our beliefs. In fact, the desire to maintain our beliefs often makes us avoid situations that would unearth contradictory evidence in the first place. We typically associate with like-minded people and read books and magazines with orientations similar to our own. Seldom do we read a conservative magazine if we're liberal, or a liberal magazine if we're conservative, to get a better understanding of an opposing viewpoint. I once told a good friend, who is a staunch conservative, that he should read Al Franken's new book Lies, and the Lying Liars who Tell Them. I said, "The book is hilarious, I think you'll enjoy it even if you don't agree with its liberal bent." He flatly refused.

I said, "You don't have to reward Franken by putting money in his pocket--read my copy." Again, a resounding no! Such a desire to attend to evidence supporting our beliefs acts as a filter mechanism that can actually be self-fulfilling. By avoiding contradictory data, it seems like there's more data supporting our preconceptions, which, of course, reinforces our belief that we were right all along. Our tendency to confirm is so ingrained in our cognitive makeup that we confirm even if we don't have a prior belief or expectation--all we have to do is test a hypothesis. Whether we realize it or not, we act as intuitive scientists, continually developing and testing hypotheses when we make our professional and personal judgments. For example, a doctor forms hypotheses about the potential causes of a patient's disease, and then tests them by gathering information from the patient and other medical procedures. An investor tests whether a firm's future net income will increase (or decrease) when making investment decisions. We even hypothesis test in our everyday lives when we decide whether we like a person or not. In essence, we constantly test hypotheses when forming our judgments; and if we use confirming strategies, those judgments can be biased. Imagine that you're talking with your friend John about a mutual friend, Barry. John tells you, "I always thought that Barry was outgoing--he's a real extrovert." You haven't thought about it before, but you recall that Barry was at a party last week, he sometimes tells jokes, and he likes to go to a bar to wind down. Before long, you come to believe that Barry must be an extrovert. What's wrong with this thinking? When deciding whether Barry is an extrovert, we naturally start to think of the times he exhibited extroverted behavior. In effect, we think of things that confirm the hypothesis we're testing. If we focus on the times Barry was extroverted, we're likely to conclude that he is, in fact, an extrovert. The problem is, people are complex, and can exhibit both extroverted and introverted behavior at different times and under different circumstances. And so, if your friend started off by saying he thought Barry was an introvert, you would have likely thought of a number of instances in which he exhibited introverted behavior. You might remember that he reads a lot and likes to spend time at the library. After focusing on these instances, you would likely conclude that Barry was more introverted.