She is able to observe him for what he is, not simply through a screen of defensive reactions. Doing so, she perceives that he is an interesting person, with bad features, but also good ones, toward whom she feels at times hostile, but toward whom she also feels at times affectionate. On this comfortable and realistic and spontaneous basis a real relationship develops out of her real experiencing, a satisfying relationship to both. It may not be composed entirely of sweetness and light, but it is far more comfortable than any artificial relationship could possibly be. I've got a five-hundred-plus-article unpublished manuscript that I used as a textarticle for students in my college nutrition courses languishing in my computer. It represents more than a decade of work. Yet it's still unpublished, because I no longer think it's right. I no longer believe in an emphasis on carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals as the way to help people lead healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives. More rules and hang-ups about what to eat are precisely what we don't need. For one thing (and maybe you'll need to read this twice, it's so counterintuitive), data show that people who care less about nutrition quality tend to eat more nutritiously than people who focus on diet. But, more important, I gave up this way of thinking because I've come to understand that most nutrition research conclusions are wrong. Hear me out. This topic has been well considered by many scientists who are busting the paradigm. Physician-scientist John Ioannidis's report Why Most Published Research Findings Are False is the most cited paper in PLOS Medicine. Curiosity is a normal and necessary part of the human condition. It sparks creativity and learning, and it makes our lives exciting. Sometimes, however, our primal drive to be curious can lead to perilous and self-sabotaging decisions. When Megan and I examined her social-media use, she painted a clear picture of her self-sabotaging habits: A great deal of her time was spent frequently and passively scrolling through Scott's social-media accounts, watching videos or reading posts intended for his friends online, and repeatedly visiting his updates, pictures, and profile information. After Megan emerged from one of her social media binges, as she referred to this behavior, she reported feeling worse than she had just moments before. This behavior created a new set of problems for Megan.

Not only was she feeling sad about her lost relationship, she was now also feeling bad about the time she had lost and her inability to care for herself in a positive way that would move her forward in life. She was in need of an aha moment. Aha moments can be life-changing, revealing emotions and thoughts that were previously unconscious or hidden from us. Feelings and thoughts that were once deeply buried become conscious and illuminated, and our feeling of powerlessness to change our behaviors and thoughts begins to recede. It is based primarily upon an acceptance of the fact that her child is a separate person. The woman who hated her mother comes, after she has accepted all her feelings of affection as well as hate, to see her mother as a person with a variety of characteristics: interesting, good, vulgar, and bad. With this much more accurate perception she understands her mother, accepts her for what she is, and builds a real rather than a defensive relationship with her. The implications of this aspect of our theory are such as to stretch the imagination. Here is a theoretical basis for sound interpersonal, intergroup, and international relationships. Stated in terms of social psychology, this proposition becomes the statement that the person (or persons or group) who accepts himself thoroughly, will necessarily improve his relationship with those with whom he has personal contact, because of his greater understanding and acceptance of them. This atmosphere of understanding and acceptance is the very climate most likely to create a therapeutic experience and consequent self-acceptance in the person who is exposed to it. Thus we have, in effect, a psychological chain reaction which appears to have tremendous potentialities for the handling of problems of social relationships. XIX) As the individual perceives and accepts into his self-structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system -- based so largely upon introjections which have been distortedly symbolized -- with a continuing organismic valuing process. In therapy, as the person explores his phenomenal field, he comes to examine the values which he has introjected and which he has used as if they were based upon his own experience. As he aptly puts it, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. Eating 12 hazelnuts daily (1 oz) would prolong life by 12 years (ie, 1 year per hazelnut), drinking 3 cups of coffee daily would achieve a similar gain of 12 extra years, and eating a single mandarin orange daily (80 g) would add 5 years of life. Conversely, consuming 1 egg daily would reduce life expectancy by 6 years, and eating 2 slices of bacon (30 g) daily would shorten life by a decade, an effect worse than smoking. Could these results possibly be true? The answer to his rhetorical question is obviously no. Ioannidis and his team--and others--have shown, again and again, and in many different ways, that much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies--conclusions that are used when we are advised to consume more antioxidants or less meat--is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong.

His work has been widely accepted by the medical community and published in the field's top journals. Ioannidis blames two major factors for this dissonance: confounding and selective reporting. Confounding describes the misconception that A causes B when, in reality, some other factor, X, actually causes B. For instance, eating sausage may be associated with a shorter lifespan. This insight allows us the ability to approach and solve our problems with a skill set comprised of conscious, rational, and moral decision-making abilities. Megan's aha moment was realizing that she turned to Scott's social media when certain thoughts bubbled up inside her: She was using social media as an escape. Instead of working to accomplish her own goals and daily responsibilities, she was preoccupied with feelings of longing, concerns about her drinking, and frustration with the time she had spent devoted to constant checking. Her habits were interfering with her ability to carve out the emotional space she needed in order to process her feelings and to focus on her own life postbreakup. Megan's behaviors illustrate the pull of self-sabotaging behaviors, how hard it is to let go of deep attachments, and how social media not only prolongs grief but also complicates the emotional work of detaching and downgrading old attachments. Every time you log on to social media, it stunts your mourning process and personal growth. One of Megan's goals in treatment was to change how she related to others in real life as well as online. Gaining insight into your self-sabotaging behaviors is a significant step in helping yourself and ultimately in being able to make lasting lifestyle changes. After all, we can't fix self-sabotaging social-media habits if we are not conscious of what's underneath them. One way to reduce self-sabotaging cycles of constant checking is by making a point to stay connected to friends and family while mourning your breakup. But what does he think he should do? There he is puzzled and lost. If one gives up the guidance of an introjected system of values, what is to take its place? He often feels quite incompetent to discover or build any alternative system. If he cannot longer accept the ought and should, the right and wrong of the introjected system, how can he know what values take their place? Gradually he comes to experience the fact that he is making value judgments, in a way that is new to him, and yet a way that was also known to him in his infancy.

Just as the infant places an assured value upon an experience, relying on the evidence of his own senses, as described in Proposition X, so too the client finds that it is his own organism which supplies the evidence upon which value judgments may be made. He discovers that his own senses, his own physiological equipment, can provide the data for making value judgments and for continuously revising them. No one needs to tell him that it is good to act in a freer and more spontaneous fashion, rather than in the rigid way to which he has been accustomed. He senses, he feels that it is satisfying and enhancing. So eating sausage makes you die young. Confounding! Maybe sausage eaters die early because the same people who eat sausage are also lower in socioeconomic status. Lower socioeconomic status is the confounding factor and actually drives the shorter lifespans of sausage eaters. Confounding comes up all the time in weight and weight-loss research, a topic I have explored in depth in my previous articles. It is true that many diseases are more commonly found in heavier people, for example. But you'd be wrong to conclude from that that high weight causes disease. If yellow teeth are common among people with lung cancer, do yellow teeth cause cancer? Of course not. Epidemiological studies show us relationships, but not causality. Making an effort to see friends and family has been shown to reduce self-sabotaging behaviors and to decrease FOMO, anxiety, and depression. Paying attention to the ways in which you interact online, what you share, and the quality of your virtual relationships is also important, as they have a real impact on your life and mental health. Stop the Cycle of Self-Sabotage If you often find that, despite good intentions, your efforts are often backfiring, you may be unknowingly using self-sabotaging tactics and engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors. Self-sabotaging behaviors are made up of a complex set of actions and thoughts that ruin our good intentions and negatively affect our relationships, employment, health, quality of life, and emotional well-being. These self-sabotaging behaviors are usually learned in childhood through example and by modeling, and it is not uncommon for these behaviors to be passed down from one generation to the next.

It's important to understand that since self-sabotaging behaviors are initially reinforced, in the short-term they allow temporary relief from feelings of anxiety and stress by means of avoidance, but in the long-term they lead to chronic depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, poor interpersonal relationships, life goals not actualized, and stifled potential. Following are some examples of self-sabotaging behaviors and thoughts. Agreeing to commitments and tasks that you'd like to say no to Procrastinating Or when he acts in a defensive fashion, it is his own organism that feels the immediate and short-term satisfaction of being protected and that also senses the longer-range dissatisfaction of having to remain on guard. He makes a choice between two courses of action, fearfully and hesitantly, not knowing whether he has weighed their values accurately. But then he discovers that he may let the evidence of his own experience indicate whether he has chosen satisfyingly. He discovers that he does not need to know what are the correct values; He can put his confidence in a valuing process, rather than in some rigid, introjected system of values. Let us look at this proposition in a slightly different way. Values are always accepted because they are perceived as principles making for the maintenance, actualization, and enhancement of the organism. It is on this basis that social values are introjected from the culture. In therapy it would seem that the reorganization which takes place is on the basis that those values are retained which are experienced as maintaining or enhancing the organism as distinguished from those which are said by others to be for the good of the organism. For example, an individual accepts from the culture the value, One should neither have nor express feelings of jealous aggressiveness toward siblings. Studies show an association between high weight and cardiovascular disease, for instance, but not the fact that heavier people experience a stress response resulting from weight stigma and that stress is a major factor in cardiovascular disease. And common sense tells us that yellow teeth, like lung cancer, can result from smoking. Smoking--like stress--is the confounder. Much confounding is residual, meaning we can't know if confounding is present unless we measure confounders. That doesn't often happen. For example, if we don't measure weight stigma, we'll never know about its possible role in anything associated with fat.