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Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career





CBT

Jealousy

Depression

Relationships

Conflict

Self-efficacy

Happiness

Goal-setting

Motivation

Wellness

Sport Psych



POPULAR ARTICLES

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

POPULAR AUDIOS

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles





Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank





RECENT ARTICLES

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?



NEW AUDIOS

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes May 2014

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

Index

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May 28, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Embarrassed

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with embarrassment. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling embarrassed. Although trying to create the emotion of embarrassment would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel embarrassed.



May 26, 2014

New Relaxation Audio: CITYSCAPE MINDFULNESS

This free download teaches mindful awareness by describing relaxing imagery. This audio allows you to experience the view from a rooftop in a city. As you mindfully experience the city, the sun sets and the lights of the city appear.

Use the audio for relaxation, mindfulness training, or sleep.



May 23, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Disappointment

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with disappointment. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling disappointed. It is not reasonable to create the conditions for disappointment to occur. Instead, you need to be aware of when you might feel disappointment so as to practice mindfully experiencing it.



May 22, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Loneliness

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with loneliness. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling lonely. Although trying to create the emotion of loneliness would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel lonely.



May 20, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Excitement

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with excitement. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling excited. Although trying to create the emotion of excitement would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel excited.



May 19, 2014

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Feeling Bored

Practice mindfulness many times throughout the day with your different activities. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your immediate experience.

This exercise is to help you develop tolerance of emotions. The audio provides guidance for being mindfully present with boredom. However, the actual practice of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be fully aware of your experience when feeling bored. Although trying to create the emotion of boredom would not be mindful, it may be possible to create the conditions that might cause you to feel bored.



May 17, 2014 Many emotional problems occur due to the numerous methods used to avoid emotions. If instead, you learn how to mindfully be aware of unpleasant emotions, you become more in control of your emotional experience. Many unhealthy behaviors can be reduced by learning to tolerate these emotions.

This audio download is the third of a series of audios to explain mindfulness in greater detail. For your convenience, the transcript of the audio is included. It is best to use the Understanding Mindfulness audios in order and practice the methods before proceeding to the next step.



May 13, 2014

New Cognitive Diary Training Example: CATASTROPHIZING ABOUT MEDICAL TESTS

EVENT: I have to wait for the results from medical tests.

EMOTIONS: dread, uncertainty, hopelessness

DISTRESS RATING: 7--Feeling distressed, less in control

THOUGHTS: “I saw my doctor because I was not feeling normal and she thought I should get a thorough check-up. I think she thinks something is wrong but won't tell me. The technician looked at me with concern when I had the tests done. I'm sure there is something terribly wrong! I probably have cancer. What will I do? How will I take care of my family? I'm always so unlucky. If something bad can happen, it will happen to me.”

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE IRRATIONAL THINKING IN THIS EXAMPLE? There are at least 3 irrational beliefs.

HOW CAN YOU CHANGE THE THINKING? What is another way of thinking about the situation that won't cause the feelings of dread, uncertainty, and hopelessness?

VIEW ANSWER



May 9, 2014

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

If you have read my article Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics you know that one of my pet peeves is how the media uses statistics. Well, it's not only the media. Today I was confronted by a highway sign, “MoDot Cares”--that's Missouri's Department of Transportation's slogan.

The sign said “59% of motorcycle accidents occur during the day.” My reaction was “What in the world does that even mean?” Most people would think the meaning is obvious: if there were 100 accidents, that would mean that 59 occurred during the day and 41 at night. Therefore, it is less safe to ride a motorcycle during the day or you should be more careful watching for motorcycles during the day.

However, without further information, this statistic could mean, instead, that it is safer to ride a motorcycle during the day. “What?!” you say. “How can that be?”

Let's look more closely at this statistic. I'm going to make up some numbers to illustrate how important it is to know the “base rate”; in this case, how many people ride motorcycles at night vs. during the day. If we knew it was exactly the same number, then this statistic would be the obvious interpretation described above. However, the sign doesn't tell us the base rate. Why is this important? Because without this information, the statistic could mean the exact opposite of what we think it means.

For instance, if the base rate is that 2000 people ride at night and 1000 ride during the day and there were 100 accidents, that would mean that 59 occurred during the day and 41 at night (same as above). However, since more people are riding at night, it means there are actually 20 accidents per 1000 riders at night vs. 59 accidents per 1000 riders during the day. So far, so good, right? The statistic means it is safer to ride at night.

However, what if the base rate was that1000 people ride at night and 2000 ride during the day? This is where it gets interesting. Again, if there were 100 accidents, this would mean that there were 41 accidents per 1000 riders at night, but now there would only be 29 accidents per 1000 riders during the day. In this scenario, it would be safer to ride during the day!

Do you see why it drives me nuts when the media (and other sources) use statistics to influence our behavior, but they don't give us all the information? You can find examples of this every day in newspapers, on the news, and certainly on the internet (not to mention driving on the highway).

What is the lesson here? Don't trust statistics unless you have all of the information. This is especially true when only percentages are given.



May 7, 2014

IS SHE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE OR IS SHE AN EXTROVERT?

Question: My co-worker is always making statements that are said in jest, but always feel like a put down in some way. They feel like very passive-agressive comments. For example, I was in a meeting with a director and my co-worker and we were talking about collaboration and how effective it is. I said, "I love to collaborate" and my co-worker said, "YES!! You do! You REALLY LOVE to collaborate." I just smiled, but what does that even mean?

Also, I was talking about how I am shy when I meet people and I really have to work to break out of my shell. And she said laughing, "Are you kidding? I ALWAYS see you talking to random people all day long." I responded with, "I don't know who you see me talking to ALL day, but it's usually someone I am working on a project with. And yes, I do try to talk to people I don't know because I work to improve myself by getting out of my shell."

I often feel on the defense with her, like I always have to defend who I am as a person. It's really annoying and part of me wants to tell her that she needs to get some help to discover the underlying cause of her passive-aggressive behavior. But then I am letting her know it irritates me and that I am letting her get to me.


View Response



May 6, 2014

New Cognitive Diary Training Example: FEAR OF HAVING A PANIC ATTACK WHILE FLYING

EVENT: I want to attend my friend's wedding but I will have to fly. I'm afraid of flying because I have been having panic attacks and I'm afraid of having one while flying. I know flying is safe and I'm not afraid of that. I'm afraid of feeling trapped, panicking, and not having any help.

EMOTIONS: apprehension, embarrassment, terrified

DISTRESS RATING: 9—feeling desperate

THOUGHTS: “What if I have a panic attack while flying? I can't leave and I will feel trapped which will make my anxiety worse. I will feel out-of-control. What will people think of me?”

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE IRRATIONAL THINKING IN THIS EXAMPLE? There are at least 3 irrational beliefs.

HOW CAN YOU CHANGE THE THINKING? What is another way of thinking about the situation that won't cause the feelings of apprehension, embarrassment, and terror?

VIEW ANSWER



May 5, 2014

Audio version of article A Brief Primer on the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help just released!

Discusses how stress affects us physically and methods of changing this physical reaction.



May 2, 2014

Audio version of article Coping with Change: Psychological Flexibility just released!

Discusses the concept of adapting to change and how CBT can improve psychological flexibility.



Index

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