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

Excel At Life



Cognitive Diary Examples

Passive-Aggressive Q&A







Goal Setting








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

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

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

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

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

PsychNotes September 2015
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Clinical and Sport Psychologist

curved line

Index        Previous        Next
September 24, 2015

Think Multi-tasking Makes You More Efficient? Think Again!

Do you often do more than one thing at a time to get more done?

Do you believe that multi-tasking makes you more successful?

Does your work require multi-tasking to make employees more productive?

Guess what—multi-tasking is a myth. I'm writing an article to explain this in more detail. However, I just came across an interesting research study I thought I would share about multi-tasking with everyday entertainment. Read more...

curved line

September 22, 2015

Free Educational Audio! Distrust of Others and Learning to Discriminate

Those who have been severely hurt or traumatized by others often have problems with trust. They may distrust everyone or trust someone too much. This audio discusses the concept of trust and to learn to discriminate. In other words, learning how much you can trust someone and to what degree you can trust them. In this way, you can examine others motives and behaviors more realistically and decide whether they are someone who you want in your life.

This audio, in combination with other audios and resources on this site can help you with problems of distrust. However, as with all the resources, it is best to review the transcript with a mental health professional to determine if it is appropriate for your situation.

curved line

September 20, 2015

Women and the Decline of Violence (Part 3)

girlfriends In his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Dr. Steven Pinker observes from the historical and statistical evidence that violence declines with the “feminization” of society. In other words, as women develop greater influence in a society and are not relegated to subservient or invisible roles, violence declines.

Women have often been thought to be a major civilizing force of society. Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1800s stated “I have thought a sufficient measure of civilization is the influence of good women.” The impact of women upon the amount of violence in a culture makes sense given the greater emotional empathy that women experience. “Emotional empathy” is the ability to feel intensely others' experiences as opposed to “empathy” which is the ability to understand others' experiences. It is the difference between “I feel your pain” and joining in their tears versus “I understand you are hurting.” Read more...

curved line

September 19, 2015

165,000 Health Apps and Excel At Life's Apps are Selected in the Top!

IMS Health has chosen at least six of Excel At Life's apps to be included in its AppScripts program for healthcare professionals. IMS Health evaluated over 100,000 health apps: “Each app is assessed using our proprietary IMS Health App Score, which ranks apps based on functionality, peer and patient reviews, certifications, and their potential to improve outcomes and lower the cost of care.” AppScripts is a program that allows healthcare professionals to prescribe apps to patients, send the apps directly to their patients' device, and monitor their usage over time.

Excel At Life's Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help is listed in the top 5 of the Android health apps with a score of 91 (out of 100). Three of Excel At Life's apps are the top three in the depression category: Depression CBT Self-Help Guide and Happy Habits: Choose Happiness in addition to the Cognitive Diary app.

curved line

September 16, 2015

Are We Evolving? Thoughts on Violence (Part 2)

As I read Pinker's book (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined) it occurred to me that the evidence he provides shows how human nature is changing for the better. Particularly, it shows the development of a collective conscience. What I mean by this is that as humans we develop individually and collectively. We each have an individual conscience that is based upon our experiences and beliefs. However, society can also have a conscience which is what we impart to the people of that society either through explicit education or in implicit ways such as how we treat one another. For instance, at one time, public hangings were entertainment—families would pack a picnic lunch and go to town to watch the hanging. Now, we find that reprehensible by today's standards (although we may not be above watching people degrade one another on reality TV). Read more...

curved line

September 15, 2015

Violence is Declining (Part 1)

gun Most people find it difficult to believe we are living in the most peaceable time in human history. We tend to be nostalgic for the past believing we were safer, times were simpler, and we were happier: “In the good ole' days...”

Why do we have the impression that our world is becoming more violent? Because media has mushroomed. At one time the U.S. only had three television networks and the news was focused on providing facts. However, now with the proliferation of media, to stay in business the media has to get our attention. And how do they do that? By playing on our emotions. Sensationalizing. Fear grabs our attention. The media is like vultures, circling, circling, above the dead. Almost relishing the sordid narratives they spin, sort of like the neighborhood gossip seeking attention by delightedly describing the tales of woe of her neighbors: “Did you hear about the Smiths?! Well, let me tell you...” Read more...

curved line

September 11, 2015

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

Step 20. Re-write Your Life Script.

writing If you have been working through these steps, some time has passed since you wrote your first life script. It takes time to practice each of these steps until they occur more automatically so it could be six months or more since you wrote it. But if you have been practicing the steps consistently over a period of time, your life script should have changed. It is time to re-write your life script.

If you have not been consistently working on these steps for at least six months, stop here! True change is not simple and the mistake that most people make is wanting quick change. Someone who loses 20 pounds over six months is more likely to keep it off than someone who loses 20 pounds in six weeks. Take the slow road and you are more likely to be successful at permanent change.

Re-writing your life script can consolidate the changes you have made and continue to reinforce your self-esteem overtime. In addition, it can help you determine whether you need to address any of the steps further. Read more...

Index to 20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem
curved line

September 10, 2015

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

Step 19. Redefine Rejection.

person Many people with low self-esteem engage in “impression management” which is the attempt to influence how others perceive them. Instead of being genuinely who they are, they act in a way to get approval from others: agreeing with others when they have a different opinion, dressing or acting in certain ways to conform with others, trying not to be noticed in a negative way. Interestingly, even people who appear to not care about approval because they are acting in ways that might give rise to disapproval, if you examine their primary group, their behavior may actually be approval-seeking. I think a good example of this is terrorists or people who belong to violent extremist groups—they are still seeking approval from within their group even though they may cause harm to others. However, such a behavioral contrast occurs in less dire ways: teenagers who seek approval from a peer group while rebelling against parents or people who persecute or mistreat those with different beliefs.

Learning to redefine rejection allows you to act according to your personal beliefs and desires rather than acting based upon the approval of others. Read more...

Index to 20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem
curved line

September 6, 2015

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

Step 18. Act with Confidence.

Many people view confidence from the wrong direction. They believe “When I have self-esteem, I will act with confidence.” Yet, confidence is a behavior more than a feeling. And behaviors can be produced even when you don't experience the emotion. For instance, have you ever been in an argument with someone, you're feeling intense anger, you receive a phone call, and with a smile and brightness in your voice, you answer, “Hi! It's great to hear from you!” This is a common example of how we can compartmentalize emotions and almost instantaneously switch our behaviors—in this instance, tone of voice, facial expression, word choice. In fact, I would bet that if you pay attention in such an instance, you would even notice a relaxation of the angry tension you were experiencing.

The axiom often used by recovering alcoholics in AA, “Fake it til you make it,” is based on a concept proposed by psychologist George Kelly in the 1950s (The Psychology of Personal Constructs) and incorporated into “fixed-role therapy.” Kelly believed that we act based upon the roles that we have constructed for ourselves from past experiences. However, we can construct new roles and concepts of ourselves and base our behaviors upon those new roles. For instance, he described a man acting based upon a written description of the person he would like to be. By doing so, his belief about his ability became “I CAN change” because “I HAVE changed.” By acting differently, he was able to prove that he has the ability to be different. Therefore, this therapy circumvents one of the common core beliefs that prevents change: “But that's the way I am!” Read more...

Index to 20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem
curved line

September 5, 2015

New Free Audio Download! 5 Methods to Managing Anger

anger This audio is for people who have trouble managing their anger and find it affecting their relationships personally, at work, and in their community. The primary focus for managing anger is about taking personal responsibility rather than blaming others for the anger. Therefore, the focus is about taking control of your anger to change yourself and your reactions rather than expecting others to change. The audio teaches ways to managing unreasonable anger but the methods provided require effort over time to truly make a difference in your life. The transcript is provided below for your convenience.

curved line

September 2, 2015

New Free Audio Download! Hot Spring Relaxation

Hot SpringsThis audio relaxation exercise focuses on teaching the three main methods of relaxation which include slow, relaxed breathing, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery.  The imagery describes sitting in a hot spring in the wintertime, feeling the contrast of the cold air with the hot water, and the soothing flow of water against your body. At the end of the audio it provides an opportunity for creating healthy suggestions for yourself as you relax by the fire next to the hot spring.

curved line

September 1, 2015

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

Step 17. Mentally Rehearse.

Once you have developed specific goals through visualizing success and how to achieve it, the next step is to rehearse those goals. This is the step that many people miss. They believe that just having a goal and a plan is good enough. But often, it is not.

For example, have you ever known someone who has good intentions but no follow through? Let's say they are always late for work and although they intend to get up earlier and get to work on time they are unable to do so. For many people this is a problem of lack of mental rehearsal. In other words, they tell themselves the night before, “I'm going to get to work on time” and set the alarm earlier. But that's where it stops. Achieving the goal of getting to work on time is more likely if they practice in their mind getting up to the alarm and planning their time. People who are on time aren't just magically punctual. Instead, they have considered the tasks they need to accomplish, the time it takes, and when to start each task: “These are the things I need to do in the morning: I need to shower by X time and eat breakfast by X time and return emails by X time and leave the house by X time.” It's also about being realistic. If the person knows that it takes a half hour to awaken to the alarm, then saying "I will jump out of bed when the alarm rings" is not realistic but setting the alarm a half hour earlier might be more effective. Read more...

Index to 20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem
curved line