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6 Predictors of Resilience: Why Some Individuals Bounce Back with Vigor from Adversities

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Values vs. Goals: Difference Matters.

Clarifying one’s values and having value-based actions is one of the core tenets of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence-based treatment for depression. Values are our heart’s deepest desires for the way we want to interact with the world, other people, and ourselves. They are what we want to stand for in life, how we want to behave, what sort of person we want to be, and what sort of strengths and qualities we want to develop (Harris, 2009). Values are subjective; what one may consider as a value (e.g., being famous) may be considered as being cocky by another person. Compared to thoughts and behaviors, values provide a far more stable compass to motivate you to achieve your goals, even when faced with personal adversity (Hayes et al., 2012). An exercise that may help you clarify your values and find meaning in life is to imagine that you are eighty years old, and you are looking back on your life. Then finish the following sentences (Harris, 2008): I spent too much ti

The 6 Facets of Impostor Syndrome and its Relation to Depression

A lot has been written recently about impostor syndrome, also called impostor phenomenon in scientific literature. Most pop psychology descriptions of this condition, which impairs professional performance and leads to burnout, skew towards making this a syndrome of perceived fraudulence or fear of being seen as fake. However, the fact is that people with impostor syndrome describe a myriad of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and none of the existing scales capture all the facets of this complex and multifaceted syndrome (Mark et al., 2019). Also, contrary to popular belief, impostor syndrome is not limited to highly successful individuals and depends more on how people respond to specific achievement tasks when there is an element of being appraised.  The six facets that define this phenomenon are discussed below: (Bravata et al., 2019; Clance & Imes, 1978; Walker & Saklofske, 2023). 1. Fake: This attribute is the closest to the original conceptualization of impostor ph

Rumination: A Maladpative Coping Style that Fosters Depression

Rumination is a maladaptive style of responding to stressful situations in which a person repetitively and passively focuses on the symptoms of distress and the possible causes and consequences of these symptoms. Ruminators mistakenly believe that by focusing on their past feelings, they can somehow have a better understanding of their emotions and this will help them solve their problems. The opposite is true: rumination makes people more fixated on their problems and feelings without leading to any active problem-solving to change the circumstances around these symptoms. Research shows that women are more likely to engage in rumination compared to men, which also makes them more prone for depression (Nolen-Hoeksema et al., 2008). Rumination fosters inactivity and can come in the way of getting things done. Many people confuse rumination with worry, but these two entities differ in the following ways (Lyubomirsky et al., 2015): Rumination is focused on the past while worry is focuse

Positive Self-Talk: How to Create and Practice Self-Affirmations that Work

What are Self-affirmations? When going through a rough patch, we have all been reminded by our well-wishers to use positive self-statements such as, “I am okay" or “I can do this.” Known as self-affirmations, these statements demonstrate one’s adequacy usually through writing positive statements about one’s core personal values (Cohen & Sherman, 2014). When things don’t happen as planned or when you have setbacks, self-affirmation statements provide you with a tool to defend your positive self-image by bolstering your self-image (Critcher & Dunning, 2015). Self-affirmations work by enhancing your self-integrity – an image of oneself being able to control important adaptive and moral outcomes in one’s life. Self-affirmations broaden your perspective beyond a particular stressful situation by reminding you of your other strengths and resources that are not limited by the situation at hand (Cohen & Sherman, 2014). This in turn helps you put things in perspective, disengag

What Kind of Problem Solver are You?

Problem-solving is a popular modality of psychotherapy and also conceptualized as a brief skills-oriented training program. A problem is a real or perceived imbalance or discrepancy between the demands of a situation and one’s coping ability and reactions (Nezu et al., 1989). Problem-solving skills are not personality traits but social skills that can be learned. Successful problem-solving involves not only having the right kind of orientation but also the adaptive kind of style (Nezu, et al., (2013). Problem-Solving Orientation Problem-solving orientation is an individual’s beliefs, attitudes, and emotional reactions about problems and one’s ability cope with these problems. Research has shown that there are two types of problem-solving orientation – positive and negative. 1. Positive problem-solving orientation View a problem as a challenge rather than a threat Be realistically optimistic in believing that problems are solvable Have the self-confidence in one’s ability to cope with p

10 Poor Listening Styles to Avoid

When we talk about communication, we mostly focus on speaking, writing, and reading. Listening is seldom emphasized as a primary form of communication, even though listening enables us to satisfy an individual’s deep psychological needs – to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, and to be appreciated (Covey, 2020). We mostly listen not to understand but to prepare response, judge, or interpret information through our own motives and frame of reference. These poor listening styles can be subsumed under these 10 categories (Covey 2014, Harvard Business Review Press, 2019): 1. Spacing out or ignoring is when you zone out because you are too preoccupied with your own thoughts. This does happen to all of us, but you don’t want to be labelled as a spacey person if this keeps happening to you.  2. Pretend or removed listening is where you may be multitasking and give the speaker the impression that you are paying attention using fillers like “yeah,” uh-huh,” “right,” “cool” or thr