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    29 2012 November

    CBT: How Checking Contributes to Mental Health Problems (Eating Disorders, Depression, Anxiety)

    Although common ‘disorders’ (e.g., eating disorders, anxiety, and depression) look different on the surface, there are some common underlying mechanisms. One of these is checking. I’m going to go explain the role of checking in...

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    10 2012 October

    7 Tips for Not Personalizing

    1. Don’t catastrophize knock backs – If you get a rejection, it doesn’t mean you’re never going to be successful. – If you get negative feedback on a piece of work, it doesn’t mean you...

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    02 2012 October

    5 Tips for Irritability

    1. Do some kind of mindfulness practice. Try this or any of these. Learn enough about the philosophy of mindfulness meditation that you know what you’re doing. Since most people won’t want to do formal...

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    26 2012 September

    Changing Your Cognitive Style

    I mentioned on FB yesterday how much my cognitive style has changed as a result of my psychology training. One of the readers asked me to say more about how it had changed, so here’s...

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    27 2012 June

    10 Practical Tips for Avoiding Winter Weight Gain

    This is for my kiwi readers – it’s freezing here at the moment! I got the idea to write this from an interview I did for the NZ Herald about weight gain during winter. 1....

29 2012 March
By alice
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Willpower Tips, Day 18. Yoga for Willpower.

Meditation is great for boosting your parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn will help you with self regulation. Yoga is basically meditation with movement. If it hasn’t appealed to you previously, it might just be a matter of finding a type you like. The kind I like is called Yin Yoga (by this I mean...

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29 2012 March
By alice
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CBT Technique: Binge Eating Example. Mental Contrasting + Implementation Intentions. (Willpower Tips, Day 17 of 21).

This is a technique I use with clients for diverse problems from binge eating to procrastination. I thought I’d provide a (fictional) example. The example is about binge eating. The client is asked to write answers to the following questions. Step 1. Most important wish that should be both challenging and feasible. Not binge. Let’s...

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27 2012 March
By alice
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Willpower Tips, Day 16. How to Finally Take Advice You've Heard A Million Times Before.

How to Finally Take Advice You’ve Heard A Million Times Before. For me, the answer to this question is to a) bring a specific study to mind. Ideally I like a study with pictures (either a graph, or better yet a before and after brain scan). A Graph about Doing 5 Minutes of Green Exercise...

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26 2012 March
By alice
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Activating Your "Prepare and Plan" Response – Willpower Tips Day 15 (of 21)

You might’ve heard of the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response. You probably haven’t heard of the “Prepare and Plan” Response. Like the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response, the Prepare and Plan Response is an inbuilt response we all come equipped with thanks to evolution. Whereas the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response is about reacting quickly in the face of possible immediate danger, the Prepare...

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23 2012 March
By alice
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Model of Perfectionism – Willpower Strategies Day 14.

Perfectionism is not the same thing as conscientiousness. For example, in a recent study of older adults, perfectionism was both associated with increased risk of mortality whereas conscientiousness was associated with decreased risk of mortality (Fry & Debats, 2009). Perfectionism often results in avoidant coping – leading to people being less contentiousness! Perfectionism is not...

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23 2012 March
By alice
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Willpower Strategies – Day 13. How to Tolerate Uncomfortable Inner Experiences (Thoughts, Cravings, Physical Sensations, Emotions) Without Avoiding

Did you know that how long a person is willing to hold their breath for predicts how long they will persist with trying to give up smoking? People often give up on a Willpower Goal to get rid of an uncomfortable inner experience (a thought, a craving, a physical sensation etc.). Training your ability to...

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22 2012 March
By alice
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Free Guided Meditation Mp3 Downloads (Mindfulness, Lovingkindness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Self-Compassion).

Self Compassion, Mindfulness and Lovingkindness Dr Christopher Germer- author of mindful self compassion. (Around 20 free mp3s that include traditional mindfulness for beginners (body scan, mindfulness of breath, sounds etc.), lovingkindness and self-compassion infused practices). Dr Kristen Neff author of Self Compassion – free meditation downloads Walking Meditation – This isn’t an MP3, it’s just...

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22 2012 March
By alice
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Willpower Tips Day 12 – Strategies for Responding to Self Sabotaging Thoughts

This post is designed as a followup to the thoughts we identified on Day 11 There are several different approaches that psychology PhDs recommend for responding to Self Sabotaging Thoughts. There is also evidence that the techniques that work best for some people might actually make things worse for others. Therefore you need to experiment...

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21 2012 March
By alice
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Willpower Day 11 – Using Cognitive Psychology.

When you have a willpower failure, rather than trying to “just forget about it and move on” you should try to understand how your thoughts contributed to it. When you have a willpower failure incident, identify Situation Trigger > Thoughts > Behavior. For example, My boss was unfair to me at work today > I’m...

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20 2012 March
By alice
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Willpower Tips, Day 10 – Priming Thoughts About Your Goals

Priming Thoughts About Your Goals A good way to combat thought distortions is to regularly prime your thinking about your big goal/value so that these thoughts are as salient for you in decision moments as your impulsivity driven thoughts. This is particularly important when you can’t prepare for every situation in advance and will need...

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