More ArticlesDevelopmental psychology

Friday, May 26, 2017

How the breaking of a relationship changes the personality

couple and sexuality

In a long-term relationship, our identity is increasingly intertwined with that of our partner. Elizabeth Barrett Browning described it perfectly when she told her husband, Robert Browning, "I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I'm with you. I love you not only for what you have done for yourself but for what you are doing of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring to light".

In fact, in some cases this synchronization is such that we can end up confusing our traits with those of our partner. Therefore, it makes sense wondering what happens when the relationship breaks. Does that mean that our personality will change? Does our personality influence the way we deal with the breakage so that we stay alone for longer or prompt us to look for another partner right away?

The changes that take place in personality when a relationship ends

Men and women do not usually react the same way to the breaking of the relationship. A study of the Baltimore National Institute of Aging found that the effects of divorce differ according to gender. These psychologists analyzed the personality of over 2,274 people over 40 and returned to meet them between 6 and 9 years later. So they asked them what had been the most important events of their life and found out how their personality had changed.

Thus they found that women who had lived a divorce showed a greater propensity to extroversion and were more open to new experiences, which can be attributed to the liberating effect of the break. Conversely, divorced men seemed to be less aware and emotionally more unstable, probably because they lived the break as a demoralizing event.

But not all studies met this pattern. A group of German researchers analyzed the traits of the personality of over 500 middle-aged men and women for three times over 12 years.

They discovered that divorced men and women had become less extroverted. However, this is probably due to the fact that with the break they lost many friends who shared with their spouse, which meant they had fewer opportunities to socialize. It's interesting to note that these people showed a decrease in confidence, perhaps because they no longer had to sustain continually the other.

It is clear that although the effects on extrovergence are not very significant, they can have a major impact on a person's life, especially if we consider that extroverted people are more likely to encounter a new partner and remarry.

How fast you can turn the page depends on your personality

Breaking a relationship not only slightly changes our personality but also our way of seeing life and influences how we react to this situation. A study conducted by psychologists at the University of Leuven analyzed the personality of over 2,000 people who had lived a divorce to find out what kind of new relationships people make during the next seven years.

So it was possible to observe that extroverted people were more likely to recover quickly than others. Those who tended to neurosis, on the contrary, were more inclined to remain alone during the seven years or move from one relationship to another without finding the right person to establish a solid relationship. However, people who showed greater awareness were more inclined to form a serious relationship and this lasted much longer.

One reason why breaks are so distressing is that they can lead us to ask who we are, especially when it comes to a long relationship, since our identity is intertwined with that of our partner so much that when we lose him/her, it is as if we had lost a part of ourselves. This means that the concept we have of ourselves contracts and we have the feeling that we do not know exactly who we are, what we are or where we are headed. These feelings can be particularly painful for some people.

It is interesting to note that Stanford University psychologists have found that those who had a rigid vision of themselves tend to assume the rejection as something more personal, feeling that the rupture revealed something negative about their character and, consequently, the experience was even more distressing.

The good news is that our personality changes over time, so it is possible to meet a positive way of interpreting the break, especially by remembering that we are complex and evolving people able to learn from our mistakes and move on. This view can relieve, to some extent, the painful effects of the refusal.

Sodermans, A. K. etl. Al. (2016) Effects of personality on postdivorce partnership trajectories. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships: 10.1177/0265407516665250.
Howe, L. C. & Dweck, C. S. (2016) Changes in Self-Definition Impede Recovery From Rejection. Pers Soc Psychol Bullan; 42(1):54-71.
Allemand, M. et. Al. (2015) Divorce and personality development across middle adulthood. Personal Relationship; 22(1): 122–137.
Costa, P. T. et. Al. (2000) Personality at Midlife: Stability, Intrinsic Maturation, and Response to Life Events. Assessment; 7(4): 365-378.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Children who question everything will be secure and successful adults

developmental psychology

There are children who question everything and are not satisfied with any answer. These little ones often challenge the rules because they like to go beyond the established, discuss adult responses and more than once put them in an embarrassing situation, causing them to perceive their inconsistencies or absurdities.

This attitude can exacerbate some parents making them lose their patience. However, this behavior is followed by good news: Children who always question things become often more secure and successful adults.

These children develop a critical thinking

The fact that children do not take for good the first answer they receive and want to continue to deepen the argument is not a bad thing. Nor is it bad for children to reflect on adult responses and not accept them without arguing, as if they were absolute truths.

This attitude denotes that the child thinks for himself and is interested in deepening the facts. Not being staisfied with an answer until you understand it is synonymous with intelligence and self-confidence. It would be much worse for the child to accept an answer he does not understand, just because he is afraid that adults believe he is not smart enough to understand it right away.

When a child discusses something is a signal that is putting his critical thinking into motion, and this is always a good thing. These children simply need more explanations to convince them.

This attitude, in a sense, also represents a challenge to rules and authority. The child takes away the "control" of the adult for a few moments, discussing his arguments. Also this is not negative because it helps to consolidate one's identity and practice this ability so that an adult will be less inclined to believe something without thoroughly analyzing the theme, only for the referent's power or because said by someone or an "Important" media.

This is confirmed by psychologists at the University of Luxembourg who have analyzed the personality traits of 700 children for several decades since they were nine years old up to 40. It is interesting to note that the people who had the best jobs and earned most were those who were more challenging children, always ready to challenge and sometimes ignored the rules of their parents. They were not more competitive kids only, but also claimed the most from the world, growing up they did not win for win and fight for their interests.

These results are related to a previous study on the father-son relationship of the Germans who during the Second World War protected the Jews. The researchers found that those parents had encouraged the free thinking of their children and educated them in respect of diversity. Therefore, respecting different views of children increases the chances that these will think for themselves as adults, adopt a critical attitude, and do not allow themselves to be too easily influenced by others.

The way parents react mark the children

Psychologists from the University of Virginia analyzed 157 teenagers aged 13 and over, making videos that reported situations where they had disagreed strongly with their parents by questioning their decisions, behaviors, and/or rules.

When the parents saw the images of their children telling the story, they reacted differently. Some smiled while others felt uneasy and angry.

These psychologists came back to the theme two years later. Interviewed again the boys, this time they were 15 or 16 years old. They discovered that the adolescents children of parents who adopted a more calm and persuasive attitude when these contradicted them were less likely to use drugs and alcohol. These guys had learned to disagree in a calm but secure way. In fact, they were 40% more likely to say "no" to their friends when they were not interested in the proposal.

Conversely, when parents imposed their opinion, teenagers took more passive behaviors that approached them at risk groups. Therefore, these psychologists are convinced that parents' attitudes when their children challenge them is crucial because later these children learn to disagree with others and develop a strong self-esteem. When children feel comfortable in expressing their disagreement with their parents, they will feel the same way with friends, partners or at work.

How to properly handle a relationship with a child who questions everything?

When children question everything, parents can take the opportunity to give them a little lesson of life by teaching them to disagree assertively.

- Listen. When parents listen to their children, children also learn to listen. You do not always have to agree, but if someone introduces a good argument, it is fair to recognize it. It does not mean to win or lose, but to communicate.

- Keep calm. Growing children challenge the authority and limits imposed by parents. It's normal. The job of parents is to keep calm and respond assertively, so that children can learn to interact appropriately. If you lose control you will be teaching that this is also a valid behavior. If you cry, it is likely that in the future your son will be afraid to express his ideas and dissent. If you pay attention, you will perceive that your ideas are valid and worthy of being taken into consideration.

- Stop being attached at the idea of control. As children grow, parents should gradually let them have more autonomy, allowing them to decide on their own. Unfortunately, in many cases, we respond badly to their provocations because we feel insecure and think that we should maintain the authority in part because this is the model with which we grew up.

- Negotiate. Life is a continuous negotiation, those who do not have this skill are socially disadvantaged. Therefore, if your son challenges you, it is better that you do not enter into a power struggle that will turn you away from him, negotiate, and seek an agreement where both of you can win. As your son grows up he has to feel that he is gradually acquiring control and is able to make his own decisions.

- Remember you are educating a child who will become an adult. Your children, at some point in their lives, will have to follow their own way. No matter if they are 3, 5, 10 or 15 years old, whenever they agree with you, they send you a clear message: we are independent people who have their own ideas, feelings and desires. Your job is to help them develop and become self-confident people.

When does the challenge become a behavioral problem?

There are cases where opposing and provocative behaviors are a behavioral problem that deeply affects family dynamics. The difference lies in the fact that these children do not want to talk, they do not offer arguments or want to deepen the question, but simply want to do what they want. Also, these children seem to be constantly angry and enjoy deliberately harassing others.

Spengler, M. et. Al. (2015) Student characteristics and behaviors at age 12 predict occupational success 40 years later over and above childhood IQ and parental socioeconomic status. Developmental Psychology; 51(9): 1329-1340.
Allen, J. P. et. Al. (2012) Predictors of Susceptibility to Peer Influence Regarding Substance Use in Adolescence. Child Development; 83(1): 337–350.
Oliner, S. P. (1992) Altruistic Personality: Rescuers Of Jews In Nazi Europe. New York: The Free Press.
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Maturing does not mean adding, but learning to subtract

personal growth

We do not always recognize it, but one of our greatest fears is the loss. In fact, as soon as we gain something or someone, instead of enjoying it completely, we are immediately afraid to lose it. In this way we spend most of our lives in a state of anxiety and pain, unable to enjoy our achievements.

The society is largely responsible for this profound and atavistic fear. In a sense, to everyone has come a very clear message: life is accumulating. That means we should always have more, because losing is synonymous with defeat in every sphere of life.

That message has penetrated deeply and obliges us to run continuously, in the vain attempt to get something new and better. Sometimes we run so fast that our speed dazes us. Curiously, in this way we forget to enjoy every moment, because we always have an eye on the future, a future that must contain more and more, because we mistakenly believe that "more" is synonymous with "better".

Life is the best teacher

Life, however, is responsible for putting everything in the right place. And it teaches us that at some point in our development what allows us to continue maturing is not continuing to add, but learn to subtract.

What should we subtract?

Whether we like it or not, we must learn to subtract people, even people who once were very important to us.

We also need to learn to subtract stress and tension or they will end damaging our health.

We must learn to subtract ties, aware that life is constantly evolving. This does not mean wanting less, but accepting what we can’t change and move forward.

We must also learn to subtract expectations, understanding that they are a totally useless source of disappointments, frustrations and tensions. But that does not mean that we have to stop dreaming.

It is important that we stop adding things and begin to embrace a more minimalistic lifestyle. Things do not fill emotional vacuum. Instead, we can learn to restore the contact with the simplest things.

We must also learn to subtract projects, especially those that are not ours and do not really make us happy. Choosing wisely experiences, instead of stirring up with stimuli, will allow us to live more fully.

Finally, it's important to subtract everything we do not need and it does not make us happy, but adds only unnecessary stress.

The fear of subtract is won by learning to let go

Growing up with the idea that we should always add we resist to subtract. But once the initial resistance is over, you will feel a great pleasure in getting rid of all those things that creates tension, suffering or that are simply useless.

Gradually you will feel lighter, and this will take you away worries, anxieties, and tensions. With a lighter luggage on your back you will enjoy more your journey. The key to happiness is not to have more, but to want less.

Steve Jobs was an example of minimalism, a trend that became even more evident when he knew he was sick and faced his mortality getting rid of everything he did not need.

When Apple's former CEO, John Sculley, visited Jobs for the first time at his home, remained impressed. He then described his visit: "I remember Steve hardly had home furniture, he had a picture of Einstein, who admired a lot, a Tiffany lamp, a comfortable chair, and a bed. He didn’t think it was necessary to have a lot of things around, but he was incredibly attentive to what he chose".

You can start with small things and follow with psychological cleansing in other areas of your life as a sort of deep detoxification. Remember that when you eliminate something because you do not need it, you earn more than you lose. This is a really worthwhile change.
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

10 motivational quotes of persons who fought against adversity

motivational phrases

In life, we often experience complicated phases, dark moments in which we have trouble looking ahead with optimism. In these situations we can fall into despair and be tempted to give up. But we must remember that a calm sea does not make us good sailors. Problems and obstacles, even if can block us, they also help us test our abilities and grow, to transform ourselves into stronger and more resilient people.

Throughout history, there have been many people who have been affected by adversity, whose way of thinking, face obstacles and the achievements can inspire us in the most difficult moments. Their famous phrases can turn into lighthouses that illuminate us in the most difficult times.

Frida Kahlo's Motivational Quotes

The woman with bold brush and intense colors is an excellent example of resilience and desire to cling to life. The Mexican painter was not just one of the greatest artists in her country, but her life can serve us as inspiration in the darkest moments. Frida had to undergo more than 32 surgical operations and yet found the strength to continue despite chronic pain. Her sentimental relationship also caused her many emotional wounds.

1. Building a wall around your own suffering means risking that it eats you from the inside

Frida Kahlo has never hidden her feelings, on the contrary, she expressed them through her work. In fact, on more than one occasion, she said that she painted her life. The painter was aware that when we try to suppress anger, sadness, or suffering, they end up eating us from the inside. Therefore, it is always desirable to find a constructive way to channel our emotions.

2. At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think

One of the keys to overcoming the most difficult moments is to count on our strength and ability to deal with problems. If we do not trust that we can get out of this situation, we will lose hope and give up. Therefore, it is important to remember that we are much stronger than we think.

Viktor Frankl's Motivational Quotes

Viktor Frankl was one of the young promises of Viennese psychiatry when destiny played him a bad joke. In 1942 he was sent to a concentration camp and since then he did not know anything about his family. Two years later he was transferred to Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp, where he never lost hope, but devoted himself to comforting prisoners and preventing suicides. In 1945 he was released and later wrote the famous book "A psychologist in the lager", as well as established Logotherapy, one of the most important psychological schools of the time.

3. If you are unable to change a situation that causes you pain you can always choose the attitude with which you face this suffering

There are situations in life that can’t be changed. Denying the existence of them will only cause us unnecessary pain and suffering. But we have the opportunity to choose how to deal with these situations, we can let these facts destroy us or, conversely, we can try to take advantage of it or focus on the most positive aspects. Although we can’t change what happens, we can change the way we react, and that can change everything.

4. The rising man is even stronger than the one thatt never have fallen

Resilience is a capacity that develops by testing. Problems, obstacles and adversities push us to make a step further and develop new resources to grow. Therefore, as stated by Viktor Frankl, every fall makes us stronger, until we get up again.

Helen Keller's Motivational Quotes

At only 19 months of age Helen Keller lost sight and hearing. In 1880 it was practically a sentence of total isolation, but the girl suddenly realized that she could discover the world with the other senses. At age of 7, she had already invented more than 60 signs with which she was trying to communicate with her family. The road was not easy, but in 1904 she graduated with praise and wrote the book "The History of My Life", the first of many other works that would have been around the world. Since then, Helen Keller dedicated herself to help people with disabilities, holding conferences and becoming an example of tenacity and endurance.

5. Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows

You decide where to look, with which lenses look at the world. Helen Keller, a deaf and blind woman, still living in darkness and silence, managed to find her own light, coming from the heart. Of course, this does not mean denying shadows, but just concentrating on light. Remember that sometimes, a change of perspective is more than enough to find the way or recover strength.

6. When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but we often we look so long at the closed door so long that we do not see the one that has been opened for us

Did you know that sadness is the emotion that lasts longer? Exactly 240 times more than any other emotion! In fact, the main problem of negative emotions is that keep us focused on problems, obstacles and adversities, creating a vicious circle from which it is difficult to get out. But sometimes it is enough to realize its existence to understand that we are living in an incomplete picture. It depends on you to see the full picture and include those positive emotions that only wait for you to decide to close that door that does not take you anywhere.

Nelson Mandela’s Motivational Quotes

He was destined to be the counselor of his tribe and to live peacefully in peace, but Nelson Mandela had other plans. When in South Africa was established the apartheid he did not hesitate to stand up and fight, a reason for what he spent 27 years in prison, 18 of whom in Robben Island, confined to a humid cell of only 2.4 meters in height and 2.1 in width , with a palm leaf carpet as a bed. It was in those years that he contracted tuberculosis and suffered irreversible damage to his eyes. It is said that when he was allowed to leave the cell he thanked the guards and blessed them. When he was released he did not give up and continued to fight for human rights.

7. Your choices must reflect your hopes, not your fears

Even in the most difficult times, we must make our decisions reflect the best part of us, our hopes and trust, they have not to be the result of our fears and anxieties. Taking a decision carried from the feeling of impotence, despair and fear, means limiting our universe of possibilities and probably we will repent later, because when we let ourselves be conditioned by negative emotions our reason is blurred and we are unable to assess the consequences of our actions as well as we are not aware of all the factors involved.

8. Don’t judge me for my successes, judge me for the amount of times I've fallen and I got up again

Adversities make us grow, push us out of our comfort zone and make us overcome our fears and limitations. It's in the toughest moments when you put yourself to the test and know what you're capable of. This means that difficulties are also opportunities for growing, so that for much you see the dark and an unjust world, always try to learn some lessons. In this way, at least, the suffering will not be in vain.

Erick Erickson's Motivational Quotes

Erick Erickson has been suffering from dyslexia since childhood and was dauntless, but the true cross of his life came when he was 17, when he contracted polio. He then suffered such a severe paralysis that a doctor told his parents that he would not have gone any further. Erickson heard him and struggled to see at least another sunset. Even though he passed that first hurdle, his path would have been very difficult since he was completely paralyzed and had also difficulty talking. It was then when he started to get interested in psychology. At the age of 50, the polio spectrum returned. Erickson suffered again from muscular pain that caused him a new paralysis, and even though he regained the movement through perseverance, he was obliged to use a wheelchair forever. He then started using self-hypnosis to relieve chronic pain, a method that still today helps thousands of people around the world .

9. I am what survives of me

Every problem, every obstacle, every loss, and every adversity takes away a part of us, but also allows us to recompose in a different way. After all, life involves changing and adapting, so that every situation is a challenge to transform and mature. We can take advantage of this challenge to add new parts to our lives and enrich our arsenal of psychological tools for life.

10. Hope is what allows us to cling to life

Hope and a look focused on the future are what allow us to deal with adversity and get out of it. A good deal of optimism is essential if you want to go ahead, confident that after the storm comes always the quiet that will allow you to resume your journey.
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Monday, May 15, 2017

We receive what we give, is the message of this video


Some call it karma, others justice, but the truth is that for the rest of our lives we only collect what we sowed. Sometimes we are not fully aware of it, because the results are not immediately clear, but our attitude toward life and the decisions we take shape our destiny.

This is one of the readings that can be given to this wonderful video, which corresponds to the song "Goodbye" of the Icelandic indie rock group Dikta, and is part of the album "Get it together" of 2010.

Don’t worry about what you will receive, but about what you give

According to Taoism, karma has nothing to do with punishment and rewards, it is not a moral law. In fact, this word simply means "conditioning action"; that is, actions that go against the natural flow of things.

We get trapped into karma when we interfere in the world, because in this way we must continue to interfere, so the solution to a problem creates even more problems to solve, controlling one thing generates the need to control others. Bad karma is nothing more than the traps we put to ourselves, of which we fall prisoners.

Therefore, we do not have to worry about what we will receive, but to what we give. We should not cling obsessively to things, preventing the natural change, but we must learn to let go, to flow with everything.

How apply this in our daily lives? These five laws of karma explain it to us:

1. Law of cause and effect. You will gather what you sow because what you give to the Universe, in one way or another, it will be given you back. It's not a punishment, it's just the energy cycle. If you sow wind you will gather storms.

2. Law of humility or change. All you refuse to accept will continue to happen, simply because it is a learning opportunity that you are wasting. Once again, this is not a punishment, but the opportunity to grow and learn from your mistake. History and problems will repeat until you learn the lesson.

3. Law of the growth. You can’t escape from yourself. Since the situations that you are experiencing have been caused by you, in one way or another, you don’t have to worry about changing the people around you, but have to focus on inner change.

4. Law of the responsibility. Every time something bad happens to you, it is because somehow it reflects what you have done or thought in the past. So, instead of pointing your finger at others you should check what's inside of you and determine how you've contributed to the birth of this problem.

5. Law of the connection. Each step leads to the next, and so on. One is no longer important than the others, any small decision, even banal, can lead you in a different direction. Since everything is connected, we must also pay attention to our most insignificant actions.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Every time you turn on the GPS you "turn off" your brain


A few years ago if we wanted to go somewhere we had to rely on maps, road signs and/or ask to locals. Today we have GPS, satellite navigation systems that indicate with a good precision in which direction we have to go. Undoubtedly this technology is much more reliable and faster than controlling a map, but it does not really help our brain.

The satellite navigation system disables the brain

A group of researchers at University College London conducted an interesting study about the use we make of GPS and the impact that this device has on our brain.

Neuroscientists examined the brain of 24 people who were asked to drive through the streets of Soho, London, with or without the help of a GPS. At one point the drivers found themselves in a road with many bifurcations. At that time, those who did not use the GPS showed greater activity in the hippocampus, a brain area associated with memory and spatial orientation, as well as in the prefrontal cortex, the area dedicated to planning and decision-making. But this activity was not appreciated in the brain of people who used GPS.

These results are consistent with other researches in which was found that in the hippocampus we simulate the possible paths we can follow, while in the prefrontal cortex we decide which the best direction is. In fact, the researchers found that while the more chances the people had, the higher is the activation level, indicating that the brain was making a great cognitive effort.

Obviously, when a device tells us the direction in which we should go, these areas of the brain don’t need to be activated, so they remain in standby, waiting for some stimulus.

What are the consequences?

The brain needs to be trained. The activity strengthens neuronal connections. Everything that is not used and trained ends up weakening. Hippocampus is a particularly important structure because it is linked to memory and is one of two areas of the adult brain where new neurons are produced, which have the ability to integrate into the neural networks of the hippocampus. The neurogenesis allows us to continue to learn and preserve our memory in good condition.

It is interesting to note that spatial learning experiences in enriched environments, such as memorizing new directions, for example, increase the rate of neurogenesis in the hippocampus hub.

This means that every time you turn on the GPS prevent your brain from forming and developing new neurons. Of course, this does not mean that you have to give up these devices, which are especially useful when you are in a hurry and in an unknown place, but there is no doubt that you should use it much less to give your brain the chance to "workout".

Javadi, A. et. Al. (2017) Hippocampal and prefrontal processing of network topology to simulate the future. Nature; 8: 14652.
Olivares, J. D. et. Al. (2015) El hipocampo: neurogénesis y aprendizaje. Rev Med UV; 20-28.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Saying good-bye to who doesn’t need you is synonymous of maturity

personal growth

Life is like a train. We share the car with many people, but we can’t become friends with everyone and we do not even get to know everybody. There are those who annoy us or find us unpleasant while others inspire us a strong sympathy. There will be those who accompany us until the end of the race while others will leave soon. Life, like this train, changes continually, so that remaining attached to what we consider immutable means in some way to deny the reality.

Over the years you will have to say goodbye several times. Sometimes this good-bye will be very painful, but breaking this bond is essential to move on. Whenever you say goodbye to someone you reconnect somehow with yourself, because you need to find a new balance. This is not always bad, the bad thing is to remain connected to people who hurt us, limit us and prevent us from growing.

The courage to break the bond

To say goodbye does not always mean stop seeing a person or forget about her, it simply means breaking the bond because this relationship is precisely the cause of discomfort. When a person does not need you, when you are not as important as it is for you, the relationship will end creating a huge void. When you give too much without receiving anything in return, you will end up empty, tired, and disappointed.

Of course, it is not easy to break the bond. There are probably many feelings involved, a story built together, and possibly, projects for the future. But the rule is simple: when the presence of a person causes more harm than good, when neither one enjoys the company of the other and the relationship produces more suffering than happiness, it is time to re-evaluate that relationship and have the courage to say goodbye.

Say goodbye involves a painful process

Say goodbye means living a painful and not easy process, as it brings with it very intense emotions. The first step is to accept that we are no longer loved as before or we have ceased to be important and occupy a significant place in that person's life.

The second step is to make the decision to say goodbye, being aware that it is the best solution. This phase is very important because it will allow us to avoid regrets in the future, we must take the decision conscious that we are breaking a toxic relationship, fully conscious that this relationship has no future. The decision should not be the result of emotional outbursts, but it must be carefully weighted.

The third step is to learn to channel the emotions that will hurt you, such as the feeling of loss, anger, sadness and/or nostalgia. The wounds of the soul are slow to heal, but it is important not to keep in these emotions because will end up becoming chronic.

In reality, anger, hatred or resentment are emotions that only hurt those who feels them. So if it is normal for you to feel them during the early stages, it is also essential that you learn how to get rid of them during the process. If you keep feeding those emotions, it means that somehow you’re still tied to that person so you will not be able to close that chapter of your life. When you can let go away those negative emotions you will realize that you can go on a lot lighter.

Look inside yourself and grow

Often, when we are immersed in relationships that cause suffering, we get away from our desires, needs and dreams. It is a disconnection mechanism that we activate at unconscious level to protect ourselves. So, say goodbye to this toxic relationship opens a new path ahead of you, new opportunities and the possibility to learn from mistakes.

When you are about to close a chapter of your life, move the center of attention within yourself, think of yourself, decide what you want and make new plans. You do not have to fill the void left by that person with someone else because it is likely that you will soon find yourself in the same situation, you have to find new ways of life, new passions and new ways of understanding and living in the world.

Take advantage of this farewell to open new horizons and keep in mind Helen Keller's words: "When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us".
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Monday, May 8, 2017

3 differences between sadness and depression that everyone should know


Sadness is a feeling to which we tend to escape, even if we can’t, because throughout life we ​​have to deal with many situations that create a deep sadness like the loss of beloved ones.

In fact, sadness is an emotion, a normal reaction to events that affect us. Being sad does not mean being depressed, but often people use the two terms as synonyms. Anyway, a deep sadness that lasts for a long time can give way to depression.

Although depression usually has a genetic influence, situations such as the loss of a beloved person or a heavy failure can generate a huge sadness that could lead to depression. This means that, to a greater or lesser degree, we all have the chance of falling into the soreness of depression, so it is important to know how it differs from sadness.

What differentiates sadness from depression?

1. Sadness is an emotion, depression is a disorder

Sadness is an emotion and as such, it has an adaptive value. Psychologists at the University of Indiana have found that sadness causes a greater degree of physiological activation to help us cope with the loss. In fact, if we think about it, we feel more motivated to act when we are sad than when we feel happy and satisfied.

In addition, depression is a psychological disorder and sadness is just one of its symptoms. Depressive symptoms are accompanied by feelings of anxiety, helplessness, despair, and profound apathy. The person often tends to feel guilty, making it difficult to make decisions and concentrate. In many cases appear also suicidal thoughts.

2. Sadness is fleeting, depression is lasting

A research carried out by psychologists at the University of Leuven, Belgium, has shown that sadness is the most enduring emotion, lagging behind 240 times more than others to disappear. Nevertheless, sadness continues to be a "temporary" emotion, as it usually lasts a couple of days or at most a couple of weeks.

Instead, depression is a chronic condition that is diagnosed after a person has shown the same symptoms for at least six months. In some cases there have been periods of improvement, but they have not been very long.

3. Depression never comes alone, it is accompanied by apathy and anedonia

When we feel sad it is normal that we have no desire to celebrate and we can also experience tiredness and lack of energy. Yet, we are able to continue our routine and we can also enjoy the little daily pleasures that help us improve the mood.

While depressed we are suffering from apathy and anedonia, indifference and pessimism can last for weeks or even months. The person feels that the most trivial of everyday activities, such as shopping, brushing the teeth or eating, are terribly tiring and have no sense. The depressed person loses the initiative and finds nothing to motivate and makes him/her happy.

What happens when sadness doesn’t go away?

Throughout our lives we experience several situations that create sadness and we are able to get out of them. In fact, many of these situations serve to strengthen us and allow us enrich our arsenal of psychological tools that we need to deal with life.

However, when sadness lasts for long and you believe that you have not made any improvement, but you feel worse every day, it is advisable to seek psychological help. Prolonged sadness can lead to depression. If you can’t rediscover the joy of living, isolate yourself from the others and close yourself in your negative thoughts, you have the risk of developing depression.

There is no need to wait for depression to set its roots, a psychologist can help you overcome sadness and recover your daily life. In fact, you have to consider that the more you wait before asking for help, the more likely will appear other associated disorders that worsen the situation.

A study of the University of San Diego has revealed some signs that may indicate that depression is ongoing. According to these researchers, 74% of people with a diagnosis of depression started having trouble falling asleep from the earliest stages of the disease, 38% also had memory problems and concentration problems, and 50% said they felt fatigued since a long time.

Depression treatments

There are several psychotherapeutic approaches to depression, one of the most solid and well-known are Third Wave of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. Those who use these therapies explain that unlike previous ones, this set of methods and techniques focuses on thoughts, feelings and emotions so that instead of changing the content of the thoughts, a rather difficult process and not without frustration for the person, it focuses on changing the perception and relationship with thoughts, so they stop from being a problem.

Unlike other psychotherapeutic approaches, these therapies focus on enhancing a range of skills that the person can apply in different situations, since it is not just about eliminating the symptoms but improving personal well-being and growth.

Within these therapies there are techniques such as Mindfulness Meditation and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which have proven to be effective in relieving the symptoms of depression and reducing the emotional burden of traumatic events. In fact, a study at Oxford University has shown that mindfulness meditation is effective in treating depression and preventing relapses as well as antidepressants.

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