Imposter Syndrome: Have You Mastered The Art Of Pretending?

Ever felt like you were an imposter of sorts? Like at any moment you'd be "found out" & exposed for the fraud you believe you are? If so, you aren't alone. Imposter Syndrome is a phenomenon many people, especially women, experience in some aspect of their life. Julie Zhuo shares her experience of realizing she was a member of this group as well as the 3 tactics she uses to combat the invisible imposter inside.

"You don the disguise long enough & you can't even recognize that you are acting. That you are behaving inauthentically, from a place of fear & insecurity. That you can't figure out how to reconcile the real you with the pretend you. Because nothing is more important that not being found out as a fraud."

A Better Way To Talk To Yourself

Psychology Today magazine revisits the topic of self-talk & how it impacts our mental health in the May 2015 issue. We already know that what we say to ourselves makes a meaningful difference in terms of how we feel. What's new is the notion that how we refer to ourselves also matters as well. While it might feel a big awkward to refer to yourself in the third person, it might actually be incredibly useful to drop the pronouns in favor of our own names.

"How people conduct their inner monologues has an enormous effect on their success in life. Talk to yourself with the pronoun I, for instance, and you’re likely to fluster and perform poorly in stressful circumstances. Address yourself by your name and your chances of acing a host of tasks, from speech making to self-advocacy, suddenly soar. 

When dealing with strong emotions, taking a step back and becoming a detached observer can help. It’s very easy for people to advise their friends, yet when it comes to themselves, they have trouble. But people engaging in this process, using their own first name, are distancing themselves from the self, right in the moment, and that helps them perform.”

Bounce Back From Any Setback

Polly Campbell, author of Imperfect Spirituality, writes & speaks on resilience & personal growth. Here she's put together the 5 steps for bouncing back from setbacks. It's pretty simple when you boil it all down, though simple isn't the same as easy. Still, knowing what to do is the first step.

Are You Living Too Small?

Dr. David Sack gives us 5 signs that indicate we might be living our lives "too small." 
Odds are, at least one of these is something we're doing, consciously or not. Start 2015 by making a conscious effort to live larger.

10 Ways To Stop Judging People

It's easy to judge others from the comfort of our own selves. Ultimately though, we only cause ourselves more stress & suffering when we get in the habit of casting judgments. Luckily, like any habit, it can be broken. Here's 10 ways to start seeing people non-judgmentally.

Sleep, Not Screens

While it's generally becoming understood that light-emitting screens can cause problems when it's time to go to sleep, we're just now beginning to realize the longer-term impact that may come when we take our screens to bed with us. The chronic suppression of melatonin has been linked to increased risk of various cancers, obesity & diabetes.

Better Sleep Through Your Feet?

Trouble falling or staying asleep? This simple sleep hack from Science Of Us might help do the trick. Try putting a foot (or both feet) outside the covers to help better regulate your overall body temperature so it's more conducive to sleepy time. If you're like me, that means getting over the childhood fear that the monster under the bed could get your feet if they're not covered, but maybe that risk is worth the reward of a good night's sleep.

21 Ways To Just So "No"

It's just a little word, two letters, and yet saying "no" to others can be one of the most challenging  things to get out of our mouths. Dr. Christine Carter, sociologist, happiness expert, & Senior Fellow over at the Greater Good Science Center has come up with 21 ways to say no. So, surely you can say yes to at least one of these strategies.

The Right Color For Night Lights

Dr. Michael Grander, who is board-certifed in Behavioral Sleep Medicine, has learned that when it comes to waking up in the middle of the night, the color of a night light can make a big difference when you return to bed & try to return to sleep. (Apparently, I need to go exchange mine.) Happy sleeping!

"The reason why the reddish, yellowish, orangish light is better is because the light that your eyes use to tell daytime versus nighttime is blueish-greenish light. But in reddish-orange light, you don't have those frequencies, so it won't give as much of a daytime signal."

Fear Not Feedback

Unstuck, a wealth of smart & well-designed tips about how to live life better, tackles the subject of how to take the fear out of getting feedback. Even constructive criticism can be hard to take sometimes. It's a natural reaction to get defensive or offended. Are you a Wallower, Stonewaller, or Bristler? Maybe a combo? Regardless, Unstuck has 7 questions you can ask yourself to help turn feedback into a true learning experience.

The Loopholes We Get Lost In

We humans are pretty darn good at doing the kind of mental gymnastics required to help us avoid the hard work of expanding our comfort zones. In a very frank essay, Tracy Moore points out the various logic loopholes our brains will exploit that keep us from growing as people & experiencing more meaning & happiness in life. Recognize any of these in your own life?

What If Your Life Was An Empty Container?

Leo Babauta returns with a simple yet intriguing idea for helping us reclaim what really matters to us in life, which can be hard to see as the daily distractions add up over time, obstructing our view. 

Instead of thinking, "How can I get rid of this complicated mess?" Let's ask, "What if I started with a blank slate?" What would you do if your life empty container, with limited space, what would you put in it?

Artificial Light Keeping You Awake At Night?

Australian researchers are making the case that light-emitting technology is drastically impacting our quality of sleep, or lack thereof. It's all about the light changing our melatonin supply, in turn compromising the ability to get a good night's sleep. Learn more about how you can alter your screen time to help catch a few more zzz's.

Self-Talk: Saying Is Believing

NPR released an article today reviewing the science behind our self-talk & how our internal representations of our selves don't always match up with the external presentations. Most interesting is how shifting our self talk from using "I" statements to using our own names can provide some helpful distance that allows our inner critics to be less critical. Try it & see if you notice a difference!

Meditation: A Skeptic's Guide

Happify, a website/app dedicated to helping people improve their happiness quotient via research-based techniques, tackles the subject of medication & the science behind it in this nifty infographic. Check it out to learn exactly what mindful mediation entails & how it can help you live a happier life!

Psst...Nobody Knows What The Hell They're Doing.

You know how sometimes it seems like everyone else has it all figured out while you're feeling lost or like total fraud about to be found out? Wrong! Oliver Burkeman reminds us that even under the coolest veneers, many people are panicking inside. In fact, a little panic can be helpful in moving us forward despite not always seeing a clear path in that direction.

Got Problems? Get Some Distance.

Nice piece over at Psychology Today reiterating how difficult it is to see our own problems objectively or kindly. There's a little mental trick we can all do to help see our problems in a more helpful light - step outside yourself & see things as a friend might. It may not make them disappear, but a little distance can make a big difference in helping us get into problem-solving mode rather than stuck in endless-worry mode.

8 Steps To Manage Intense Emotion

No one ever said emotions were easy. Sure, some are more enjoyable than others, but it's the full range of them that makes our lives rich & meaningful. Instead of fighting to avoid or not feel the not-so-pleasant ones, Dr. Jonice Webb lays out 8 ways to go about learning to live with difficult emotions. How many are you doing?