Research On African DNA Sets Out To Close The Knowledge Gap On Mental Illness

Research On DNA Sets Out To Close The Knowledge Gap On Mental Illness

In July 2009, a woman brought her husband to the hospital where our colleagues work in western Kenya.  She reported that for several years he had been behaving abnormally, sleeping poorly, hearing voices that no one else could hear, and believing that people were talking about him and plotting to harm him.

Depression, Anxiety and Heart Disease Risk All Linked To A Single Brain Region

Depression, Anxiety and Heart Disease Risk All Linked To A Single Brain Region

Although depression and anxiety affect millions of people worldwide, there’s still much we don’t know about them. In fact, we still don’t fully understand which brain regions are involved in depression and anxiety, and how they differ between people with varying symptoms. 

Getting in Touch With, and Becoming Friends With, Fear

Getting in Touch With, and Becoming Friends With, Fear

Some of our fears are so slight, or come up so rarely, that we ignore them for the most part. Yet, all our fears are with us constantly whether or not we acknowledge their presence. They reside in our subconscious and create havoc in our life. Whether your fear is of death or of spiders, that fear runs your life.

Authenticity and Naturalness as Antidotes to Fear and Anxiety

Authenticity and Naturalness as Antidotes to Fear and Anxiety

You have been instructed to worry and fret all of your life. This has occurred through all sorts of means—school, friends, religious doctrine, literature, television, movies, history, and family. The idea of worrying about your family has even been exalted as a form of love. It is NOT! Worry is a mental construct that obstructs flow and naturalness.

Fear and Relationships Are Not A Good Match

Fear and Relationships Are Not A Good Match

Fear patterns begin early in life, affect every relationship we have, and waste a lot of energy. Our inner dragons of fear can make us run from love and intimacy, hide from the very things we say we most want, repeat the same mistakes over and over, and see the world in black and white terms.

3 Steps to Pull Yourself into the Now and Overcome Fear

3 Steps to Pull Yourself into the Now and Overcome Fear

Our minds are constantly in the past, focusing on our memories; or in the future, focusing on our expectations. But both of these states of mind are breeding grounds for fear. If we can pull our attention back to the present moment, the fear subsides. Here’s how to shift into ...

How Are You Coping During The Pandemic?

How Are You Coping During The Pandemic?

The pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges. Many of us have lost work, gained carer responsibilities and grappled with social isolation.

Why The Media May Be To Blame For Your Arachnophobia

Why The Media May Be To Blame For Your Arachnophobia

Spiders have an unfortunate media presence. No number of studies emphasising their ecological value or the potential of their silks to inspire wonder materials can overcome the negative press.

Are You Dreading Going Back To The Workplace?

Are You Dreading Going Back To The Workplace?

As some of us return to the workplace, or are planning to do so in the future, we face the challenges of a changed environment of social distancing rules and restrictions.

Panic Attack Signs and What To Do If You Have One

Panic Attack Signs and What To Do If You Have One

We are living in scary and uncertain times, so it’s hardly surprising that a new study has found the number of Google searches for “anxiety” and “panic attacks” has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Managing and Avoiding the Overload Syndrome: Learning to Say "No"

Managing & Avoiding the Overload Syndrome: Learning to Say "No" to Obligations

This temporary anxiety and depression state results from becoming overburdened with too many work, household, volunteer, or social obligations, and subsides promptly after reducing the excessive responsibilities. It can best be likened to overloading an electrical outlet and blowing a fuse. This situation is becoming...

Rebirth: Love Will Replace Fear

Rebirth: Love Will Replace Fear

The sacred has always been with us. It’s right there outside the window. It’s right there outside the walls we’ve built around ourselves, right there outside the doors of perception made opaque by the human ego.

What Drives Panic Buying During A Pandemic?

What Drives Panic Buying During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Panic buying has returned to Australia in the wake of its second-biggest city experiencing a spike in COVID-19. The Victorian government has reimposed stay-at-home restrictions on 36 of Melbourne’s 321 suburbs in response.

Safe Passage through the Current State of Affairs with The Three Emotional Bridges

Safe Passage through the Current State of Affairs with The Three Emotional Bridges

This month I'm going to talk about the emotional bridges and what we can do to safely cross the river. I usually discuss the three bridges as they pertain to communication. However, it occurred to me this morning that I needed to expand out my vision of the Attitude Reconstruction Three Bridges to meet the emotionally fraught times we are all experiencing...

How To Beat Coronavirus Anxiety When Going Back To Work

How To Beat Coronavirus Anxiety When Going Back To Work

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, people’s anxiety levels shot up. Daily reports were coming in about the number of new deaths, there was global chaos and people had to be persuaded to stay inside.

When Conflict Arises, We Always Have A Choice

When Conflict Arises, We Always Have A Choice

We cannot escape our subconscious mind, but we can use life as a treasure map to unlock the secrets hidden within the dark corners of the psyche. These secrets direct the course of our lives, and like tyrants hiding behind smoke and mirrors they chart a course for their own benefit...

Courage Needed: New Beginnings Can Be Scary

Courage Needed: New Beginnings Can Be Scary

There are so many ways that we can apply courage in our lives. Courage to speak one's opinion, to stand up for what is right, to face tough issues head on, to pick oneself up after an injustice, and to not necessarily do as everyone else does. Courage to be true to oneself.

Here Are Some Ways To Cope With The Anxiety

Here Are Some Ways To Cope With The Anxiety

One of our patients was recently talking about her anxiety around the coronavirus epidemic. This woman’s stress was understandable. She had survived a serious infection with swine flu, but only with a prolonged stay in intensive care.

How Much Of Life Will We Forego To Stay Safe?

How Much Of Life Will We Forego To Stay Safe?
Over my lifetime I’ve seen society place more and more emphasis on safety, security, and risk reduction. It has especially impacted childhood: as a young boy it was normal for us to roam a mile from home unsupervised – behavior that would earn parents a visit from Child Protective Services today.

Don’t Allow Covid19 to Infect Your Mind

Don’t Allow Covid19 to Infect Your Mind
As sports arenas, streets and neighborhood gyms lie quiet and abandoned, we find ourselves without a frame of reference to cope with these apocalyptic changes to our once predictable lives. Does this mean that anxiety, stress, depression and panic are now inescapable parts of life? 

Why We Knock On Wood For Luck

Why We Knock On Wood For LuckEver said something like, “I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket” – and then quickly, for luck, rapped your knuckles on a wooden table or doorframe?

Healing Trauma Gently with Calm Presence, Kindness, and Love

Healing Trauma: Proceeding Gently with Calm Pres­ence, Kindness, and Love
Our individual reactions to life events are complex and unpredictable. Some people come out of very difficult life experiences with more resiliency and capacity. Trauma is not in the event but in the nervous system of the person experienc­ing the event. 

Understanding Our Coronavirus Fear?

Understanding Our Coronavirus Fear?

With a new infectious disease outbreak on our doorstep, we might ask ourselves: are we reacting to the coronavirus in a way that is proportional to the threat?

Fear Is Our Enemy; Chaos Is Our Friend

Fear Is Our Enemy; Chaos Is Our Friend
All the ancient calendars and prophecies of diverse ancient traditions are pointing to these days as the time of a great awakening and a time of a great shift. Humanity is being challenged to make a choice: the choice between the path of love, community, and peace, over the path of...

How to Let Go of Fear and Transform It Into Peace

How to Let Go of Fear and Transform It Into Peace
We can deal with blatant discrimination through legal channels and receive some corrective action, but these kinds of compensation cannot heal hearts. Our goal is deeper healing. We want nothing less than total release from the pain and fear that racist conditioning breeds.

Are You A Chronic Worrier? Here's How To Remove The Worrier Mask

Are You A Chronic Worrier? Here's How To Remove The Worrier Mask
The Ageless Wisdom texts tell us that scarcely a person in the world is exempt from worry, and that worry is the cause of all planetary problems. There are Worriers of the common, everyday variety, and there are Worriers of the chronic type, where the black cloud hanging over their heads...

Reaching Out: Helping A Friend Who Seems Depressed

Reaching Out: Helping A Friend Who Seems Depressed
If you recognize that someone you love might be drowning beneath the surface, the question becomes: How can you help? Of course, every situation is different, so evaluate the best approach for yourself. However, the essence of helping others is simple...

Living With Fire and Facing Our Fears

Living With Fire And Facing Our Fears
It is only mid-November but we have to walk early to avoid the heat. A northerly wind picks up clouds of dust and pollen, sending dirty billows across the paddocks.

Do We Actually Grow From Adversity?

Do We Actually Grow From Adversity?
In our culture, there’s this idea that enduring a tragedy can be good for your personal growth. 

The Most Important Thing: Watching What We Say To Ourselves

Being Impeccable with Our Word and The Stories We Tell Ourselves
A few years ago, I was privileged to hear a speech by Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. He stressed repeatedly that the most important thing for us to watch in regard to our conversation is not so much what we say to others, but what we say to ourselves...

How Deep Sleep Can Ease Your Anxious Brain

How Deep Sleep Can Ease Your Anxious Brain
While a full night of deep sleep stabilizes emotions, a sleepless one can trigger up to a 30% rise in anxiety levels, a new study shows.

How To Awaken on Your Path and Dare To Be Yourself

How To Awaken on Your Path and Dare To Be Yourself
As individuals, nations, and a planet, we have forgotten where we have come from, who we are, and where we are going. An honest look at the troubles we have created for ourselves reveals that we have painfully lost sight of the visions that once painted our future...

Creating Personal Freedom: The Truth of Personal Power

Creating Personal Freedom: The Truth of Personal Power
Women and men have incredible personal power yet often don't realize their own multifaceted power or know how to use it appropriately. The understanding of power is often limited to behaviors that involve being controlling, aggressive, or having influence over others. Personal power has nothing to do with these traits...

How Music Therapy Can Help Anxious Children

How Music Therapy Can Help Anxious Children
According to the NHS, as many as one in eight children aged five to 19 faces a mental health challenge. And a significant number of these cases are related to some form of anxiety.

Learning the Lesson of Trust

Learning the Lesson of Trust
I love this photo of our son-in-law Ryan and our almost three-year-old grandson Owen. Ryan is taking Owen for his first surfing lesson. Owen is holding his hand with complete trust. He knows that his father has great wisdom in this situation and will take care of him. 

Are You Mentally Well Enough For College?


Last spring an 18-year-old college freshman who got straight A’s in high school – but was now failing several courses – came to my office on the campus where I work as a psychologist.

Moving Beyond Fear: Learning How Fear Has Dominated Your Life

Moving Beyond Fear: How Does Fear Dominate Your Life?
We must understand our fears if we really want to move on because that understanding is the prerequisite to self-knowledge, which alone is the only requirement for a harmonious relationship – with ourselves. Constant fear prevents us from living our true purpose. We must learn that fear is the basis of all man’s problems...

How Feelings of Security and Insecurity Develop

How Feelings of Security and Insecurity Develop
Everyone is subject to the release of stress hormones and the resulting feelings of high arousal or alarm. Some of us have neural programming that activates automatically and calms us. We go from alarm to interest or curiosity about what the amygdala is reacting to. Those of us who don’t have that software stay alarmed until the stress hormones burn off.

Becoming Free of the Greatest Fear of All

Becoming Free of the Greatest Fear of All
The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom. What people say does not matter. Your whole and sole judge is God. And God simply means the whole universe.

Marianne Williamson: America Doesn’t Just Have A Gun Crisis--It Has A Culture Crisis

America Doesn’t Just Have A Gun Crisis--It Has A Culture Crisis
Another day, another mass shooting. We grieve for Odessa, Tex., and we grieve for America. The aftermath of every mass shooting follows a now-routine pattern: Feverish coverage will be followed by politicians and pundits engaging in a predictable conversation about gun-safety legislation. All of which we know by now.

What Is The Cost of Withholding Your Truth?

Taking the Risk to Speak Your Truth and Be Authentic
Take a minute to reflect on your ability or inability to tell your truth, particularly in the workplace. Notice how frequently you say things that are safe or politically correct and don't say the things that are true for you but are not necessarily as safe. It is important to recognize the cost of withholding our truth, both for ourselves and for...

Why Do People Believe In Curses?

Why Do People Believe In Curses?
Strictly Come Dancing, the TV show which pairs celebrities with professional dancers to compete in a ballroom dancing competition, has apparently been the cause of a number of divorces, break-ups, and scandals.

Why Do Some People Worry More Than Others?

Why Do Some People Worry More Than Others?
You might think there are some people who never worry. But that’s not true. We all worry but at different times and about different things. A bit of worrying is normal and healthy.

The 30-Day Resilience-Builder Challenges

The 30-Day Resilience-Builder Challenges
All our fears are unique and different, born out of different experiences and often maintained through subconscious pro­gramming throughout life. Conquering such origins of fear once and for all, ultimately will allow you to meet with your life’s goals and purpose. Because at the end of the day, the only thing holding any of us back is ourselves and how we process, manifest and deal with fear.

How To Experierence Fearlessness

How To Experierence FearlessnessIn order to experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear. In order to experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear. True fearlessness is not the reduction of fear; but going beyond fear...

Fear and Phobias: How to Face Them and Diffuse Them

Fear and Phobias: How to Face Them and Diffuse ThemDon’t drive into the tunnel ... The dog’s going to bite ... Patients have described their phobias to me as walking around with the devil on their shoulder or a voice inside their head that just won’t stop. Wheth­er temporarily self-defeating or utterly crippling, phobias can get hold of us and seem to take over.

Why Bad Economic News Increases Suicide Rates

Why Bad Economic News Increases Suicide Rates

A slowdown in the economy, job losses, business closures, increasing energy bills: it’s not surprising that relentless negative reporting of economic downturns is impacting people’s emotional health.

The Scared One: The Part of Me That Has Feelings of Inadequacy

The Scared One: The Part of Me That Has Feelings of InadequacyI call the part of me that has feelings of inadequacy "the Scared One". We all have a Scared One inside of us. It's a secret we all share but don't talk about, so we walk around acting as though we know what we're doing. This secret is connected to how we show support, and to how we form relationships.

How To Control Anxiety and Develop Inner Resources

How To Control Anxiety and Develop Inner ResourcesWhat are some of the differences between panic and anxiety? In panic, a person believes their life is threatened and that escape from the threat is impossible. With anxiety, the threat is not life-threatening. Escape is possible, but it has drawbacks: it may involve compromise or some kind of cost or loss.

How Can I Be Free of Negative and Fearful Thoughts?

Can I Be Free of Negative and Fearful Thoughts?Don't let yourself become a victim of your emotions. When you are scared, it isn't the real you that is scared, it is your personality interpreting circumstances that may be adverse. You are not these emotions; they don't own you...

Seeking Freedom From or Freedom To?

Seeking Freedom From or Freedom To?Freedom is such a powerful word, yet do we really know what it means? For years freedom was tied to the experience of slavery... having the right to not be 'owned' by someone. Then as the women's movement got into swing, freedom also included the right of women to make their own choices. Then we had gay rights, which further promoted the freedom to be yourself.

Pema Chödrön - Fear and Fearlessness

Pema Chödrön describes a liberating way to become intimate with our fears, instead of trying to get rid of or cast them out.

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Getting Comfortable with Being UncomfortableIt’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. “What?” you might exclaim. “I don’t want to be uncomfortable. Isn’t the whole point of this journey to find a way to be peaceful and stress-free all the time? Isn’t being comfortable the whole point?” Yes and no.

Is Suicide Contagious?

Is Suicide Contagious?Over the past two weeks, two students who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have died by suicide, amplifying the tragedy that community has experienced.

Choosing to Feel Safe and Choosing to Love

Choosing to Feel Safe and Choosing to Love
We have found the primary reason most of us do not make the choice to love more freely and fully is that we feel unsafe and insecure in some way about people, relationships, love or even life itself. We fear whatever might happen if we open ourself to giving and receiving love more readily.

Fear is the Liar -- Only Love Speaks Truth

Fear is the Liar -- Only Love Speaks Truth
A survey of top Hollywood movie studio CEO’s asked, “What do you fear most?” The most common answer was, “I am afraid that people will find out I don’t really know what I am doing.” Meanwhile these execs were turning out fabulous movies, earning many millions of dollars for their studios.

Four Ways To Easily Decrease Fear And Increase Peace

About Experiencing Peace Rather Than Fear
Peace is one of human's six emotions. It's the opposite of fear. When we're experiencing peace, our attention is in the present, we're relaxed, content, and our mind is still. Often it's thought that we need to meditate in order to feel peace, but it's not true. We simply have to pacify our fear and peace will naturally arise.

Discovering Resiliency Through Fear, Imagination, and Creativity

Discovering Resiliency Through Fear, Imagination, and Creativity
In both my teaching and collaborative experience, I have often found that the most "fearful" and "neurotic" people are actually those with the best imaginations. They have simply channeled their imaginations down the routes of their cultural conditioning. The News at Five is never the good news, and so when they play the possible movie of their future they routinely screen the one with danger and dire outcomes.

Facing Your Fears, Taming Them, and Recognizing Their Value

Facing Your Fears: Taming Them and Recognizing the GoodEach fear is like a small subpersonality inside of you demanding to be heard. One 'fear-being' might chatter, 'Don't go outside. It's raining. You'll catch a cold.' Another might be constantly whimpering in your ear, 'Don't fall in love. You know you'll get hurt!' We hold our fears captive and even justify them...

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FROM THE EDITORS

InnerSelf Newsletter: November 29, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
This week, we focus on seeing things differently... of looking from a different perspective, with an open mind and an open heart.
Why I Should Ignore COVID-19 and Why I Won't
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
My wife Marie and I are a mixed couple. She's Canadian and I am an American. For the past 15 years we have spent our winters in Florida and our summers in Nova Scotia.
InnerSelf Newsletter: November 15, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
This week, we reflect on the question: "where do we go from here?" Just as with any rite of passage, whether graduation, marriage, birth of a child, a pivotal election, or the loss (or finding) of a…
America: Hitching Our Wagon to the World and to the Stars
by Marie T Russell and Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Well, the US presidential election is now behind us and it's time to take stock. We must find common ground between young and old, Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative to truly make…
InnerSelf Newsletter: October 25, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
The "slogan" or sub-title for the InnerSelf website is "New Attitudes---New Possibilities", and that is exactly the theme of this week's newsletter. The purpose of our articles and authors is to…