Using science-based practices, my self-talk became notably healthier—as did my self-esteem in general

Woman looking at her eye in mirror
Woman looking at her eye in mirror
Image credit: Lisa Vlasenko.

Does your inner dialogue sound something like your most shit-talking nemesis?

You’re not alone. I personally relate to being berated by my own thoughts, and many of the clients with whom I work in a private practice psychotherapy setting also describe this experience.

Studies have shown that the majority of our thoughts are repetitive in nature. We also know from research that the more worried, ruminating, or self-blaming thoughts we have in general, the higher levels of anxiety and depression we can expect to entertain (see “The structure and consequence of repetitive thought”), although tolerating any level of depression or…


Tested and proven exercise routines you can use to build your own strength

A woman lifts a weight.
A woman lifts a weight.
Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

What if I told you building strength was within your grasp? The potential to strengthen your body is there for almost any age, weight, or level of gym savviness. Time constraints, lack of knowledge, or the confusion of countless articles contradicting each other may have you feeling like your strength goals are not attainable. Don’t give up!

I am a certified personal trainer with an additional Weight Loss Specialist certification. I’ve worked with numerous clients to create workout plans designed to grow their muscular strength. …


The adapted Wheaton Scale can help us understand why even productivity nerds sometimes have trouble relating to each other

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Image for post
Image credit: Wongyutom

When you no longer have to work, how do you decide what to work on — and how much you work at all? Most people will never face this question, and so they zone out when others ask it.

Let’s consider a man named Jack. Jack thinks the above question is stupid. He assumes that if he didn’t have to, he’d never choose to work. In fact, why would anyone? Ironically, with that kind of mindset, if Jack came by some money, he’d just spend it all and, ultimately, be forced to go back to work.

Meanwhile, Blair has ventured…


There is so much going on on this platform that it’s hard to keep up. So let me help. Here are some people and publications to follow that consistently produce…


In the kinds of situations Bloom has dealt with, which include training people to withstand questioning under torture or being lost in enemy territory. He says that the most crucial element is a person’s response to the question: “Well, what kind of person do you want to be? Here we are. Now, what do you want to do about it?”

That (bolded emphasis my own) is from The Real Way to Find Meaning in an Unplannable Life by Corinne Purtill.

Hope is nice and all, but I like something I can sink my teeth into. Deciding who I want to…


Putting money on the line and partnering up for accountability helped me stay the course and overhaul my eating behaviors around sweets

Woman saying no to a doughnut.
Woman saying no to a doughnut.
Photo by Shisuka @Freepik.com

I didn’t set out to quit sugar at the start of this year. I’m not a big New Year’s resolution setter, and I was fairly happy with my weight, but I needed something to quit. My husband wanted to stop smoking and was struggling to find the motivation to do it. Smoking is up there with one of the most difficult habits to quit, so when I stumbled across a new way to support smoking cessation I jumped on it. Even if it meant I had to quit something too.

“There is no one person who wouldn’t benefit by eliminating…


Why we teach a Cue→Routine→Result methodology for habit coaching, and how that deviates from other methods.

Coaches and clients often come to us with some knowledge of pre-existing habit models, all of which use similar language. You might have run across these in Power of Habit or Tiny Habits or Atomic Habits.

As coaches, we try to work with the common knowledge of our clients, but there are places where we deviate. Those deviations are the secrets that you can only learn from experience.

You might have noticed if you are a long time reader of Better Humans that we are obsessed with real world experiences. That comes from curiosity that we learned in coaching. …


When you’re asked to give feedback, you’re being entrusted with tremendous responsibility: a responsibility to speak your truth

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Image for post
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

“What do you think?”

The dreaded question that always comes just after a writer looks up from a piece, having just spent the last 10 minutes reading their work aloud. Usually, when I’m asked this question I have a response in mind. Something about how the piece spoke to me in this way but confused me here, or how I’m walking away from it with a new understanding of this or that.

But, there are occasions where I find myself stumped — unable to form a helpful response for the writer who’s obviously labored over this particular work for hours…


The therapeutic technique I’ve been using for over six months to uncover core beliefs and keep my emotions in check

Eggs in a carton painted with faces showing different emotions.
Eggs in a carton painted with faces showing different emotions.
Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Sometimes it takes a combination of habits and practices to make progress on difficult goals. That has been my experience in coping with my own anxiety and negative thinking.

I am an anxious person. My overwhelming thoughts and unchecked emotions get in the way of normal daily functioning. When a negative emotion overpowers me, it takes several days for me to get over it. Being in social isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown aggravated this behavior. I talked to my therapist for respite. She suggested cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to keep my negative emotions in check.

I started CBT about a…


By slowing down, I learned to be more effective without even trying to be productive

A man runs through a field with a dog.
A man runs through a field with a dog.
Image credit Solovyova.

Since September, I’ve been balancing work as a special education teacher, graduate school in my Master’s, and side hustles of writing and editing. I have also been taking my running very seriously and have run over 10K a day, done 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 squats a day for the past 92 days. I’ve also started studying for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) to go to evening law school while I teach in a year.

It might seem like I’m good at managing my time, then, but in reality, I’m very bad at managing my time. The reason…

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