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  • Keep going

    Today is my last day for any group sessions/webinar for 2023, and I would say I am grateful for this engagement. For context, it was for a team who lost someone dear to them. They were shocked because this person was the life of the party and behind that persona, s/he was going through a lot. I have shared with them all I have as a professional but they gave back to me more than I could ask for. I ended the engagement with tears. A good reminder, I am a psychologist but always I am a person. To all those struggling, still thinking if you need that consultation or if you deserve to have it, YES. You deserve that. Give that as a gift to yourself, or to people whom you care the most. Ask for that help whether from your friends, family, pastor, priest, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, neighbor - to anyone, just please ask for help. Help is here. Please keep going. You are valued and loved. Mahirap araw- araw pero laban. Bukas ulit basahin mo to. Doc B #yourstorymatters #youmatter

  • I Breathe For My Schedule

    I breathe for my schedule. From the time I wake up, I am ’running’ from one appointment to another, whether personal or work-related. It works so well for me; it lets me be present at all my engagements. If I browse through my past months, it is overwhelming. I am grateful because this ‘busyness’ goes far beyond my gains. Recently, I planned to terminate sessions with my adolescent patient because when we calibrated, we had already met our session goals, but she asked whether we could still see each other once in a while; of course, I said Yes. Then her parents entered the room and said thank you because the sessions did not significantly help my patient but them as parents and as a couple. Not good news, though, but they separated and were able to do co-parenting successfully. Stories like this keep me going, yes, it helps me grow professionally, but at the same time, it gives me hope. I hope for all the other patients I’m seeing, the time will come. We also have to bid each other goodbye because my time in their lives is already done. I hope for humanity because I have heard stories from people who were villains in other people's lives but embraced humility and reconciliation. Lastly, hope for me. I am not proud of all the wrong decisions I’ve made; I am not proud of the moments I said hurtful words; I wish I had never said those. I am not proud that I always choose to be quiet when others continue to accuse me. But in moments like this, when in between sessions, when my patients understand why I asked our sessions to be moved, I remain hopeful I can be better. If I was part of your inner circle before and we may have lost touch for whatever reasons, please understand our time has been done, but I remain hopeful one day our paths will cross again, and hopefully, it will be better and lasting. #yourstorymatters #youmatter #BPStronger #BPShine

  • Do Not Disturb: Mental Health Break from Social Media

    As the world continuously progresses with technological advancement equipping us through the journey, people have become more engaged on different social media platforms including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. According to Dollarhide (2021), social media is an interactive computer technology that allows people to share their ideas, opinions, and knowledge over virtual networks and communities. Social media is an internet-based platform that allows people to share content such as but not exclusive to private details, documents, films, and images quickly and electronically. Individuals who use the internet or also known as “users” usually interact using social media platforms or internet software and applications on vast and various technological devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Social media is widely utilized in many countries in the United States and Europe, Asian countries such as Indonesia are at the top of the list with regards to this. As of October 2021, more than 4.5 billion people use social media. In the Philippines, in January 2022, the country had 92.05 million social media users. At the start of 2022, the Philippines' social media users accounted for 82.4 percent of the overall population. According to a Kepios analysis, the number of Filipinos using social media climbed by 3.1 million (+3.4%) between 2021 and 2022. On the other hand, in the third quarter of 2021, online consumers in the Philippines spent an average of 10.27 hours browsing the internet on various devices, as per a report published by DataReportal. Meanwhile, the average daily time spent on social media was 4.06 hours. With all that being said, Filipinos allot a huge percentage of their time to using social media, which perhaps we can only assume to be one of the reasons behind the rising number of mental health issues in the country. The way people tend to overshare on social media can be held as a risk factor for some individuals’ mental health. Allowing yourself to be transparent on social media also opens up the doors to praise or ridicule. One of the major issues in social media use is how some individuals lack internet etiquette. Toxicity is rampant on social media as people tend to normalize such negative internet behavior by posting malicious content that is intended to belittle or hurt others. For instance, social media can be a platform where other people can see one another’s an opinion and in turn may lead to disputes. Another example can be how some people are forced to follow trends and change themselves to be more socially acceptable. We must remember that to some, social media is their way of living and not just a platform to share a part of themselves. The aforementioned platform carries standards that are carried out beneath the surface level. Aspiring to “keep up” rather than just being yourself can be exhausting. When users tend to care more about how people will perceive them it leads to an individual questioning their worth and feeling intimidated when comparing themselves to what they see as the acceptable norm. All of such can accumulate into anxiety, stress, irrational fears, and in severe cases, depression, suicide, and even death. A Netflix documentary entitled “The Social Dilemma”, talks about how social media platforms can exploit their users through manipulation. They would use the data of the users to influence them to do certain things which often leads to them getting addicted to such platforms. It even goes as far as social media companies selling user data to the highest bidders, such a commodity can be used to manipulate and influence people into buying company products and streaming more revenue through site visits. The “Do Not Disturb” on your phone can be used for the better, allowing you to use it as a self-declared break from social media. Furthermore, it can also be seen as a form of self-love, taking a break from social media may reduce the risk of an individual having mental health issues. Social media can damage one’s inner self and it affects one’s decisions, self-esteem, confidence, and so on. We have to uphold and prioritize the importance of our mental health to proactively battle issues that may arise. Although social media has its perks and fun, maintaining to a healthy amount of exposure is the best thing to do. In the end, it is not that we should stop all engagement on social media but rather not push ourselves over the limits of our mental health. A break is okay, allowing yourself breathing room from all the sharing, posting, and commenting might serve you some good. Maintaining healthy habits and proper internet etiquette can contribute to a better social media community. Remember, you don’t have to move with the trends or be what is accepted by the major populace, be yourself. The authentic you on social media is what we want to see and if you are somehow going through something about your mental health, take a break. Your followers and friends will understand, but if they don’t remember you don’t owe everyone an explanation. References: Kemp, S. (2022, February 15). Digital 2022: The Philippines. DataReportal – Global Digital Insights.,the%20Philippines%20in%20January%202022. Social Media: Sharing Ideas and Thoughts. (2021, August 31). Investopedia.,documents%2C%20videos%2C%20and%20photos. Statista. (2022, February 15). Daily time spent using online media in the Philippines Q3 2021, by activity.,social%20media%20on%20average%20daily.

  • Mental Health and Online Learning

    Online learning enables the students to create their own spaces that are conducive to focus on the lessons, compared to the traditional classroom setting wherein their classmates’ chatter may be distracting. Aside from being protected from COVID-19, this online set-up has protected the students from bullying. Research has found that the majority of bullying among students occurs in traditional face-to-face classes (NCES, 2019). Bullies have almost no opportunity to pick on their classmates as they are easily monitored by their teachers during class. Students are rarely alone except for when the teacher conducts breakout rooms and leaves them with no supervision. The set-up has also given a chance for self-paced learning through asynchronous sessions using pre-recorded videos as well as modules. This gives the students the freedom to manage their time and catch up on their lessons at their own pace, preventing the pressure that is experienced during face-to-face classes where a student must be able to catch up with the rest of the class. While online learning reduces learning costs and increases safety, most students still prefer the traditional face-to-face setup. According to a Pulse Asia poll, 62% of public school students wanted to go back to school (Tan, 2021). College students, especially those with a lot of practical and laboratory courses, have also expressed their longing for face-to-face classes. However, with the consistent increase of COVID-19 cases in the country, going back to a traditional classroom setup seems far ahead. Health allied courses that were approved for limited face-to-face classes were postponed due to new variants of the virus. In the Philippines, people are fixated on graduating on time as most of the job opportunities in the country require educational attainment. Despite this, many students have opted for a leave of absence. The Department of Education has reported that 1.1 million students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 did not enroll for the academic year 2020 to 2021 (Hernando-Malipot, 2021). On the other hand, the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges reported that over 44,000 college students from 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines did not enroll during this academic year as well (Mateo, 2020). While there is no specific number as to how many college students from private universities were unable to enroll, there are still reports about them taking a leave of absence (Bello, 2020). One of the main reasons why students opt for a leave of absence is how the pandemic has been taking a toll on their mental health. Face-to-face classes offer students an opportunity to socialize and connect with their classmates, org mates, and other peers. Some may even rely on socialization as a means to release their stress from school. However, the online learning set-up has made students socially isolated and has deprived them of their coping mechanisms during the traditional set-up. This leaves them more at risk of loneliness, lack of motivation, and stress. Various studies have also found social isolation to cause negative effects on the mental health of individuals. A psychological phenomenon called “zoom fatigue”, which has emerged during the pandemic is also being experienced by students (Dolan, 2021). This phenomenon is a result of prolonged video calls and conferences similar to when a student attends class every day for an hour. The lack of nonverbal cues during an online class required the student to focus more intently to be able to understand what the teacher is saying. In the same way, the students have to exaggerate their actions to make their teacher know that they are paying attention or agreeing to the discussion. Moreover, it was found that being able to see oneself constantly can cause fatigue as it is like going to school and having a mirror that constantly follows you around. On a normal set-up, students do not constantly see their reflections. Seeing a reflection of yourself may also cause you to be more critical of yourself, causing distraction and adding to stress and anxiety (Ramachandran, 2021). Other factors such as the abrupt transition to online learning, home stressors, and lack of boundaries between school and personal life also increase the mental health concerns of the students (Muñoz, 2021). Even universities recognize these difficulties as they implement university-wide academic breaks, requested by the students especially when there is a surge in COVID-19 cases. The Department of Health has warned that increased feelings of isolation and health concerns may arise in this set-up. Having a routine and remaining physically active were suggested by the department to prevent these problems. As the pandemic continues and cases constantly increase, students need to establish healthy coping mechanisms to improve their mental health. References: Bello, R. (2020). Why did some students choose to file a leave of absence during the COVID crisis? Retrieved from Dolan, E. (2021). The study suggests “Zoom fatigue” is a real psychological phenomenon — but there are three ways to help prevent it. Retrieved from Psychological-phenomenon-but-there-are-three-ways-to-help-prevent-it-60752 Hernando-Malipot, M. (2021). DepEd: Only 1.1 million learners did not enroll this year. Retrieved from Mateo, J. (2020). 44,000 college students may be unable to enroll. Retrieved from Muñoz, C. (2021). Mental Health Implications of Virtual Learning on Student Engagement. Retrieved from Ramachadran, V. (2021). Stanford researchers identify four causes for ‘Zoom fatigue’ and their simple fixes. Retrieved from Tan, A. (2021). Limited face-to-face classes may start in September — DepEd. Retrieved from

  • Harm Reduction Approach to Drug Use: Is there any other option?

    The current drug policies governing specifically, the provision of treatment to substance users is limited to the abstinence-only approach. Harm reduction is deemed to be another liberating idea from the Western and argued to be unacceptable to the Philippines’ conservative culture (Lasco, 2021). This idea is critical and even dangerous with the current drug policy in the country criminalizing drug use. This law forces people using drugs to completely abstain from their drug use with their life on the line. However, the abrupt abstinence-only approach may not apply to everyone. It may not be a practical approach for them (MacMaster, 2004). There are many reasons why a person uses drugs, and that a person continues his use despite possible legal implications may imply that the drugs have done something good for them. Some of them may not see drugs as problematic or do not have the skill to abstain now. If the only law we have is for people who are willing and can stop using it at once, then how about the rest who equally need help? Where can they receive the help that will treat them with respect and dignity following their human rights? How about the help for individuals who may not be immediately interested in total abstinence? One of the problems of this approach is the dismissive view of these people as resistant, unmotivated, unwilling thus, undeserving of help. This adds up to the inherent stigma that drug use has. Drug users are negatively viewed as immoral, lazy, and criminals in the present society (Gomes, 2022). This is the messaging that we package in our education, one that disregards the unique experiences of people without asking them what they truly need. As society continues to oppress the marginalized community into fitting what they set as “healthy” standards, these people begin internalizing these views and begin believing that they are irresponsible and have no hope left because of their inability to stop their drug use (Gomes, 2022). After all the wrecking disasters experienced by our country with the oppression of people linked to drug use, it is time to reform our policies and begin considering the experiences of these people in developing a policy that seeks the genuine interest of all people. Instead of finding faults in substance use treatment efficiency and the client’s lack of motivation, it is necessary to provide continuum care relative to the needs of the client. In the treatment of substance use, relapse is natural even after Receiving the treatment. Harm Reduction is an approach to eliminating the negative harms or consequences of drug use without necessarily stopping the drug use immediately (Des Jarlais, 1995 as cited in MacMaster, 2004). The service providers develop interventions for reducing drug-related harm promoting a treatment that is not only limited to abstinence (MacMaster, 2004). Substance use has been a part of our society and will continue in the coming years. Moreover, accepting this reality and moving forward in our transformative response to our current education and policies will save countless lives. References: Gomes, A. Paulo Freire: Review of “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Harm Reduct J 19, 21 (2022). Lasco, G. Decolonizing harm reduction. Harm Reduct J 19, 8 (2022). MacMaster, S. A. (2004). Harm Reduction: A New Perspective on Substance Abuse Services. Social Work, 49(3), 356-63.

  • "Dangal o Puri? Ano ang mas matimbang?": A manifestation of prioritizing self-interest over pleasing

    Truth be told, people are not compelled to please others with their achievements and success. They should not be necessitated to seek validation from their peers, family, and society. However, with the amount of pressure and expectations bestowed upon them, they assert themselves to excel in the majority areas of their lives. Moreover, once they succeed, the question of who to honor can be detrimental, because more often than not, their accomplishment equates to gratifying the honors of others than oneself. Thus, the confusion of who should be honored in equivalence of one’s progress takes place. In Filipino Psychology, this concept is attributed to two terms – dangal and puri. Dangal pertains to one’s internal honor. In particular, Pe-Pua & Marcelino (2000) defined it as the importance of one’s own “true worth, character, achievement, and success.” On the other hand, they defined puri as the honor of the external. Wherein others are praised by society based on their achievements, success, and good performance (p. 57). This article will explain the demonstration of how puri and dangal are seen in the context of prioritizing self-interest over validation from others. Moreover, it will explore the reality that some people experience, and how to overcome those. Cherry (2021) defined people-pleasing as an act of placing the interest of others before their own. They may be described as someone kind, nice, and helpful. Despite that, this could lead to adverse effects in terms of one’s emotions. Brennan (2021) mentioned that some would experience a lack of self-care, resentment toward others, and exhausting everything that they have. Thus, it can be inferred that the primary source of an individual’s validation came from others rather than their effort. Henceforth, different factors embody why a person dignifies by pleasing others. Glashow (2019) mentioned several reasons in her article, “11 Reasons Why You Are a People Pleaser” which include: avoidance of conflict, fear of rejection, fear of disappointing others, wanting something in return, wanting others to be nice to an individual, wanting to fit in, easily influenced by others, genuinely compassionate, do not want to feel guilty for saying no, self-worth is embodied from external validation, and lack of self-love. Given these factors, some individuals tend to neglect their wants and needs at the expense of being loved by others. Moreover, some aspects of one’s life may be sacrificed because of how they are attuned to social satisfaction. Given these, an understanding must be established that it is vital to think of one’s self-interest. In the Philippines, happiness is defined by various concepts. Kasiyahan and kaligayahan are among the few. Markedly, its relation to dangal and puri is seen in several ways. If a person opted to choose dangal, they will feel a degree of kaligayahan within themselves. On the other hand if one chooses puri they would feel kasiyahan considering that they were validated by external forces. Thus, it can be established that these two trains of thought are dynamically intertwined. Likewise, it can also affect how one perceives their own goals. In a study conducted by Cross & Uskul (2020), they claimed that the vitality of honor dangers the pursuit of one’s goals. Thus, it can be inferred that the perception of one’s aspirations in life is influenced by honor from within and outward. Additionally, some would opt to choose honor from others especially if they have something to prove. Even with this instance, several influences could affect their perception of themselves. One of those is through social media. Online platforms implicate a vital impact on the lives of people wherein people would “like” or appreciate an image based on how it is pleasing to the eyes of people (Schwarz, 2018). Being on social media throughout the day, some would internalize and actualize behaviors that would need public affirmation. Thus, it could affect their mental health in many avenues. Indeed, it is vital to prioritize one’s self-interest. However, realistically speaking, this is more of an ideal vision rather than a practical one. In all honesty, it is difficult to choose one’s self-interest over others. There are instances wherein expectations are set and standards must be met for others to be proud of a person. For instance, being in a collectivist country, one is expected to pursue a course in medicine for their clan to be proud of a person. But, if they opt to forego a lesser-known course they would be criticized. Hence, they would sacrifice their kaligayahan and dangal to be validated through kasiyahan and puri. Perhaps, these are detrimental to one’s mental health. However, mental health interventions can be practiced to avoid the toll on one’s health. As this article is about to end, there are ways how people-pleasing can be avoided to prioritize one’s honor from within. Morgan (2019) mentioned a few, and these are: No can also mean yes Not being able to say no is quite a challenge to some individuals. However, to practice a more suitable lifestyle, it is practical to disagree sometimes. Learn how to deliver bad news If an individual would not learn to do this, they will resort to lies, false promises, and disappointment to people. Thus to avoid this, a person must understand that this is crucial as well. Make Time for Alone Time This is necessary and not selfish. People-pleasers do not need to be there for someone at all times. Focus on your Intentions Being people-pleasers, they must refocus on where their intentions are set to avoid vulnerabilities from narcissistic and selfish people. Reference Brennan, D. (2021, October 25). What is a people pleaser? WebMD. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from Cherry, K. (2021, September 3). How to stop being a people-pleaser. Verywell Mind. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from Cross, Susan E., & Uskul, Ayse K. (2020) The pursuit of honor: Novel contexts, varied approaches, and new developments. In: Gelfand, Michele J. and Chiu, Chi-yue and Hong, Ying-yi, eds. Advances in Culture and Psychology. Oxford University Press, New York. (In press) (KAR id:81613) Glashow, C. (2021, February 23). 11 reasons why you are a people-pleaser. Anchor Therapy, LLC. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from Morgan, Z. (2019, May 28). People-pleasers: The good, the bad, and the fixable. Thin Difference. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from,ve%20seen%2C%20sometimes%20malicious%20manner Pe-Pua, R., & Protacio-Marcelino, E. A. (2000). Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology): A legacy of Virgilio G. Enriquez. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 3(1), 49–71. Schwarz, K., Wieschollek, P., & Lensch, H. P. (2018). Will people like your image? learning the aesthetic space. 2018 IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV).

  • Suicide rates in the Philippines during the COVID 19 Pandemic

    COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Virus. A lot of people have been infected with this type of disease around the world. This type of virus requires a lot of special treatment since it can be contagious. The symptoms of this is a mild to moderate respiratory illness. People who already have medical conditions, especially older people, are more likely to get this type of virus. Ever since the Pandemic started there have been plenty of lockdowns across the world, and it affected people's jobs and how they will earn and eat every day. When the Pandemic started a lot of us stayed at home to be able to be safe and keep our families safe as well. Mental health issues are sometimes ignored in Filipino culture as a symptom of a lack of religious belief. However, these recurring lockdowns show that as people open up and reveal their vulnerabilities, more sensitive care is required. Suicide is the world's largest cause of death. This was a serious public health concern even before the outbreak of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV2 COVID-19 pandemic. Someone dies in the world every 40 seconds and more than 20 people try to attempt suicide. According to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), they showed that suicide rates went up to 25.7% in the year 2020. This made it the 27th leading cause of death in the Philippines in 2020. In 2020, 3,529 cases of attempted self-harm were announced, up from 2,808 deaths in 2019. Between the years 2015 and 2020, the number of suicides was a total of 2,630 deaths in the Philippines. In the year 2020, the National Center for Mental Health reported that they saw that a large number of calls had been made to, the Hotlines since the Pandemic, and lockdowns were announced at the beginning of March. The reason for the large number of calls was Anxiety concerns. When the NCMH noticed that the suicide rates were increasing, they took action and the government forces sought help from religious leaders about this situation. REFERENCES Bansigan, J (2021) “Commentary: In desperate bid to fend off COVID-19, the Philippines’ repeated lockdowns create a mental health crisis,” Commentary. News Desk (2020) “Philippines: Official says COVID-19 responsible for a mental health crisis.” Outbreak News Today. Rosales, K. (2021) “Pandemic year sees 57% rise in suicide rate in the Philippines.” Philstar news

  • Acad Break Cutie

    Almost all students are anxious to have a vacation from attending classes in their school. Right now, we have this thing called the new normal. It is more about doing the classes online. Because of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, face-to-face classes cannot happen. Having close contact with one another is a big risk of spreading the virus. Since then, one hundred percent of the online classes was conducted in most schools, not just here in the Philippines but also in other countries. Because of advanced technology, some apps can be used for doing virtual classes. There are Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. . Despite doing classes online, there is still a risk for our Mental Health to deteriorate. Focusing too much on doing our tasks in online schooling causes burnout. Not just that, but also the feeling of isolation. Most of the students are used to socializing face to face with their classmates and friends. It’s hard to adapt to the new system. Many are experiencing loneliness and depression. On Nov. 14, 2020, the 150 students of the College of Law from UP Diliman protested to have an academic break regarding the government’s action to prevent a pandemic. They are campaigning about the days in which the synchronous and asynchronous classes should be suspended for an academic break for students and teachers. The relief of stress and anxiety regarding internet issues for an online class, burnout, and doing something in their social life. They have a unity that no students should be left behind. Last January 2022, the DepEd announced a nationwide academic break. The reason is to have a lot of time for teachers and students to recover from the COVID-19 Variant and have a mental health break. It is an emergency because of the increasing number of cases of having the virus. they proposed that the activities that need to be submitted should be optional. We should pay attention to our health. Yes, education is important but we should also monitor our physical and mental health. If we are healthy in both aspects, we will have a good performance in school. Everything should be balanced. If you focus too much on pressure yourself on your school tasks without having a break, you will mentally deteriorate. There are times that when you feel yourself being in distress due to academics, you should do something to relax. Do some activities that will make you escape from thinking about school work. You can watch Netflix, exercise, talk to somebody, go out for a walk in just a few minutes, eat, or do any other activities even though it’s a short period. Life is short. Make sure to make most of the moments memorable in a positive way References:

  • The Hands of the Violent that He will Never Forget

    Reddened and bruised, he felt. The hands of the violent that he will never forget. “You never do good, son!” he heard, followed by a hit that burned. The hands of the violent that he will never forget. “They will never do it again,” he thought, while dressing the wound he got. “They did it again”, he said, crying as he lay on the bed. The hands of the violent that he will never forget. Time flies and he grew just fine, but the hands of the violent that he will never forget still lingers through his mind. Reddened and bruised, he heals. promising to himself that he will always be kind. “You did great, my son!” he said, followed by a gentle pat on his son’s head. This is where it ends. He smiled and looked above, the hands of the violent that he will never have.


    The self is like a big canvas that you can paint as you go on with your life. The paint represents your experiences that can make the final product unique. There is always room for mistakes and failure, every day is a chance to create something new and different. Oftentimes, feeling stuck in the past and present leads to confusion and demotivation to move forward. Oftentimes you forget to remember that you are a work in progress. It is okay to make mistakes, or if you fail to do a certain thing. Being a work in progress means you are acknowledging and accepting your shortcomings and letting them go on. It means that you are continually looking for opportunities that will spark growth and change within your life. Moreover, being a work in progress allows us to make slow progress, doing things one step at a time. You can always set goals or unrealistic standards within yourself but don’t force it to happen because it's for your sake at the end of the day. Figuring out things can be quite pressuring especially if you are in your early twenties and preparing to enter adult life. You are often bombarded by the things that society has designed for young adults like you. But remember to be gentle with yourself because you are not required to know it all at once. Your journey might be slower than someone else’s but don’t worry because figuring out things does not have a finish line where the first one wins. Lastly, being a work in progress does not mean you are a failure. It means you are continually growing and striving to be a better version of yourself. Always remember that you are a priceless artwork that is made meticulously through time.

  • “Beauty of Positivity”

    “Beauty of Positivity” Good day or bad It is still a day we had We should live our life Even if it hurts like knifed Imagine a bright future A study said it’s a cure Even forgiving helps too Bring positivity in all you do Acceptance is a step to move forward It keeps us from stepping again backward Sometimes it is hard to let it pass But it will make life as green as grass Do not count the downs Focus on the bright ones For existence is the most wonderful time Use it like it’s a precious dime. References: Huffman, J.C. (2017). Positive Psychology for Mood Disorders (PPBPAD). U.S National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from on March 23, 2022 Ehlis, A.C. (2021). #Stayhealthy - Monitoring and Maintenance of Mental Health Under Conditions of Social Isolation During the Corona Crisis (stay healthy). U.S National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from on March 23, 2022

  • Psychology of Forgiveness: How Understanding Psychology Helps us to Forgive

    At some point in our life, we find ourselves struggling to forgive, and several reasons lead us to think that forgiveness is completely out of reach. We tend to associate forgetting with forgiving, when recurring memories have occurred, we thought that forgiveness was not yet achieved. This may be because of overwhelming emotions that we’ve felt when we are reminded of the offense. We relive the experiences so as the emotions that we encountered during the actual offense, and with that it made us think that forgiveness is not part of who we are. We also look at forgiveness as a one-time event wherein we don’t give ourselves enough time to heal, acknowledge our emotions and regain our identity after unwanted situations. Little did we know that learning how our mind works through psychology may help us to forgive. Forgiving does not Mean Forgetting Recurring Memories are Normal Repeated experiences can be stored in long-term memory, and remembering an event or situation may activate certain emotions that have been felt during the experience. These emotions can be anger, rage, and bitterness, and this may affect us negatively, as the higher the intensity of anger the more likely it is hard to forgive others, this leads to prolonged hostility and higher stress levels (Macaskill et al., 2012). We may think that recurring memories are an indicator of unforgiveness, but the truth is it’s normal as memories are both biological and psychological. The Use of CBT in Forgiveness As we have learned that recurring memories are normal, managing our emotional responses is now possible. Although the intensity of emotions was not the same as the actual event, it is important to make a conscious effort how to respond when those recurring events have occurred. According to Dr. Kanayo a teacher of psychology at the University of Surrey, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps do a daily practice of Forgiveness. CBT is psychotherapy wherein negative thoughts about self and the world are challenged to change unwanted behavior. CBT first acknowledges the event – what is the offense? – Next, the behavioral response to that offense – Are you mad? Do you feel sad? – and the consequences, – Are there prolonged bitterness and negative thoughts that arise? Forgiveness is a Journey Doing old patterns is normal In that manner, we know that our behavioral response amidst negative emotions and overwhelming situations is manageable. We may find ourselves stuck in undesirable situations during forgiveness but we need to remember that it is not a one-time event. According to Dr. LePera, a psychologist, forgiveness sometimes feels easy, and accessible, and other days it feels completely out of our reach because it's a journey. There may be times that we find ourselves doing the old behavioral response again, and that is okay as our patterns form both in the behavior and in our brains that’s why it’s difficult to break it. Forgiveness is full of uncertainty but who would imagine that knowing the psychology behind forgiveness can change the way we forgive others and may lead us to self-forgiveness as we become aware that the unpredictable manifestation of forgiveness is unpretentious? References: Dike-Oduah, K. (2020, May 5). Psychology of Forgiveness. Retrieved from Doctor Kanayo: Enright, R. (2019, December 10). How We Think About Forgiveness at Different Ages.GreaterGood Magazine. Retrieved from LePera, N. (March 9, 2021). How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Yourself. Harper Wave. Linjin Tao, M. T. (2020, December 23). A Pilot Study for Forgiveness Intervention in Adolescents With High Trait Anger: Enhancing Empathy and Harmony. (W. Chen, Ed.) doi:/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.569134 Macaskill, A. (2012). Differentiating dispositional self-forgiveness from other-forgiveness: associations with mental health and life satisfaction. J. Soc. Clin. Psychol. 31, 28–50. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2012.31.1.28

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