A Psychology Minute: Self-Monitoring

One of the ways that we change our thoughts and behaviors is to first be aware of them. Although our actions can shift over time without us knowing how this occurs, very often positive change requires us to be aware of just what we are doing (and how much we are doing it) in the first place.

In psychology, we describe this as self-monitoring, and it is used as one technique in treating various issues including anxiety, depression and even attention concerns. For example, I might ask an adolescent to track how much he picks at his skin in a 20 minute period during the day, and document what preceded the picking and followed right after. Given that awareness is such a huge key for all of us, I am launching “A Psychology Minute.” My hope is that it will provide “food for thought” about what we all do, and in being more aware, might help us grow in different ways.Why a “psychology minute”? Well, it is said that the average person reads 200 words per minute. Therefore, each entry will be 200 words or less.So, even if you just have a minute, there is time to learn.

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