Enjoy My Most Popular Posts From 7 Years at Psychology Today
Here are my "most-read" pieces from each year I've written for Psychology Today.
Posted Apr 10, 2018
I always celebrate my anniversary of writing for Psychology Today with a post that offers some of my past pieces for reading (or re-reading). For 2018, I thought I’d share the most-read piece from each of my seven years, along with a few thoughts about each one.
I put the name of each piece into a link so you can go to it easily. I hope you find something interesting to read here!
This piece is one of my personal favorites, so I love that it’s been read by almost 250,000 people. I’m not sure how this happened, since most of my popular pieces are about chronic pain and illness. This piece covers four qualities of mind that are essential to our well-being: kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. In my book, How to Wake Up, I refer to them as the awakened states.
I’d written a piece on what those with chronic pain and illness DON’T want to hear and this was the follow-up to it. Both pieces did well, but I like that the one with the more positive title has more readers!
I’m glad that so many people have read this piece because I admit that I recently re-read it to remind myself why and how to be more patient. I have a little story about this piece. A fellow who publishes a magazine in Dubai called Yogalife read it and asked for permission to use it in the magazine. He said it was the first magazine of its kind in Dubai. I said “sure” (I own the copyright to my pieces) and so he reprinted it with some lovely photos and sent me a copy of the magazine. Now they’re going to reprint another piece of mine on alleviating worry.
Of the 222 pieces I’ve posted in the past seven years, this is now my second most popular one. Almost 300,000 people have read it. This piece reminds me why I write: to educate friends and family about chronic pain and illness, and to help us feel less isolated by sharing how much we have in common with others who are trying their best to cope with health problems. Many people have told me that reading this piece made them feel that at least somebody understands the challenges they face every day.
People loved this piece because it gave them the chance to compare their “indispensables” with mine and with others who left comments. I think all of us were surprised at how many indispensables we shared. Reading everyone’s comments made me certain that my own indispensables are entirely reasonable!
I was feeling lonely one day and wrote this from my bed, using my laptop. It’s now my most-read piece with almost 400,000 page views! I had no idea it would be so well-received. I’m grateful that my suggestions were helpful.
Catastrophic thinking is one of the ten most common “cognitive distortions” that make life so much harder for us than it need be. The fact that this piece has been read by so many people even though it’s not about chronic pain or illness tells me that I’m not alone in looking for ways to tame my unruly mind! I’m thinking of writing about some of the other cognitive distortions, such as “overgeneralization” and “personalization.”
So that’s it. Seven years is a long time. I often worry that I’ll run out of ideas for things to write about, but life keeps throwing challenges at me, so I keep thinking about ways to turn lemons into lemonade (faithful readers of my pieces will know that it can’t always be done—sometimes we just have to wait a tough time out).
With heartfelt gratitude to all of you,