La filosofía Shonagai- El poder de la aceptación ante las dificultades

The Shonagai philosophy: The power of acceptance in the face of difficulties

We live in the era of «chaos» forgetting our wallet, being stuck in traffic or our battery discharged can make us go into an emotional outburst. These situations beyond our control are part of the stress we face in our day-to-day lives. The ability to remain calm in the face of what we can and cannot control is fundamental to preserving a healthy mental and emotional well-being. Faced with this, in Japan the concept «shou ga nai» was born, which in our western version would be «what are we going to do». It is very easy to say, but how can we integrate the concept «shou ga nai» in our lifestyle?

Get to know the concept of "shou ga nai"

From the Japanese philosophy comes the expression «shou ga nai» part of a philosophy where many of those who practice it, recognize it as «the secret of happiness». The Shoganai philosophy has its origins in Buddhism, therefore, it reflects a style of coping from the acceptance of circumstances that we cannot control.

This ability to maintain serenity in the face of difficulties does not deny our emotions, indeed, it does not focus on the conformism of our reality but preserves our efforts to change that which we can transform. This direction of our energy is a great protective factor when considering the disease of the 21st century: stress.

This refreshing new perspective brings us a new coping strategy that takes us away from cognitive rumination, automatic thoughts or paralysis by analysis, to bring us greater peace in our daily life situations and in which we can find a point of support, to look at our concerns with a broad outlook.

La filosofía Shonagai- El poder de la aceptación ante las dificultades 2

The integration of shonagai into the western world

The Shoganai philosophy is based on the pillars of mindfulness, where the importance of living in the present is recognized, moving away from «what I could have done» in the past or «what I will do» in the future. This concept has been tried to be transferred within the Western world as (it is what it is) in English or the popularly known (C’est la vie) in French. In other languages such as Icelandic we find (Petta reddast).

Beyond the globalization of the concept, the real key to this philosophy lies in its integration into our daily lives. In the Western world, it may seem fatalistic or pessimistic to «throw in the towel» in the face of difficulties. The key has been practiced by the Japanese, who focus their efforts on respect and acceptance of good and bad cycles as part of the way.

This philosophy makes us see beyond the concept, a lifestyle completely removed from western standards of «productivity» and how little we are allowed to «stop». We can find different translations of «shou ga nai» but sadly it is very far from our integration in the face of difficulties. A good starting point to establish a new cognitive reframing in the face of difficulties focuses on the differentiation between: «Conforming» as a reactive attitude while «Accepting» is a mature and proactive attitude, which translates into emotional stability, a sense of inner control and self-knowledge.

La filosofía Shonagai- El poder de la aceptación ante las dificultades 3

How to practice the Shoganai philosophy? Here are 4 simple steps for its integration

Take an instance of things

Before starting to analyze a situation, it is key to take a step back and try to find a moment where our emotions are more settled. When we all receive bad news, we are flooded with negative and even catastrophic thoughts, we tend to put ourselves in the worst, going into a state of alert as a strategy of preparation for danger. A vital tool that can help us in practice is the puppy metaphor:

«We have a puppy and we see how it does not stop sitting on our sofa, chewing the cushions and even begins to leave us some gift around the house … through this metaphor, we will see how we will see how we sprout frustration and anger to have our house impeccable, however, we must be patient and focus our efforts on educating the puppy, since a scolding would not help us at all.»

Identify which are and are not in your control

Once the metaphor has been put into practice, we will begin to analyze those things that have disturbed our routine and have led to a state of chaos in our order. Before their appearance, we will take enough perspective to establish a critical judgment. We will differentiate between: Can I change it? Yes, we take action. Can’t I change it? «In this case, we should accept it and save our energy.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a crucial part of integrating this philosophy, so that when our efforts are focused on the things that inspire gratitude, we encourage the development of a positive attitude. In the term this attitude refers to the cultivation of our resilience as a tool for adaptability in the face of difficulties. In addition to this, an attitude of serenity in a «calm mind» makes us find new solutions in situations we had not previously contemplated.

The more practice, the greater the mastery

This type of strategies, like mindfulness, do not try to be established with a goal of hours of practice. The key lies in its frequency, i.e., if you have 5 stressful situations during the day and you practice these simple steps in the 5, you will be training the mastery of the flow of thoughts, seeing how they become less and less present and that you have much greater awareness and control over your emotions in front of these. This continuity of short time and high frequency is what really works our ability.

La filosofía Shonagai- El poder de la aceptación ante las dificultades 4

Know the 5 Benefits for your mental health through the practice of the "Shoganai" philosophy

  1. Reduce your cortisol hormone: As the hormone responsible for stress, cortisol is produced by our body in "emergency" situations in order to cope with those situations that are out of our routine. Cortisol is as necessary as any other hormone, since it is indispensable for those situations in which we are in real danger. However, its prolonged maintenance can be detrimental to our health, promoting emotional irritability, lack of sense of humor or provoking emotional outbursts of anger or sadness. Beyond this, our quality of sleep or our immune system is weakened by this continuity. In view of this, the practice of the Shoganai philosophy can reduce our reactivity to stress and thus establish a correct regulation of the hormone.
  2. Increase your ability of resilience: Resilience is one of the most important skills when facing the challenges of our life, and is that, bring serenity is also focus your inner energy to listen to you, understand you and especially recompose yourself from those setbacks that assail us without warning. The absence of this ability can cause fear or loss of control to paralyze us, leading us to a state of obsession or rumination of our own thoughts. It is clear that resilience will not make our problems disappear, however, it gives us the ability to see beyond them, to continue and to appreciate the good despite the difficulties.
  3. Improve the stability of your emotions: The Shoganai philosophy leads us to a greater state of consciousness by focusing on the acceptance of the present, that is, to focus our strength on what we really have, in order to be able to modify our reality. This makes emotions that lead us to frustration move away, establishing a greater mental balance and learning to manage those that appear to us with relativity to the facts.
  4. Promotes Self-knowledge: The practice of Shoganai leads us to a state of resignation which brings us to an encounter with our emotions, this encounter from the acceptance gives us a deeper understanding of ourselves and the recognition of where our limits of will are, being more aware of those things that predispose us in that state of alertness. This self-knowledge is a key ability to know how to work in these stressful situations.
  5. Improve your attention span with creativity: Controlling your focus of attention directly improves the quality of your attention. The Shoganai philosophy, not only helps us to establish this control, but, with the acquisition of this, we find new solutions through creativity. This valuable quality, as experts say, is blocked in those situations where there is an overactivation of certain brain areas. When we approach problems from worry or pressure, our brain goes into a "state of alert" trying to solve situations quickly and automatically and therefore limiting our ability to find creative solutions.
La filosofía Shonagai- El poder de la aceptación ante las dificultades 5

The importance of lifestyle for wellness

Having learned about the many benefits of this innovative philosophy, it is essential to recognize its practical application in order to integrate it as a pillar of our lifestyle. The concept of «shou ga nai» may begin as a simple expression, but it has the power to transform itself into a new way of perceiving life and every circumstance around us. Its adoption is not a passive process, but requires active commitment, willingness and awareness. However, the efforts invested in its practice bring us the peace and mental balance essential to face daily challenges with serenity. Now, I ask you: Are you willing to immerse yourself in the practice of the Shoganai philosophy?

Written by:

Paula Taguas Labrador

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Dislexia- no hay que esperar a que los niños fracasen en la lectura

Dyslexia: no need to wait until children fail to read

Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder of neurobiological origin, characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. It stems from a deficit in phonological awareness. It is a life-long disorder, although its impact on an individual can vary in different stages of their life. “Neurobiological” means that it is caused by certain cerebral abnormalities which are genetic in origin.

Although the number of early intervention programmes in schools, at least in Madrid, is growing, too often in schools, dyslexia is only detected when a child “fails” to learn to read and intervention only begins after a formal diagnosis is received, usually at around 7 years of age. The effects of delaying support-provision until this point is reached can include, not only bad academic performance, but also a negative attitude to school, low self-esteem and behaviour issues.

This article aims to provide information to teachers and parents on detecting risk of dyslexia in pre-readers and on the best techniques to ensure that children with difficulties learn to read successfully.

Dislexia- no hay que esperar a que los niños fracasen en la lectura 2

How much do teachers know about dyslexia?

Unfortunately, in contrast to the United States, there is still a lack of teacher training in dyslexia in Early Years and Primary schools in Spain, and the amount that teachers know about the disorder varies, depending more on their individual experience of children than anything else. The fact that dyslexia is one of the most common disorders to encounter in the classroom (in Spain the percentage of children with dyslexia is 7-10%) underlines the importance of addressing this problem, through the provision of training and information resources.

Common myths surrounding dyslexia, which need to be dispelled, are, for example:

  • that the main symptom of this disorder is writing letters back-to-front or reading words backwards;
  • that dyslexia is caused by a problem with visual processing;
  • that dyslexia is associated with a low level of intelligence;
  • that dyslexia can be cured.

How can dyslexia be detected in children before they reach reading age?

There is considerable consensus amongst researchers as to what are the early signs that a child is at risk of later experiencing reading difficulties. Below is a list of the signs which should alert teachers and parents to the possibility of risk. It is important, however, to bear in mind that many children present at least one of these behaviours to some extent. It is when at least three of these signs are present, and especially if they persist over time, that the red flag should be raised:

Many of the early signs of dyslexia are listed in this article. Other early signs (in children of 3-5 years) include:

  • Difficulty remembering the names of familiar things, or with learning numbers, colours and letters;
  • S/he likes listening to stories but shows no interest in the words or letters on the page;
  • “Good” and “bad” days at school, for no apparent reason;
  • Difficulty remembering sequences, such as days of the week, months, etc.
  • Lack of attention or concentration;
  • Lack of motor control, especially fine motor skills with writing tools, or with buttoning up clothes, tying shoe-laces, etc.
  • Problematic social behaviours.
Dislexia- no hay que esperar a que los niños fracasen en la lectura 3

In many schools in the United States, there are periodic screenings for children at risk of dyslexia. These take place in the classroom and are based on what is known as the Response to Intervention model. The success of this model has been backed up by substantial research.

How can teachers screen for children at risk of dyslexia?

The screening of children at risk is more likely to be accurate if it is based, not only on the early signs mentioned above, but also on family risk. When children enter the school system, Early Years teachers have the opportunity to gather information about the child’s family when they meet with the parents of the children in their class. By asking whether parents or siblings of the child have had reading difficulties or been diagnosed with dyslexia, they will know whether the genetic risk exists. Children who have a close relative with dyslexia are at significantly higher risk of having the disorder themselves.

Meetings or interviews between parents and teachers are a way that teachers can be made aware of the child’s development and behaviours at home. Teachers could also provide information to all parents about dyslexia and the signs to look out for. However, it is important that pre-readers are not labelled at this early age; the aim of the screening should be to identify children who might have problems with the learning-to-read process. It is always possible that children who are identified later do not demonstrate any problems, or that with a little extra support, they are able to attain the reading level of their classmates. It is also important to take into account that difficulties may also be linked to another type of disorder.

Dislexia- no hay que esperar a que los niños fracasen en la lectura 4

What should happen after children are screened?

Initially, the idea would be that children who are identified as being at risk of developing reading difficulties are given extra support and reinforcement with phonics and developing their phonological awareness, either by regular school teachers, teaching assistants or special needs teachers. Over time, it is possible that several groups of children need to be taught separately at different levels, although this depends on the availability of teachers to give such multi-level instruction. Screening children from a very early age is never going to be an accurate predictor. It is always possible that children who appear to show early red-alert signs later turn out not to have difficulty with phonics and reading. Screening children periodically means that there can be regular monitoring of how each child’s reading skills are developing. In this way, if a child who was identified as “at risk” is found to be learning at a faster rate than expected, they can always be moved to another group to receive less intensive instruction.

How do we give children the skills to learn to read in the classroom?

The basic steps which should be taken in order to prepare children for learning to read are outlined in this article. Some other guidelines to follow are:

  • Teach letter sounds (phonemes) with small letters first;
  • Start with the most frequently used letters;
  • Associate letters with words through pictures (e.g. /b/ with a picture of a baby);
  • Reinforce letter shapes by getting children to trace them in the air, in sand, or over the printed letter shape;
  • Ask the child to find things (e.g. in the classroom), starting with that letter.
  • Once children have learnt all the single letter phonemes, teach them to blend consonants with vowels. Usually, the best way in the English language is to start with 3-letter consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc) words. However, if a child has difficulty blending the three sounds, it can be best to focus on blending vowel-consonant sounds first (at/ig/up etc.) or consonant-vowel sounds (ma/bi/po).

How can parents support this process with their pre-reader child at home?

If parents suspect that their child might be at risk of having difficulty learning to read (see the section above on early signs), they should not hesitate in informing teachers. It is also important that they share with teachers techniques which they have found work or do not work for their child at home.

Below are some more guidelines for parents:

  • Try and look at books every day. Read stories and poems. A child does not automatically know how to hold or open a book, where the story begins, where the top of the book is, or in which direction words are read.
  • Watch television or learning videos together. Children learn a lot more if they watch programmes together with their parents.
  • Trace shapes and letters and make letters with plasticine.
  • Play “I Spy” with letter sounds.
  • Clap the syllables in words.
  • Sing rhyming songs or songs about the days of the week, months of the year, etc.
  • Magnetic letters are also very useful for reinforcing letter sounds, syllables and words at home.
  • Expose your child to new words whenever possible to expand his/her vocabulary.
Dislexia- no hay que esperar a que los niños fracasen en la lectura 5

The following resources (Reading Rockets and Jolly Phonics) can be very useful for parents:

Family Guide from Reading Rockets | Reading Rockets

Hear all the letter sounds – Jolly Phonics (

Although on the surface the Response to Intervention model requires an initial commitment of resources, especially human resources (teachers) for the regular screenings of young children and multi-group teaching, the argument in its favour is that if this results in fewer reading difficulties at a later stage, fewer resources will be needed for children once they reach reading age. Add to this the benefit of avoiding all the emotional, psychological and behavioural problems in children who do not receive the support they need in order to learn. Whatever strategy is used, it is very clear that we should not wait for children to fail at reading before we help them.

About the author:

Julia Jakubovics is from the UK. She has lived in Spain for over 20 years. She has a degree in Psychology and recently completed a Masters course in Interventions for Learning Difficulties in Children at ISEP (Instituto Superior de Estudios Psicológicos). She is currently working as a Shadow Teacher and Study Coach for Sinews, providing one-to-one and in-class support for children with special education needs.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

El arteterapia- El cuidado de la demencia a través de la creatividad

Art therapy: Dementia care through creativity

Every 4 seconds a life changes forever. Somewhere in the world a new case of Alzheimer’s arises, adding up to a shocking 0.5% of the global population, that is, 36.5 million lives. This figure alone reflects the magnitude of Alzheimer’s disease and the urgent need to care for the elderly. The challenge lies in finding resources to combat it. However, there is an unknown means within everyone’s reach that could be the key to this fight. It is the fusion of therapy and art for the regeneration of well-being: Art therapy.

Art therapy: Emotional introspection through the arts

Art therapy is a new alternative that promotes wellness for the elderly. This exercise focuses on the expression of our emotions and feelings through a creative process, which includes music, painting, sculpture or photography. The practice with these arts takes us from fantasies, desires and dreams to our deepest memories. It develops the capacity for self-exploration of our identity, reinforcing the affective memory, which, according to experts, is preserved until the last stages of dementia. In this memory fall those memories that made us feel and the ability to relive this feeling through memory. This is installed as a deep memory, since those that are linked to emotions, are the ones that remain longer in our memory. Beyond the memory, it enables us to express ourselves when our verbal capacity does not allow us to do so, therefore, it allows us to maintain basic cognitive abilities such as: perception, attention, spatial association, etc.

El arteterapia- El cuidado de la demencia a través de la creatividad 2

Unlock your creativity through the Flow State

Art therapy, as a process of self-creation that involves symbolization through images and the personal relationship with the therapist, provides fertile ground for the manifestation of the state of flow. This concept, rescued by the psychologist Csikszentmihalyi, provides a framework for understanding and evaluating the process of art therapy.

In technical terms, this flow state represents an optimal state of experience in which the person is completely immersed in an activity. During this state, thoughts, emotions and movements emerge in a continuous and fluid manner, giving rise to a moment of instant creativity.

Therefore, art therapy, as a process of self-creation involving symbolization through images and the personal relationship with the therapist, provides fertile ground for the manifestation of the state of flow. When a person succeeds in entering this state while participating in an art therapy session, a cycle is triggered in which the challenge of the activity is perceived, a continuous flow of creativity is experienced, a greater awareness of one’s own abilities is acquired and, as a result, a significant improvement in self-concept is produced.

Benefits in psychological well-being: 5 areas favored by art therapy

According to recent research, it reveals a visible improvement in the field of psychological well-being in individuals diagnosed with dementia thanks to the application of art therapy. In this context, experts identify 5 areas that are directly favored:

  • Self-acceptance: This area is distinguished by its ability to foster self-awareness in the individual, promoting the ability to recognize and accept both their positive and less favorable qualities that make up their identity.
  • Positive social relationships: The environment generated by art therapy favors the development of empathy and positive social interaction. It also provides a platform for the cultivation of social skills such as active listening, thus improving the quality of interpersonal relationships.
  • Autonomy: In this area, the individual enjoys freedom of choice as to what he or she wishes to express through his or her artistic activity. This autonomy not only fosters self-determination, but also promotes freedom of personal expression and a sense of control over one's own life.
  • Finding a purpose: Art therapy, as previously explained, triggers a process of introspection in the individual, providing a safe space to reflect on their personal identity. For people with dementia, this opportunity can be transformative in allowing them to find meaning in which to orient their lives.
  • Personal growth: Art therapy provides tools and skills that empower the individual within his or her own capabilities. This process brings the possibility of substantial personal growth, including self-improvement and exploration of the emotional dimensions that define their life experience.
El arteterapia- El cuidado de la demencia a través de la creatividad 3

Caring for our elders through art therapy

Intervention through art therapy in individuals facing dementia has yielded significant findings in the field of psychology, focusing particularly on the emotional sphere. Dementia is a disease that affects not only memory and cognition, but also the emotional and psychological health of those who suffer from it. In this context, art therapy stands as a valuable tool in the care of older people with dementia. It provides a means of nonverbal expression through intuitive graphic visual presentations, allowing individuals to channel negative emotions and alleviate behavioral psychological symptoms, which, in turn, improves quality of life (Wang et al., 2016).

Malchiodi (2017) supports this perspective by arguing that art therapy uses simple artistic activities to help individuals express themselves and develop a sense of well-being through the creative process. Artistic creation, whether through drawings, paintings, sculptures, or collages, facilitates the manifestation of thoughts, feelings, and ideas that are often difficult to express in words. Working with artistic materials, learning new skills and developing ideas through visual media gives people a sense of self-satisfaction, personal accomplishment and fulfillment.

Research supported by Chancellor et al. (2014) sheds light on the benefits of art therapy in patients with dementia. Rather than focusing on correcting disabilities, art therapy is based on skill preservation. In addition, it provides an avenue for emotional expression in people who have difficulty communicating verbally, which is particularly relevant in the context of dementia. The process of artistic creation can also generate a state of comfort, associated with a sense of well-being.

Artistic expression is not only limited to visual creation, but can also contribute to generating new perspectives and promote emotional resilience, mood and self-esteem. Interaction with art therapy can strengthen support networks and self-expression in people with dementia, suggesting a possible impact on strengthening synaptic connections, stimulating various brain regions (Ehresman, 2014).

El arteterapia- El cuidado de la demencia a través de la creatividad 4

The Voice of Creativity: Breaking Barriers in Dementia

Art therapy proves to be an essential bridge between the patient’s mind and the outside world. Studies have suggested that this form of therapy not only attracts the attention of patients with advanced dementia, but also brings them significant pleasure. In addition, it has been observed to improve neuropsychiatric symptoms, social behavior, and self-esteem of affected individuals. Chancellor et al. (2014) emphasize that this intervention can trigger a transformation in patients’ quality of life, bringing relief to their daily struggle. Advanced dementia may create barriers in communication, but it cannot extinguish the spark of creativity and emotional expression. Art therapy stands as a valuable resource for dementia patients through the evocation of memory, providing a medium through which they can express their feelings and experience greater well-being. In the midst of difficulties, visual art sheds light by generating a meaningful channel of communication for those coping with advanced dementia. The literature suggests that this approach can improve the quality of life and emotional well-being of these patients, giving them a voice when words fade.

The combination of therapy and art provides a new strategy in the fight against dementia. Its application not only seeks to improve emotional expression, introspection or communication through creativity, it also illuminates the lives of those facing dementia, offering a voice in moments of silence. It breaks down barriers generating benefits in the quality of life and emotional well-being of those affected by dementia. Therefore, looking to the future, we must put into practice this type of resources available to all, to integrate and cook all the benefits they can bring both in our elders and in ourselves. The holistic approach of art therapy makes it suitable for anyone who wants to practice it, now is the time to bring out your creativity and start improving your well-being.

Written by:

Paula Taguas Labrador

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Explorando la Terapia EMDR- Tratamiento de Trauma con Estímulos Sensoriales

Exploring EMDR Therapy: Treating Trauma with Sensory Stimuli

EMDR Therapy, known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, represents a therapeutic approach that integrates sensory stimuli to address past traumatic experiences.

What does EMDR Therapy involve?

This therapeutic approach is designed to assist individuals in overcoming emotional traumas. During sessions, the therapist guides the patient to focus on disturbing memories or images, using lateral eye movements, bilateral sounds, or tactile stimulation.

These sensory stimuli facilitate the unlocking of the processing of traumatic memories, allowing the brain to process them in a more adaptive manner.

In what situations is EMDR Therapy recommended?

Primarily, it is used to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), although it has also shown effectiveness in other psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, phobias, and eating disorders. Additionally, its use has been explored in cases of addiction and chronic pain.

Explorando la Terapia EMDR- Tratamiento de Trauma con Estímulos Sensoriales 2

How are EMDR sessions conducted?

Sessions typically last 60 to 90 minutes and are structured into different phases.

Initially, the therapist assesses the patient’s medical history and specific needs. Subsequently, they guide the individual to identify a clear treatment goal. In the next stage, the therapist facilitates the desensitization of traumatic memories, using sensory stimuli such as eye movements, bilateral sounds, or tactile stimulation.

Finally, the therapist works with the patient to consolidate the results obtained and establish a plan of action for the future.

How do eye movements impact EMDR Therapy?

According to Shapiro’s hypothesis, it is believed that eye movements in EMDR Therapy are related to how the brain processes and stores information. These eye movements can contribute to releasing traumatic memories and facilitating a more adaptive processing of the experience.

Is EMDR Therapy applicable to children?

Yes, EMDR Therapy can be adapted to work with children, adjusting the therapeutic process to their age and developmental level. Specialized therapists employ specific techniques to help children process traumatic experiences and overcome related symptoms. It is essential to provide a safe and supportive environment for children receiving EMDR Therapy to manage their emotions during and after treatment.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Un Análisis Psicológico de El Sutil Arte de Que Te Importe Un Carajo de Mark Manson

A Psychological Analysis of «The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck» by Mark Manson

Mark Manson’s «The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck» is a bold, irreverent take on the self-help genre that has taken the world by storm. Published in 2016, it challenges the notion that happiness can be achieved solely through positive thinking and relentless pursuit of pleasure. Instead, Manson presents a refreshing perspective on life, advocating for embracing pain, suffering, and the inevitability of problems as essential components of personal growth and happiness. In this review, we will explore the psychological insights and drawbacks of this provocative work.

What is Good in the Book from a Psychological Point of View

  • Embracing Pain and Suffering: From a psychological standpoint, Manson's emphasis on embracing life's difficulties is a refreshing departure from the prevalent positive thinking culture. Psychologically, this aligns with the concept of "resilience." Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, and studies have shown that individuals who embrace life's challenges and setbacks tend to develop greater resilience. By encouraging readers to confront pain and suffering head-on, Manson promotes a psychologically healthier approach to adversity.
  • The Power of Values: Manson's focus on values also holds psychological merit. Psychologists often emphasize the importance of having a clear set of values as a source of motivation and well-being. Living in alignment with one's values contributes to a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Manson's idea that happiness and success naturally flow from living according to our values resonates with psychological theories on intrinsic motivation and self-determination.
  • Accountability and Ownership: Manson's call for readers to take responsibility for their lives and their reactions to events echoes principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT emphasizes that our thoughts and beliefs influence our emotions and behaviors. By acknowledging our role in shaping our experiences, we can gain greater control over our lives and well-being. Manson's emphasis on personal accountability aligns with CBT's goal of identifying and modifying unhelpful thought patterns.
Un Análisis Psicológico de El Sutil Arte de Que Te Importe Un Carajo de Mark Manson 2

What is Bad in the Book from a Psychological Point of View

  • Oversimplification: One psychological criticism of the book is its tendency to oversimplify complex emotional and mental issues. While Manson's "not giving a f*ck" philosophy can be empowering, it may not be suitable for individuals grappling with severe mental health issues such as clinical depression or anxiety disorders. Such individuals may require more nuanced psychological interventions and support.
  • Neglect of Systemic Factors: Manson's approach places significant emphasis on individual responsibility, sometimes overlooking the impact of systemic factors on a person's life. Psychologists recognize that external factors, such as socio-economic conditions, can profoundly affect an individual's mental health and well-being. An exclusive focus on personal responsibility might not adequately address these external influences.
  • Limited Psychological Depth: While Manson's "not giving a f*ck" philosophy resonates with many, it doesn't delve deeply into the psychological theories and evidence that underpin it. Readers interested in a comprehensive understanding of the psychological principles behind Manson's ideas might find the book lacking in this regard. A more thorough exploration of the psychological underpinnings could have added depth to his arguments. However, this is information that should be provided by professionals that ensures to use updated and evidence based information.
Un Análisis Psicológico de El Sutil Arte de Que Te Importe Un Carajo de Mark Manson 3

IHow Can You Learn to Not Give a F*ck

Learning to «not give a f*ck» in the Mansonian sense involves several psychological principles:

  • Mindfulness: Manson advocates for being present and fully engaged with life's challenges. Mindfulness, a psychological practice, teaches individuals to observe their thoughts and emotions non-judgmentally. This can help in confronting pain and suffering without getting overwhelmed.
  • Values Clarification: Identifying and clarifying your core values, as Manson suggests, aligns with psychological theories on motivation and well-being. Psychologists often use values-based interventions to help individuals lead more fulfilling lives.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques: Manson's call for personal accountability resonates with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Learning CBT techniques can help individuals identify and modify unhelpful thought patterns that contribute to emotional distress.
Un Análisis Psicológico de El Sutil Arte de Que Te Importe Un Carajo de Mark Manson 4

Some Important Keywords and Their Significance

  • Resilience, a psychological concept, refers to an individual's ability to bounce back from adversity. Manson's emphasis on embracing life's difficulties aligns with the idea that facing challenges head-on can foster resilience. Psychologically, developing resilience is crucial for maintaining mental well-being in the face of life's inevitable setbacks.
  • Values: The concept of values plays a significant role in both Manson's philosophy and psychological well-being. In psychology, values represent an individual's core beliefs and motivations. Living in alignment with one's values is associated with greater life satisfaction and happiness.
  • Accountability: Personal accountability, a key theme in Manson's work, echoes principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT emphasizes that our thoughts and beliefs influence our emotions and behaviors. Taking ownership of our thoughts and reactions is a psychological principle that can lead to personal growth and emotional well-being.
  • Confronting victimhood: Learning not to give a f*ck isn't just about adopting a new mindset; it's also about confronting some uncomfortable truths. Manson's direct and unfiltered writing style may feel offensive to some, but it carries an essential message. One of the crucial lessons of 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck' is the importance of addressing the mentality of victimhood. Feeling like a victim can be seductive because it often leads to increased attention from the environment and lowered expectations for oneself. It creates a comfortable bubble of safety. Breaking free from this mindset, however, demands taking responsibility for your situation and decisions. Manson's candid approach might not be the gentlest, but it holds a lot of truth. Psychologists would typically approach this topic with more care, but the rawness of Manson's message resonates with many precisely because it forces readers to face the uncomfortable reality of their own agency in life's outcomes.

In conclusion, «The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck» by Mark Manson offers a unique, sometimes controversial perspective on living a meaningful life. From a psychological standpoint, the book encourages valuable concepts like embracing adversity, clarifying values, and taking personal responsibility. However, it also raises concerns about oversimplification and the neglect of systemic factors. Learning to «not give a f*ck» requires a nuanced understanding of when and how to apply Manson’s philosophy alongside established psychological principles.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

LOS PILARES BÁSICOS DEL APRENDIZAJE Importancia del Ambiente de Estudio

Pillars of Learning: The Importance of the Learning Environment

How time flies! It seems like only yesterday we were enjoying a dip in the sea with our children and, in the blink of an eye, a new academic year has just started.

First exams will begin in a few weeks and now more than ever we realize how important is to have a study environment that facilitates the learning process. Therefore, throughout the following article, the team of professionals that make up our academic support service, will explain the conditions that a learning environment must meet to ensure a better academic performance.

Before getting down to the business, we need to answer the following question:

Which are the basic pillars that will lead to a successful learning process?

  • Organisation.
  • Time management.
  • Appropriate learning environment.

Let us look at each of them:


“External order facilitates internal order”. In other words, when we work in an organised and free of distractions environment, it is easier to focus on the task at hand and to organise our ideas.

Thus, we recommend that, before starting homework or studying a subject, students clean and tidy their room, especially the desk. Having an uncluttered desk and the school supplies available will help them to maintain the concentration for longer periods of time.

If they don’t have all the supplies they need ready, they will constantly have to get up from the chair, thus impairing their sustained attention span and making it difficult to focus on the task.

LOS PILARES BÁSICOS DEL APRENDIZAJE Importancia del Ambiente de Estudio 2

In addition to these very basic levels of organisation, it is important that they develop increasingly sophisticated skills as they grow up. By “sophisticated” we mean that they require a more advanced level of development of the executive functions. Let us see some examples:

  • ­To organise their notes by category, they need to make use of folders, dividers, plastic sleeves, etc.
  • To organise their weekly timetable, they will need to make use of the diary.
  • To mentally order the contents of each topic, they will need to learn how to make summaries, diagrams and mind maps.

Time Management

Many children find it difficult to estimate the time required to complete their homework, projects and study a subject. The truth is that, actually, it is an essential skill that is often not given the importance it deserves.

Learning to manage their time better will help them to:

  • ­Turn in assignments on time.
  • Increase their autonomy.
  • Reduce their stress levels.
  • Maintain their achievements.

In fact, more and more schools are taking the initiative of giving each pupil a school diary at the beginning of a new academic year, as well as a school calendar showing the dates of exams and projects that are due. This is a great way to help develop time awareness and anticipation.

LOS PILARES BÁSICOS DEL APRENDIZAJE Importancia del Ambiente de Estudio 3

Appropriate Learning Environment

Many of you probably remember being scolded by your parents for having a messy bedroom or doing homework with the television on. At the time, we probably did not understand why such details were so important. Now, as adults and parents of our own children, we fully understand their motives.

Nonetheless, there is no need to go back to that time. We can name thousands of examples from daily live in which the work or learning environment plays an essential role in our performance.

For instance, let us think about the reception desk of the company where we work or the library in our neighbourhood. Everything is neatly arranged, each form has its own drawer, each document is stored in a particular folder. All these places share a common feature: they meet some requirements that help to increase concentration, efficiency and thus, favour productivity.

When an environment does not meet these ideal features we, as adults, have a developed ability to constantly redirect the attentional focus to the task, inhibiting irrelevant stimuli. However, children’s brain, which are still developing, have more difficulty in self-regulating, which is why it is so important that external order exists.

LOS PILARES BÁSICOS DEL APRENDIZAJE Importancia del Ambiente de Estudio 4

What requirements need to meet a suitable learning environment?

  • It should always be the same and, if possible, exclusively for him/her. Setting aside a physical space exclusively for studying helps to acquire the habit and improve concentration, because the brain makes this association between place and activity, facilitating orientation to the task.
  • Always the same timetable. Having a pre-set study time will help them to create a habit and develop those time management skills we mentioned earlier.
  • It must be well lit. Ideally, study in natural light, but when artificial light is necessary, a lamp with a blue bulb of no less than 60 watts is recommended.
  • Suitable furniture and supplies. They should have a large desk and a comfortable chair that favours a proper posture. In addition, before starting, all the supplies that are going to be needed should be on the table. In this way, they avoid constantly getting up from the seat and losing the concentration.
LOS PILARES BÁSICOS DEL APRENDIZAJE Importancia del Ambiente de Estudio 5
  • Reduced environmental stimulation. The place chosen should be the one where there is not usually a lot of noise. For example, if the living room is very bright but overlooks a main street with heavy traffic, will not be the right place. On the other hand, if their bedroom has less light but is quieter, we will choose it first.
  • Well ventilated and at the right temperature. It is advisable for the study place to have a window to be able to renew the quality of the air every now and then, as well as to maintain a stable temperature of between 20ºC and 22ºC approximately.

Last but not least, we do not want to end this article without mentioning the use of electronic devices. Nowadays more and more schools have adopted what is known as “e-learning”. That is, the use of the internet and electronic devices as a teaching-learning tool, where teachers create a virtual space where they can share documents, assign homework and solve their student’s doubts, without the need to schedule a face-to-face tutorial.

While it is true that this tool is very practical and motivating for pupils, we must take into account the overuse of electronic devices nowadays and the increasing risk of addiction that they entail. We therefore recommend that, at least during study hours at home, access to mobile phones, tablets and other devices should be restricted, except when absolutely necessary.

We at Sinews hope that reading this article has been useful and we encourage you to put all these tips into practice to ensure better academic performance.

Finally, we would like to remind you that, for those students who find it difficult to keep up with the academic pace, our academic support service professionals will be glad to help them in everything they need.

About the author

Alba is a neuropsychologist and coordinator of specialized support services in psychoeducational and speech therapy in schools and homes. When families get in touch with Sinews requesting any of these services, Alba conducts an initial assessment interview to thoroughly understand the situation and assign the most suitable professional for each case. Furthermore, she maintains constant communication with schools, families, and professionals to ensure that progress is favorable and that the set objectives are being achieved. She also oversees the integration of new professionals into a constantly expanding team.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Reseña de cine- Stutz, un homenaje a la alianza terapéutica, la humanidad y la vulnerabilidad

Film Review: “Stutz”, an homage to therapeutic alliance, humanity and vulnerability

A few months ago, navigating through streaming platforms for a movie to keep me company at dinner, I stumbled upon one of the most extraordinary and exciting content on the platform [Netflix]: Stutz (2022).

Stutz is a 2022 Netflix documentary written and directed by Hollywood actor Jonah Hill, starring himself and his psychiatrist and therapist, Phil Stutz.

If the name Jonah Hill rings a bell, it’s probably because he’s starred in some very world-wide known movies, such as “The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)”, “Superbad (2007)” and “The Hangover (2009)”, amongst others. Phil Stutz, on the other hand, less popular in the television scene, is an American psychiatrist and psychotherapist, author of the book “The Tools (2012)”.

Now you maybe wondering what these two have in common and why have they participated in a film-documentary together… Phil Stutz is Jonah Hill’s psychiatrist, he has been for years, and the film is the patient’s homage to his therapist.

In the documentary, Jonah Hill invites us to witness an insightful journey into the mind of his therapist Phil Stutz. At first we thought that the one who would lay his life bare would be the actor himself, but at a certain moment we realized his true purpose. «I’m making a movie about you, not about me.» Jonah will not only focus on his own problems, but almost all the attention is focused on his psychiatrist, Stutz.

What happens when the client-therapist roles are reversed?

On the one hand, Stutz seems to be making a professionally risky move. In psychotherapy, in fact, deontology restricts and discourages the therapist from sharing his or her private life and details about his or her mental health with the patient, since the protagonist of therapy is the client and not the therapist. Despite this, we know that the quality of the therapeutic alliance, which is fundamental to the success of therapy itself, also feeds on the therapist’s ability to show himself or herself as human. Stutz gives us a chance to reflect on the fact that therapists are not «super humans» who have it all figured out, but vulnerable human beings made of insecurities and frailties, like everyone else.

This is why Stutz must be watched, because it highlights certain qualities of the therapeutic alliance between client and therapist; the great act of trust of surrendering one’s life into the hands of one’s therapist in what the patient perceives to be a safe place where they can feel comfortable, heard and understood.

The documentary is hence an ode to friendship and goodness, but it is also an example of psychological innovation, in which the psychiatrist is suddenly transformed into the patient. Jonah Hill does more than pay tribute to his psychiatrist. They both invite us into a brave and honest conversation about mental health, vulnerability, and human flaws. These are two men united by a strong emotional bond, in which, suddenly, it is the therapist himself who becomes the patient, revealing his inner labyrinths…

“The driving force in this whole thing [the movie], to me, is your vulnerability. No question about it. If we’re true to that idea and you’re forthcoming with it, we really can’t go wrong. The thing is, if you wanna move forward you can’t move forward without being vulnerable.” (Stutz, 2022)

Phil Stutz: Fighting the mental-health stigma

Phil Stutz is the American psychiatrist who has developed one of the most innovative techniques for optimizing human potential. In his long professional career, he has helped thousands of writers, artists, producers and CEOs deal with their insecurities, traumas and problems.

Phil Stutz is known for his book The Method: the tools that will activate your inner strength to change your life (2012), co-written with therapist Barry Michels. In this work they provide an innovative therapeutic approach based on the tools, mechanisms, and resources we can all develop by activating our «higher forces» to solve problems, (I will not make any spoilers, watch the documentary and find out what “the tools” are!).

Reseña de cine- Stutz, un homenaje a la alianza terapéutica, la humanidad y la vulnerabilidad 3

Why is Stutz’ testimony so important in fighting the stigma?

Because Phil Stutz has Parkinson. We notice him immediately when he picks up one of his famous cards to illustrate his tools. His stroke is shaky and he can barely pull off that technique that has accompanied him throughout his professional life.

The documentary offers a moving reflection on the unstoppable advance of his illness, hinting at his issues with anxiety, insecurity, emptiness, eating disorders and the death of Stutz’s younger brother.

Hill and Stutz talk about mental health through honesty, vulnerability and love. If we need to talk more about psychological problems, it is to eliminate stigma. We need collective testimonies to understand that everyone will experience these things at some point.

Thanks to Jonah Hill, we don’t just see another Hollywood star revealing his problems, but he brings us a psychiatrist capable of sharing tools while revealing his own problems, sadnesses, and vulnerabilities. Because not even those who have the knowledge to pull us out of our black holes are immune to life’s suffering.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Why is it good to be bored?

Why is it good to be bored?

In today’s society, boredom is mainly seen as something negative that we should absolutely avoid. However, psychology teaches us that boredom can be beneficial to our mental health and overall well-being. While it may seem counterintuitive, experiencing moments of boredom can be a valuable experience that stimulates creativity, reflection and personal growth. In this article, we examine the psychological benefits of boredom and how we can use it in our daily lives.

Some of the benefits we will explain below that can be gained from boredom are as follows:

  • Stimulate creativity
  • Encourage self-reflection
  • Stimulate attention and concentration
  • Stimulus for emotional resilience
  • Opportunity for spontaneity and intuition

Stimulate creativity

Boredom can act as a catalyst for creativity. When we are bored, our minds seek new forms of entertainment and stimulation. This process encourages us to explore ideas, thoughts and actions that we don’t normally consider. Moments like these allow our imagination to flourish, enabling us to find innovative solutions to problems, explore new interests and find new forms of artistic expression. Boredom provides us with an empty mental space in which to connect seemingly unconnected ideas, encouraging the emergence of original and creative ideas.

Scientific studies confirm the connection between boredom and creativity. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that people in a state of moderate boredom were more likely to generate creative ideas than people in a more neutral emotional state. Another study from the University of California showed that when people are bored, their brain activity shifts to neural networks associated with idea generation and creativity.

¿Por qué es bueno aburrirse? 2

Encourage self-reflection

When we are bored, we have time to reflect on our lives and our inner selves. Boredom gives us the opportunity to disconnect from external distractions and connect with our thoughts, feelings and personal goals. By taking time to think, we can evaluate our decisions, identify opportunities for improvement and develop a deeper sense of ourselves. Such self-reflection can be especially valuable in a rapidly changing world, where we are often caught up in routine and superficiality.

Reflection and self-reflection are essential processes for our personal growth and development. By allowing ourselves moments of boredom, we give our mind the space it needs to explore our past experiences, our actions and our future goals. Self-analysis helps us to better understand who we are, what we want and what changes we can make in our lives to achieve greater happiness and well-being.

¿Por qué es bueno aburrirse? 3

Stimulate attention and concentration

When we find ourselves in boring situations, we often need to look for entertainment or a task that catches our attention. This need to find a stimulus can improve our ability to concentrate and focus. When we develop the ability to stay focused on a task or activity despite boredom, we can improve our ability to stay focused in other areas of our lives, which is beneficial both at work and at school.

Boredom can serve as an exercise for our attention and concentration. When we have no external stimuli to keep us occupied, we need to learn to concentrate on our own minds and current tasks. By practising this skill, we strengthen our ability to concentrate in other situations and increase our productivity.

¿Por qué es bueno aburrirse? 4

Encouragement for Emotional Resilience

Boredom can be uncomfortable and provoke negative emotions such as frustration or impatience. However, by learning to tolerate and accept boredom, we can develop our emotional resilience. We learn to manage discomfort and not constantly rely on instant gratification. As a result, we become better able to cope with stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions in daily life.

Boredom can be fertile ground for developing coping skills and emotional resilience. When we are in a state of boredom, we are faced with an uncomfortable and uncomfortable situation. By learning to tolerate and accept this discomfort, we develop the ability to cope with difficult situations in other aspects of our lives. When we develop emotional resilience, we are less likely to constantly seek external stimuli to avoid boredom, and we will be more able to find and accept the discomfort we are experiencing in other areas of our lives.

When we develop emotional resilience, we are less likely to constantly seek external stimuli to avoid boredom, and more able to find satisfaction and fulfilment in seemingly mundane moments.

¿Por qué es bueno aburrirse? 5

Opportunity for spontaneity and intuition

When we are bored, we are open to the possibility of new experiences and unexpected encounters. By allowing ourselves boring moments, we create space for spontaneity and intuition in our lives. We can discover hidden interests, have meaningful conversations with people we might not otherwise meet, and enjoy simple, unpretentious activities.

Boredom allows us to step out of our comfort zone and be more open to the possibilities life has to offer. When we are not constantly busy, we have more freedom to pursue our curiosity and interests. Openness to spontaneity and intuition can lead to an enriching experience and the creation of deeper human connections.

¿Por qué es bueno aburrirse? 6

In conclusion, we can say that boredom is not a negative thing, but can be a valuable opportunity for personal growth and emotional well-being. By embracing boredom and seeing it as an opportunity for creativity, reflection and intuition, we can discover new perspectives and experiences in our lives. Instead of being afraid of boredom, let us use it as a powerful tool for our psychological and emotional development. By allowing ourselves moments of boredom, we develop our creativity, reflection, focus, emotional resilience and capacity to enjoy the surprises life brings us.

About the author

Lucía Ongil is a General Health Psychologist. She has experience in dealing with patients with diverse pathologies from an integrative approach. She is specialised in EMDR therapy which helps mher deal with a large number of disorders that are seen in the clinic, and although she sees adults and children and young people, her speciality is children and young people.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Tras la ruptura sentimental, el duelo amoroso- ¿qué me espera y cómo puedo manejarlo?

After the break-up, the romantic grief: what awaits me and how can I deal with it?

“…What does not recall her? I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped on the flags! In every cloud, in every tree—filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object by day, I am surrounded with her image! The most ordinary faces of men and women—my own features—mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!».

It is not easy to follow Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff through Wuthering Heights and feel his humiliation, the contempt he is subjected to, the hostility he develops and above all his despair at the abandonment of his Cathy: “I have to remind myself to breathe – almost to remind my heart to beat“.

Maybe you recognise yourself in Heathcliff’s words: have you been dumped and everything reminds you of your ex? Does grief hit you so hard that it’s sometimes hard to breathe? Do you feel like Bill Withers couldn’t have been more right when he sang «Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone»? Read on because today we discuss romantic grief.

What is romantic grief?

We have all experienced the death of a person at some point: perhaps we have lost a family member or loved one or we have been close to someone who has had to say their last goodbye. This is when the grieving process begins, generally understood as ways of reacting to the loss of a link to something or someone dear to us. This process tinged with pain, desolation, sadness, incomprehension, anger, sometimes guilt, is inevitable, but it has a purpose: the adaptation of the person to the new situation.

Grief is also present when there is a break-up: there may come a time when when the bond that we shared with the other person has changed so much that we are unable to recognize it and the relationship comes to an end. Perhaps the first question that comes to mind is… why? Love may have ended, problems have stifled the relationship or a million other reasons could answer this question. What is certain is that the process of mourning begins.

Romantic grief can be understood as a person’s emotional reaction to the end of a relationship. There are certain differences compared to the mourning experience following the death of someone important to you:

  • We have not completely lost the person, only certain bonds we had to them. It is even quite possible that our ex-partner gets on with their life in an environment that is close to us and accessible therefore our relationship will have to be redefined if we are to coexist.
  • We have the feeling that the break-up is reversible and it is therefore possible to get our partner back, even if this is an unlikely option.
  • Two people who may have very different perspectives on the relationship are going through grief at different paces and understanding each other is often difficult, despite being in a similar process.

We have settled this: when a relationship with a person with whom we had important bonds ends, romantic grief is something natural and inevitable, but… What happens next? What do I have to face? I’m going to give you a little spoiler in case it helps in the midst of so much uncertainty: it may not be an easy process, but human beings are intelligent and going through the different emotions of a romantic grief will help us to readjust our role in our environment, to adapt to the new situation and, in short, to overcome the sentimental break-up.

Tras la ruptura sentimental, el duelo amoroso- ¿qué me espera y cómo puedo manejarlo? 3

We’re talking about big changes, so knowing the different emotions that can arise can help us in our initial unease:

  • Denial: Sometimes we saw it coming and sometimes we did not, but one day our partner tells us that despite all the good times and all the things we have experienced together, he or she wants to put an end to our relationship. Sadness, pain and incomprehension overwhelm us. As we gradually come to terms with what has happened, we are overcome with anguish and disbelief. We long to get our partner back and we try to find explanations that make sense of what is happening to us.
  • Anger: The pain of loss is growing, so much so that it is discouraging. There are many changes in a very short time: we turn over in bed and we no longer have the warmth of our partner, WhatsApp messages have diminished and are now terse and cold or simply non- existent, we may have to rearrange our holiday plans because there are no longer two of us. And anger hits. Anger kidnaps all of our energy and uses it to challenge the changes that we are forced to undergo. The decisions we make under the command of anger are often very erratic: we let ourselves be carried away by impulsivity and try to get the attention of our ex or we may even be overcome by euphoria, trying to forget and turn the page as if the break-up was not something that really affected us. In both cases, we focus on the present, evading the pain, and we find it very difficult to consider the consequences of our actions.
  • Hopelessness: The idea of reconciling with our partner seems less likely at this point. The frustration and pain resulting from the loss we have suffered awaken an intense sadness that activates very pessimistic thoughts, crying, tiredness, loss of interest in the activities that used to make us feel good...etc. As a result of this state of mind, we tend to devalue ourselves and feel we are responsible for the break-up. It is, therefore, common to review our past behaviors and focus on what we should have done differently. This is the time when guilt usually sets in. Depending on the circumstances of the break-up, guilt can at this point be completely shifted onto the other person, leading to feelings of resentment, revenge and even hatred. While it is important to allow ourselves to grieve for a major loss, it is important not to let sadness completely bury us and stop our grieving process.
  • Acceptance: When we reach this stage, we regain something that was taken away from us the day our partner left: joy. At this moment, we are able to positively value both what we are living in the present moment and our future. In romantic grief, it is possible to reach this phase without having gone through previous emotions for different reasons: because another romantic relationship begins and it disrupts the emotions described above, because the relationship is reviewed and restarted, because the person has personal resources that allow them to move on quickly... At this point, it is possible that certain fears and insecurities are developed as a result of the break-up and although fear is inherent to our human condition, we should not let it take control of our existence.

Why does it hurt so much?

In addition to all the emotions that we have described above, which are not always pleasant, we have to take into account other important factors in romantic grief:


We can imagine attachment as a set of bonds that unite us to our partner. We will have a bond for sexuality, another for expectations, another for responsibilities… When our relationship ends, some of these bonds are cut at that very moment, such as the one where it is written «we are together», but many others continue to unite us, such as the bond of affection. When distance is put in between, some bonds still remain and the knots are tightened to the point where they choke the soul.

Tras la ruptura sentimental, el duelo amoroso- ¿qué me espera y cómo puedo manejarlo? 4

The negative representation of our ex-partner

We are therefore still attached to a person for whom we still have a positive representation that we have formed throughout our relationship but for whom we may also be building a negative representation as a result of the suffering caused by the break-up. We thus find ourselves in an absurd situation that does not help us to overcome our romantic grief.

The interpretation of the break-up

We tend to look for a coherent explanation that allows us to reorganize the chaos in which we are immersed. The problem is that this involves being aware that we have undressed ourselves (beyond the literal sense) in front of a person who has abandoned us, remembering the bad things we went through and the good things we no longer have. Throughout this process we are constantly confronted with the pain of loss and it can become absorbing.


It is someone’s self-image. As the relationship progresses, we often merge our self-concept with that of our partner. When the break-up disrupts our rhythm of life, we have to move from the «we» to the «I», which had been relegated to the background. This process involves feelings of helplessness, emptiness or confusion that accompany the feeling that there is something wrong with that self, which is why we have been left. Our self-concept must therefore be redefined at a time when our self-esteem is weakened, complicating our decision-making, task planning or ability to act.

What can I do to manage my romantic grief?

In order to overcome romantic grief and thus readjust our role in our new reality, it is recommended:

Tras la ruptura sentimental, el duelo amoroso- ¿qué me espera y cómo puedo manejarlo? 5
  • To give the right place to what we feel: repressing emotions will not make us feel better, on the contrary, we may explode more easily, find ourselves in a lower mood, feel more stressed and in the end we will spend a lot of energy for nothing. Let's respect our rhythm and go through the different emotions without fear.
  • No contact with the ex-partner: this is sometimes difficult, especially when we have children together, but contact can make romantic grief even more complicated, especially when it is followed by endless loops of self-questioning, detailed analyses of encounters that lead to nothing, or associations with concepts such as "failure" or "abandonment".
  • To reflect on the opportunities for change and personal growth that arise in this new journey: romantic grief does not have to be an aversive process. On the contrary, it is a very good opportunity to explore our needs and capacities and to decide how we want to progress from this moment onwards. Remember that with every lost opportunity, a new horizon of possibilities opens up.
  • To resume the activities that made us feel good and that we put aside because we didn't have enough time: It may be a good time to increase the frequency of these activities, taking advantage of the free time that the break-up has left us.

Although we have mentioned that the aim of romantic grief is to adapt to the new situation, in some cases, it is not adaptive and we may feel that the emotional discomfort after the break-up is too intense. In this case, the best recommendation is to see a professional who can help you cope with your experience.

About the author

Ana López is a health psychologist at Sinews and consults in Spanish, English and French. She specializes in childhood and adolescence but also treats adults in grief processes, with problems of self-esteem, anxiety, stress or depression among others. She works from a contextual approach that adapts to the demands of each patient. For her it is essential that they find a warm space in the consultation where they do not feel judged and can identify the direction they want to take in their lives.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment

Common English Pronunciation Mistakes in Spanish Speakers

Common English Pronunciation Mistakes in Spanish Speakers

As someone who has been teaching English to native Spanish speakers for several years now, my ear has been particularly exposed to the influence Spanish pronunciation can sometimes have on English pronunciation. I have been able to pick up on some of the sounds I often hear my students mistaking. It’s normal, English can be confusing. There’s a lot of rules, and so many exceptions, it can be a bit overwhelming when trying to learn it. There are some key differences between English and Spanish that make it even trickier. Spanish is a phonetic language, so oftentimes what you see on paper is exactly what you’ll hear being said. Unfortunately, English doesn’t work that way, most of the time the spelling and pronunciation don’t match. So naturally, Spanish speakers use their own words and phonetic rules as a crutch, and often times end up pronouncing the English word as if it were a Spanish word.

Accents and Pronunciation

Accents can be charming, it says a bit about someone’s story, it can tell you where a person is from and where they have been. You hear these things in someone’s voice and the way they piece words together. Although, certain pronunciation mistakes can change the meaning that the messenger is trying to convey, that can sometimes get someone into trouble. If you’re someone communicating in a language that isn’t your native or dominant tongue, your goal is to be an effective communicator in that language. It’s difficult when you’re making mistakes that don’t allow you to get your point across.

Why are accents difficult?

It’s normal to make pronounciation mistakes when speaking a language other than your native one, you’re making sounds you don’t normally make and sometimes having to change the structure of the way you would normally say things. Each language has it’s own set of rules and it’s rhythm, so depending on the similarities of two languages will determine the level of difficulty for pronunciation. When learning a language at school, pronunciation is often not properly taught. A lot of time is dedicated to vocabulary and grammar, and pronunciation often gets very little attention. Exposure to the verbal language is very important, you have to be able to listen and identify the sounds of a language before you can produce them. Pronunciation is a skill, it’s not knowledge, you have to practice a lot before you can actually master it.

How can working on my accent be beneficial?

Working on your accent does not only help you be better understood, it also helps you better understand. Sometimes you don’t realize you are making certain pronunciation mistakes, and that’s probably because you can’t identify those difficult sounds when you are being spoken to.

Working on your accent can help:

  • You sound clearer.
  • Increase understating.
  • Make you sound more natural.
  • Make you sound more intelligible.
  • Make you feel more confident.

What are some difficult sounds for Spanish speakers?


Consonant clusters are commonly seen in English. It is a group of consonant sounds with no vowel sounds between them. For example, like in the words splash, spoon, breakfast and worked. Depending on the placement of the consonant cluster and the combination of consonants can make pronouncing consonant clusters tricky for Spanish speakers.

  • Several words begin with the s sound in Spanish, such as in solo, sala, sentir, but when the s sound is followed by a consonant such as in Spain, school and stay they might often add a vowel sound at the beginning and are pronounced as espain, eschool, and estay.
  • Consonant clusters are sometimes seen at the beginning and the middle of a word such as in fresa, espuma, and hombre, but not at the end. Therefore, when consonant clusters are seen at the end of the word in English, such as in must, wind, and help, they might often cut off one of the final sounds and pronounce it as mus, win and hel.

Substituting the z sound for the s sound

This goes back to when I mentioned Spanish is a phonetic language. There are many words in English that are spelled using the letter s but end up making the z sound such as cousin, has, and season. These words should be pronounced like cuzin, haz, and seazon, but since there is no z sound in Spanish, Spanish speakers end up pronouncing the words as they are written.

Errores comunes de pronunciación en inglés en hispanohablantes 3

Substituting the v sound for the b sound

English makes a clear distinction in the way v and the b sounds are pronounced. You can hear this in words such as very and berry, and in vote and boat. In Spanish the v and b sound exactly the same, like in basta and vasta and in haber and a ver, the spelling is different but the pronunciation is the same. Spanish speakers tend to follow this same phonetic rule when they are speaking English.

The H sound

The letter h at the beginning of a word is silent in Spanish, for example in the words hora, huevos, and hermana. You can not hear it at all, so words in English that start with an h like in house are often pronounced with a j like in julio. Words like happy, hello and how, are often pronounced like jappy, jello, jow.

The th sound

In English the th can be pronounced in two ways like in than (voiced) and in think (voiceless). The voiceless th can be heard in some parts of Spain, but you won’t hear this sound in all Spanish speaking countries.

  • The voiced th like in words than, they and these will adopt the d, and sound like dan, day, and dis.
  • The voiceless th like in words think, thunder and thorn will adopt the t, and sound like tink, tunder, and torn.


There is the same amount of vowel letters in English and in Spanish, but there are a lot more vowel sounds in English than there are in Spanish. English and Spanish do not share any vowel sounds, which explains why a lot of Spanish speakers have a difficult time hearing and pronouncing the difference in some words, for example like in sheep and ship. Spanish doesn’t distinguish the vowels through length, they are all short. You can hear this in words like peso and piso, and in hambre and hombre, the vowel sound changes but the length stays the same. In English you have some short vowel sounds and some long ones, you can hear the differences in the words hide (long), and hid (short) and in pool (long), and pull (short) the vowel sound and the length both changes.

Errores comunes de pronunciación en inglés en hispanohablantes 4

These are a few of the most common pronunciation mistakes I often hear in Spanish speakers. That’s not to say that these are difficult sounds for everyone. It’s important to remember that having an accent is not a bad thing, but you might also want to work on you pronunciation to help you become a more effective communicator, and feel more confident when speaking. Pronunciation takes a lot of practice and exposure, and can be difficult when working on it alone. With lots of dedication and training you can change the way you sound and improve your intelligibility.

About the author

Jarrisvette, is from South, Texas in the United States. She worked as a Speech language Pathologist Assistant in Brownsville, Texas and then moved to Spain to pursue a Masters in Bilingual and Multicultural Education at la Universidad de Alcala in Alcala de Henares. She has been living in Spain for 4 years and working as an English Language assistant with a variety of ages within the school system. She is currently working as a Speech therapist at Sinews and is excited to be a part of the team.

Sinews, Hacemos Fácil lo Difícil
Sinews MTI
Multilingual Therapy Institute
Psychology, Psychiatry and Speech Therapy
Clinic Appointment