I think about death a lot — not just every so often or when I hear of someone dying, but at least several times a week. Am I normal?
It depends. If your thoughts of death are leading to sadness, depression and negative behavior, and taking a toll on your life, then that isn't so normal and is unhealthy. This is more a phobia, and it's called thanatophobia. If this is the case, then seek help. Work through some of the beliefs you have about death, but more importantly, start living your life! Ironically, fear of death might very well be your No. 1 obstacle to living a fulfilling life. But thinking about death can also be a good thing. Being aware of one's mortality can lead someone to live a more meaningful life, take better care of oneself and be more mindful of peaceful and altruistic behavior.
Every time my friend walks by a window or mirror she checks herself out in the reflection. Is that weird?
Every so often it is normal to glance at yourself in a mirror or walking by your reflection in a window. We all do it and it is actually hard not to. But it is not so normal to check yourself out every single time. To do so suggests either insecurity about how she looks, or the person is self-absorbed and narcissistic and just can't help it. Whatever the case, ask yourself: Does it really matter that your friend checks herself out? How does it really impact you, anyhow? This might be one of those things that you dismiss about your friend. Start to focus on the things that you do like about her.
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– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His book, “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” is available now. E-mail him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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