Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: October 9, 2015

As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness Week (tomorrow rounds it off with World Mental Health Day), we're guessing you've seen plenty of mental health-related articles around the Internet.

If you haven't (or, even if you have and you just want more), fear not! Our Psych Central bloggers have been hard at work to bring you some of the most well-rounded information about mental wellness around.

Today, take some time to learn about the brains of anxiety sufferers, telling the difference between mental health professionals and hacks, how to start and keep practicing mindfulness, and more.

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How to Have a Happier Relationship without Couples Therapy

It takes effort.

The search for happiness is a popular psychology topic and the consensus of several gurus has been that we humans are wired to be most content when our lives are focused on love and work. Love can mean all forms of intimate social interaction, and work can mean any regular organized effort toward a valued goal.

One promising way to maximize happiness is to strive, together, toward the valued goal of improving the most intimate relationship in your life. Learning how to make one another happy can be seen as a valued goal for anyone in relationships.
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5 Tools and Tips for Navigating Stress When You’re Depressed

Not surprisingly, stress can have damaging effects on depression. That is, “stress hormones like cortisol can exacerbate the effects of an existing depression. Or if we're not currently depressed, we can become more vulnerable to a future episode,” said Lee Coleman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and assistant director and director of training at the California Institute of Technology’s student counseling center.

Depression also comes with its own stressors. We might become self-critical because we aren’t able to function normally, he said. (And because depression sinks our self-esteem and fuels our inner critic.)
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Why Nature is So Good for Your Mental Health

Where did you go on your last vacation? If you live in the city or the suburbs, there’s a good chance that you spent it in a natural setting, perhaps at a national park, the beach or a cabin in the mountains.

Most of us have felt the inexplicable pull of the outdoors, even if it’s simply prompting us to take a neighborhood walk or sit in the backyard watching the clouds or the squirrels. Nature holds a special kind of energy: it is pure and wild and spirit-renewing.

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3 Skills Taught in Couples Therapy That All Couples Can Benefit From

We often think of marital therapy as a last resort. We assume that only couples with “serious” issues should seek it. We assume that only couples in dire straits can benefit. But all couples can enhance their relationship by learning the skills taught in couples therapy.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Robyn D’Angelo teaches skills that couples can use to address any topic. “[I]f we have the tools to understand, empathize, listen to and connect with our partners within and outside of conflict, we can have the fulfilling relationships that we were meant to have.”
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On Living Simply and with Integrity

In her young twenties, writer and activist Eileen Flanagan spent two years teaching English in the country of Botswana, which borders South Africa and Zimbabwe. She ate, lived, and slept in a 180 square-foot mud hut and was quite content.

Then life got a tad more complicated… she married, had kids, and eventually found herself in a three-story house packed full of stuff: Barbie condos, Heelys (sneakers with wheels), Wii games, electronic guitars, and microscopes.

In her engaging new book,
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Memory and Perception

When Abuse Becomes Denial

“The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim: he or she has become a threat.” -- James Baldwin
I used to think that abuse victims who lived in denial of their situations had to know they were in denial. Who could possibly ignore what's happening to them? Who could just pretend that nothing's wrong year after year? From the battered wife who claims "he's a changed man" to the alcoholic who doesn't "have a problem," I thought they had made a concerted effort to ignore reality. And then my own reality hit me.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Handle Panic Attacks

There are many things in life to be afraid of. You can be injured or killed in myriad ways. You can get lost. You can make a fool of yourself. Something can happen to your loved ones. Another terrorist attack can happen at any moment. So much to be frightened of. It’s enough to make you fearful of leaving your house!

And so you don’t. Or, you do with much trepidation. And when you do, you may feel your heart racing, your body trembling, your breathing tight. You may feel chest pain and wonder if you’re having a heart attack. You may feel sweaty and wonder why your body temperature is out of whack. You may feel dizzy, unsteady, faint and more.

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Brain and Behavior

Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Drugs: Not There Yet

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. Many of us could drive a bicycle on a freeway, but it wouldn't be a wise thing to do. Many of us could pay money for "brain games," but it wouldn't necessarily help our brains' health.

And so it is with genetic testing for psychiatric drugs. While you could pay for such a test to help you better understand how your body might react to certain psychiatric drugs, you're probably better off not. At least not at this point.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: October 6, 2015

TED Talk speaker, author, and former business school professor Srikumar Rao once said, "If you have an ongoing relationship with a person, think of everything positive about that person that you possibly can and enter your interaction from that space."

Today, let's set aside the "negative" for a minute and figure out how (and if) we can productively move forward based on the positive.

Today's Best of Our Blogs offers some insight on overcoming emotional unavailability, tips for...
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5 Fun Tricks to Bring Excitement Back to Everyday Life

Happiness is not a destination you reach; it's a mindset you embrace, right!

If you're like most people, you think happiness is a destination -- and that, of course, YOU have a one-way ticket there.

You might also believe that happiness comes with having everything you want. But thinking this way can really mislead us and results in us looking for happiness in all the wrong places while comparing ourselves against impossible ideals.

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