Books

4 Tips for Helping Your Kids Practice Mindfulness

Our kids get just as stressed out as we do. While they don’t have bills, a demanding boss or a continuously-increasing workload, they do have homework, classmates, teachers, bullies and big emotions. So it helps to have a variety of tools they can use to manage their stressors and regulate their emotions -- tools they can take into adolescence and adulthood. Because stress and emotions are part of everyone’s daily life. And because everyone benefits from having healthy coping strategies.

That’s exactly what author and clinical social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, provides in her newest book Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family. In this wise and down-to-earth book, Naumburg features practical and creative strategies for practicing mindfulness at home. She defines mindfulness as “the practice of choosing to pay attention to whatever is happening right here and right now, without judging it or wishing it were different.”
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Anxiety and Panic

To Deal with Chronic Worry Don’t Try to Get Rid of It

If you’re a chronic worrier, you likely take your worries seriously. You likely believe them wholeheartedly. Maybe you think of them as flashing signs of imminent danger.

What if I lose my job turns into, Of course, I will lose my job. And, of course, I’m too old to get hired, which means I won’t be able to find work. What if my manager hates my marketing plan, becomes She’s going to not only hate it but she’ll regret hiring me in the first place. What if I freak out during my presentation, becomes I will screw up.

You might try to fight your worrisome thoughts or reason them away. You might try to quell your worries by disproving them -- going to Google to find the answer, seeking reassurance from others, trying to reassure yourself.
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Books

Can’t Focus on Your Most Important Work? Try This.

In today’s world, doing “deep work” -- anything from writing an article, to learning a new skill, to creating an effective business strategy -- is tough. There are distractions at every turn. It’s hard to give a task your full attention when you’re trying to reply to email or stay on top of Facebook posts. Or you need to tweet out links to promote your work and connect with others.

Cal Newport, a writer and assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University, coined the term “deep work” on his blog
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Books

3 Reasons Not to Date Online Just Because You’re Lonely

It’s late in the evening. All your emails are read and the good TV is over for the night. You’re feeling a little bit… lonely. Unsure what to do, you open that dating app and start to swipe. You bring your laptop out of hibernation and start to scroll. You see faces of potential partners wiz by and for a moment, it helps.

Your smile returns.

We’ve all been in this moment -- the moment when a twinge of loneliness spurs an online dating session. But is this really a good habit to get into when feeling lonely?
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Books

10 Books on Happiness & Success for Your Reading List

Being an entrepreneur is stressful work. You pour blood, sweat, and tears into making your business work. Even though it can test you down to your last nerve, there’s nothing more rewarding than starting your own company.

While it can be challenging to successfully balance your workload plus family, friends, fitness and some personal time, there are few things that rings true for most successful entrepreneurs. It’s their unwavering commitment to continuous self-improvement in all areas of their life from their business prowess to their personal relationships.
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Anxiety and Panic

For Those in Despair: You Are Not Alone

Whenever we’re struggling with something, we assume we are alone. We are the only ones. I’m the only one who can’t get through the day without crying. I’m the only one with sweaty palms and terror swirling through my body while grocery shopping. I’m the only one who isn’t blissed out after having a baby. I’m the only one who can’t shake this all-consuming sorrow or rage. I’m the only one who can’t sit still. Who can’t stomach myself.  

But you’re not alone. You’re not alone in your confusing emotions, dark thoughts and daily struggles. You are one of hundreds, of thousands and even of millions. Two recently published essay collections remind us of this. They remind us that while our stories may be unique, the themes are not. We are connected. And there is hope.
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Anger

How to Express Your Anger Effectively

When we’re angry, we yell, criticize, judge, shut down, give the silent treatment, isolate or say, “I’m fine!” (without of course being fine). These actions end up hurting both the other person and us. They feel bad, and we might feel worse. We might regret the insults and judgments we hurled their way. We might feel frustrated that we didn’t articulate the real reason behind our anger. We might feel frustrated that we weren’t heard.

Maybe we’re even afraid of anger in general because we associate it with aggression. But as Alexander L. Chapman, Ph.D, RPsych, and Kim L. Gratz, Ph.D, write in their comprehensive book, The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook for Anger: Using DBT Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation Skills to Manage Anger, “Aggression involves actions or statements that might be harmful to someone or something, whereas anger is an emotional state.
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Anxiety and Panic

A Tip to Try for Anyone Who Struggles with Uncertainty

Many us, whether or not we struggle with an anxiety disorder, view uncertainty as intimidating. After all, uncertainty is ambiguous. It means unpredictable situations that we're convinced have the potential for discomfort, undesirable outcomes, bad news, and big mistakes.

So we avoid uncertainty. We don’t take a new route to work, because we might get lost. And what if there’s no one to give us directions? We don’t try a new restaurant, because what if we don’t find parking? What if the restaurant is packed? What if we hate what we eat and end up wasting all that money? We don’t let people in, because what if they don’t like what they see? What if they betray us? We rarely make decisions without consulting others because what if we make the wrong choice? We rarely delegate tasks to someone else because what if they mess things up?
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Books

A Great Way to Cultivate Gratitude

We know that being grateful is important. It boosts our energy and well-being. It helps us to cope with stress. Simply, it brightens our mood and helps us feel good. But sometimes we forget to give thanks. Sometimes, we give thanks only on certain days (such as holidays) and not on others (the days we’re exhausted, overwhelmed, burnt out). Sometimes, we count a few blessings to ourselves but quickly move on to something else.

In his book Gratitude Works! A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity author and psychology professor Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D, includes practices for cultivating, or growing, our gratitude. Because as he writes, “Through practice, giving thanks grows from the ground of one’s being. Grateful feelings, once buried, can surface if we take the time to notice and reflect… Gratitude is like fertilizer to the mind, spreading connections and improving its function in nearly every realm of experience.”
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Books

These 5 Habits Can Relieve Loneliness

One major challenge within happiness is loneliness. The more I’ve learned about happiness, the more I’ve come to believe that loneliness is a terrible, common, and important obstacle to consider.

Of course, being alone and being lonely aren’t the same. Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, restorative.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: February 6, 2016


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

I hope your February is off to a great start -- I know mine is! Honestly, I don't know what to make of this winter so far -- one weekend I'm snowed in, and the next it's, well, almost spring out there!

Anyway, I've rounded up some interesting little psychology-related nuggets for you to feast on this weekend, whatever your plans, so sit back and get ready to learn about how a parent's depression...
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