Storytelling Will Save the World

Captain’s log. Stardate January 2011. Where unfortunately many have gone before. I’m 26 years old and thinking about dying. Actually, I’m not being entirely truthful. I’m dangling halfway out the fourth floor window of my bedroom in New York City.

I don’t really want to die. I just want the emotional pain to stop, and I don’t know how to do that. Both my father and grandfather didn’t know how to make their own terrible personal pain stop, and now both are dead.
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Teaching Kids to Identify and Cope with Their Emotions

It’s hard enough to identify, understand and cope with our emotions as adults. It takes practice. And often we get it wrong. That is, we can’t figure out what we’re really feeling. We ignore our feelings or pretend they don’t exist. Or we turn to unhealthy habits.

So it’s understandable that kids find feelings so confusing and overwhelming -- so much so they have meltdowns and tantrums. They kick. They scream. They sob. They stomp their feet.

Fortunately, parents can help. You can help your child tune into what they’re actually feeling and find healthy ways to cope with those feelings. It’s a skill that all kids need and benefit from greatly (as do parents!).
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Let Your Childhood Dreams Help You Live an Intentional Life

Chances are, you were on to something about yourself then.

Do you remember taking a careers class when you were a kid? You know, the class that got you thinking about your future employment?

I remember it. It was way back in 9th grade at Penndale Junior High.

I remember wanting to be a commercial artist back then. I was fascinated by typography and calligraphy, and, at the time, that was the only thing I could think of that would bring me happiness and capitalize on those interests.
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The Positive Perspective: Replacing ‘Despite’ with ‘Because’

People often ask me, “How do you do your research?”

I’m a kind of street scientist. I don’t have a lab full of undergrads eating marshmallows to study; I rely on my own observations.

Really, I feel more like Samuel Johnson or William Hazlitt or George Orwell, in the way that I analyze human nature. I love reading the science, and I think about the science all the time, but in the end, I pay the most attention to what I see around me. And what I read -- not just science, but memoirs, biographies, novels.
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Anxiety and Panic

Don’t Let Your Creative Mind Fuel Your Social Anxiety

Many sufferers of social anxiety are highly sensitive, introspective individuals who simply fall into the mindtrap of extreme self-consciousness in unfamiliar social situations. Self-consciousness is essentially a fear-driven derivative of introspection, the ability to examine one’s own self.

Research also has shown that people who score high in traits of neuroticism, including anxiety, fear and worry, tend to have extremely active imaginations. In other words, the worrywarts and overthinkers of the world simply are using their creative minds to imagine the worst-case scenarios instead of the best. 

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Anxiety and Panic

Remodeling Your Brain to Enhance Your Life

The brain can change its neural structure and make new neurons. Here are a few tips on how to remodel your brain in order to enhance your life:

Identify what you think about most often.

Are you a worrier? Are you angry a lot? Paying attention to what we think about most enables us to identify where our brain wiring is faulty and unhealthy. Your brain could be wired for anxiety, anger or any other negative thoughts, feelings or perceptions about yourself and the world.
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Brain and Behavior

4 Steps to Stop Seeking Approval from Others

Humans share an innate drive to connect with others. We’re evolutionarily wired to crave inclusion. Eons ago, this was linked with our survival; in prehistoric times, rejection triggered fear. If someone became isolated or was ousted from the group, his or her life would be at risk.

Because the consequences of being rejected were so extreme, our brains and behavior adapted to avoid disapproval from others. In fact, research has shown that social rejection activates many of the same brain regions involved in physical pain, which helps explains why disapproval stings.
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How Introverted and Extroverted Colleagues Can Navigate Conflict

As an introvert, you might see your extroverted colleagues as poor listeners who speak before they think and use way too many words. You might get frustrated with their expressive nature. You might even find their questions to be intrusive.

As an extrovert, you might see your introverted colleagues as distant and detached and way too slow to respond. You might feel like getting any sort of answer is akin to pulling teeth. You might wonder why they decline invitations to social events and need so much time alone.
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5 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care This Week

There are all sorts of views on what self-care is and what it looks like. (For instance, in this piece, several clinicians share their diverse thoughts.) According to art therapist Kim Ottinger, LPC, “self-care is anything that allows you to take a moment to appreciate yourself and your life.” Self-care sustains us when we’re stressed, she said.

It might “manifest in the form of an activity, an attitude towards yourself or others, a belief, or an action.”
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