Brain and Behavior

How to Put a Stop to Generations of Negative Thinking

The problem with putting a stop to negative thinking is that we often don’t know we’re doing it. We’re not actively throwing out every positive thought and immediately embracing every bad one. We’re on autopilot. And for many of us, it’s an age-old habit that we learned from our parents, just as it was passed down to them.

Recently, I mentioned to my husband that it would be nice to have a small, single-serving milk steamer, so I could have hot milk with my coffee. “I’d heat up a little in the microwave but it always scorches,” I explained. “Then it makes a mess and you need a whole new mug because the old one smells like burnt milk.”
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Family

Want to Be Close to Someone? Ask These 36 Questions

Can you create a sense of closeness or intimacy with a complete stranger? Psychology research says, yes, you can.

Nearly 20 years ago, a team of psychology researchers led by Arthur Aron (1997) conducted an experiment that demonstrated that you can create a sense of closeness or intimacy with another person simply by asking and answering a set of 36 questions together.

But was the closeness produced in the experimental condition the same as the real closeness we feel with long-time partners and friends?

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ADHD and ADD

ADHD and Parenting: Teaching Your Kids to Regulate Their Emotions

On the outside, when a child with ADHD is having an outburst, it might look like they’re misbehaving on purpose. They’re kicking, screaming, crying and throwing their toys. Or maybe it’s the opposite: They’ve completely shut down.

But there is nothing intentional about these behaviors. Kids don’t want to get angry or act out. “Their brains are actually wired to [over-react],” said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in ADHD.
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Family

When People Cross Your Boundaries

People cross our boundaries in all sorts of ways. For instance, they might keep pushing you to change your “no” into a “yes” to meet their needs, said Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D, LCSW, founder and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy.

They might borrow something and never return it, said psychotherapist Liz Morrison, LCSW. They might invade your personal space -- like touching your pregnant belly without permission. They might instruct your child on how to behave.
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Children and Teens

5 Helpful Tips to Help Children Manage Stress


Being a kid these days is intense. Here's how to help your child cope with the pressure.

You know how awful stress makes you feel. But seeing stress on your child’s face or hearing it in his or her voice? That feels even worse!

You recognize these feelings oh so well -- overwhelm, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness, irritability, and a mind racing with less-than-helpful thoughts. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or "real" you think the threat is, to your child some challenges of childhood (and young adulthood) seem larger or stronger than he or she can handle.

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Family

New Year’s & Coping with Loss

As soon as the Christmas rush subsides and the wrapping paper is thrown away, we start to think about how we will ring in the new year. Images of smiling faces, popping champagne corks, and fireworks tell us how we might be behaving, thinking or even feeling. Yet for many, the persistent feelings of loss and sadness about a person, a relationship or life once lived limit the awareness that a new year is truly a new start.

The spotlight that is placed on our lives at New Year's creates a make-believe time where we imagine that the thoughts we engage with can assist us in navigating the year ahead. While the powers of intentional thoughts have their place in our emotional well-being, for many facing lost loved ones or relationships, their desires can be beyond their grasp.

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Addiction

Nomophobia & Smartphone Addiction Among Children

The term “addiction” is usually associated with alcoholism and drug abuse. Yet people do get addicted to different stimulants that are quite legal substances.

Smartphones changed our primary concept of a cell phone. It is no longer used strictly to establish audio communication. Smartphones allow us to have our camera, GPS navigator, video game terminal, and even our own library in hand. Nevertheless, the biggest and most important aspect is that a smartphone gives us access to the Internet.

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Addiction

Daily Rituals to Reduce Anxiety

Who among us has not experienced their fair share of anxiety? Whether it be from finances, school assignments, career troubles or relationship issues, we all - at least occasionally - get caught in the rainstorm that is anxiety. Some prefer to outrun this brewing downpour. I say, save your energy, and just bring an umbrella.

An anxiety umbrella can take many forms: medicine, therapy, self-reflection or alterations in one’s daily tasks that reduce the burden of anxiety and allow you to focus on more important matters. Here are a few examples that you can use when that cloud of stress turns threatens to turn into a perfect storm:

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Addiction

Smoking and Mental Illness

Every morning, I can look forward to two things: one of my cats snuggling up on my face or my older brother Derek asking someone for cigarette money.

Derek is an avid smoker, and a schizophrenic. He started smoking a few years ago, just before his diagnosis (a neighbor said it would help him with stress). For many people, especially people with mental illnesses, smoking is common. There can be a short-term feeling of relief. However, smoking can be detrimental to those with mental illness.

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ADHD and ADD

I Am a Special-Needs Parent Raising a Special-Needs Child

My 11-year-old son Sam has anxiety disorder, for which he takes a daily dose of Zoloft. He’s also being treated with Adderall for ADHD. And he was recently diagnosed with autism.

I’m 52 years old and bipolar. I ingest a nightly cocktail of four psychotropic meds.

Because both son and mother have notable disabilities, the going, as they say, can get rough. Thank goodness, Sam's father and my husband, Pete, has both feet planted firmly on the ground and is without mental illness.
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Family

Maybe the Problem Is You

There's no easy way to put this... Sometimes the problem may be you.

It may be something about you if you look at others in your life and think, "Why does everyone always seem to have a problem with the way I act at family gatherings?" or "Why do my co-workers always seem to hate me, no matter where I work?"

Or you think, "Wow, everyone else seems to have things so easy. Why does my life always have to be so difficult and fraught with problems?"

Is the problem you? And if so, what can you do about it??

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