Family

Eat, Pray, Relate!

Personally, I grew up with no encouragement to pray. I used to have a vague sense that prayer was for simple, naïve folks, that it was the “opiate for the masses.” So I do understand if you don’t relate to the concept.

But perhaps you do.

Because according to a Pew Research Center survey, 55% of Americans say they pray every day. Another 21% say they pray weekly or monthly. Even many who are not religiously affiliated say they pray daily.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Ethics & Morality

Expressing Gratitude Throughout the Year

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and everyone has expressed lots of gratitude to their family, friends, co-workers, over Facebook, and through other social media outlets, does this mean we are done with expressing gratitude? It shouldn’t mean that, but often it does.

Gratitude is a practice that should be expressed on a daily basis. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can increase your level of happiness. Our brain often has a negativity bias, meaning...
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General

6 Ways to Stay Busy to Avoid Sadness

"Active natures are rarely melancholy. Activity and sadness are incompatible." – Christian Bovee
Sometimes, you’re just sad. Whether it’s the holiday season, your birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, you can inexplicably feel sadness. It may be that the occasion itself reminds you of a loss, especially if the loss was recent, painful or protracted. You might be sad because you know you didn’t behave with the best of intentions. You could also be sad because you did nothing when you knew you should have done something.
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General

PODCAST: Discussion with Award-Winning Bipolar Author and Blogger

In this week’s Psych Central Show, Gabe and Vincent interview popular bipolar author and blogger, Natasha Tracy.

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer and speaker living with bipolar disorder. She has written more than 1000 articles on mental health and is considered a subject matter expert in bipolar disorder. She has also been published in the peer reviewed journal, Primary Care Companion CNS Disorders. She was the winner of the Beatrice Stern Media Award presented by Didi Hirsch for her work in reducing prejudice against the those with mental illness.

Natasha writes the award-winning blog Bipolar Burble at NatashaTracy.com and her writings are also featured on many other sites. She recently released the book Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar which one reviewer said will “certainly save lives.” Her book is being received very positively by those with bipolar disorder or depression, their loved ones and even healthcare professionals. Lost Marbles and its reviews can be found on Amazon.

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Friends

Accepting the Gift of Criticism

Criticism is often shot with such irrationally charged arrows that it’s natural to yield a defensive shield, which can deflect any kind of positive resolution or self-growth.

Also, criticism can be jarring to one’s self-image. For instance, if you perceive yourself to be a productive member of your company, and someone declares that you’re a slacker, it can be a blow to your ego. It’s natural, then, to try and combat criticism.
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General

Podcast: Do Suicides Increase During the Holidays?

In this week’s Psych Central Show, Gabe and Vincent address the persistent and widespread myth that suicides increase during the holiday season. They discuss which seasons see the highest suicide rates, what month has the lowest rate, and what we as a society can do to educate ourselves about, and ultimately prevent, suicide.

Vincent, a former suicide hotline counselor, covers some common warning signs that indicate possible suicidal thoughts and what a person can expect when calling a suicide hotline. The conversation includes a brief history of American automobile safety standards, as well as some surprising statistics about death in in the U.S.

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Friends

Losing Friends

We’ve all done it. We’ve all lost a friend or two.

One minute the friend is present, communicative and, well, friendly. The next minute our friend is gone. It doesn’t feel good when it happens. In fact, it can be devastating and downright confusing.

Let’s investigate some of the key reasons people lose friends.
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Brain and Behavior

Facebook’s Flimsy Denial of Fake News & Its Impact

Facebook paints a very dichotomous, contradictory picture of itself. On one side, they claim to be the world's largest social network, impacting the lives of over a billion people each month. On the other side, CEO Mark Zuckerberg -- apparently not using his own social network or perhaps living under a rock this past year? -- claims that Facebook has virtually no influence on national elections.

The disconnect is important, because it shows that Facebook doesn't appear to take a leadership position of responsibility for unleashing and reinforcing the technology that has become a part of billions of people's lives everyday. Is fake news an actual problem on Facebook, and if so, what can be done about it?

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Brain and Behavior

Fake News: Facebook Helps You Feel Well-Informed, Regardless of Actual Reading

After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook faces the spotlight for spreading fake news stories. There are now hundreds (perhaps thousands) of fake news web sites -- sites that publish news articles that look and seem to be real, but are complete fiction. Unlike older, well-known satirical websites, such as The Onion, many of these sites don't indicate their fakeness.

But even if Facebook is helping spread fake news more than any other service ever, it begs the question -- do people even read the news stories that appear in their Facebook feed? Let's turn to the science...

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