Habits

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? Your Health May Depend on It

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

Imagine a beautiful painting hanging on your bedroom wall. Every morning, just upon waking, you meditate on this inspiring work of art. You soon find that this daily practice energizes you and affects your entire mindset throughout the day, encouraging you to look for the beauty in life.

One morning, however, as you’re carrying out your morning ritual, you happen to notice a few of the artist’s mistakes.
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Anxiety and Panic

Networking for Introverts: 4 Secrets to Meet New People

Networking can be, at times, awkward and even produce anxiety. The thought of reaching out to people you don’t know to build potential business relationships can seem daunting. How do those “super connector” social butterflies carry themselves with such confidence while others stammer and stutter?

As it turns out, there’s a psychology to relationship building that will not only help you feel more secure when meeting new people, but will also transform your stack of business cards into meaningful connections that may advance your career.
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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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General

7 Tips to Help Someone Else Change a Habit

In my book Better Than Before, I write about the many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits. There’s a big menu of choices, which is great, because it means that we all have a variety from which to pull. Some strategies work for some people, but not others. Some strategies are available to us at certain times, but not other times.

In the book, I focus mostly on what we can do, ourselves, to change our habits. But it’s very obvious that each of us can have a lot of influence on other people’s habits.  And often we really, really, really want to help someone else to change a key habit.
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College

4 Times You Should Say No to Additional Responsibilities at Work

Think about your average work week: How many of your daily tasks fit into the original job description you were hired to do? Chances are that, over time, out of an eagerness to prove yourself, you’ve taken on a number of responsibilities that fall well outside the realm of your core role. But how much of this newfound accountability is contributing to your professional advancement -- and how much of it is just running you ragged?

Top performers can be a prime target for additional requests because they enjoy challenge and frequently seek out new ways to demonstrate their skills. But do you find yourself saying yes every time your boss asks you to take a stab at a project that’s in no way related to your core competencies simply because you want to look like a team player?
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Books

On Technology and Talking Face to Face

We have the world at our fingertips. With the Internet. With our phones. We are connected to everything -- and yet we’re growing disconnected from what counts: Instead of having deep, meaningful face-to-face conversations, we text, email and chat online. And when we do talk face to face, we’re often scanning or glancing at our phones or other devices. We are less present with others. We are less present with ourselves.

There’s even the word “phubbing” in the dictionary now. “It means maintaining eye contact while texting,” writes sociologist and clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle, Ph.D, in her newest book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. “My students tell me they do it all the time and that it’s not that hard.”
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Brain and Behavior

Why We Hide

The wise Seth Godin recently posted a blog titled "Hiding." He included these words: "We hide by avoiding things that will change us ... We hide by asking for reassurance. We hide by letting someone else speak up and lead ... We live in fear of feelings."

Shame is the hiding emotion. Here are some of my thoughts on the origin of hiding:

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General

5 Practices to Achieve Work-Life Balance

We live in a time-poor era where everything has to be done yesterday and our to-do list is ever-growing. Achieving work-life balance is an everyday challenge for many of us and it can sometimes feel more like a dream than a reality that can be realized. In the pursuit of a less frenetic life, simply the ability to get out of the office early can be of tremendous help to achieve a minimum level of work-life balance.

After all, no amount of yoga, meditation, massages or escapes to paradisal destinations would keep us feeling rejuvenated for long if we barely get enough hours in a day to relax or sleep. Try the five tips below to help you out:

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Habits

5 Simple Tricks to Bring Major Happiness to Your Life


Want to change your life? Start here.

Change can be a great thing. A new routine or a new perspective can really revitalize your life and sense of well-being.

But what about the times when change presents a challenge? How can you build up your energy and joy when changes in your life leave you feeling drained?

The truth is that you can easily bolster your happiness in your everyday life. Better yet, when you’re connected to your sense of joy, you’re better equipped to work with change when it comes your way.
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Friends

The 7 Habits of Socially Connected People

Some people may be naturally gregarious and easily find themselves socially connected. For most of us, feeling truly integrated into a social scene takes some effort. Luckily, there are predictable patterns to social success. Do certain things, and people will be drawn to you.

Below are seven skills that all socially successful people possess:

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Anxiety and Panic

The Darker Side of Flakiness

Everyone has a flaky friend. You may even be that friend. I’ve certainly been that friend from time to time.

Increasing “flakiness” -- meaning canceling plans a very short time before said plans are about to begin -- is a trend generally attributed to people’s overscheduled lives, conflicting commitments, constant access to each other through personal technology, or a combination of all three.

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