To End Procrastination, Release Your Mental Resistance

The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They're full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too. ~ Norman Vincent Peale Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to clean someone else’s home instead of your own? There’s no emotional investment: no sick feeling when you look at the mess, no worries about whether or not you’ll get it all done and no concern about whether or not it will stay clean.

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Alcoholism & Depression: Frenemies Forever

I’ve heard a thousand variations of this problem: “My brother is depressed, but he also drinks a lot, which is probably causing the depression. So which do you treat first? The alcoholism or the depression?”

The two conditions are so intertwined that it can be impossible to separate them.

Just last week I met with an executive director of a behavioral health program here in Annapolis. We were discussing how to start a faith-based initiative.

“Should we also include substance abuse?” he asked.
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Brain and Behavior

7 Body Language Mistakes that Could Hold You Back at Work

For the past two months, you’ve had your eye on that promotion. It’s between you and your colleague, and you really want the job. So you put in crazy hours, deliver top-notch work, and take on extra projects to show your work. You don’t see any reason it shouldn’t go to you.

But when the time comes for the promotion to be announced, it goes to your colleague instead. What could possibly have gone wrong?

Turns out, it may totally be unrelated to the quality and quantity of the work you churn out. Instead, it could be a factor of something far more subconscious: your body language.
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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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How to Stop Pessimistic Self-Fulfilling Prophecies from Shaping Your Life

You believe that you’ll never have a healthy relationship, so you pick partners who are unavailable. You believe you’ll bomb the presentation, so you don’t practice. You believe you’re going to have a frustrating day, so you’re snippy with your spouse, which triggers a fight, which makes you miss your train, which makes you late for work. You believe you’ll have a bad time at a party, so you don’t talk to anyone. Others perceive you as cold and aloof, and don’t approach you either.

These are different examples of the same thing: self-fulfilling prophecies.
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6 Ways to Unplug and De-Stress

Stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, sleep deprivation and overwhelm are so deeply woven into our lives these days that we regularly seek ways to decompress. On the surface, this looks like a great remedy to balance the madness and the desire for peace in our lives. If we dig deeper, we’ll find that a slight shift in lifestyle will create the space our mind and body need without oscillating between burned out and chilled out.

Below are six simple ways to unplug.

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Children and Teens

Relaxation, Self-Care and Modeling

It’s time to pick up the kids from daycare, start dinner and get a load of laundry going. Is your blood pressure rising? Among the to-dos of the day, is there time penciled in for self-care? Are you a priority in your own life? Does your to-do list include time to just be?

It’s important to make time not only for our own self-care but realize we are also modeling relaxation and self-care to our children. Is there time to play on the swingset in the park, color, or take a walk? With our schedules packed and our iPhones on hand, are we modeling for our children and family the life we want our children to lead?

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Anxiety and Panic

Mind Over Mood: Q&A with Authors Dennis Greenberger & Christine A. Padesky

When you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, it feels like you’ll never get better. You'll always feel this way. It feels like the dark clouds will never lift. Or the anxiety, worry and restlessness are permanent. Understandably, you feel hopeless and helpless. You feel stuck.

The great news is that you can get better. There are many resources that can help. For instance, workbooks can be incredibly valuable. You can use a workbook while seeing a therapist or attending group therapy. Or you can use a workbook on your own.
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6 Additional Ways to Reduce or Stop Racing Thoughts that Stall Sleep

It’s really frustrating when you’re lying in bed, and your thoughts just won’t stop. It might be thoughts about what you need to do tomorrow or thoughts about what went wrong today. Your brain is lit up like a Christmas tree. Your body feels like a firecracker -- about to explode with energy and restlessness.

Recently, we shared five tips to reduce or stop racing thoughts – everything from listening to guided meditations to processing the...
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Brain and Behavior

Banishing Failure by Changing Your Perception

A world full of black and white with no grays would be a simpler world. Take math, for instance. There really are no gray areas with math. Math is like reality television. Some people love it. Most people disdain it. Everyone sort of tolerates its existence and understands its place in society. Math is black-and-white, right or wrong. Nearly every equation has one answer -- of all the number (and sometimes letter) combinations in the world, there is one right answer. Just one. You are either right or wrong.

Life is not pass/fail. There is a lot of wiggle room, mostly because of perception. When it comes to goal-setting, we tend to see things as being like a math equation. “I want to lose 20 pounds in six months." If you don’t make it -- fail! “I want to be out of graduate school by the time I’m 28.” You are 3/4 of the way there at 29. Fail!

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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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Anxiety and Panic

5 Ways to Reduce or Stop Racing Thoughts that Stall Sleep

I can’t forget to bring that paperwork with me tomorrow! I can’t forget to pay that bill! I need to call the bank! I can’t believe she said that to me. What did he mean by that? What am I going to do about that meeting tomorrow? How can I fix my presentation? There’s no way I can make that deadline! How can I fit everything in???

Maybe these thoughts sound familiar. Or maybe your racing thoughts take on a different theme. But one thing is for certain: They stop you from falling asleep.
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