General

Breaking Old Habits: Five Steps to Conquer the Dwindle Effect

You made a commitment to walk every evening after work, but you can't remember the last time you did. Work is so stressful, you've decided it's a bad time to quit smoking. Or your New Year's resolution not to drink during the week has been long forgotten. No matter how strong your intentions were in the beginning, life's invariable challenges flare up and make it oh-so-easy to slip back into your old habit. Welcome to the Dwindle Effect.

So what happened? You were on a roll for a while with the yoga classes! Well, emotions came up (about you, your weight, your relationship, whatever) and you didn't handle the sadness, anger, or fear physically and constructively. Instead, you went into survival mode and reverted back to the familiar but counterproductive habit that you swore you were going to change.
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Family

Attitudinal Healing

Your attitudes support or detract from your experience when moving through life. Whether your attitude is expectant, positive, negative, neutral, simple, or complex, it drives you and shows up in your behavior. The best way to assess your position in life, your relationships, and your focus on life’s gifts or hindrances is to get to the root of your belief system, which in turn creates your attitudes.

Chances are that you learned your life attitudes from those who raised you, your parents and caregivers. Other influential people who made a strong impact on your mind and experience also factor in.
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Anxiety and Panic

Exercise Helps Your Mental Health, Depression & Anxiety: Now What?

At least once, your doctor or therapist has probably urged you -- get out and exercise more. It's the kind of simplistic advice that professionals feel good about doling out, because it's so easy to do. Exercise helps improve your mental health, and can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

But as anyone who's heard this advice knows, it's so much easier to recommend than do. While exercise can help our mental health, it can be hard to put into action without motivation. Moreover, a person who is depressed or anxious may find motivation, well, lacking.

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Creativity

5 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself — No Drawing, Crafting Experience Required

Reconnecting to ourselves comes in many different shapes and stripes. For instance, for Arizona-based art therapist Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, it means solitude: being alone so she can listen to her inner needs and desires. It means expressing her creativity. One of the ways she does that is through visual arts. The visual arts help us to gain access to parts of ourselves, which might’ve been unavailable to us before, she said.

Using art lets us activate the intuitive and emotional part of our body, said Kelly Darke, ATR, M.Ed, BFA, an art therapist and professional artist in Livonia, Mich. “Creating art is cathartic, allowing you to express emotions in a safe and creative way.”
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Disorders

Psychology Around the Net: August 20, 2016


A few weeks ago, my beau and I decided to tackle a huge home improvement project together.

According to Amy Kipp, a couples and family therapist in San Antonio, "Working through the ups and downs of a big project helps you hone your communication skills [...] The sense of accomplishment and teamwork that results from a challenging shared experience strengthens a couple’s bond. (Her quote is featured in 7 Relationship Milestones That Are Just as Meaningful as Marriage.)

Thus, it seems working on this project is a way to strengthen our relationship. This project is not an improvement our home needs (i.e. we're not renovating a bathroom with a leaky toilet and busted shower tiles); it's an improvement we -- as the homeowners -- want (basically, we're a large part of our backyard into a sort of outdoor oasis). As such, creative ideas are flying everywhere. We have both collective and separate visions, and we're working to combine those visions while making sure each of us is happy.

We haven't thrown any paint brushes at each other yet, so I'd say we're succeeding so far.

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Family

Complaining About Your Partner to Your Friends? Why You Should Stop

When we get together with friends, many of us start complaining about our partners. After all, he missed date night -- which you’ve been planning for months -- at the last minute. Again. It doesn’t matter what you do; she’s rarely satisfied anyway. He doesn’t listen. She refuses to clean the house. He always wants to be with his friends -- it’s like you don’t even exist. She spends too much money. He just bought the most ridiculous thing.

And that’s just the half of it.
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Anger

Are These 5 Myths about Emotions Holding You Back?

We are emotional beings. As complex patterns of internal reactions to external stimuli, emotions are what helped the human species survive. Emotions direct our actions and determine our well-being and health.

Whether we are aware of our emotions or not, whether we talk about emotions or not, and whether we recognize their vital importance or not, emotions are an integral part of our lives and have a powerful effect on us. What kind of effect? That all depends on how we manage any given emotion.
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General

What Healthy, Happy Couples Do and Don’t Do

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. After all, every couple disagrees and runs into a range of challenges. So it isn’t that healthy, happy couples fight less than other couples. It isn’t that they are so alike and compatible that they’re somehow immune to conflict.

And yet there must be something that distinguishes their partnerships from unhealthy relationships, right?
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Creativity

How to Let Joy Have a Little More Control Over Your Life

I was recently playing a game with my husband. We’d just watched the animated film “Inside Out” and we were casting the voice actors for our own emotions: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Anxiety. We both agreed that Robin Williams would make an amazing voice for Joy.

Then I started to wonder about that control panel in the movie. It was filled with buttons and switches that our emotions press and turn. Then we react accordingly. As we get older, and hopefully wiser, the panel gets more sophisticated. But what’s on that control panel? What’s anger make you do? What about sadness? Is there a button that makes you curl up under the covers and cry?
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