Habits

5 Tips to Deal with Insomnia

If you want to change a habit -- any habit -- getting enough sleep is a key first step

Recently, I had a bad night of tossing and turning. I was up for a few hours, then overslept the next morning.

While I was lying there, unable to sleep, I knew I was violating some of the beat-the-insomnia advice that experts give. Though, to give myself credit, I was following some advice.

These tips were on my mind, because I’d just read Andrea Petersen’s Wall Street Journal article, “Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia Blues.”

I violated one of the most basic back-to-sleep tips -- the tip to get up, rather than toss and turn.
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General

7 Ways to Become More Comfortable Being with Ourselves

So many of us have a hard time being alone with ourselves. Which is why we have a few glasses of wine when we’re the only one at home. It’s why we try not to be home by ourselves. It’s why we like to stay busy. It’s why we turn to all sorts of substances; anything not to think or feel or sit with ourselves.

Because, as clinical psychologist Carolyn Ferreira, Psy.D, said, “When we are still with our own thoughts and feelings, there is always the possibility that those thoughts and feelings will go to a place that we don't like.”
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General

Video: Using Your Leisure Time to Make Yourself Happy

The word "leisure" doesn't necessarily make us think about being active and intentional in the way we spend our time. After all, phrases like "at your leisure" and "going for a leisurely walk" imply taking it easy and letting things happen at their own pace.
But "leisure time" or "free time" isn't a time where we do nothing. Rather, it's a time we can use to do whatever makes us happy.
Sometimes we just really need a break, and doing whatever makes us happy means doing whatever's easiest. We turn on the TV or browse the web aimlessly, and it helps us decompress after a long day.
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General

How You Might Be Unwittingly Relinquishing Your Power—and How to Get It Back

She’s driving me crazy! He doesn’t want to improve our relationship, so there’s nothing I can do. I have to work late. Yet again. I’m not smart. I’m not capable of accomplishing this. I don’t have time for what I really want to do. If only things were different. Why does this keep happening to me???

These are just some of the ways we relinquish our power—to others, to circumstances, to conditions. As psychotherapist Eli Feldman, LMHC, said, “there are a million ways we take power away from ourselves.”
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Children and Teens

Crippled by Self-Doubt? Your Impostor Syndrome Could Have Roots in Childhood

Do you ever feel like you somehow got away with landing your job without truly deserving it? Do you feel super uncomfortable when your boss praises your work, because you’re sure you haven’t earned it? Do you have a fear of being “found out,” exposed for not being experienced, talented, successful, or knowledgeable enough for your job?

You might be experiencing something called Impostor Syndrome. And you wouldn’t be alone: more than 70% of people report experiencing Impostor Syndrome at some point in their career.
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Brain and Behavior

How to Stop Emotions from Controlling Your Life

Emotions are designed by nature to be fleeting. Biologically, emotion is meant to prompt us to action, give us important information about our surroundings, motivate us, and help us communicate with others. However, most of us have learned to ignore this internal guidance system and avoid negative emotions altogether.

We have learned to unconsciously shut down our body’s internal processing system when we start to feel any signs of vulnerability, fear, or rejection. We stop our bodies from allowing these natural emotions to rise up and convey their message. We do this when we overuse television, social media, alcohol or drugs, or partake in any addictive behavior. We also avoid emotion by distracting ourselves with meaningless activities.
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Books

5 Tips for Doing It All–Really!

We often hear and read that we can’t do it all. We must pick and choose. We need to make serious sacrifices. We can either have a great career or a great family. We either volunteer or have a side business. But we need to resign ourselves to the fact that we can't have everything. It’s a message women regularly receive.

However, writer and author Linda Formichelli asserts that we can do it all. For instance, if your version of doing it all means cultivating a connected family, building a fulfilling career, enjoying fun hobbies, and traveling regularly, you can have that.
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Happiness

Video: Building a Resilience Toolbox

Resilience is one of the most useful skills there is. Having bad things happen to me and being able to bounce back without getting caught up in negative thoughts? Where do I sign up for that?
But even though we talk about "resilience" like it's one thing, it might be more accurate to say that resilience is a collection of different coping skills. The more of these coping skills we accumulate, the more resilient we become.
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Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: July 30, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's the last weekend of July so I hope you're all going to go out and make the most of it!

Right after you check out our latest mental health news updates, of course, wink wink. Keep reading for new information on the psychology of superstition and luck, research regarding transgender and mental illness, ways to find happiness in today's tumultuous times, and more.

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Friends

How to Stop ‘Fear of Missing Out’ from Ruining Your Career

You’ve felt it before. You’re at home on a Friday night with Shark Tank on the TV, a cold glass of Pinot Grigio in hand, feeling anxious and insecure instead of relaxed and self-assured, all because you glanced at your Instagram feed and saw the proof that all your friends, colleagues, and even your dorky younger cousin are living it up. So much for enjoying a rare night of rest and quiet, much-needed for mental restoration.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a
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General

Childhood Trauma: Overcoming the Hurt of Invalidation

“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”
-- Brene Brown
I talk about my childhood trauma because I lived in denial for most of my life. I write about it because I didn’t understand what happened, why it happened, what it meant. I couldn't explain all these feelings of shame, depression, and disgust. As I grow to understand it better, I hope my writing can help other victims who feel lost and scour the internet for answers -- for a childhood they can relate to.
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