Addiction

Instant Gratification: When Right Now Means 5 Minutes

“If you act right now -- right this very instant, you can own this shimmering, heart-shaped pendant for the budget-busting price of $250. But you have to act this very moment,” a caffeinated TV blowhard shrieks into your television screen.

You cackle, questioning the (in)sanity of anyone spending $250 on a cheesy pendant. As the cackle disappears, you lean back and contemplate your own spending habits. You, self-described Mr. Thrift, just dropped $250 on a pair of must-have sneakers. The problem: Your exercise regimen consists of walking past the gym.

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Anxiety and Panic

Change Can Throw You Off

A lot of things have been happening in my life recently. I just got a big job that I’m very nervous about, it’s something that hard to do but I’m also looking for a challenge. On top of that I’m moving to a new place at the end of the month.

Suffice it to say that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff.

Anybody would have a hard time with two huge things on the horizon, but as I live with schizophrenia I have to be extra conscious of the compounding stressors that I’m putting on myself.
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General

On Being Ourselves — What This Really Means & What It Might Look Like

So often we hear “just be yourself.” Or we read articles about being “authentic.” But what does this really mean? And what does it actually look like?

“Being yourself requires knowing and being comfortable with the different parts of yourself, owning those parts and remaining true to it, even in the face of doubt,” said Ashley Thorn, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is something we explore regularly because we naturally evolve and grow, she said.
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Family

M is for Marriage — Or Is It Money?

Money is a sensitive topic for most of us -- in dating and in marriage. Who isn’t at least a little bit weird about money, anyway? The topic seems filled with ambiguity lately, and a wealth (ahem) of possible answers.

How Do You View Money?

Early in our lives, we gain lasting ideas about money, mostly from our parents or parent figures. My own parents felt fortunate to have begun their New York City public school teaching careers during the Great Depression in the 1930’s, when people who’d lost everything and were jumping out of high office building windows or selling apples on the street.
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General

Self-Doubt: How to Place Self Above Doubt

I should have tenure. Maybe even a corner office with a panoramic view of the quad. No question, I have the research background.

I second-guess (or third-guess) my decisions, craving irrefutable evidence that my decision-making is sound. As I analyze and overanalyze, sinking in mental quicksand, life whirs past. Indecision is a decision. And that decision is measured in missed opportunities.

As overthinkers, information is our frenemy. Analytical and creative, we are natural thinkers. Our inquisitive minds crave nourishment. But, in a lot of cases, we overindulge.
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General

Tackling Mental Health One Meal at a Time

There is so much information out there about eating healthy to get in shape. Broader society has a general idea of an ideal shape that is ever-evolving and almost always an airbrushed, unattainable goal. Ideally the information at your fingertips should be about self-improvement through and through, not predominantly outwardly. The reality is that what you are putting into your body may be contributing to issues with depression, and in turn, your self-esteem.

Although popular media may tell you otherwise, working on a happier, healthier self starts from the inside out.

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Disorders

Are You Seeing a Good Therapist? 5 Tell-Tale Signs

You find a therapist online or through your insurance. Or maybe a friend recommends them. Either way, you call and make your first appointment. You start seeing this therapist for 50-minute sessions once a week.

But how do you know if your therapist is actually good? It can be tough to tell because therapy can seem like a mysterious, cloaked process. We generally know what makes a good primary care physician or a good dentist. But what do good therapists say and act like?
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General

4 Ways to Validate Yourself

“I put in a request for my annual review three weeks ago,” a friend told me. “I’ve reminded my supervisor about it, but she still hasn’t scheduled it.”

It’s bad enough to worry about whether or not you’ll get a raise or a promotion, but now my friend is left feeling like she doesn’t even matter. Work for her has meant lots of unexpected travel and many weekends on the job. None of these were part of her job description, and yet…
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Brain and Behavior

Getting to Know Your Three Brains: Part 1

Happy relationships make happy people. Perhaps the most important relationship we have is the one with our self. In fact, the better the relationship we have with our self, the better we feel, the easier life is and the better relationships we have with others.

When we judge our self harshly, we tend to judge others harshly as well. There is a direct correlation between how we treat ourselves, how we feel and how we treat others.

Regardless of whether you believe it, you do have power to change for the better. How do I know this? I know this because in my journey to become a health care professional, I had the great fortune of learning about the brain. This knowledge helped me tremendously.
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Habits

7 Tips to Finally Stop Procrastinating

How many times each day do you try to work yourself up to tackle some undesirable task? If you’re like me -- several times.

For instance, I’ve been refining my Four Tendencies Quiz. Almost 500,000 people have taken the quiz -- which is extraordinary -- and I’ve made adjustments to it, along the way, to make it better.

Analyzing the Quiz results takes a very different kind of brain work from the kind that I usually do -- and it’s not the kind of brain work I like to do. And so I put off that work, and put it off, and put it off. And then when I finally do the work, I get through it quickly and am so relieved to have it done. So why procrastinate?
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Disorders

5 Myths About What Therapy Should Be Like — and the Actual Facts

Today, thanks to the internet, there’s a lot more information about therapy and how it works. But that still doesn’t stop some myths from being perpetuated. And perpetuated. These myths might come from television and movies. They might come from friends or colleagues or even strangers. They might come from our own assumptions as we try to fill in the blanks. Below are five common myths, which you may or may not have (mis)interpreted as truths, along with the actual facts.

We think a therapist is just like a friend.
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General

10 Rules for Successful Living

How would you define “successful living”?

Is it to become a CEO? Or, is it to live in a woodland cabin equipped with high-speed wi-fi?

Whatever your notions of success, when I asked 2,500 Americans to “share the wisest quote you have heard or read, or share your own piece of wisdom” (as part of a nationwide study into what matters to us most), this is what people wrote (in reverse order of popularity):

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