Family

How to Really Get Away on a Family Vacation

It’s summertime, vacation season for many American families. But it’s not always that easy to leave the office, home and other responsibilities behind. While the relaxation experts may have a different view, here are some ways I've found to be effective in leaving it all behind.

Keep things simple.

Vacations are supposed to be restorative, a time to rest, relax and regain your balance and perspective. They’re not meant to be a nonstop schedule of attractions, cramming too many activities into a time that you’ve allocated to be with the family.

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General

How Smartphone Gaming Can Reduce in Stress

Smart phones have made a tremendous impact on how we relate to each other and they serve different functions for different people. There are countless apps available to download making it no mystery why people's faces are constantly fixed on their phones.

Smart phones are predictable and reliable. They are also convenient and portable. Smart phones provide the added benefit of assisting a person with decompression and refocusing after experiencing a stressful situation.
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: September 3, 2016


Here in the U.S., we're currently in the throes of Labor Day Weekend (and I'm at a local music and arts festival, celebrating!).

Labor Day is the first Monday of September, and although it gives us a nice little three-day weekend, it's about much more than that: Labor Day honors our country's labor movement and "constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So, Happy Labor Day! I hope you're doing something to celebrate all your hard work and, once you get a chance, check out this week's latest in how your mood affects whether you live in the moment or the future, the new warning labels regarding opioid use with other medications, what your choice between iPhones and Androids says about your personality, and more!

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Habits

How to Be in the Here and Now

“All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.” – Ekhart Tolle

If there’s one thing you can’t escape, it’s the present. In fact, there’s no other way to live. You cannot, for example, take action in the past. That’s over and done with. By the same token, you can’t inhabit the future, for that time has yet to arrive. All you have, therefore, is the here and now.

Why is it that people have so much difficulty accepting this fact -- and learning how to be fully present in the here and now?
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Depression

When You Put on a Happy Face but You’re Really Depressed

When we think of people with clinical depression, we think of individuals who are overtly sad -- a permanent frown etched onto their face. We think of people who can’t get out of bed and have a hard time working and performing tasks. People who look exhausted and disheveled. People who are withdrawn and isolate themselves.

Sometimes this is accurate. Sometimes, this is how depression manifests.

But other times, the face of depression is actually that of a happy person.
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ADHD and ADD

If You Don’t Have One True Calling, That’s a Good Thing — Here’s Why

One of the most significant generational differences between millennials and older members of the workforce is the contrasting mindset around career path.

Not so long ago, the average employee joined a company straight out of college, worked his or her way up from entry level to middle ground, and eventually joined the upper echelons of management, hardly stopping to give other employers a second glance. There was a much more linear development of career growth, which also included now-mythical concepts such as pensions and six weeks of accrued paid time off.
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General

Know What Feeds You

When you were a baby, you were helpless and dependent upon your parents and caregivers for nurturance and sustenance. You were the recipient of other people's care. Your caregivers fed you food, loving touch, and appropriate learning stimuli to help you grow, thrive, and feel loved. Shelter and protection from harm was presented to you as well as the adults in your world could offer. Your needs were met as best as your caregivers could supply. Parents and all human beings do the best they can with the skills and awareness they have at the time.

To whatever extent they could care for you reflects what you received and learned was available to you. The care you received growing up taught you a great deal. Early trust (or its lack) was formed and the bonding process was portended for your future relationship with that person.
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Brain and Behavior

Harnessing Our Racing Thoughts

To stop overthinking (also known as ruminating), we first have to understand why we do it.

Our brains favor a hardwired "negativity bias." This keeps our subconscious scanning our environment for any kind of perceived threat to our physical or psychological safety. If our brains, consciously or subconsciously, interpret any kind of threat, we have a psychological and physiological response called "fight, flight or freeze" that will go into effect to keep us safe.

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Bullying

I Love My Family But Not Their Politics

I’ve come to understand the reason for the old adage that "you don’t talk about religion or politics." People are very passionate about these subjects, especially during a presidential election year, so political discussions even among loving family members can become heated. Some people align so much with their religious beliefs or political values that they feel like it’s a personal attack when others have differing views from them. But what do you do when your own politics differ greatly from your family’s views?
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General

How to Know if Summer Love Can Last

Summertime means barbecues, lazy pool days, vacations, and sometimes summer love. The summer season can bring less stress, relaxed vibes, carefree attitudes and an opportunity to escape from our typical routines. That breezy attitude helps us let our guard down. And that makes it easier to meet someone who could become a more serious love interest.

Many of those summer loves will end as the season does. But perhaps you think you have made a real love connection with a summer love and want to continue being together into the fall. How will you know if your summer fling could last another season?
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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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