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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General

3 More Ways to Cultivate Our Personal Power

The way we see ourselves affects everything. In particular, when we see ourselves in a negative light, we actually take away our own power. We take away our power to make positive, supportive choices. We may give our power to others -- people who don’t deserve it, who don’t have our best interests at heart.

According to psychotherapist Lisa Richberg, LMHC, when we see ourselves negatively, we might believe: I am not good enough. We might believe: I am not smart enough, attractive enough, athletic, productive, capable, or creative enough.

“We relinquish our personal power when we let our boundaries slip, allowing others to take advantage of us.”
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General

What Makes Relationships Happy and Healthy? Couples Therapists Weigh In

We tend to hold the misconception that healthy, happy relationships happen naturally. Organically. Even effortlessly. They move along an assembly line without requiring much, if any, intervention on our part. Because we worry that if we have to work at a marriage, then maybe it simply isn’t meant to be.

This month we asked couples therapists to reveal the biggest lessons they’ve learned about healthy, happy relationships. And their lessons mainly focused on work—the kind you’d do in the garden: nurture, tend, cultivate.
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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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