Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: February 20, 2016


Good afternoon, Psych Central readers!

First, I have to apologize for the late post. Generally, I try to publish these earlier in the day, but, alas. Technology is a wonderful thing, but unfortunately there are some blips along the way -- and I've had a few connection issues over the last couple of days.

Fortunately, that didn't stop me from collecting some fascinating pieces for you over the week, so let's get down to business, shall we?

Read on for the latest about mountaintop removal's affect on mental health, how your personality affects your taste in music, yet another research report on marijuana use and its contributions to mental illness, and more.

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Dreams

Better Sleep for a Better Life

While getting seven to eight hours of sound sleep each night is easier said than done, there are adjustments you can make to improve your odds of a good night's sleep. And what you do in the hours before you go to bed could matter most.

More than 90 percent of Americans use electronic communications in the hour before they go to bed. Allowing such stressors into your pre-sleep time is only going to keep you awake. A 2014 study suggests that late-night smartphone use is bad for your work the following day. This research found that using a smartphone late at night not only leads to poor sleep but also creates fatigue and lower engagement in the workplace.
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Creativity

5 Tips to Manage Stress When Work Is Crazy Busy

We’ve all been there: a big project comes up that’s super important to your company (and your career), and it quickly becomes an all-hands-on-deck situation. Work shifts to priority number one, leaving everything else in your life to fall by the wayside.

Suddenly, you’re clocking 12 hours at the office every day, responding to emails from home at all hours of the night, and fighting off the million to-dos running through your head to catch a few precious hours of sleep. Your exercise consists of sprinting between your desk and the printer, and you can’t remember the last time you ate something that didn’t come out of a package.
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Anxiety and Panic

Networking for Introverts: 4 Secrets to Meet New People

Networking can be, at times, awkward and even produce anxiety. The thought of reaching out to people you don’t know to build potential business relationships can seem daunting. How do those “super connector” social butterflies carry themselves with such confidence while others stammer and stutter?

As it turns out, there’s a psychology to relationship building that will not only help you feel more secure when meeting new people, but will also transform your stack of business cards into meaningful connections that may advance your career.
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Friends

The One Word that Can Kill a Friendship

There’s this word you use all the time. It’s a seemingly harmless word -- it’s close to meaningless, really -- but it’s slowly, subversively tainting your relationships. Look back over any recent texts and emails you’ve sent to friends. If they look something like this, you’re caught on this word’s lure.

“I’d love to hang out! But I’m really busy.”

“Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier! I’ve been so busy.”

“What’s going on with me? Just busy as usual!”
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General

How to Recover from Failure

You create a presentation that does not go well. You launch a product that only 10 people buy. Your relationship is over. You don’t get the promotion or new job you really wanted. You get fired. You do something else, and feel like you’ve fallen flat on your face.

Understandably, you’re devastated. After all, you failed.

But failure doesn’t have to be a demoralizing letdown, a crushing catastrophe or a window into some bleak future. Because failure is what we make of it.
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College

4 Times You Should Say No to Additional Responsibilities at Work

Think about your average work week: How many of your daily tasks fit into the original job description you were hired to do? Chances are that, over time, out of an eagerness to prove yourself, you’ve taken on a number of responsibilities that fall well outside the realm of your core role. But how much of this newfound accountability is contributing to your professional advancement -- and how much of it is just running you ragged?

Top performers can be a prime target for additional requests because they enjoy challenge and frequently seek out new ways to demonstrate their skills. But do you find yourself saying yes every time your boss asks you to take a stab at a project that’s in no way related to your core competencies simply because you want to look like a team player?
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College

How to Get Over Your Fear of Talking about Money (And Get the Pay Raise You Deserve)


Talking about money can be difficult, even scary. It’s a topic that makes many people feel uncomfortable. Whether you’re negotiating higher pay in response to a new job offer or vying for a promotion in your current role, discussing salary is downright stressful.

You’re afraid of getting turned down, making things awkward, or even offending your manager. So, you make excuses as a way to sidestep the conversation. You tone down your requests -- or worse, you don’t...
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General

5 Practices to Achieve Work-Life Balance

We live in a time-poor era where everything has to be done yesterday and our to-do list is ever-growing. Achieving work-life balance is an everyday challenge for many of us and it can sometimes feel more like a dream than a reality that can be realized. In the pursuit of a less frenetic life, simply the ability to get out of the office early can be of tremendous help to achieve a minimum level of work-life balance.

After all, no amount of yoga, meditation, massages or escapes to paradisal destinations would keep us feeling rejuvenated for long if we barely get enough hours in a day to relax or sleep. Try the five tips below to help you out:

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Creativity

Why Vulnerability Will Make You Successful

I am a writer who blogs about being a highly sensitive person. I sit in my writing chair with my Mac and various beverages strewn about me, and write. It is very cathartic. I write about my emotions, feelings, thoughts, struggles, eccentricities, questionable habits, phobias, and anxieties. It feels so good to get them out. I finish my pieces and edit them for publication. I get ready to release them to the world. Then, as easily as they come, those cathartic feelings soon dwindle to just traces that quickly get absorbed by vulnerability.

What a word, Vulnerability. It doesn’t look nice. It doesn’t sound nice. It sure doesn’t feel nice. However unappealing the word is, vulnerability and I have been getting a lot closer lately. It’s not something I set out to do, like a New Year’s resolution:

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Depression

How to Get Out of Bed When You’re Depressed

A woman on ProjectBeyondBlue.com, my depression community, recently asked me this: “You exercise daily and eat the right things. You research and write this stuff for a living. But what about those of us who can’t get out of bed in the morning? What about when you are too depressed to exercise, eat right, or work? How do you simply get out of bed?”

The honest answer is that I don’t know.
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General

5 Tips for Being Truly Productive on Your Own Terms

Creative living coach Jamie Ridler, CPCC, lives in Toronto, where it seems that just about anyone answers the question “How are you?” with “I’m busy” and “I’m tired.”

Of course, the same is likely true in your neck of the woods as well. All of us have a lot going on, and we might be scrambling to get stuff done and keep up.

But as leadership coach Tanya Geisler, CPCC, ACC, said, “getting stuff done is not intrinsically the same as getting important, meaningful, soul-nourishing, compassionate stuff done.”
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