Anxiety and Panic

Exercise Helps Your Mental Health, Depression & Anxiety: Now What?

Your doctor or therapist has probably urged you at least once -- get out and exercise more. It's the kind of simplistic advice that professionals feel good about doling out, because it's so easy to do. Exercise helps improve your mental health, and can help alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.

But as anyone who's heard this advice knows, it's so much easier to say than do. While exercise can help our mental health, it can be hard to put into action without motivation. And a person who is depressed or anxious may find motivation, well, lacking.

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Anxiety and Panic

4 Things That Hurt Your Thinking & Keep You Stuck

It's easy to get stuck in life. Most of us have experienced this feeling of "stuckness" at one time or another, feeling that despite everything we try and do, we can't move forward in our life.

One characteristic of being stuck is that our brain doesn't move forward. While our brain is nothing like a computer processor (which can handle millions of instructions per second), it does have a set, finite capacity of our attention. It can't be thinking of a hundred things all at once and attend to them all equally.

With a limited attention span and "brain cycles," what kinds of things can bring our brains -- and our lives -- to a screeching halt?

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Habits

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? Your Health May Depend on It

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

Imagine a beautiful painting hanging on your bedroom wall. Every morning, just upon waking, you meditate on this inspiring work of art. You soon find that this daily practice energizes you and affects your entire mindset throughout the day, encouraging you to look for the beauty in life.

One morning, however, as you’re carrying out your morning ritual, you happen to notice a few of the artist’s mistakes.
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Industrial and Workplace

When You’re Told You Don’t Have What it Takes

What do you do when you're told you don't have what it takes? Maybe it's at school, or even something as important as your major. Maybe it's in the midst of your professional training, when you're already well on your way. Or maybe it's advancing in your career or at work.

Wherever it happens, how do you react to such counsel? Do you shrivel up, throw in the towel, and start looking for a new major, job or career? Or do you resolve to show that person that you do indeed have what it takes, and double-down your efforts?

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Friends

5 Ways Unhealthy Couples Use Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful social tool that keeps us connected with friends and family in our busy daily lives. But used in the wrong way, it can become a liability in both our lives and our relationships. Here are five ways that unhealthy couples use Facebook.

If you recognize yourself in one or more of these ways, you may want to re-evaluate your use of Facebook. Cutting back on using it may benefit not only your own feelings of self-esteem but also your romantic relationship.

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General

Resisting Reaching for the Smartphone Temptation This Holiday Season

When you're gathering with your family or friends this holiday season, I suggest you try something unthinkable: don't take your smartphone out or check it.

I know... It's a crazy idea. But it's one that'll help remind us of something that's really important -- being in the moment with the human beings that are physically present with you.

Why should you keep your phone in your pocket or purse?

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Bipolar

Need Help Managing Depression or a Depressive Bipolar Episode? Try This

Managing an episode of serious clinical depression -- whether stand-alone or as a part of bipolar disorder -- can be a challenge. For people who've never experienced depression, they don't understand the black-hole feeling depression creates. Nothing seems do-able, even simple things like making something to eat or getting out of pajamas. The world seems to close in around you, and you feel utterly, completely and helplessly alone.

Depression is rarely cured quickly and many people who have a depressive episode will be more likely to experience future depression too. That's why it helps to have some tips to actively manage your depression and the feelings that accompany these kinds of episodes.

Here's a few things that have helped others.

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Brain and Behavior

Tapping into Your Resilience After Abuse

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." -- Khalil Gibran
Facing the fact that we’ve been abused isn’t simple. It’s wrapped up in feelings of being deeply flawed. When we’ve been hurt emotionally, physically, or sexually, we tend to internalize our anger and turn it on ourselves.

We may feel that we’ve done something wrong to deserve the abuse or feel that we’re marked by the abuse. The shame and guilt that should belong to the abuser is transferred to the victim, giving them a sense of being defective or contaminated. That’s one of the reasons it took me so long to face the truth.
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Bullying

Do’s and Don’ts for Setting Healthy Boundaries

Leading a truly healthy and authentic lifestyle requires setting defined personal boundaries to create better relationships. Setting such boundaries helps improve communication skills, preserves self-respect and self-esteem, and decreases feelings of resentment and guilt. Knowing who we are as individuals and having a clear understanding of the space between where we end and another person begins is essential to living an emotionally healthy life.

For many people, setting these boundaries can be challenging and, in some cases, a completely new concept.
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Bipolar

Mental Health Hygiene Habits

Parents, teachers, and doctors regularly encourage young people to establish good physical hygiene habits. Here are just a few: Bathe daily. Eat healthy meals. Brush your teeth at least once a day. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Clip your toenails before they get too long. These habits become routine after a while.

Most of us probably were not intentionally taught good mental health hygiene habits. These habits also bring consistency to our lives, promote wellness and resilience, and protect us from becoming overwhelmed by mental illness.

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General

6 Ways to Unplug and De-Stress

Stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, sleep deprivation and overwhelm are so deeply woven into our lives these days that we regularly seek ways to decompress. On the surface, this looks like a great remedy to balance the madness and the desire for peace in our lives. If we dig deeper, we’ll find that a slight shift in lifestyle will create the space our mind and body need without oscillating between burned out and chilled out.

Below are six simple ways to unplug.

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