Family

Learn to Love Yourself First

Most psychologists will agree that being loved and being able to love is crucial to our happiness. Sigmund Freud once said, “love and work ... work and love. That’s all there is.” But for many, the search for love causes a great deal of frustration and unhappiness. And what about self-love and its significance to our happiness?

Whether you’re single, happily in a relationship, or in an “it’s complicated” one, it’s our relationship with ourselves that sets the foundation for all our other interactions and is the secret to having fulfilling and healthy intimate relationships.
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Anxiety and Panic

This Simple Task Could Make You More Resilient

When we’re anxious our bodies undergo changes to prepare for a fight-or-flight situation. It’s an evolutionary response. Picture the moment a deer hears the snap of a twig nearby. The deer's heart rate goes up, breathing becomes shallow, and the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released.

Some people recover physically and emotionally much more quickly after a stressful situation -- a trait known as resilience. It’s ideal that our bodies return to normal shortly after an anxiety spike. After all, chronic stress hurts our bodies and our minds.

Becoming resilient in the face of stress could be as simple as paying attention to your own bodily responses, according to a
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General

8 Effective Ways to Keep Your Partner Interested

Being in a relationship involves time, commitment, patience, a willingness to forgive, an openness and vulnerability, and giving without expectation of anything in return. This sounds like a lot of work and it is, but the potential rewards are well worth the effort. Yet even as you work at your relationship, you also need to endeavor to keep it fresh. Here are eight tips for doing so:

Make an effort to be present.
You might think that being in the same room with your partner is enough to be present. But that doesn’t hold true in a society where it’s easier to text than communicate even when two people are in the same room. Everyone’s buried in their electronic devices. Put the devices on mute. Your physical presence is one way to keep your partner interested, but there’s more at stake than simply occupying space.

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Bullying

Mindfulness and the Subtle Art of Letting Go

This is kind of embarrassing, but I'll tell you anyway: I used to be a chubby kid and I hated when adults called me fat.

To make it even worse, I had moderately long hair, so people often would mistake me for a girl. Nothing wrong with being a girl, but my child self just couldn't handle other people's realities.

Looking back now, I seriously don't remember any adults who called me fat. I know they did...
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Children and Teens

Bedtime Mindfulness: A Gratitude Body Scan for Children

"Mummy, can we do a different mindfulness practice tonight?"

“Sure we can Darling, would you like to?"

“uh-huh."

“OK, close your eyes, and settle down into your bed and take your attention down to your feet.

“Feel from the inside where your feet are in the bed, where they are touching the sheet and silently thank your feet for walking you around all day. They have worked hard for you today to get you where you wanted to...
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General

What Dogs Can Teach Us about Living in the Moment

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Sure, a dog might squirrel away a bone for a rainy day, but he’s mostly not thinking about the future. He might even forget about that bone. When he stumbles upon it next spring while rifling through the heather bushes, it’s a wonderful surprise -- a new bone!

As humans, we think about the future often. We know our time on this earth is finite. We feel pressure from society or friends or even our own imagination to reach certain milestones with each passing year. Start a career, get married, buy a house, start a family, and so on. With each accomplishment we look for the next one. Never taking the time to appreciate our success.
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Brain and Behavior

1-Minute Mindfulness Exercises

Interested in doing mindfulness meditation but don't think you have the time? Below are 9 mindfulness exercises you can do in a minute or under.

Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour.
Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Say “ahh” as you exhale. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present.

Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds. Notice any tightness and say "ease" or just say hello to that place (being mindful -- noticing without judgment). Take another 20 seconds to notice and then get back to what you were doing.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: January 23, 2016


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

I've been snowed in for the past few days and I have to admit, the extra time to really dive in and reflect gave me a hard time choosing from so many new and interesting psychology-related topics this week!

However, I managed, so now you can dive in and learn more about tackling mental illness stigma with social media, how a father's depression can affect premature birth, why learning how to properly feel emotions...
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General

New Year’s and Values

In Hamlet, cranky Polonius gives his son Laertes, who is about to venture out into the world, this advice: "This above all, to thine own self be true." (As it happens, it is ironic advice, as Polonius himself is duplicitous and rarely shows the self-awareness he wants his son to embrace.) Deep down, what Shakespeare is getting at is that you need not to be afraid to know yourself and accept yourself, flaws and all.

I'm not a big one for New Year's resolutions, but this past New Year's I had what I call a New Year's revelation. Taking time out to disconnect and detox, I realized what happens when you fight feelings of anxiety and vulnerability and are not being your true self. When you shut those feelings off, you are disconnected from that which brings meaning to your life.

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5 Tips for Coping with the Post-Holiday Blues

Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays. The moment when we realize the guests have left and the errands are complete. The moment when we finally look around and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holidays.

Personally, the days immediately following New Year's Day are mixed emotion days for me. The first couple weeks of January, I relax in the glow of Christmas and the expectation of new beginnings. Yet, mingled amid my joyous feelings, there is a feeling of sadness as I realize that the holiday season has ended and normal life has returned.

Since I was a young child, I have loved the period from Halloween to New Year's because of the festivities, the traditions, the foods, smells, and sights. Yet it seems that as soon as Halloween is upon us, in a flash, we are past New Year's Day.

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Ethics & Morality

Buddhism, Spirituality & Dependency

Recently I attended a six-day Zen meditation retreat (sesshin in Japanese) which included the celebration of Rohatsu on December 8. Rohatsu is said to be the day that Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, came to his great enlightenment.

As a couples therapist and student of attachment theory, I cannot deny what seem to be inherent contradictions of this spiritual path and current research on healthy dependency. First, Siddhartha left his home, his wife, his newborn, his parents, and his duties as a prince to go alone on a spiritual quest. Accounts also say that he left at night and did not say goodbye to his wife or see his newborn son.

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