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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General

7 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Howard Gardner argued that instead of intelligence being a single ability, humans have the ability to develop multiple intelligences, nine to be exact. Some people have a natural proficiency in emotional or interpersonal intelligence; others have difficulty with this. Although this article focuses on one type of intelligence, I suggest for each reader to practice personal insight and assess himself or herself on every intelligence scale.
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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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Brain and Behavior

Upgrading Your Mind

How many articles have you read that start out with something like this?

Manage Your Weight: 10 Easy Tips
Five Simple Ways to Manage Your Money
Time Management Tips for Getting it all Done
How to Manage the Stress in Your Life


All these (fictitious, yet typical) articles suggest ways to manage some aspect of your life. Not bad, if you can do it. However, most people can’t. And here’s why.

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Friends

5 Tips to Banish Loneliness

Loneliness is not a very accommodating or welcoming emotion. It is also not a given. Yet far too many of us experience this powerful and debilitating emotion from time to time. While most people are able to get past it without too much trouble, there are times when loneliness seems to hang around and is difficult to overcome.

While there can be no substitute for
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Mindfulness

8 Tips for Learning to Work with Your Stress


Feeling overwhelmed? These tips are a total game-changer.

Are you stressed? I'm not going to tell you to “relax.” Instead, I'll actually show you how to regulate it.

For many people, stress is a daily occurrence. When stress overruns your life, you’re left feeling “stressed out” and depleted. You can’t get enough rest, life “comes at you” super-charged, and your ability to bounce back or be resilient to the everyday challenges of living becomes harder.

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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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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: August 13, 2016


The world is deep in the throes of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and while such competition has to bring a certain level of anxiety and stress to athletes, sports can help to improve both your body and your mind.

Of course, Olympic athletes face much more pressure than those of us who dabble in the occasional friendly tennis match, which is where professionals such as sports psychologists can help. Learn more about these mental health experts, as well as the latest on the mental health benefits of those who volunteer, how you can make performance anxiety work for you, a new non-medical approach to mental health care that's gaining ground but leaving some psychiatrists skeptical, and more.

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Mindfulness

Video: Why You Should Care About Meditation and How You Can Get Started

You might have heard that meditation is something of a cure-all. Research has found that meditation can help with everything from stress to aging.
If you haven't tried meditation, or if you have tried it but didn't get much out of it, these findings can seem a little perplexing. How can an activity where you just sit there and don't really do anything have such profound effects?
Part...
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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

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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Brain and Behavior

How to Stop Emotions from Controlling Your Life

Emotions are designed by nature to be fleeting. Biologically, emotion is meant to prompt us to action, give us important information about our surroundings, motivate us, and help us communicate with others. However, most of us have learned to ignore this internal guidance system and avoid negative emotions altogether.

We have learned to unconsciously shut down our body’s internal processing system when we start to feel any signs of vulnerability, fear, or rejection. We stop our bodies from allowing these natural emotions to rise up and convey their message. We do this when we overuse television, social media, alcohol or drugs, or partake in any addictive behavior. We also avoid emotion by distracting ourselves with meaningless activities.
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