Bulimia

The Healing Power in Doing What Scares You

While volunteering at a Los Angeles animal shelter, I met a brindle, 10-month-old pit bull named Sunny. She was so skinny that even her shadow looked bony, and her tail looked like it had been chopped in half and then stomped on in three places. Yet despite her dire circumstances, a joyful energy moved through her. Every time I slipped inside her kennel, she came barreling into my arms and sprawled across my lap, her whole body wagging along with her stub tail.

The outdoor kennels gave the dogs little relief from scorching summer sun. Sunny often panted with saliva dripping from her mouth, and I knew she was excruciatingly thirsty. Sometimes she approached her water bowl, but then would back away with her ears flattened on top of her head. And soon enough I realized what she was afraid of: her reflection. Sunny's body told her to drink, but her mind told her a scary, dangerous dog was in her way.

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Creativity

6 Tips for Effectively Navigating Information Overload

You’re probably familiar with the term “information overload.” If you’re not, you’re probably all-too familiar with what it describes. Therapist Melody Wilding, LMSW, defined information overload as the unease you feel when you have multiple tabs open on your computer -- except the tabs are in your head. You feel frantic. Your attention is fractured. You have “one foot in and one foot out,” she said.

“Information overload describes the difficulty a person may have making decisions or thinking clearly because there is just too much information to be processed,” said Marsha Egan, CSP, PCC, CEO of The Egan Group Inc., and author of Inbox Detox and the Habit of Email Excellence.
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Anxiety and Panic

Walk, Don’t Rush, to Judgment

"Why isn’t my date texting me? I thought she had a good time. I mean, we had fun, didn’t we?”

You check your phone again. Once again, your smiling visage greets you. No text, Facebook message, or InstaPic of you and your date.

As your anxiety marinates, you instinctively check your phone. Nothing. Still. You call her again; the call buzzes to voicemail.

Now panicked, emotion overtakes logic. Four times. Six times. Your voice rising, anxiety coats your messages. “Hello, this is (insert name). I just wanted to check in. The date was fun -- call me when you get this.”
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Anxiety and Panic

Managing Panic Attacks at Work

When you’re having a panic attack, it might feel like you’re drowning. You feel like you can’t breathe and your chest is constricted. You might feel detached from your body, from your surroundings, as though you’re floating in a dream. You might become overheated with clammy hands, a flushed face and sweat trickling down your spine. You also might be shaking.

This is how Alyson Cohen’s clients have described their panic attacks. Of course, panic attacks are different for every person. Maybe you don’t feel any of the above. But you hear or feel your heartbeat. Your vision is blurry. You’re dizzy. And your ears are ringing. According to Washington DC-based psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, these also are common symptoms.
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Happiness

The 4 Secret Ingredients for a Truly Happy Life


Be sure you have what it takes to cook up your own delicious life.

Although the definition of "a truly happy life" is relative, we all want it. Does truly happy ever seem like a far-fetched thought, or a rigged carnival game that keeps you striving for an unattainable prize? Maybe you just get one area of your life smoothed out and another area starts to wobble. It can be a constant battle and that's not how anyone wants to live.

Here's the deal... happiness is a recipe and you’re simply missing some key ingredients.
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Family

How to Grieve After Divorce

Grief is a tricky thing. We understand the process during the death of a loved one but forget its role during divorce.

Not allowing yourself to grieve during divorce means not giving yourself the chance to heal. And not giving yourself the chance to heal means not giving yourself the chance to move on with your life. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Family

Handling New Responsibilities

At some point in time, we all face new and challenging responsibilities. It may be for work, for our family, or even for the sake of living on this planet with 7 billion other people.

These responsibilities can encompass small everyday things -- brushing our teeth, putting on clean clothes, taking showers, or eating dinner -- or special occasions -- buying gifts and sending thank you notes to loved ones on their birthdays. They can be boring and tedious like finishing up a report for work or attending that meeting that you really don’t want to go to.

The point is we all face responsibilities we’d rather not. The alarm goes off in the morning and we're filled with hesitation.
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General

Good Communication with Your Partner

What does healthy communication look like? Yelling is ineffective. Noncommunication -- giving the cold shoulder or ignoring him or her -- is a means of communication. According to a 2013 Huffington Post survey, poor communcation is the No. 1 reason for divorce. Here are a few tips that might help you and your partner improve your communication.

Listening


Use active listening. Try to concentrate. Try to understand what your partner is communicating to you. If you do not understand what your partner is saying and feeling, the two of you will not make any progress.

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General

How to Judge Yourself Less

We judge ourselves for so many things. Maybe it’s what we look like. Maybe it’s the size of our thighs. Maybe it’s the mistakes we made. A decade ago. Maybe it’s the small errors we make at work from time to time. Maybe we see ourselves as weak. Not good enough. Inadequate. Deeply flawed.

Maybe you often think in shoulds. I should be over this by now. I shouldn’t be anxious about that. Psychologist Karin Lawson, PsyD, regularly hears these kinds of statements from her clients. They also judge themselves for their emotions. Their sadness. Anger. Fear. “I hear clients judge themselves for just feeling, for being human.” After all, feeling a range of emotions is part of our humanity.
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Bipolar

New Quizzes on Bipolar, Eating Disorders, Paranoia & Stress

Here at Psych Central, we're always developing new quizzes to help you better understand yourself. We believe self-knowledge is power, and so the better you know yourself, the more in control of your life you will become. It's a simple equation that works.

That's why I'm pleased to introduce a number of new self-help psychological quizzes that we've been working on over the past few months. We now have two new ways to test for bipolar disorder and eating disorders (which join our existing quizzes on these topics), and two new topics we've never had quizzes on before -- paranoia and stress.

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Books

3 Ways You Might Be Making Yourself Miserable

There are many things that make us miserable that we can’t control. Our employer is forced to make cuts, and our job is part of the downsizing. Our colleagues are bullies. We’re born with a bad lung or poor eyesight. We’re too short for the sports team we’ve always wanted to join. There’s traffic, construction zones, storms, and a driver who was texting and smacked into your parked car.

But thankfully there are other...
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Happiness

5 Ways to Weather the Storm and Find Lasting Peace

"You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you." -- Joseph B. Wirthlin
Does your mind ever feel like a tornado of whirling thoughts? And when that happens, do you wish for inner peace?

Well, not too long ago, after I quit my corporate job, I was stuck in that exact position. I realized that the degrees I earned and the jobs I chose made me miserable.

My inner chatter became unbearable, and my self-sabotaging, pestering thoughts sparked anxiety attacks, jitters, and nightmares. That forced me to go into therapy.
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