General

How to Bring More Laughter into Your Life

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion, to the futility of thinking and striving anymore. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward -- and since I can start thinking and striving again that much sooner.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday
The next time you have a really stressful day, it’s your job to find one thing about your day and reframe it so you can laugh at it. Can you do that? I couldn’t imagine doing it either. Finding humor in everyday situations takes practice, and when you spend a lot of time dwelling on stress everything seems serious and urgent.
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

The Thought Police

Embrace the thoughts.

I have been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Like you, my mind burps out intrusive, unwanted thoughts. They are real, striking at my core. I would banish them immediately. They would return with a sinister vengeance. Languishing in bed, sheets draped over me, I pleaded for divine intervention.

Continue Reading

General

An Easy Way to Guarantee Your Marriage

Before tying the knot -- or after, if you’re already married -- why not try out what could be the best way to keep your relationship on track as you journey through life together?

Regardless of life’s ups and downs, the two of you can continue to enjoy romance, intimacy, and teamwork. You’ll deal with issues constructively and usually arrive at win-win solutions.

My prescription for making such dreams come true: hold a weekly marriage meeting.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

Rating Mental Health Apps: Does Self-Monitoring Even Help?

With more than 165,000 health apps available -- most of them monitoring stuff related to your health in some manner -- you might assume there's a ton of research demonstrating the effectiveness of such self-monitoring. But you'd be wrong.

In the world of mental health apps, there's virtually no research demonstrating that monitoring your moods will benefit your treatment outcomes.

So why do so many companies and developers offer apps that simply spit back the data you put into them? Is there a rating organization that can help you make sense of all the mental health apps available?

Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Fear of Missing Out Affecting Your Family? 7 Tips to Help

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a trendy term today. Which might lead us to dismiss or minimize its influence. But for many families, FOMO is a real problem that impedes their connection.

According to psychotherapist Rebecca Ziff, LCSW, FOMO depletes the quality of family time. She’s worked with kids and teens who aren’t able to enjoy downtime with their families because they worry they’re missing out on social functions with their friends. Which means they aren’t fully engaged or present with their families. Understandably, this leaves parents “feeling undervalued and ignored.”
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

A Bigger Deal than the Freshman 15

I was (Carolina) blue. Unlike my beloved Tar Heel hoops squad, my unstoppable opponent was bludgeoning me into submission. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety nearly toppled me during my college years. The issue is bigger than my beloved alma mater: On university campuses, mental health issues affect 25 percent of the student body.

I bleed Tar Heel blue. I founded a student organization on campus, graduated with a shiny GPA, and studied abroad in Australia. I rejoiced on Franklin Street when the Heels upended Duke. From riveting seminars to proud traditions, Chapel Hill provided the quintessential university experience.

Continue Reading

General

Can You Hear Compliments? How to Let Praise into Your Life

I was recently having a conversation with an old friend. We were talking about what was up lately and I was so excited about what was going on in her life, that I didn’t even realize that I was missing so much of what she said. It wasn’t until later, when I was recounting the conversation to my husband, that I realized she had paid me a lot of compliments and I glossed over every one like they never happened.

It’s not humility. Humility means
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

6 Incredibly Effective Ways to Love Someone with Social Anxiety


How to nurture your relationship with your socially anxious partner.

What is social anxiety disorder? It's a type of anxiety disorder characterized by fear of negative evaluation or humiliation, concerns about the judgments of others, and worry that one will be rejected. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it's one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting around 15 million people in the United States.

Continue Reading

Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

10 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack

“Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination,” said the 19th century writer Christian Nestell Bovee.

As everyone who has ever experienced a panic attack knows, there is nothing imaginary about the way you feel. I've tried to convince my husband on countless occasions, in the middle of an attack, that I was dying. Many people I know have driven to the emergency room convinced they...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

The Need to Struggle

Are you tired of struggling? Do you want to reach your goals without having to work so hard? Do you yearn for the glamour without the grit? Achieve! Accomplish! Actualize yourself! Yes, you want to do all those things. But why does it have to be so hard?

It used to be fun. You were excited about stuff. As a kid, you wanted to do everything. You picked...
Continue Reading

Habits

3 Pointers for Prioritizing Your Self-Care

Today, self-care has become a buzzword. And when something becomes “trendy” or seems to show up everywhere, we tend to write it off. It becomes a kind of background noise. Maybe you think self-care is a hollow synonym for pampering yourself -- and that doesn’t ring true for you. Maybe you think self-care is an indulgence. Something for people with plenty of time. And money. A luxury that doesn’t fit into your life.

While self-care...
Continue Reading

Family

Falling in Love with Your Spouse — Again!

A successful marriage means falling in love many times, always with the same person. -- Mignon McLaughlin
Do you view marriage as a destination or a journey? If you view it as a journey, you’re infinitely more likely to succeed.

Those who view marriage as a destination are likely to become disillusioned. When the glow fades, they’ll wonder: “How could I have married this person who is so annoyingly different from me?!!!”
Continue Reading