Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: March 26, 2016


Listen to that...do you hear that, sweet readers?

That's the sound of absolute silence. Well, at least, it is for me. The roofers are gone, our living room is safe again, and let's just say this week has presented far less work frustration over it, ha!

So, this week I've rounded up some exciting updates, research, and other findings on how learning to cook is helping one person's depression, why hanging with friends could actually cause super smart people to feel less happy, what advocates are saying about a plan to ease the rules on patients' privacy regarding addiction treatment, and more.

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Books

4 Tips for Helping Your Kids Practice Mindfulness

Our kids get just as stressed out as we do. While they don’t have bills, a demanding boss or a continuously-increasing workload, they do have homework, classmates, teachers, bullies and big emotions. So it helps to have a variety of tools they can use to manage their stressors and regulate their emotions -- tools they can take into adolescence and adulthood. Because stress and emotions are part of everyone’s daily life. And because everyone benefits from having healthy coping strategies.

That’s exactly what author and clinical social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, provides in her newest book Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family. In this wise and down-to-earth book, Naumburg features practical and creative strategies for practicing mindfulness at home. She defines mindfulness as “the practice of choosing to pay attention to whatever is happening right here and right now, without judging it or wishing it were different.”
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ADHD and ADD

How to Prioritize Your Life When You Have ADHD, Part 1

Prioritizing may seem simple enough. You figure out what you need to do, when you need to do it, and then you do it. But there are actually many steps and processes involved in prioritizing your life. These include everything from paying and shifting attention to planning to getting organized to making decisions to taking action -- all of which also involve multiple steps within each piece. And all these parts and pieces are challenging for people with ADHD because of impairments in executive functioning.

That means that it’s important to have good strategies in place that take those obstacles into account. First, it’s important to identify what’s really troubling you about prioritizing. As ADHD coach Casey Dixon, PCC, BCC, said, are you struggling with knowing your priorities or following through on your priorities? Because these will require very different strategies.
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Mindfulness

3 Simple Ways to Relax Your Brain After a Funky Day


Shut. It. Off.

You've been in overdrive all day -- juggling logistics, people, deadlines, and endless to-dos -- or maybe putting out fires, squeezing in errands, finding lost toys, and making sure you've filled out all the forms for school tomorrow.

All day, you eagerly anticipate finding just 30 minutes to chill out, catch up with your significant other, and relax into sleep.

But the problem is...though your body is ready to plop down on the sofa and decompress, your brain is still going a mile a minute.

It's stuck in "go-go-go" mode. As a result, you're there with your loved ones, but you're not really present. You think, "What's wrong with me? Why can't I relax?"
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Anxiety and Panic

To Deal with Chronic Worry Don’t Try to Get Rid of It

If you’re a chronic worrier, you likely take your worries seriously. You likely believe them wholeheartedly. Maybe you think of them as flashing signs of imminent danger.

What if I lose my job turns into, Of course, I will lose my job. And, of course, I’m too old to get hired, which means I won’t be able to find work. What if my manager hates my marketing plan, becomes She’s going to not only hate it but she’ll regret hiring me in the first place. What if I freak out during my presentation, becomes I will screw up.

You might try to fight your worrisome thoughts or reason them away. You might try to quell your worries by disproving them -- going to Google to find the answer, seeking reassurance from others, trying to reassure yourself.
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Children and Teens

10 Soothing Thoughts on What Hope Is

Whether you’re contemplating a future where you achieve all your goals, solid A’s on your report card, a big raise at work or an affirmative answer to the request for a date, the common thread is hope. Animals don’t hope, people do. So this is a distinctly human emotion that nonetheless is somewhat ambiguous. These 10 thoughts may shed some light.

Hope is:

Sunshine on a cloudy day.

When everything looks dismal and the solutions to problems nonexistent, hope has the ability to snake through the darkness and cast a warm, healing light. The fact that it can arrive so unexpectedly makes it all the sweeter. Once you experience hope, there’s no mistaking the profoundness of the emotion. Unlike sunshine, however, hope can stick around. Hope will still be there even when the going gets tough.
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Anxiety and Panic

What to Do When You Have to Wait — and Can’t Stop Worrying

Any time we have to wait, many of us get nervous. Very nervous. Our minds fill with disastrous scenarios and all kinds of what-ifs.

What if the results are negative? Or positive? What if I failed the final? What if I failed the bar? Again? When will this marriage finally -- and officially -- be over?

We try to focus on our work, but the negative thoughts surround us like a pack of wolves. We try to relax, but we just feel too tense and tight. We want to have an answer. But instead we must wait. And wait.

Many circumstances in our lives present with a waiting period - which can trigger our anxiety. Carolyn Ferreira’s clients have experienced anxiety while waiting for everything from MRI results, to a loved one’s recovery, to the finalization of a divorce, to the settlement of a deceased parent’s estate.
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General

Success Tips for Later-in-Life Marriages

“So what’s the secret for a good marriage?” asked my friend Ellen, who’s seventy-two. She’s stayed unmarried since her early twenties, when she divorced her physically abusive ex-husband.

“Choose wisely and learn what it takes to succeed in marriage,” I answered instinctively.

While this advice applies to people of all ages, it’s helpful to recognize special challenges of later-in-life marriages so we can deal with them constructively. The three to be addressed here involve money, sex, and “unfinished business.”
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General

What Self-Care Is (And What It Isn’t)

There are many misconceptions about self-care. For instance, many of us assume that self-care means engaging in activities that are “good for us” (which we may or may not even enjoy). We assume self-care is going to the gym or lifting weights or running outside. It’s meditating for 30 minutes. It’s getting a massage. It’s practicing yoga every day.

And so you do all these things. But you don’t enjoy them. In fact, you might even dread them. Which really means that these activities aren’t self-care for you. Because self-care isn’t a should. It isn’t something we
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Family

The #1 Way You Antagonize Your Partner

When you’re in a relationship, you’re always trying to neutralize conflict. You’re always working to calm emotional flare-ups and meet eye-to-eye. You likely have the best of intentions -- you just want to quell fights before they do real damage to the relationship. Unfortunately, one of the ways in which you’re attempting to reduce conflict is likely backfiring.

What’s the one way you try to pacify your partner that’s actually making him or her angrier? It’s telling them to “get over it” and “move on.” 
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Anxiety and Panic

When You Can’t Relax: 7 Tips to Try

Many of us feel a constant pressure or prodding to be productive. As we sit down on the couch, we’re met with 50 reasons why we need to get back up. Fifty reasons, which include folding laundry, washing dishes, checking email, calling so-and-so about such-and-such, and so on.

We might feel guilty for trying to relax. Or maybe we feel like we’re missing out and need to constantly stay connected to our devices. Or maybe we're worried about an upcoming presentation or project and our brain is being bombarded by a slew of "what-ifs."

Either way, one thing is clear: We want to relax. But we can't.
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Anxiety and Panic

How Postpartum Depression is Different from Baby Blues

Today, even though we’ve made much progress, postpartum depression (PPD) still gets confused with baby blues. It still gets minimized and dismissed.

Oh, don’t worry. Being sad and sobbing are totally normal. So is feeling frustrated. You just gave birth, after all. You just need some sleep. A day off. A change in attitude. Maybe you should stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Maybe you’re not used to being home so much. You need time to adjust. You need to get used to your new normal. That’s all.

Maybe someone told you these words -- with kind and good intentions. Or maybe you’ve said these words to yourself. Either way, there’s a lot of misinformation about PPD and how it manifests. For starters, PPD is different from baby blues.
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