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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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 12, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but from where I'm sitting it's a sunshine-filled, 70-degree day, and the last thing I want to do is be indoors!

Still, I suggest you take your phone or tablet or laptop or whatever (oh, technology) outside, because you definitely don't want to miss this week's updates in the world of mental health.

Read on for the latest on how to create habits that revive lost motivation, why binge-watching television could be linked to depression, what some mental health patients have to say about a certain Bernie Sanders comment, and more.

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Anger

How to Handle Rejection Gracefully

I've been there. I’ve asked girls out on dates and they said no. I've asked for raises or applied for new jobs and have been shut down.

In each instance it’s important to remember to be graceful about how you handle the situation.

I realize it can be extremely hard to hear that something you had hoped for is not going to happen. But how you conduct yourself when you're faced with an ending that didn't go as you'd hoped shows what kind of character you have. Your behavior can set the stage for future encounters with employers or love interests.
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Books

Can’t Focus on Your Most Important Work? Try This.

In today’s world, doing “deep work” -- anything from writing an article, to learning a new skill, to creating an effective business strategy -- is tough. There are distractions at every turn. It’s hard to give a task your full attention when you’re trying to reply to email or stay on top of Facebook posts. Or you need to tweet out links to promote your work and connect with others.

Cal Newport, a writer and assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University, coined the term “deep work” on his blog
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General

Happiness in a Bottle?

Popular commercials depict mental health consumers gleefully picking daisies on a sun-splashed day. Happiness is achievable, if only you insert this pill, embrace this diet regimen, or add this supplement. The sterile blueness -- or is it an overcast Seattle grey? -- is a temporary inconvenience.

Daisies, mimosas, and sun-kissed days in your future? Not so fast, my friend. In our instant gratification society, we expect to feel good. We glance at loved ones, colleagues, and friends and assume they are faring better than us. Try this cognitive distortion on for size: emotional problems, relationship difficulties, and financial concerns snare them, too. Life is a four-letter word.
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Anxiety and Panic

When You Feel Like an Impostor, a Fake or a Fraud

You just received a promotion. You’re ecstatic! But then a sinking feeling washes over you. What if they realize you’re really a fraud?

You get into a top graduate program. But you fear that you won’t be able to measure up. In fact, you know it. Your article gets published in a prominent publication. Clearly, that’s because you wrote about a trendy topic. They must’ve run out of their good contributors. Maybe it’s just a stroke of luck.

These are all examples of “impostor syndrome.” Clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term in 1978. (Since then it’s been called everything from the impostor complex to fraud syndrome.)
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Books

3 Reasons Not to Date Online Just Because You’re Lonely

It’s late in the evening. All your emails are read and the good TV is over for the night. You’re feeling a little bit… lonely. Unsure what to do, you open that dating app and start to swipe. You bring your laptop out of hibernation and start to scroll. You see faces of potential partners wiz by and for a moment, it helps.

Your smile returns.

We’ve all been in this moment -- the moment when a twinge of loneliness spurs an online dating session. But is this really a good habit to get into when feeling lonely?
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Books

10 Books on Happiness & Success for Your Reading List

Being an entrepreneur is stressful work. You pour blood, sweat, and tears into making your business work. Even though it can test you down to your last nerve, there’s nothing more rewarding than starting your own company.

While it can be challenging to successfully balance your workload plus family, friends, fitness and some personal time, there are few things that rings true for most successful entrepreneurs. It’s their unwavering commitment to continuous self-improvement in all areas of their life from their business prowess to their personal relationships.
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Family

3 Tips for Making Phone Conversations Less Awkward

Let’s be honest, nobody likes talking on the phone these days. At least, nobody in my generation (the infamous Millennial generation) likes it.

One of my good friends -- a young woman who’s usually warm and social -- greets anyone who tries to leave her a voicemail with the following message: “Don’t bother leaving a message here because I won’t listen to it. Just text or email me. Death to phone calls!”

Hyperbolic voicemail messages aside, many people have a deep negative sentiment toward talking on the phone. I’ve asked both friends and clients how they feel about keeping in contact with people over the phone. The consensus is that calls make us feel anxious, annoyed, and often disappointed in the lack of meaningful conversation that’s possible over the phone.
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College

How to Get Comfortable with Change & Fear of the Unknown in Your Career

It’s natural to desire a clear direction and sense of control in our careers. After all, the unknown can be intimidating, especially when it comes to your professional future.

But while it’s certainly comforting to have specific instructions provided at work, a fixation on structure and a constant need for direction can limit your potential. Fear of the unknown can prevent you from taking risks that could elevate your success, such as pitching an innovative idea for a new project or
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Friends

Are You Wasting Your Time Feeding Negativity?

There is a parable commonly attributed to the Native American Cherokee tribe which says that virtue and vice fight for supremacy inside us all time.
A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second. Then the boy asks, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”
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Anxiety and Panic

What to Do When Your Anxious Brain Throws a Tantrum

We do all sorts of stuff when we feel scared or anxious -- we worry, we overanalyze, we re-play both real and imagined scenarios, and we seek reassurance, whether it’s from others or ourselves. We do all these things because anxiety feels downright crappy and taking some sort of action, even non-productive action, gives us a semblance of control, which feels oh-so-good compared to the unease that anxiety brings.

How come we can’t always see this anxious thinking for what it is, rooted in fear and insecurity, not truth? Well it’s because we are always feeling our thinking. Emotions (especially intense, not so pleasant ones) have a way of making our thoughts appear way more personal, important, and real than they actually are. So we innocently get tricked into spending a lot of time trying to avoid, prevent, and/or run away from those negative thoughts and the uncomfortable emotions that follow -- as quickly as possible. One way we do this is through habitual reassurance.
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