College

4 Times You Should Say No to Additional Responsibilities at Work

Think about your average work week: How many of your daily tasks fit into the original job description you were hired to do? Chances are that, over time, out of an eagerness to prove yourself, you’ve taken on a number of responsibilities that fall well outside the realm of your core role. But how much of this newfound accountability is contributing to your professional advancement -- and how much of it is just running you ragged?

Top performers can be a prime target for additional requests because they enjoy challenge and frequently seek out new ways to demonstrate their skills. But do you find yourself saying yes every time your boss asks you to take a stab at a project that’s in no way related to your core competencies simply because you want to look like a team player?
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General

Trouble Sleeping? Your TV, Computer or Phone May Be the Cause

Sleep is the foundation of good health, including your mental health. A poor night's sleep starts the day off at a deficit. It's like a boxer fighting with one hand tied behind his back.

The problem is that most people don't know what's causing their poor sleep. They may think it's stress, or feeling over-worked, or troubles in a relationship. All of those things could very well contribute to a poor night's sleep.

But an overlooked aspect of poor sleep is the proliferation of computer screens in our daily lives. Your phone, TV or computer may be the cause of your sleeplessness.

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Books

On Technology and Talking Face to Face

We have the world at our fingertips. With the Internet. With our phones. We are connected to everything -- and yet we’re growing disconnected from what counts: Instead of having deep, meaningful face-to-face conversations, we text, email and chat online. And when we do talk face to face, we’re often scanning or glancing at our phones or other devices. We are less present with others. We are less present with ourselves.

There’s even the word “phubbing” in the dictionary now. “It means maintaining eye contact while texting,” writes sociologist and clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle, Ph.D, in her newest book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. “My students tell me they do it all the time and that it’s not that hard.”
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Friends

The 7 Habits of Socially Connected People

Some people may be naturally gregarious and easily find themselves socially connected. For most of us, feeling truly integrated into a social scene takes some effort. Luckily, there are predictable patterns to social success. Do certain things, and people will be drawn to you.

Below are seven skills that all socially successful people possess:

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General

What Dogs Can Teach Us about Living in the Moment

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Sure, a dog might squirrel away a bone for a rainy day, but he’s mostly not thinking about the future. He might even forget about that bone. When he stumbles upon it next spring while rifling through the heather bushes, it’s a wonderful surprise -- a new bone!

As humans, we think about the future often. We know our time on this earth is finite. We feel pressure from society or friends or even our own imagination to reach certain milestones with each passing year. Start a career, get married, buy a house, start a family, and so on. With each accomplishment we look for the next one. Never taking the time to appreciate our success.
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Bipolar

A Friend Lost and Found

Often, after one develops a mental illness, one may lose friends. This happened to me. I lost a childhood friend who was with me when I experienced a nervous breakdown. I was in New York City when it happened. I completely and totally lost touch with reality.

Pam was driving me to the airport, and she had the radio on. I kept hearing the DJ mention my first and last name. This was sending me into hysterics. Of course, the DJ was not saying my name. I was mishearing or hallucinating or a combination of both.

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Friends

5 Ways Unhealthy Couples Use Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful social tool that keeps us connected with friends and family in our busy daily lives. But used in the wrong way, it can become a liability in both our lives and our relationships. Here are five ways that unhealthy couples use Facebook.

If you recognize yourself in one or more of these ways, you may want to re-evaluate your use of Facebook. Cutting back on using it may benefit not only your own feelings of self-esteem but also your romantic relationship.

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Brain and Behavior

Lumosity Pays Millions in Fines, ‘Deceived Consumers’

I haven't seen a Lumosity television commercial for awhile. I wondered why that was, and now I know.

As I pointed out nearly four years ago, Lumosity was apparently selling the equivalent of snake oil to unsuspecting folks. The company simply didn't have the research to back up its grand claims -- "improve [your] brain health and performance" -- from the company's inception through early 2015.

The U.S. federal government's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finally caught on to the scam, announcing an enormous settlement with the company yesterday.

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General

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’re Going to Break — and How to Plan for Success Instead


The first days of the new year are always the same. You start off strong, a long list of resolutions planned, ready to conquer your career goals. And you do -- for a week, maybe two, or even a few months if you’re on a roll.

Then, something throws you off track. The culprit may be a seemingly insignificant workplace annoyance, but it has the power to affect your motivation in a big way.

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Addiction

Nomophobia & Smartphone Addiction Among Children

The term “addiction” is usually associated with alcoholism and drug abuse. Yet people do get addicted to different stimulants that are quite legal substances.

Smartphones changed our primary concept of a cell phone. It is no longer used strictly to establish audio communication. Smartphones allow us to have our camera, GPS navigator, video game terminal, and even our own library in hand. Nevertheless, the biggest and most important aspect is that a smartphone gives us access to the Internet.

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Children and Teens

The Psychology of Smartphones and Texting

Our communication habits are changing faster than in any other period throughout history. More than 80 percent of American 18- to 34-year-olds prefer nonverbal communication mediums in daily life. We are witnessing not only the demise of the landline phone, but possibly also the end of the phone call itself. In my new book Texting in Sick: How Smartphones, Texting, and Social Media are Changing Our Relationships, I’m documenting the factors behind these massive changes as well as their social implications.

Most people are probably unaware that text messaging, when it was first conceived, was not intended for person-to-person use. When SMS saw the light of day back in 1993, its original purpose was to allow operators to send concise service updates to their subscribers. However, as it often happens with technology, unique social uses emerge when in the hands of users. That became true for SMS as well.
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Brain and Behavior

Workplace Environment Affects Mental Health

The workplace environment you spend 40 or 50 hours in per week has a very real and substantial impact on your mental health, according to multiple studies and expert opinions from psychologists all around the world.

According to a 2011 research study on how workplace design contributes to mental health and well-being, the average person spends 33 percent of their waking time in their workplace on a weekly basis. As such, the physical workplace environment has a major impact on everything from happiness and mood to productivity and focus. The study concludes that “good working conditions enable employees to work effectively” and that “investments in the physical workplace that create those conditions pay back quickly.”

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