by Eve Hogan
As the holiday season is now in full swing, I can’t help but observe the swing of emotions — mine and that of those all around me.
On one hand, there is the child-like delight of magical holiday lights and decorations. Regardless of a “bah hum bug” mindset, it is hard to deny the spectacular beauty of homes and businesses bedecked with twinkling lights.
If you have little ones and family in your life, there is the excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation of the magical appearance of gifts and delectable feasts.
by Matthew M. Leahy, PhD
Extreme school violence continues to be a major problem in the United States. As such, stories about school violence are frequent on news programs. No matter how much a parent may try, children may see and hear instances of school shootings.
A study out of my research lab four years ago (McDonald, Leahy, et al., 2010) found that 80 percent of kids exposed to trauma often ask their parents about that trauma. So parents need to be equipped to answer these questions in helpful ways.
Our research has uncovered three helpful tips to guide your discussions about school shootings and violence.
by Nicole Davies
It’s a Christmas thing. Even if you find yourself in the most beautiful corner of the Earth, you’ll still feel a little lonely. After all, there’s nothing like a festive season spent with one’s friends and family.
Fortunately, there are some ways in which you can manage this sense of nostalgia. Here are some tips for beating homesickness when you’re far away from home during Christmas:
by Michael Hedrick
I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been talking to an agent about a book proposal. The book is already written, but in talking to the agent I’ve come to realize that in order for him to take me on as a client, I would need to entirely rewrite the book. I gave his suggestions a shot with a few pages the other day and he still wasn’t happy. This is after a series of rejections about another book proposal with the same agent.
I kind of have the feeling that no matter what I do, no matter how I rewrite the book, there’ll be parts of it he’s not satisfied with.
by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
‘Tis the season when my purpose and values slip through my fingers and fall into a blanket of people pleasing and unhealthy behaviors. December feels like a desperate chase to tie up loose ends to make up for the lack of connection during the rest of the year with the perfect gift or holiday party. It’s all too much. In response, we’re left with regret, sadness and an empty pint of Ben & Jerry’s. And then comes the new year.
January is all about torturing ourselves for our “bad” behavior. Diets. Books. Signing up for programs, seminars, classes, and gym memberships. That’s all great if it has a long-lasting impact on our happiness. But what often happens is we trigger a cycle of rebelling and resentment that brings us back to the same place come next year.
Instead of focusing on external events, dramas and situations, tune into what’s going on within. Unnecessary heartache, for example, could be stirred up because of miscommunication. Tuning into your feelings could help you lose weight and grow self-acceptance. Engaging in play could help reduce your stress, and participating in social media could be the thing that boosts your business.
Let’s not wait come January to start undertaking positive changes to bring us closer to the life we want. Let’s start now with these posts.
by Michelle Toglia
Your libido, appearance and more things that take a hit when you’re feeling too overwhelmed.
If being stressed out of your mind didn’t feel bad enough, there’s a study that will make you want to chill the eff out even more: Researchers discovered that men find stressed out women less attractive.
After men rated women’s faces for attractiveness, the study found that the prettiest faces consistently belonged to the women with the lowest levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Many of us dismiss our emotions. We think of them as capricious and inconvenient. We think they stall problem-solving. We think they take too much time to process, and we don’t have the luxury of simply sitting and stewing.
If we grew up in a home where emotions were vilified or regularly suppressed, where good girls didn’t get angry and good boys didn’t cry, we might’ve adopted the same views and habits of repressing ourselves.
by Kim Lyon
It is natural to feel anxious in certain situations. We’ve probably all felt nervous before an exam and experienced the accompanying physical sensations: lying awake the night before, sweaty palms, racing heart. For some people, though, anxiety affects and interferes with their daily life.
Anxiety disorders take several forms, from an all-pervasive form known as generalized anxiety disorder, to panic disorder (which includes panic attacks), to social phobia and more specific phobias. Symptoms express themselves as much in the body as in the mind, with shortness of breath, palpitations, and an upset stomach being common complaints.
by Bianca Alexander
Between traveling, buying gifts, cooking the “perfect” meal and managing kids and in-laws, coming home for the holidays can be stressful, to say the least. Give yourself a much-deserved yoga time-out on this episode of Conscious Living ®, where I lead a 5-minute vinyasa flow practice to help you relax, find balance and come back to OM.
This article courtesy of Spirituality and Health.
by Sarah Newman, MA
At some point someone has been asked that playful question: If you had a time machine and you could go back and change one and only one thing, what would it be?
When suicide has touched your life, there is only one answer to that question. No more thoughtful musings on how you would’ve minored in philosophy or not gone home from space camp early or had the courage to speak to that beautiful woman you saw waiting for the F train.
There’s only one thing you could do. You would go back before the suicide and make sure to tell that person how much you cared about them, what they meant to you.
by Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
Many people mistake affluence for self-worth. You can buy what you want to buy. Live where you want to live. Own what you want to own. You’ve made it! What a worthy, wonderful person you are!
So how come you’re still feeling that it’s not enough? You bought what you wanted to buy. You feel great. Yet, a day later, rather than feeling pleased, you’re bored.
So, you rack up additional purchases on your favorite digital device. It’s so easy to shop these days. Or, tired of shopping, you plan another trip. You create another social event. And still it satisfies only for the moment.
by Gretchen Rubin
In my book Better Than Before, I describe the many strategies that we can use to change our habits. We all have our favorites — but I think most of us would agree that the Strategy of Treats is the most fun strategy.
“Treats” may sound like a self-indulgent, frivolous strategy, but it’s not. Because forming good habits can be draining, treats can play an important role.
When we give ourselves treats, we feel energized, cared for, and contented, which boosts our self-command — and self-command helps us maintain our healthy habits.