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12 Depression Busters for Divorced People

Divorce is the second most stressful life event, preceded only by the death of a spouse. And what is stress is capable of? Expediting a severe bout of depression and anxiety to your limbic system (the brain's emotional center) if you're not careful. Acute and chronic stress, especially, undermine both emotional and physical health.

In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior suggests that divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer than married people.

Another study in Psychological Science claimed that a person's happiness level drops as she approaches divorce, although there is rebounding over time if the person works at it. That what these 12 tips are: suggestions for preventing the devastating depression that often accompanies divorce, and techniques that you can use to keep your happiness level steady or maybe even higher!

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3 Mindful Ways to Gain Perspective

I write a lot about mindfulness. (See here, here and here.)

That’s because I think mindfulness is a valuable practice that perks up our lives. It helps us breathe in the beauty of everyday moments.

It provides us with perspective on life and teaches us to appreciate the things we rarely see (whether they're as little as your morning cup of coffee or a flower blooming or as big as the sky or sunshine). And to witness the extraordinary in the ordinary.

It helps us release the tight grip so many of us hold on work, our partners, our kids and our lives. It helps us relax. It reminds us of the simple things in life that are actually the most powerful (family, friendships, nature, love).

The book Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, compiled and edited by Melvin McLeod, offers daily insights and instructions on paying attention and improving our lives.

Here are three nuggets of wisdom that may give you pause, provoke thought and change your perspective.

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Quiz: Are You an ‘Energizer’ or a ‘De-Energizer’ at Work?

I'm reading Cross and Perker's The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations, and I was riveted by their discussion of energy.

This caught my eye, because my father is always emphasizing the importance of energy, whether at work or at play -- especially at work.

Cross and Parker argue that energy is a key factor in understanding who is effective at work, and why. When they analyzed networks of co-workers, knowing whether someone was considered an "energizer" and a "de-energizer" shed a great deal of light on how networks worked, and how productive various people managed to be.

Their discussion is complex, but here are some highlights.

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Do We Have Misconceptions of Love?

Society has told us that one day we will grow up to meet the person who completes us, the person who is our counterpart, our other half. Is it just me, or is that conception a little, I don’t know, disturbing? Is it bothersome to think that you are not whole, and without this other half you will be harboring this ever-present inner void?

If we don’t meet this kind of soulmate, are we incomplete?

I tend to think that true love and its essence are not about finding that other half, but about finding another whole. After all, we all are whole: It just takes growth and experience to become the person we want to be, to feel secure in our own skin. When two wholes meet and fall in love, that’s when a relationship can find strength and move forward.

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Best of Our Blogs: November 8, 2011

Suffering from any illness, whether physical or mental, can feel like you're being held prisoner in your own mind and body. Maybe you've been given a new list of things you can't do. You can't eat certain foods, for example or you can't tolerate certain situations. Or maybe it's just that you can no longer do things with ease. Going out or conversing with others takes extra effort. It feels like you are a kid all over again only you have all the responsibilities of an adult.

Add normal daily activities and the upcoming holiday season and it's understandable why you feel so overwhelmed these days.

Yesterday, I was listening to a webinar on freedom and creativity. In it, the host talked about all the freedom we have in our lives. And guess what? It was surprisingly freeing!

Sometimes in an effort to manage our illness we get focused on the things we can't do. But shifting our thoughts to what we're free to do such as change our attitude and emotions to better ourselves can be freeing. It can return self-control in otherwise uncontrollable situation.

Whether you're working through anxiety or body image issues, you always have the option of taking back control of what's limiting you. It's just a matter of perspective.

I've round up our best posts with practical tips and information on how to free yourself. Hope you enjoy them!
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The Incredibly Seductive Pull of a Very Skilled Narcissist

If an extreme narcissist were religious, he would worship himself. He would apply to himself the phrase that says, “You shall have no other gods besides ME!” Narcissists are full to the maximum… with themselves.

In my years of studying human nature and counseling many individuals, I have come across an amazing type of narcissist. This kind of narcissist is the one who is so seductive he makes you like or believe in him or her with your whole heart. In my personal opinion, this type is the most dangerous of all narcissists.

The following are some characteristics of this impressive little “god.”

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Abuse and Coverups in Mental, Developmentally Disabled Care

It seems like the world will always be full of people who are charged with the responsibility of taking care of others but who just don't seem to much care about how they do their job. Or whether they do it at all.

When it comes to mopping up after unruly children, whether you care about your job probably isn't very important. When it comes to ensuring the safety, health and proper treatment of people who rely on you for helping maintain their own health or their very life, it probably is. When a person needs you in order to live -- and needs you to give a damn about your job -- that is a very serious and real responsibility.

Today I write about two stories in recent headlines that demonstrate the depths of indifference that some people have toward people who are the most vulnerable in our society, and the ones who need our greatest care and protection.

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How Marketers Manipulate Us to Buy, Buy, Buy

Advertising has a history of employing various tools and tricks to boost sales. Nowadays, thanks to sophisticated technology, “…businesses, marketers, advertisers, and retailers have gotten far craftier, savvier, and more sinister,” writes marketer and consumer advocate Martin Lindstrom in his book Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy.

In it, Lindstrom reveals the many ploys companies use to seduce, soothe, tempt and scare us into buying their products. Here are a few tidbits from the book to help you become a smarter, sharper consumer.

1. They mix amusement with ads.

Some food companies disguise their ads as entertainment, which of course is especially appealing to kids. According to a 2009 report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, the biggest cereal companies, General Mills, Kellogg’s and Post used games to peddle their least nutritious cereals.

For instance, Lucky Charms has a game on their website that lets kids track Lucky the Leprechaun’s various adventures, and Honey Nut Cheerios lets kids create a comic strip with the mascot BuzzBee.

Lindstrom says that using games as ads greatly benefits companies in important ways: “They allow marketers to circumvent the regulations on advertising junk food on television”; “they spread virally…[kids] unwittingly become guerrilla brand ambassadors; and “these games are inherently addictive in nature.”

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The Excuses You Use to Not Stick to Your Exercise Program

I've discovered that the key to my happiness project is my determination to make and keep my innumerable resolutions. I follow -- or try to follow -- dozens of resolutions, and they've made a real difference in the happiness of my everyday life.

One resolution that many people make and break is the resolution to exercise. Exercise is a key to good health, and for me, has always been essential to feeling cheerful. In fact, when I’m feeling blue, one of the best ways to shake the mood is to exercise. Also, exercising has a strange double effect: it makes me feel both calmer and more energetic.

My husband is the same way. On Sunday, he was feeling low, and a trip to the gym chirked him up considerably.

And even if I don’t feel better, at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I exercised.

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Quotes on Courage

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
~ T.S. Eliot Poet

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”
~ Robert G. Ingersoll

“We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough.”
~ Helen Keller

“True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it higher.”
~ John Petit-Senn

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

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Do You Wear The Pants In Your Relationship?

This guest article from YourTango was written by Dr. Jim Hutt.

I want to talk about one of the most common complaints I hear in my office almost daily that potentially wreaks havoc on relationships. It's about control.

How many times have you said about your partner, or heard said about yourself? "He or she is so controlling!"

It often goes something like the following: It begins with the so-called controlling partner telling you what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and why to do it their way. Or, the controlling one does something over once you've already completed it, accompanying their re-do with an editorial about what was wrong with the way you did it. I think you get the picture.

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6 Steps to Help Couples Overcome Relationship Stumbles

It's easy for couples to fall in love. Staying in love is the tough part, according to clinical psychologist and marriage counselor Randi Gunther, Ph.D.

In her new book When Love Stumbles: How to Rediscover Love, Trust & Fulfillment in Your Relationship, Gunther shares a six-step healing plan to help couples overcome eight of the most common “stumbles” or problematic patterns in their relationships.

She devotes a chapter to how couples can surmount each stumbling block. Inside, we cover the eight common relationship stumbles most couples grapple with, as well as the six steps to help overcome them.

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