When faced with a challenge, do you confront it or hide from it?

You may not identify with being an addict, alcoholic or someone who suffers from mental illness. But perhaps you have a physical illness or pain that never quite gets better. Or maybe you shop online a little more than you should or find yourself returning to that bag of cookies more often than you’d like. A lot of what we do to cope is unconscious.

All we know is that we don’t feel good and want to feel better. Sometimes we sabotage our long-term happiness by numbing out.

The truth of the matter is the only way to make permanent changes to your mood and life is to confront the things you try to hide. This week’s bloggers show us how to improve your relationships and address difficulty by focusing on self-acceptance, self-care and better listening skills. As you’ll read, hiding what’s hurtful is only a temporary fix. Accepting your flaws is key to freeing yourself.

*As I write this, it’s Veterans Day. This post is dedicated to all US military men and women and their families who have served our country. Thank you!

{Flickr photo by Kim Seng}

{Flickr photo by Kim Seng}

4 Therapy Skills Everyone Should Have
(The Impact of Sex Addiction) – Let’s say you have a friend or relative who seems shaken up or going through a tough time. Do you have the skills necessary to be there for them? Here are a few key ones to help them.

“Just Calm Down” And Other Non-Helpful Advice For Panickers
(Panic About Anxiety) – For anyone who’s ever received an insensitive comment from well-meaning friends and family about your anxiety, this post is for you. Summer addresses those ridiculous, non-supportive and unhelpful things people say to make you feel better.

How to Cope When the Wheels Fall Off
(The Psychology of Success) – What do you do if you “messed up,” feel overwhelmed, or out of control? Here are 9 tips to get you back on track.

Non-reactive Listening
(Building Relationship Skills) – Clear communication is key in any successful relationship. And one of the requirements of that entails non-reactive listening. This post shows you how to strengthen this skill to improve your relationship.

Relationships and Social Anxiety: Who Are We Really Hiding From?
(Relationships in Balance) – Everyone has flaws. But we hide what we deem is unlovable or unacceptable by loved ones out of fear. As this post shows us, we may think we’re hiding them, but we’re not really hiding anything from anyone.