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Happiness

How to Let Go of Letting Go


The art of moving into the peaceful state of Letgo.

After thirty years in the mental health profession, I have grown leery of psychological catchphrases. Sure, they make good headings on posters and coffee mugs, and as personal mantras they can even have a stabilizing and healing effect.

However, much of the time these Neo-Freudian one-liners have all the sincerity of political sound bites and the illuminating power of an Itty Bitty book light.
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Books

Emotional First Aid

Ouch, that hurt!

We wouldn't think twice about grabbing a bandage for our burned finger or getting a cast for our teen's arm due to their epic skateboarding mishap. So why don't we use first aid for our mental health?

Anyone who's struggled with a painful heartbreak or the death of a loved one knows that emotional injuries can be just as crippling as physical ones.

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: March 31, 2015

When I think upon moments I experienced pure joy, I'm reminded that accomplishment and success while important, pale in the light of what really matters. None of the following are dependent on winning an award or external accomplishment to fill me with a sense of presence and happiness. See if any of these resonate with you:

1. Singing and dancing shamelessly.

2. Laughing until I'm teary-eyed.

3. Holding the hand of my grandmother suffering from Alzheimer's.

4. Holding my baby's hand.

5. Walking in a field of roses.

6. Gazing up at a star filled sky.

7. Exchanging memories with loved ones.

8. Experiencing something for the first time.

9. Feeling completely understood by someone I love.

10. Being fully immersed in a creative project.

Chances are, you'll be able to relate with many of them. That's because seldom do we derive pure pleasure and satisfaction in life from striving and accomplishing. If you reflect on your own life, I bet you'll experience the same thing-the moments that most fill you are the moments you simply lived your life.

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Depression

Stigmatize Me, Fool

Depression.

No one wants to talk about it. Yet it's very common and affects so many people. "Shh. Don't talk about that, Lauren. People will think you're crazy."

So there's this thing called a chemical imbalance in the brain. Maybe you've heard about it? Apparently, it's called science.

Let's face it. No matter what you say, certain people will always attach a stigma to mental illness.
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Migraines: Personality Inhibition and Sexual Repression

In my previous post, I discussed the underlying emotional environment that can trigger migraines, or keep people who struggle with chronic migraines consistently close to the migraine threshold. There are many possible triggers for migraines, and, for people who struggle with non-organic chronic migraines, emotional history may have significant relevance to this picture.

In my practice, I work with people who struggle with chronic migraines, utilizing a specialized form of psychotherapy that I refer to as "Migraine Therapy." While each person who comes in is an individual with her or his own history, there are certain themes that tend to accompany the migraine struggle.

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Books

Practical Tools for Developing Your Self-Worth


So many of us think we’re unworthy or worthless or not good enough. We might feel this way because of our past or mistakes we’ve made. We might feel this way because some people repeatedly told us we’re unworthy. Or because we haven’t accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. Or because we haven’t fulfilled a number of expectations we had for our lives.

If you feel this way, take heart: Whatever the reason, you can learn to accept, appreciate and even love yourself. You can build a strong self-worth.
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Anxiety and Panic

Look to the Future to Ease Stress Today


If we go looking, we can find plenty to stress about: How will I pay the bills? What will the test results show? What if I get caught in traffic?

But the biggest source of our stress comes from ruminating about the future. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about right now, when the check engine light is blinking and the minivan is filled with kidlets holding ice cream cones, we go and worry about something that might happen two weeks from now. Maybe. Perhaps.

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Anxiety and Panic

As Calm as an Astronaut

Watching the Soyuz launch to the International Space Station, I was overcome with how calm and focused the three astronauts on board appeared to be. The mission commander was peacefully controlling the Soyuz from an iPad while three stages of rockets pushed him into orbit at a rate of 4,000 miles per hour.

American astronaut Scott Kelly will not return to earth for a year. Kelly is part of a NASA twin study to explore the health effects of long-term space flight. The study is integral to one day mounting a manned mission to Mars.

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Anger

5 Ways to Fight and Still Protect Your Relationship


If THIS is how your fights go, the odds aren't in your favor (says science).

Science confirms that it's no longer just about how you fight, it's what you do after the argument that may determine if you're going to go the distance.

You've recently argued with your significant other. Things got more heated than usual, and now all you can think about is how you wish it would have happened.

Maybe you fought dirty or didn't get a chance to say how you really felt. Maybe the issue is still unresolved, and you don't know how to reapproach the subject.
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Marriage and Divorce

4 Warning Signs Marriage Therapists Use to Predict Divorce


Fix these things or get ready to say goodbye.

Well-trained marriage therapists have most likely studied the work of Drs. John and Julie Gottman. The Gottmans have done the most extensive research on marriage and what predicts divorce. He discovered four main predictors, which he terms the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and they are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.

All relationships have some of these, but if there are more than one present, a marriage therapist may have doubts about the longevity of the relationship.

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General

How to Stop Avoiding What Scares or Overwhelms You

Regardless of whether you struggle with anxiety, you probably avoid all sorts of things. We all do. These can include painful feelings; difficult conversations; bills and big projects; or situations where we might be judged or rejected.

We avoid these things for all sorts of reasons, according to Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist in Marin County, Calif., who specializes in managing stress, mood and relationships. It can be because we’re scared or anxious; because we don’t feel competent or don’t know where to start; or because the problem feels too big.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 28, 2015


This week's edition of Psychology Around the Net covers everything from psychology and environmentalism, a new smartphone app for teens dealing with depression, and various misconceptions about psychology.

The Surprising Psychology Behind Why Some People Become Environmentalists: Psychologists have started using tools such as surveys and questionnaires to delve into this polarized topic.

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