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How I Learned to Find Purpose in Life

By all accounts, I had a normal childhood: loving mother, father, brother, a cat, enough to eat, a comfortable place to sleep, and no major illnesses to speak of. That all changed when my father died suddenly from a major heart attack when I had just turned 13. My loss was so great that I was nearly unable to function, even considering that a teenage girl doesn’t have that many responsibilities. The
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Anxiety and Panic

Own Your Anxiety and Become a Discoverer!

Nathaniel, a college student, had been suffering from anxiety for more than two years. He found psychological help through his university but continued to feel lonely in his journey. He had chosen to hide his anxiety from his family and friends for fear of been judged as weak. As he continued with therapy, he decided to be open about his challenges.

One day he said, “I feel like I can move on with my life. I don’t need to be thinking about hiding my struggles. I can own it because I’m more than my anxiety!”
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No Matter Your Age, Never Say Goodbye to Play

In recent months, physical, playful activity has been the only way out of painful rumination for me, providing a temporary respite from debilitating depression. Its transformative power is surprising to me for its ability to help me manage my emotions.

Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.”

And psychiatrist and play expert Stuart Brown, MD, said, “Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.”
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Feeling Frazzled? The Cure Might Be in Your Kitchen

A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology late last year found that individuals who frequently take a stab at small creative projects, report having a higher state of mental health and functioning. In a more recent study, it was discovered that little bursts of creativity each day can go a long way towards preserving your happiness and satisfaction as you hustle and bustle in your daily life.1

Cooking and baking ranks as one of the most satisfying and creative outlets, even if you have never stepped foot in the kitchen You need not be a baker, or a chef to reap the health benefits listed below. Making something homemade, or even semi-homemade for a friend, family member, or a special someone, can go a long way towards keeping you happy and mentally sound.
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Psychology Around the Net: July 8, 2017

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I hope you're all having a great weekend (or whatever day you're reading this!), but you definitely want to take a few minutes to check out this week's Psychology Around the Net which tells us more about canine compulsion disorder (and how learning about it helps us also learn about human obsessive-compulsive disorder), the emotional intelligence behind internet trolls, how to deal with friends who always bail, and more.

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Using Journaling to Cope with Sadness

Sadness is a difficult emotion to experience.

Usually, we ignore it. We pretend it doesn’t exist. We distract ourselves by staying busy. Or we berate ourselves for feeling too sad or not sad enough. We judge ourselves, as if certain situations require certain amounts of sadness -- and clearly, we’re coming up short (or long).

We misunderstand our sadness, because we’re so eager to sweep it away or annihilate it.

This is why it’s important to have healthy coping tools at our disposal.

Journaling is one of those tools. It’s a powerful way to process any emotion. It “is a way to get emotions out of our heads so we can see them, and therefore deal with them more clearly,” said Laurie Blackwell, a creative journal guide and teacher.
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Adults with ADHD: How I Overcome My Biggest Challenges to Get Things Done

People with ADHD often see themselves as unproductive, or worse, as lazy and incompetent. Getting things done, especially boring, tedious tasks, may feel impossible, and you might feel utterly demoralized.

But it isn’t that you’re ineffective or inept or hopeless.

The problem really resides in not having the right ADHD-friendly strategies, according to Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical instructor and psychologist who specializes in working with individuals with ADHD and also has ADHD. He suggested adults with ADHD think of themselves as “producers in progress.”
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Psychology Around the Net: June 24, 2017

I conquered a fear last weekend, y'all. I went whitewater rafting for the first time. It wasn't a phobia, but the days -- and especially hours -- leading up to it...well, I was terrified. What if I fall out of the raft? Crack my skull? Get sucked into one of those underwater cave things under some rocks?

Fortunately, none of those things happened, and I'm chalking it up to two factors: One, I gave in and trusted my friends (and especially our guide), and two, I gave in and trusted myself. We couldn't control the whitewater, but we could control ourselves, and we did.

Fear and trust make for interesting bedfellows, don't they?

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Anxiety and Panic

Can Music Offer Hope In Coping with Depression? It Depends

Music can change the world because it can change people. - Bono

New research shows that people with depression use music in different ways depending on their styles of coping. Music has long been known as a source of comfort, bonding, and mood enhancement. It can strengthen social bonds by encouraging expression and can be an important vehicle strengthening social relationships throughout our lives. But it may also keep listeners ruminating when they are depressed.
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