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General

Happiness as a Choice

There are thousands of theories of happiness and how people feel such profound personal satisfaction that they are genuinely happy people. Some believe that happiness comes from achieving your goals. Others believe it comes when certain parts of their life come together the way they want. Some feel that happiness comes when their perspective is validated. The common factor here is the control for happiness. It is true that many things and actions can make you happy, however to remain happy long-term is the real struggle.

A professional may feel happy once he or she gets the big bonus that can pay for the car they always wanted. Once they get that car, they feel happier because it's new and they earned it. They feel happy in the moment and for as long as that new-car-high lasts.
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General

5 Surefire Ways to Find Peace of Mind

“When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.” – George Harrison
If you’re distracted by all that’s going on in your life and yearn for a little respite, some peace of mind that you can bathe in, there’s one thing you can do, that each person can do: get outside yourself. It's not as easy as it sounds. How do you get outside yourself, put some distance between you and your ever-present concerns? Here are five tips that may prove helpful:

1. Schedule some time for yourself that doesn’t involve work.
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General

Feeling Stuck? How to Help Yourself

We all have had moments when we felt “stuck” or like we’ve hit a wall. Being stuck is an inner feeling of stagnation and paralysis that feels beyond our control. And feeling stuck causes us to feel hopeless about our lives and powerlessness to change it.

When we feel stuck, we question our core purpose, our life’s path, and even our past and future decisions. Feeling stuck makes our lives seem confusing, hopeless and uninspired, and it’s not a surprise to learn that feeling stuck often underlies anxiety, sadness, depression and substance abuse.
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General

What is Motor-Mouth Syndrome?

"Motor-Mouth Syndrome" is when you or someone involved in a “supposed” conversation cannot stop talking to the point that the other person has great difficulty getting any words into the conversation. The conversation is one sided, as a result.

Motor-Mouths come in many versions but all do the same (incessantly talk and Hi-jack the conversation). Some are:

1. The Kind “Motor-Mouth”
You bump into this person, he or she asks, “How are you?,” appearing like they are really interested...
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Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder: The Silent Season

It's that time again. The days are getting shorter and the air is getting colder. The leaves are beginning to change colors and delicately fall. We pull out our scarves and gloves and drink warm cider. To many, the change in season is received with a warm welcome and open arms. To others, they begin to settle into the knowledge that their least favorite season is among them.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that emerges during autumn and well through the winter months. Some commonly mistake SAD with the general feeling of laziness during the winter months as symptoms tend to include increased sleep, withdrawal from people and feeling chronically fatigued. SAD is not an a symptom of disliking winter and not to be confused with major depressive disorder -- but rather a specific type of depression that comes around seasonally.
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Anger

Podcast: What’s the REAL Link Between Anger and Violence?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss mental illness and violence. More specifically, they address the real culprit behind the vast majority of violence: anger. Their discussion dispels the myth that anger is an unhealthy emotion, teaches ways to express anger in a healthy fashion, and addresses the widely held belief that most mentally ill people are violent (and why people hold this belief). The discussion also covers the real factor in predicting whether someone might become violent and ends with suggestions on ways anyone can learn how to get control of anger in their lives.
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Anxiety and Panic

Perfection Is Overrated

An age-old truth was revealed to me as I was making a cake during a recent holiday weekend. My 85-year-old mother was having a Labor Day party, and she wanted me to bring dessert. I picked up the frozen pie she likes, but she didn’t think that would be enough for the crowd that was coming, so she asked me to make a cake.

“Sure,” I said. Cakes were easy these days with endless, fool-proof cake mix possibilities.
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General

Be Willing to Change Your Path to Get What You Want in Life

“[You] don’t have to change your goal. Change your path, be willing to and don’t see that as a failure. That’s just life.” – Diane Hendricks
You have a goal or goals, perhaps even a tentative or somewhat fleshed-out plan for how to achieve your objective. Do you think there is only one way to get what you want in life? Are you obsessed with sticking to a path you’ve been on despite a change of circumstance, recently acquired knowledge or skill, even a new interest that’s in conflict with your chosen course of action?

If so, you might be stuck.

But you can get unstuck, too.
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Anxiety and Panic

Should You Take that Job? 5 Signs Your Gut Says ‘No’

Most of the choices we make every day are simple and straight-forward: what to wear to work, what to eat for lunch, whether to go to sleep at a reasonable hour or stay up watching Netflix. They don’t cause much stress or inner conflict.

Career transition points, on the other hand, can leave you feeling significantly more stuck -- especially when you’re facing a big, life-changing decisions.
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General

Mental Health & the Psychology of Surviving a Hurricane

Having lived through my second hurricane in Florida (Hurricane Andrew was my first), I have some ideas about what makes the experience less stressful for those who are stuck in place. While I can't begin to imagine the devastation experienced by many people living in the Florida Keys and many of the Caribbean islands, I think there are some things you can do that will help your mental health and stress levels.

The most important thing is your physical safety and that of your loved ones. But after you've accounted for everyone's physical well-being, your psychological and emotional safety are equally important. Here's how psychologically to survive a hurricane.

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Depression

Not All Depression Is Alike: Tips to Improve Situational Depression

The word depression is used in different contexts. Some people claim it for minor problems like being disappointed, hurt or discouraged. Others use it to describe feelings of such heaviness and dejection that they are barely able to function. Symptoms may be so severe that it becomes a life-long debilitating condition where clinical interventions are warranted to redress chemical or hormonal imbalances within the body.

A more common form of depression is very much linked to external circumstances that overwhelm a person’s ability to process and deal with life’s challenges. Difficult experiences or chronic stress can shake one’s sense of self, reduce options, shatter plans and dash hopes for the future. This easily opens the door to feeling lost, worthless and depressed. Hidden within such feelings may be other emotions like anger, fear of the future, disappointment, grief, despair, regret or guilt. Unexamined and unexpressed, they only increase the inner anguish and loss of joy.
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