Bullying

13 Reasons Why … You Should Stay Alive

The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has definitely caused some recent controversy. Some feel that the show encourages teens to think about suicide as a viable option to deal with their problems while others feel it spotlights the issues of youth suicide, bullying, and sexual assault which plague our society. What’s important is that the show has people talking, especially about the taboo subject of suicide and we’re overdue for this discussion.

There’s a stigma to suicide which is perpetuated by the silence surrounding it. We need to break this silence so those suffering will feel safe reaching out for help.
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Happiness

The Complex Relationship Between Personality and Happiness


Extraverts are happier, and so are the emotionally stable, personality researchers tell us. It also pays to be more open to new experiences, more agreeable, and more conscientious. What does that mean for the rest of us—the introverts, the neurotics, the disorganized?

You may recognize these personality dimensions as part of the Big Five, the traits that researchers are often referring to when they talk about personality. According to a 2008 review, the Big Five explain anywhere from 39 to 63 percent of the variation in well-being between people.

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General

Do Your Best

“Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
The recommendation to do your best comes up a lot in general conversation, especially from well-meaning friends and family members, but also from bosses and co-workers. There are countless posts on the topic, each purporting to have a better approach -- or holding out the hope of a brilliant solution.
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Creativity

How to Live Life to the Fullest

In 2007 travel writer Leigh Ann Henion was on a mountaintop in Mexico watching a million monarchs soar above her. The butterflies had left their homes in Canada and the U.S. to wait out the winter -- flying up to 3,000 miles to get there. “Their wings against the air sounded like a light rainstorm falling on a verdant forest,” Henion writes in her beautiful book Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World.
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Grief and Loss

A Practical Tip for Developing a Stress-Resilient Life

“Your dad’s had a heart attack.”  

My own heart shot into my throat, hearing my mother’s garbled words a thousand miles away.

“He’s going to be okay, but maybe you could fly out?”

It’s been almost two years since my father’s heart attack and he’s made important changes that have improved his life quality considerably. Both my grandfather and grandmother died of heart disease. They experienced immense socio-economic challenges and faced more stressful life situations than I could possibly imagine.

However, this part of my own family history has inspired me to explore ways to reduce stress in my own life and the lives of my clients. Today, I would like to share with you one idea I find incredibly useful in building a stress-resilient life.   
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Depression

Overcoming Sorrow

“Sorrow comes to all… Perfect reality is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better and yet you are sure to be happy again.” – Abraham Lincoln
Sorrow is the opposite of happiness, yet both are part of human existence.

Like life and death and the changing of seasons, it should be familiar enough to recognize that things have a sequence. Sometimes that sequence is a time of birth or rebirth, a creative force that erases failure and negativity. Other times, however, there’s a clearly defined sense of decay, lack of progress, mistakes and endings.

The key to overcoming sorrow and
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General

How to Metabolize a Compliment

When you receive a compliment, do you get squirmy, suspicious, or uncomfortable? Or do words of appreciation bring a gentle smile to your face and a warm feeling in your belly?

When someone thanks you for helping them, or expresses gratitude for your kind words or actions, or praises you for some accomplishment or quality of your being, do you let yourself be affected by their thoughtful words? Or do their compliments fall flat, perhaps because you’ve learned to deflect good things that come your way?
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Children and Teens

This Can Make Working Motherhood Needlessly Harder — But You Can Change It

When you’re traveling for work, do you tell yourself that you’re abandoning your children and dodging your responsibilities as a wife and mom? When you’re working from home, and you let your child play by themselves, do you tell yourself that you’re a neglectful mom? Do you tell yourself that you can’t do any of it right—neither the parenting nor the working?
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Bipolar

Shopping ‘Therapy’ Only Gets You So Far

For many people, when things get tough and they feel down, if they can afford it, they go shopping. I know I do. And because I have a mood disorder (bipolar illness), I’m especially prone to feeling bad quite often. I don’t spend an exorbitant amount of money at a time. Maybe $30.00 or $40.00. But I do spend. The last time I shopped when I was depressed I bought a nightshirt that said “Don’t Wake Me I’m Dreaming,” a coffee cup that said “Call Your Mother,” some socks and an artificial purple orchid.  All to the tune of about $45.00.  TJ Maxx to the rescue.

But I’m learning that shopping “therapy” only gets you so far.
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Grief and Loss

How to Find Joy… Even When Life Is Feeling Awful

When we are experiencing loss and sadness in our life, everyday can feel like a struggle.

Whether it is recovering from loss of a loved one, divorce, a lay-off, or anything else, we forget to care for ourselves and to find joy at the time when we need it most.

Learning how to reinvent ourselves, establish our independence again, and figure out what we want during this next chapter of our lives is a bit overwhelming. Oftentimes, we may forget to see all the wonderful things that await us. 
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Anxiety and Panic

The New Perfection: Pretty Good

Welcome to the University of North Carolina or, more apropos, the University of No Chance. At least regarding my likelihood of graduation.

A self-conscious freshman, I remember the red ink coating my first Chapel Hill exam. As I replayed the exam, those latent doubts about my academic ability crescendoed into full-throated roars. What am I doing here? I wondered. I don’t belong at such a prestigious university. Will I even make it to graduation?
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Family

7 Ways to Spot a Lie

Whether you are talking to your child, a spouse, co-worker or friend, you may find yourself questioning their genuineness and wondering from time-to-time if they are telling the truth.

Whether it’s debunking a little white fib or uncovering a large-scale lie, it is important to be able to tell when people are not telling the truth.

Here are seven ways to spot a lie:
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