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Anger

Not Sure How to Respond? Take These 5 Steps to Assess Your Feelings

Feelings are essential in our daily life. Unfortunately, many people shy away from their feelings, often out of fear of expressing them. While others end up giving their emotions free range and allowing them to rule their lives.

But feelings have an important function. They allow us to better understand our environment and our relationships. And research shows that emotions that were once deemed “bad,” such as anger and contempt, are not necessarily so.  

There are times when it's necessary for you to express anger, such as when you observe an injustice. In fact, you actually do yourself more harm by bottling up these emotions. But this doesn't mean you should go ahead and express anger and contempt all the time. It's necessary to assess whether you're having healthy emotional reactions.
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Happiness

Divorce Recovery: Dealing with Jealousy

You know that moment. Some of us know it all too well during and after divorce. The moment when one of your grown children, after spending the weekend with your ex, tells you about the "new friend" who is at your ex's house. Or when you hear about the trip your ex is taking to Europe while you’re struggling to make ends meet.

Ah, jealousy.

The Green Eyed Monster that consumes us, when what we should really be doing is focusing on our own divorce recovery.  

You’re not alone when it comes to dealing with jealousy, especially after a divorce. And I have to share with you two very ugly truths about this emotion.
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Habits

How to Get More of What You Want

“It is a universal principle that you get more of what you think about, talk about, and feel strongly about.” – Jack Canfield

Do you have dreams that make you smile? Goals you make fervent plans for and do your best to achieve? Do you share these dreams and goals with your loved ones, family members, co-workers and close friends?

If so, you’re probably well-versed in how to get more of what you want. If not, perhaps you could use a little encouragement. You can get more of what you want. Here’s how.
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Creativity

5 Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Yourself

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship. It is the beginning. It is the foundation. Everything starts and sprouts from here. Which is why focusing on this relationship, prioritizing it, is vital. It is essential.

“Your relationship with yourself affects every other relationship in your life,” said Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, a therapist in private practice in San Francisco. For instance, if you’re regularly berating yourself, you might assume that others are berating you, too. Which can lead you to feel defensive or inferior, she said.

Self-criticism also activates our body’s stress-response system -- fight/flight/freeze -- making it harder to think clearly and respond to what’s actually happening in the moment, she said.
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General

3 Things that Keep Us Lonely

As a psychotherapist, I frequently observe how lonely and isolated people feel. Although they may be married or successful in their career, people often report a painful sense of disconnection or alienation.

Although there are varied reasons for experiencing a sense of isolation, here are three things I've noticed that may contribute to the epidemic of loneliness in our society.
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Children and Teens

Why Is Trust Important?

Who do you trust? Ideally, family, friends and co-workers in our inner circles would be first among those to whom we offer our vulnerability. As children, we are taught to trust police officers, clergy and doctors. Sadly, those in all categories have been known to exhibit behaviors that betray our confidence and safety. Letting youngsters know that they have a "Spidey Sense" and can detect when they are being lied to, or are in danger, is an important parenting skill. When children have go-to people, whether in their family or extended community, they are more likely to trust -- and with good reason.

How can we grow trust?
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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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Ethics & Morality

Living a Valued Life: 5 Steps to Clarify Your Values

Your life is important. We all have moments of doubt and fear that can make us feel small, inferior and unworthy. These thoughts do not control us and they have no power over us. We can choose to live a valued and purposeful life that has meaning and invigorates our spirit. Here are some steps that you can take right now to live in accordance with your values, goals and dreams.

What does it mean to live a valued life?
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Grief and Loss

Don’t Let Self-Pity Poison Your Life — Choose Self-Compassion Instead

Unwanted changes, unexpected challenges, loss, disappointments, abuse or other forms of adversity often bring with them hurt or harm. Feelings of self-pity are quite normal and understandable. Life has changed in some way and often not for the better. It is only natural to feel sorry for yourself when you are having a hard time. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that you are suffering and unsure how to cope. But if self-pity takes over and you don’t reign it in, it is a very problematic emotion.

The Problem with Self-Pity
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Habits

Is the News Ruining Your Life?

With all the recent news stories about escalating tensions here, strife there, and severe weather all over the place it’s no wonder that we are all a bit more on edge than normal. It is easy to get caught up in the various news cycles and to become fixated on what is going on globally. Keeping up with current events is one thing, but allowing current events to affect your life is another.

If you have found yourself feeling more anxious than usual, or like there is something bugging you that you cannot put your finger on, it may be that you are being affected by today’s many world issues. It is hard to avoid all the various stories and problems that are out there. And, while some will argue that awareness is crucial, it could be that the infiltration of these things into your mind has caused challenges for your day-to-day functioning.
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