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General

Coping With What You Can’t Control

There are many things in life we can’t control—everything from tiny annoyances to tragedies. We can’t control if our grandmother gets cancer and passes away. We can’t control if we get cancer.

We can’t control what others think, say or do. We can’t control what others think of us. We can’t control who our loved ones hang out with. We can’t control who we work with or who’s in charge. We can’t control Mother Nature, or today’s traffic.

But, of course, we can control our reactions to all the things we can’t control.
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Friends

Some Reassuring Thoughts About Needing Reassurance

Even the most secure people need reassurance sometimes. It’s part of being human. Even if you need lots of validation, this is nothing to be ashamed of.

Many of us didn't receive enough reassurance growing up. We didn't get the memo that we’re lovable, wonderful, or just ok as we are. A reassurance deficit may keep us on the wheel of continually looking outside ourselves for validation to help us feel valued and grounded.

If we grew up with lots of
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General

Finding Hope: How to Turn Disappointments into Strengths

Disappointments can be deeply painful, crush our self-esteem, and shake our world.

Disappointment is defined as “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the unfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.” So, naturally, disappointments leave us feeling sad, regretful, dismayed and sorrowful. And given the current news today, from the numerous worldwide natural disasters to the country’s political instability, many people are experiencing an array of emotions associated with disappointment.

When we are disappointed, we tend to focus on the outcome that caused our feelings of disappointment. We may feel paralyzed to do anything to make our circumstances or ourselves feel better, and we focus only on the feelings of loss surrounding our un-actualized dream or goal.

With this information in mind, one can spot the similarities between feeling disappointment and mourning. This is because mourning is part of disappointment.
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Grief and Loss

Four Benefits of Counterfactual Thinking

Three days ago my husband was told he didn’t get the promotion he wanted and had almost been promised by his boss. He has been angry (and sad and frustrated and going through Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stages of grief) and he has lost sleep the last over the situation. His reaction and behavior has reminded me of friends and family members who have received potentially devastating health news. But bad business news and bad health news are both areas where counterfactual thinking can help if one does it in the mindset of brainstorming, instead of that of regret.

Counterfactual thinking is defined as "
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Anxiety and Panic

25 Quotes that Will Help You Face Your Fears

We often poke fun at our fears, but for many people, fear gets in the way of well-being and compromises quality of life.

An estimated 8.7 percent of Americans, or 19.2 million people, suffer from a specific phobia like glossophobia (fear of public speaking) or necrophobia (fear of death). Even if you don’t have a specific phobia, you can probably appreciate that feeling of fear that blows in like a severe storm, interrupting your daily responsibilities and robbing you of your enthusiasm for life.
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General

We Are All Inherently Worthwhile: How to ‘Try On’ Worthiness


If you do not feel worthwhile, you may suffer from depression, torment yourself with self-criticism and/or lack the confidence you need to get where you want to in your life.

You may feel unworthy because:

Your parents or caretakers treated you as if you were not lovable during your formative years. As a result, you may have developed the perception that something was wrong with you, failing to realize that the uncaring treatment you received was caused by your parent’s unhappiness, emotional limitations, etc., rather than your unworthiness.
You do not measure up to the expectations that you or others have regarding your physical appearance, professional success, economic status and so on. You may mistakenly believe that they need to “earn” your worth by meeting these expectations and that feeling unworthy will somehow propel you to become the person you want to be.
You constantly compare yourself negatively to others. There will always be people who are more talented, accomplished, wealthier, better looking, etc., than each one of us. When we compare ourselves to them, we are left feeling inadequate and unworthy.
You are afraid to give yourself the gift of self-worth because you fear it will cause you to be self-centered. I assure you, there is nothing self-centered or selfish about knowing you are inherently worthwhile. In fact, people who feel worthy and whole within themselves have no need to be self-centered and can instead turn their energies to caring for others.

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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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Anxiety and Panic

What I’ve Learned about Relationships and Mental Illness

Relationships and mental illness -- can it work out? People who struggle with mental health issues might find themselves wondering if they can handle a relationship as well. I know I did. After all, it’s hard to think about being with another person when some days just managing life feels hard.

I didn’t date that much in my twenties. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the age of 19, and I honestly thought that being in a relationship would be too much stress. I had all these worries -- what if I wasn’t fun to be with? What if my partner got fed up with my issues and left? What if I wasn’t ready to deal with being in a relationship alongside dealing with my mental health?
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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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Anxiety and Panic

How Awe Can Diminish Anxiety

Take a moment to think about how you felt the last time you caught yourself ruminating and/or stuck in an anxious mode. Perhaps you were stressed about money or the health of a loved one. Maybe you simply felt overwhelmed.

Now, take a moment and think about how you felt the last time you became “awe-struck.” Awe often occurs when appreciating the grandeur of nature, connecting with the beauty of art, even viewing an act of generosity toward others.

Chances are that when in an anxious state, it was hard to focus on anything else but “what-if” thoughts. Your heart races and you try with all of your might to control both your mind and body.
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Family

Weathering the Storm Together: Tips for Couples During a Natural Disaster

These are extremely difficult times in so many lives, as Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey and Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma. We are concerned for loved ones in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and many others in the Caribbean as well. These hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters are extremely challenging for all those directly affected by their destruction. Remember, it takes time to recover, heal and rebuild.  

Couples need to work together during these stressful and trying times so that it doesn’t take a toll on their relationship. It is important for couples to manage all of the stress of the events without projecting their anger and sadness onto one another. Leaning on and drawing from each other’s strengths is key. Effective communication, including active listening are essential skills to make sure couples are turning toward one another, rather than away, in times of crises.
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Anxiety and Panic

Secondhand Trauma — Is It Real? The 2017 Hurricane Season Is Affecting Everyone

As we have all witnessed in the last few months, 2017 has produced an incredibly destructive hurricane season. For many of us not living in the affected areas, just watching the devastation on TV and hearing about it on the radio or social media can also cause a deep sense of fear and anxiety.

It can even cause many to suffer secondhand trauma or more specifically, Secondary Trauma Stress (STS). STS is a psychiatric condition which mimics symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It affects individuals who did not witness the traumatic event firsthand but were still exposed to it in other ways.
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