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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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General

Cultivating an Internal Locus of Control — and Why It’s Crucial

You didn’t get the job you really wanted. But you aren’t surprised. The odds were stacked against you anyway. Even if you prepared more, the result would’ve been the same: Someone else would’ve gotten the position.

Or you did get the job. But it has nothing to do with your qualifications, experience or interview skills. You were just at the right place at the right time. You got lucky.

You decide to start dating. Your first date is awful. It’s awkward, and they spend the entire time talking about themselves. Which only makes you feel more and more rejected. But you’re not surprised, because this seems to happen often.
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Brain and Behavior

You Can Train Your Brain to Be More Positive with These Steps

The clients I work with tend to have a few things in common: they are smart, ambitious, and highly motivated. Most of them are also stressed to the max.

From the outside, they appear powerful and poised. But on the inside, they worry about their ability to deal with the demands that come along with having a successful career.

If you’re a top-performer, you can probably relate. In fact,
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Creativity

Filling the Well When You Feel Depleted

You feel weary and worn out. You feel like you’re dragging. You feel like you have weights attached to your ankles. Everything -- from washing dishes to driving to work to actually working -- feels hard. Maybe even impossible.

You’re officially depleted.

Which might be because you’ve got loose boundaries and neglected needs. That is, when we don’t check in with our deepest needs, such as the need for restful sleep or time alone, “we operate without boundaries, as though we're maintenance-free robots (which don't even exist, by the way; even robots require maintenance),” said Helen McLaughlin, a life coach and writer who helps powerful women realize their power to create anything they desire in this life.
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Mental Health and Wellness

Mindfulness for the Rest of Us

We've all heard about this concept called "mindfulness" -- it's the latest buzzword in psychology that's picked up a lot of momentum in the past decade. In short, it's a set of skills that you can learn to help you live more in the moment, every moment, of your life. Rather than the fractured, dazzled, attention-challenged person so many of us feel like we are.

While I'd love to offer a course in mindfulness, its not in my specialty wheelhouse. So I'm happy to do the next best thing... Offer you a course by one of our bloggers who's been with us since the beginning of our blog network, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

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General

A Powerful Exercise for Moving Past Regret

You stayed in many toxic relationships. Many years too long. You never finished college. You left a really good job for a job you now can’t stand. You had countless embarrassing, neglectful drunken moments, which ultimately led to your divorce. You filed for bankruptcy. You racked up thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loans. You threw yourself into work while a loved one was dying. You pursued the profession your parents demanded. You didn’t say what you wanted to say. You didn’t trust yourself.

And you regret it. And you keep thinking about these regrets—these bad moments, these bad decisions—over and over and over. You play out various scenarios. You play out different decisions you could’ve made.
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General

What Makes an Online Peer Support Group Helpful?

As someone who lives with bipolar disorder and often feels disconnected from the “real” world, it’s no surprise I’ve spent a lot of time in online support groups. All of this was long before I reached recovery, became a writer, or even heard the term “peer support.”

For me, it was simply about finding other people who could commiserate with me and understand what I was going through. Overall, I had good experiences in many of the online support groups I joined. However, not all such groups are created equal.

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Criminal Justice

Hurricane Irma: A Chance to Lock up the Homeless in Miami

You know how many people pull together in a natural disaster, treating each other with more kindness and pitching in to help? While hunkering down here in the path of the hurricane that has devastated parts of Florida, I've seen many people lending a hand to help strangers. It's been very heartwarming.

But I've also seen a darker side here in Florida. Some officials have discovered that Hurricane Irma is a different kind of opportunity -- to clear the homeless from the streets of Miami. Police, working in conjunction with an activist group and a handful of mental health professionals, gave homeless individuals what seems like a simple choice: either go to a shelter or get sent for a psychiatric evaluation against their will.

This is a flagrant violation of a person's individual liberties, twisting a law meant to protect people with a mental illness. The law was not crafted to make people do all manner of things against their will.

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