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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

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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Anxiety and Panic

Bad Bosses: 3 Ways to Spot the Codependent

Your mental health and your physical health are at risk, if you work for a codependent boss. How do you spot one?

After all, you know how to spy a narcissistic boss. They’re divas enthralled by their own voices, clamoring for the adoration of crowds, and surrounded by folks they regard as their minions who must avoid their spotlight or get the chop. As the movie Dirty Dancing almost said, “Nobody puts the narcissist in the corner.” Other ways to spot a narcissistic boss include: they hate being interrupted; detest being disagreed with; and when they joke, you’d better laugh. Narcissists can be charming at first. But similar to leaving cheese languishing in the sun -- after a while, they can get up your nose. Narcissistic bosses and codependent bosses are quite different.
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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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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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Creativity

How to Become a More Interesting Person

Many people see themselves as boring or not very interesting. As a result, they minimize social contact, or feel self-conscious and awkward when interacting.

Having a self-image of being uninteresting can lead to isolation and loneliness, while eroding self-worth.

A fascinating inquiry is to explore what makes us interesting. Is it our net worth, our accomplishments, or knowing people who are popular? Maybe these factors create a curious image that some people find appealing. But do we want people to find our image interesting or find us interesting?

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Children and Teens

5 Ways to Make Happy Family Memories

The Importance of Making Positive Family Memories

Yesterday was one of those perfect late summer days at the local state park and beach. The sun was bright. The water was cool. Families from surrounding towns had come and set up their “camps” for the day. A beach umbrella or pop up canopy or just a spread out towel or two marked their spots. The air was permeated with smells of sunscreen and charcoal.
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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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Addiction

Codependency Is About Your Relationship with Yourself


To be acceptable to yourself and others, you hide who you are and become who you aren’t.

Most people think of codependency as being in a relationship with a addicted partner. And though that was true in my own years of active drinking, when I got sober, I discovered that codependency is much more. Codependency is about the relationship you have with yourself. It’s a set of characteristics and patterns of behavior we develop to help us cope, typically from a childhood that revolved around (but not limited to) addiction, emotional instability and trauma, and physical or mental illness.

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