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How Do You Know if You Have High or Low Self-Esteem?

The phrase "self-esteem" is thrown around frequently when discussing mental health. In the 70s, programs in public school systems encouraged children to think better of themselves. They thought having higher esteem would bolster confidence and fight off depression if it was nurtured from an early age. With less negativity surrounding oneself, a child would be able to succeed not only in education, but in life.

The definition of self-esteem is slippery. Some equate self esteem with narcissism or an ability to push one's way to the top. Self-esteem, unlike true narcissism, includes a healthy amount of empathy. In the simplest of terms, self-esteem is how one person reflects on their own self-worth. This worth may include external success such as career, education, or finances, as well as internal worth, such as emotional states of mind and values. Do they see themselves as kind or anxious? Do they feel ashamed? These are just some of the complex feelings people may have about their own identity and self worth.
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Free Live Webinar: Healing from an Unloving Mother

As central as the mother-child relationship is to psychological health, that of the mother and her daughter has its own specificity. Daughters whose emotional needs weren’t met in childhood or who were actively disparaged, ignored, controlled, or scapegoated emerge into adulthood with specific deficits. They may not even know the degree to which they’ve been wounded by their mothers’ treatment until they begin to flounder in life, embark on a series of failed relationships, find it hard to stay balanced and focused, or engage in self-destructive behaviors.
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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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How to Be Proactive Instead of Reactive and Bothered by Others’ Requests

“If we didn’t spend so much time reacting to things, we would spend less time feeling bothered. We would be able to relax in our lives the way our mind relaxes in meditation.” – Angel Williams

You wake up and immediately think of all the stuff you feel you must do today. Rather, consider that this list is what you either told yourself is necessary, contains some that you figure you’ll maybe get around to, some that are totally unnecessary and not time-sensitive, and still more items others added to your workload or responsibility by someone else. Some of these are undoubtedly a real chore, while other tasks are less onerous but still something you’d rather not do. Yet, it isn’t the planned to-do list that often bothers you but those situations and problems that require you to act. Here’s the difficulty: You’re reacting to things -- and that bothers you.

Here are some suggestions on how you can be
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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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Marriage and Divorce

4 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Relationship and What to Do About It

Most of us want to have a successful relationship, and yet there are behaviors that we engage in that are surefire ways of wreaking havoc on our relationship. A likely cause is that we didn't know that our behavior was unhealthy and destructive. For this reason it's important to reflect on our actions and assess whether they're harmful to our relationship. So examine these sabotaging behaviors and determine whether you're making any of these mistakes.

Not addressing past hurts

If you enter into your relationship with un-addressed issues from prior relationships, whether with romantic partners or family members, it can come up and be damaging to your new relationship. You can be setting yourself up for failure if you don't address these past issues. And it's even worse if you're thinking that you don't need to address these issues, as it'll be harder for you to see how they're affecting your relationship. Keep in mind, that when people perceive their partners as having more emotional baggage,
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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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Inner Strength: How to Build a Firm Foundation for Living Your Best Life

Inner strength is created through effort and determination. At the core of it is the trust that one way or another you will be able to deal with whatever you may encounter in life -- whether it be a crisis or simply the challenges of daily life.

If you do not let them crush you, hardship and adversity provide a opportunities to steel your inner fortitude. But you can also develop and strengthen it by deliberately enhancing key psychological attributes that will make you stronger and more resilient:

Strengthen Your Sense of Self
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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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When You Don’t Feel Like Yourself

Lately, you haven’t felt like yourself. Maybe you’re feeling extra anxious, a nervousness that’s taken up residence inside your stomach. Maybe you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Maybe you’re experiencing a deep self-doubt, which you’ve never felt before. Maybe you feel disconnected from yourself.

Maybe you can’t pinpoint it. (Yet.) But all you know is that you feel off.*

Many people stop feeling like themselves after experiencing a major life event or major role change, said Dezryelle Arcieri, LMFT, a psychotherapist and yoga instructor in Seattle. Maybe you recently moved or started a new job. Maybe you just ended a relationship or got married. Maybe you had a baby or are grieving the loss of a loved one.
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Living in the Moment

We all have heard to live in the moment. Stay focused on the present. Concentrate on today. We understand that these sayings all have the same meaning: be in the here and now. Easier said than done sometimes, right? You're not alone in that feeling.

As humans we are conditioned to feel a variety of emotions at once. When we begin to think too far ahead or too far in the past, we lose sight of what is happening right in front of us in the moment of time we are in. It becomes increasingly prevalent when we are faced with life situations or circumstances that are beyond our own control. We want to hold on to something to ground us, so we look for something in our past or try to put our hopes into a future goal -- one which may not be realistic. It is a human struggle.
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Anxiety and Panic

Why We All Have Clutter and How to Get Rid of It

I feel like a massive hypocrite writing this piece, because substantial messes are found in virtually every square foot of my home.

In fact, the last time I broached the topic of clutter in a blog, I posted a photo of my book piles and nut collection and was immediately contacted by a hoarding show to be "fixed" by an expert.

Even though I fail miserably at decluttering my home, I do know it’s an important piece of
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