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General

How to Start Loving Yourself

There’s a great quote attributed to Lucille Ball: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” And you really have to love yourself to love others, and to create a fulfilling life.

However, many of us aren’t sure what self-love even looks like. Once something becomes a buzzword, it tends to lose its meaning and significance. It becomes relegated to a trend. It gets dismissed.

So what does it mean to love ourselves?
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Creativity

Exploring Our Deepest Truths Through Writing

Exploring our deepest truths can be difficult. Sometimes what we find when we open the door is darkness. Sometimes what we find is inconvenient or embarrassing or upsetting. But it is also liberating and important. Because knowing ourselves, truly knowing ourselves, is what helps us to build meaningful, fulfilling lives. It is what helps us to make good decisions. It is what helps us to know what is right—and not right—for us.

One way to explore our deepest truths is through writing.

Because when you write, it’s just you and the page. In fact, this might be one of the only times you’re alone, to think, to reflect, to just be. Yourself. There is no pretending or impressing. There are no distractions, devices or to-dos.
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General

When You Feel Lost

Lately, you’ve been feeling lost.

A loved one passed away. Your relationship ended. You were overlooked for a promotion. You failed an important exam. An opportunity fell through. Your life is taking a direction you didn’t think it would.

You are dumbfounded. You feel numb. You feel helpless, maybe even hopeless. Everything has a gray hue.

Or you aren’t sure why you feel lost. But you do. You feel utterly aimless, like you’re floating from random task to random task.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Sandwich Effect: Starting and Ending Our Day to Be Our Best Selves

How we show up each day is largely determined by our attitude and outlook. Despite the challenges that we might be facing in the day ahead, what we choose to focus on plays a big role in how we get through our day.

I have had days filled with stressors and hurdles that I have moved through with grace, courage, and presence, while on other days, filled with far fewer stressors, I have plodded through with irritability, negativity or anxiety.

It didn’t have to do with what was unfolding during the day as much as what was happening in the space between my ears. When I wake up too early and can’t fall back to sleep, and focus on thoughts of how tired I am going to be and predictions of doom and gloom for my day ahead, I set myself up for irritability. On the other hand, on the mornings when I wake up too early but sit outside and take in the early morning solitude that I so often miss at this hour, I show up very differently in my day.
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Happiness

Why It’s So Important to Hold On to Hope

Five years ago, I wrote about the correlation between expectations and happiness -- lower your expectations and you will be happier -- reign in expectations and stress and despair won’t be prominent when life does not go according to plan. And perhaps there is a semblance of truth to that notion.

But here’s where it’s nuanced. With diminished expectations, we chip away at hope. And how can we not hope for a better tomorrow? I consider myself to be someone with spirit. I become excited when I have an idea. I look forward to experiences and anticipate memorable ones. And while it’s important to cope when such experiences fall through, I think it’s even more important to hold onto what was originally present -- that sense of hope.
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Alzheimer

Psychology Around the Net: August 26, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Can you believe it's the last weekend of August? I know summer doesn't technically end as soon as August is over, but...where did the summer go?!

Well, before you head out to enjoy the weekend, take some time to catch up on the science of spirituality, why having a best friend as a teenager helps develop a sense of self later in life, how winning the lottery will contribute little to your level of happiness, and more.

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Grief and Loss

How to Get Back Your Joy After Loss

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Jalaluddin Rumi
My belief is that you invest joy in yourself. No one can take it with them when they leave.

When you live in joy, finding appreciation in the seemingly trivial things in life, the quiet moments you share with others, in your accomplishments, pursuing your dreams, making full use of your talents and abilities, you grow your self-confidence, boost your self-esteem, and realize that you are whole and complete as you are.
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Habits

Overwhelmed by Difficult Emotions? Take Charge and Calm Emotional Storms


Feelings come in waves, often appearing out of the blue, triggered by a memory, words overheard, pictures or experiences. The more we are trying to reign them in, suppress or ignore them, the stronger and more persistent they get -- if not in the moment then sometime later, even after many years. Many people find emotions bubbling up decades after they thought they had dealt with them or they were no longer relevant.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How to Chase Away Your Summertime Blues

Does your stomach turn when the thought of summer begins? Do you feel lonely, sad, or depressed in the summer months? Is it hard for you to plan a vacation, or get some good shut eye? If so, don’t feel bad, because you are not alone. In fact, reverse SAD occurs in about less than 10% of the population during the summer months.

Most people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD when winter rolls around, the more common form of SAD. But summertime reverse SAD, while temporary, and short lived, can still be very emotionally taxing for the summer months that are endured.
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Creativity

When Procrastination is Persistent, Pervasive and Pointless

Sure we all procrastinate sometimes. Why not? Let’s see, shall I spend the evening doing mind-numbing clean-up chores or enjoy a good time with my friends? Shall I do tedious paperwork or plop down on the couch and watch my favorite show? It’s never been easy to control our urges, especially when what we “should” be doing goes against our grain.

In the digital world, however, procrastination is even harder to conquer. Accessible, appealing, addictive distractions are everywhere. Beepers beckon. Entertainment entices. Digital devices ding. Social networks seduce. Gaming, blogging, chat rooms, You-Tube, video streaming -- and more -- easily lead us astray. Digital temptations are just so much more seductive. Exciting, fast-paced entertainment actually changes the way our brains operate. If a task doesn’t immediately hold our interest, our minds gravitate to other matters.
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ADHD and ADD

Feeling Scattered

When I sat down to write this article, I was completely focused on what I wanted to accomplish. Now, here it is, just 20 minutes later, and I’m feeling scattered and unfocused.

What happened?

An “urgent” text pinged, saddling me with another task I must accomplish by the end of the day.
My cleaning crew arrived, late again, and the noise from the vacuum cleaner is making it impossible for me to concentrate.
Then, my next client called. She was close by; could we possibly start the session earlier?

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Family

What to Do When Your Friends Divorce

You have been best buddies for years. As couples you were at each other’s weddings, baby showers, and housewarmings.

You spend more weekends together than not. And, almost as much as growing old with your spouse, you picture growing old with them. Until -- divorce.

When the couples you are closest to start to fall apart it can hurt almost as much as if your own marriage were ending. Family trips and weekend barbecues will never be the same. Friends becoming the family you chose is true for many, and when a family splits up everyone suffers. So, what do you do when your best friends decide to call it quits?
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