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What Stephen Hawking Can Teach Us about Good Mental Health

I woke up Wednesday morning to the news that Stephen Hawking had passed away. My first thought made me smile -- that this incredible scientist who seemed to just will himself to stay alive against overwhelming odds, died on March 14th -- Pi Day.

Maybe that was his choice. Who knows?

Stephen Hawking was a thinker -- a brilliant scientist, professor and author who was known for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology. His books aimed to make science accessible to everyone. His more well-known works include A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and A Briefer History of Time.
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Anxiety and Panic

Is the Anxious Mind Spreading FUD in Your Life?

In the cryptocurrency world, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is something investors don’t want to experience. When FUD spreads, the value of the coin will drop, and those who invested will be unsure of what to do and wonder when the pain will stop.

FUD is also something that people with anxiety don’t like to endure. They avoid and seek reassurance in order to be sure that FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) is not part of their lives. Yet, they forget that FUD is part of the human condition. When we perceive danger, our survival built-in mechanism warns us, and fear sets in so we can escape or fight the danger. This is a good thing. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have made it, and we would not be here. Fear helps us stay alive!
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5 Common Misconceptions about Meditation

Before I started meditating daily starting on November 1, 2015, I had tried meditation on and off several times. I had heard about many of its benefits and had even witnessed its benefits in friends and family members. Nevertheless, part of me was still skeptical. I struggled with my racing mind and at sticking with a practice that I felt that I had no aptitude for whatsoever. The perfectionist in me saw it as a waste of time when there were so many things I had to do or could be doing that were more "productive."

How wrong I was.

Though I continue to struggle a lot with my monkey mind and have days where I don't stay present for more than 30 seconds, meditation's impact on my life has been nothing short of miraculous and transformational.
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Winter Doldrums? 6 Ways to Get a Jump on Spring

“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.” - Valerie Bertinelli

This is the time of year when I’m well past the excitement of the holidays and tired of dealing with winter-related problems or other people’s sour mood due to too many dark days. I’m lucky in the sense that I live in Southern California, so there’s no pileup of snow and ice and bitter cold temperatures to ruin my day. That does not mean, however, that residents here -- like elsewhere in the country -- don’t suffer a bit from the winter doldrums.

Here are six ways to get a jump on spring for those who are eager for warmer weather and the
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Good-Bye, Duke: When Your Therapist Retires

The Duke is retiring. “The Duke” is my nickname for my psychiatrist of 19 years. I’m a little nervous.

I’m looking for a new doctor, but I know that finding just the right one might be difficult.

I went through this predicament three years ago when my psychologist retired. The first therapist I auditioned was too hoity-toity. I felt uncomfortable around her. I wanted someone more down-to-earth.
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When the Rug Gets Yanked Out from Beneath You: An Interview with Joel Metzger

I have known Joel Metzger for perhaps 20 years and was told I needed to meet this resilient thriver and hear his story of rebirth following a traumatic event that forever changed his life.

When we wake up each morning, we generally don’t imagine that this day could be our last on the planet. We go about our business, interacting with family, friends and co-workers, "clocking in and clocking out" on the job, assuming that another 24 hours will be granted to us or that they will be predictable.
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How to Feel Normal Again

“The possibility of stepping into a higher plane is quite real for everyone. It requires no force or effort or sacrifice. It involves little more than changing our ideas about what is normal.” – Deepak Chopra

When I was a young girl, I often felt as if I was not normal. It wasn’t that I had a noticeable birth defect or considered myself ugly or stupid, though. My feelings likely stemmed more from a sense that I was too sensitive or fragile or in need of protection and couldn’t stand up for myself. I had an older brother who sometimes was tough on me, yet I loved him dearly. He was my protector against the bullies in the neighborhood. Still, I wondered why I didn’t feel normal. My quest to achieve what I considered to be normal took many years. Maybe some of these hard-learned tips can help others learn how to feel normal, or normal again.
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10 Small Ways to Create Brighter, More Inspiring Days

Small habits can create significant benefits. For instance, even though I’m often bleary-eyed as I get up, writing before the sun rises, in a still, quiet house, energizes and inspires me. Listening to music often does the same. These small changes have shifted my perspective and the tone for the rest of the day.

Sometimes, we think we need to overhaul our days and our lives in order to feel more satisfied and uplifted. We want to burn it all down and start fresh. But really the smallest activities can do wonders for us.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Cope with a Scary Medical or Mental Health Diagnosis

Most of us are sanguine about the fact that some things are out of our control. We know, for example, that we can’t avoid death or taxes or do much about how tall we’ll grow.

For much of everything else, we figure out a way to deal with what happens in life -- until we can’t, for one reason or another. A prime example is the emotional upheaval caused by receiving an unexpected and scary medical or
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