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What It Means to Not Take Things Personally

We often hear that we shouldn’t take things so personally. But what does this actually mean?

If someone we’ve allowed into our heart says something shaming or hurtful, such as “You only think about yourself” or “How can you be so stupid?” we’re likely to feel the pain of being judged and criticized. It hurts to be viewed as an object with horrible traits rather than be seen in our wholeness.

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Anxiety and Panic

Depression: An Illness, Not a Choice

I am not proud of it.

A few weeks ago and for the first time in many decades, I unpredictably dipped into a depression that, to put it mildly, kicked my ass. Haha, I'm joking.

Actually I'm not.

For the most part, throughout my life, my mental health issues have stemmed from severe anxiety and agoraphobia, with moderate depression rearing its ugly head only every now and then. But not this time. This one was more than ugly, it was hideous. Blue days, black nights -- the whole shebang.
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Brain and Behavior

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Your New Year’s Resolutions

The time-honored tradition of making New Year's resolutions is deeply rooted in our modern culture. Perhaps because when it is a new year, we feel it's a good time for us also to be renewed. We can change. We can become a better person.

Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of people make New Year's resolutions (American Medical Association, 1995; Epcot Poll, 1985). But how many people actually keep at least one of their resolutions?

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4 Perils of Perfectionism

Many of us hold high expectations for ourselves. We strive for a goal that is impossible to reach, whether in our love life, worklife, or family life. When we fall short, as we inevitably do, we may become paralyzed by self-criticism and shame.

Here are four pitfalls that result from our penchant to strive for perfection -- and how to keep our expectations under control.

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Flexible Boundaries: Affirming Ourselves While Staying Connected

Personal boundaries are often discussed as knowing where we end and others begin. Boundaries define who we are -- honoring ourselves as a separate individual with needs and wants that differ from others. Without setting boundaries, we may allow others to trample over us and override our own feelings and what’s important to us. We lose our voice; we get lost in their world of desires. Having very weak boundaries, we may get eaten alive by people who are very clear about what they want!

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Brain and Behavior

The Surprising Sexuality of (Male) Gamers

The modern stereotype of people who frequently play video games needs finally to be put to rest. Gamers, as they're known, are actually not losers residing in their parents' basement, but rather people from all different backgrounds who enjoy the entertainment value that spending time playing video games affords.

Along with that stereotype is the belief that gamers' sexuality must also be less than ideal. Losers in basements can't have a healthy, positive sex life, right?

Let's find out...

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Smiling Improves Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

I’ve been fortunate to visit Thailand many times and after being here again, I’ve been asking myself: How is it that so many Thai people are quick to flash spontaneous and radiant smiles? Spend even a little time here and you’ll understand why Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles.”

A cynical interpretation is that smiling faces are a fake show of happiness designed to captivate tourists. And of course, a smile can sometimes cover up one's true feelings, such as nervousness, anger, or sadness. But from my own observations and after speaking with many savvy travelers, I'm convinced that the smiles are often genuine.

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