Psychology

Top Mental Strategies to Get You Through Doing Things You Don’t Like

We all have to do things in life that we don’t necessarily like to do: a project at work, doing chores around the house, going to the gym, or attending an event you don’t want to go to. That’s just part of being responsible and taking care of what needs to be done in life. While it can be tedious, boring, and unpleasant to do these activities, psychologists have developed various “mental strategies” to make these activities a little easier…

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How Founding Father Benjamin Rush Revolutionized Our Understanding of Mental Health – Brain Pickings

“It is now the most vitally important thing for all of us, however we may be concerned with our society, to try to arrive at a clear, cogent statement of our ills, so that we may begin to correct them,” the theologian Thomas Merton wrote to Rachel Carson in his letter of appreciation, commending her for diagnosing one of the most pernicious maladies of our civilization. “Otherwise,” he warned, “our efforts will be directed to purely superficial symptoms only, and…

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3 Soulful Ways To Overcoming Unnecessary Wants – *Positive Provocations*

“Stop chasing what your mind wants and you’ll get what your soul needs.” When my daughter was 4 years old, she loved ice cream. She still does. One night when she was 4, on a very cold rainy night, she kept pulling me to the fridge to ask me for ice cream. Now there is nothing wrong with ice cream, is there? But at 11 p.m. (well past bedtime) on a cold rainy night, it is potentially disastrous. Now we…

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How to Use Your Positive Memories To Boost Mental Health and Prevent Depression

When you think back on your life throughout your day, are you more likely to revisit “positive memories” or “negative memories?” According to a new study published in Nature Human Behavior, recalling positive memories may play an important role in managing stress, preventing depressive symptoms, and boosting our mental health overall. Researchers set up an experiment where participants were shown either a “positive” or “negative” word on a screen, and were then asked to recall a specific autobiographical memory from…

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Hermann Hesse on Solitude, the Value of Hardship, the Courage to Be Yourself, and How to Find Your Destiny – Brain Pickings

“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life,” the young Nietzsche wrote as he contemplated what it takes to find oneself. Somehow, this man of stark contradiction, cycling between nihilistic despondency and electric buoyancy along the rim of madness, has managed to inspire some of humanity’s most surefooted spirits — among them, the great German poet, novelist, painter, and Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877–August 9, 1962), who…

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Why a Pet Can Be Incredibly Helpful For Social Anxiety, Loneliness, or Depression

Too anxious to make new friends at the moment? Feeling lonely living by yourself? Just need a boost in your mental health in general? Maybe a nice loyal pet is exactly what you need right now. While I certainly don’t think a pet can replace human relationships, they can be a very valuable companion for someone who suffers from social anxiety, loneliness, or depression. A relationship with an animal can often feel just as valuable as a relationship with a…

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55 of The Most Inspiring Gratitude Quotes You Will Ever Need – *Positive Provocations*

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~Johannes A. Gaertner~ For me, my Gratitude practice is my most transformative positive habit yet. It picks me up when I am down. It makes me focus on the beautiful blessings in my life, no matter how hard things may be. A gratitude practice is the first step I urge my clients towards, to kick start their healing. While…

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Tiny Social Anxiety Hacks To Make Your Daily Life Easier and Less Stressful

If you suffer from social anxiety (or you’re just a very shy person), you’ve likely developed little ways to make your day a tad easier and less stressful, whether it’s at school, work, home, or just out walking in public. We all get socially overwhelmed sometimes, and in those situations it can be helpful to have “tiny hacks” to help you get by without causing a scene or going into full-on panic mode. Here’s a comprehensive list of these tiny…

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Ranking The Myers-Briggs Personality Types On Who Loves The Hardest And Leaves The Easiest

1. ENFJ ENFJs are very all in right from the start when it comes to their relationships, consistently doing whatever they can to bond with their partner emotionally. Usually capable of picking up on someone’s emotional cues and needs without much effort, as well as holding an overwhelming capacity for empathy, they tend to be extremely nurturing and expressive in their love for their partner. Once they fall for a person, it will take nothing short of Armageddon to cause…

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The Gifts of Imperfection – Conquer shame and embrace who you are

The book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are explores the power of love, belonging and “being enough” by cultivating courage, compassion and connection, all with the goal of developing resilience to shame. Each of the 10 chapters in the book explains one virtue that can help you overcome the feelings of imperfection and live a more meaningful and happier life. The main idea of the book is…

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5 Transformative Reasons to Start Writing a Journal NOW! – *Positive Provocations*

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson As this glorious December begins and we are all in introspective modes cause of the end of the year approaching rapidly…I’m thinking about Essence. I’m thinking about that Essence that is revealed when we have…

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If you dislike your body, you don’t love yourself

Healing your emotional self – if you don’t like your body, you don’t love yourself Parents serve their children as mirrors. Parents (together with the immediate family) are the only real reference a child has, and thus parents’ words and behavior present the core source of information about a child. If parents don’t provide an accurate mirror, namely that a child is a valuable human being that deserves love, respect and encouragement no matter what, that leads to never‑ending emotional…

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My Best Psychology and Self Improvement Articles From 2018

As we approach the upcoming new year, it’s always a great time to take a step back and reflect on what we’ve learned and experienced over the past twelve months. First, let me ask you an important question: “Are you better or worse than you were exactly one year ago today? Or about the same?” I sincerely hope it was a good and productive year for you; but even if it wasn’t, keep in mind this is just one chapter…

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10 Powerful Positive Affirmations that Promise Self Healing in 2019 – *Positive Provocations*

Positive Affirmations are the Souls Vitamins, that provide the necessary positive energy to balance all the negative baggage we face daily. Happiest 2019 Darlings! I’m hoping the new year has been treating you well so far. As New Year tradition on Positive Provocations, I always start the year with Positive Affirmations that you can use for the whole year to facilitate self healing and growth. This year especially, I am focusing on “Healing Old Scars”. You know, the ones that…

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Meditation Makes You Less Reactive to Negative Feedback in Life

Meditation is one of the most scientifically-supported “mental tools” for improving your mental health, well-being, and overall happiness. A new study published in the Journal of Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience has now added another piece of the puzzle for why meditation can be so beneficial for you. Researchers conducted an experiment with 3 groups of people: experienced meditators, novice meditators, and non-meditators. They had all participants perform a task where they were trained to pair certain images with a…

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4 Self-Healing Promises for a Positively Happy 2019 – *Positive Provocations*

“Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.” ~ Hannah Arendt As the 2019 inches closer and closer, I find myself introspecting a whole lot. I find myself thinking about the year ending in terms of achievements, high points, low points, successes, failures, learning points etc. Introspection and a constant need to be a better more evolved human(e) being makes me think of the year…

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