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ThoughtBuster: The Good Stuff about Your Bad Stuff (According... Do you ever feel anxious and then worry about the anxiety? In other words, do you have anxiety about your anxiety? Many times after feeling a negative emotion, we then … ...
How to Stop Pessimistic Self-Fulfilling Prophecies from Shaping Your... You believe that you’ll never have a healthy relationship, so you pick partners who are unavailable. You believe you’ll bomb the presentation, so you don’t practice. You believe you’re going to have a frustrating day, so you’re snippy with your spouse, which triggers a fight, … ...
Five Common Misconceptions About Trauma Contrary to popular opinion, experiencing growth after trauma is far more common than PTSD. The new science of posttraumatic growth has discovered in thousands of studies that up to 90 percent of trauma survivors eventually attest to a renewed zest for life, major empathetic growth, and increased emotional maturity...
Divorcing Differently: End Marriage, Save the Relationship Often, divorce probably will be ugly as it seems to inevitably signify the end of fighting for each other and the beginning of fighting against each other. But what if sometimes it didn’t? What if sometimes we are able to keep fighting for each other in the midst of the change? What if we chose to divorce differently? A "differently divorced" woman shares her experiences.
When it comes to children's ability to think, weight and activity level both matter, study finds Weight and physical activity levels are both factors in a child's ability to acquire and use knowledge, a new study finds. Children who were lean and active scored better on cognitive tests than either their lean, inactive peers or overweight, inactive children, according to the study, which provides some of the first evidence that weight, independent of physical activity, is a factor.
Mental maps: Route-learning changes brain tissue Fifteen years ago, a study showed that the brains of London cab drivers had an enlargement in the hippocampus, a brain area associated with navigation. But questions remained: Did the experience of navigating London's complex system of streets change their brains, or did only the people with larger hippocampi succeed in becoming cab drivers? Now, scientists have determined that learning detailed navigation information causes the hippocampal brain changes. The findings establish a critical link between structural and functional brain alteration.
What Every Adult Child of an Alcoholic Needs to... Addicted, dysfunctional and chaotic families are a breeding ground for perfectionism. Therapists and addictions counselors often talk about alcoholism (or any addiction) as a family disease because it effects everyone … ...
An alternative to Post Traumatic Stress is Post Traumatic... Eight weeks ago I was hit by a truck while crossing a street. I was warned by the “experts” about the likelihood of suffering from post traumatic stress. Nightmares. Anxiety … ...
How to Overcome Expectation Exhaustion An expectation can be positive or negative, realistic or unrealistic, about behavior or performance, increase anxiety or relieve stress, and result in disappointment or surprise. There are two sources of expectations: internal and external. Internal expectations are rooted in beliefs, grounded by experience and flourish … ...
The Emotion That Does Change People’s Behaviour After All Plus: four ways the effect of this emotion on behaviour change can be increased. » Continue reading: The Emotion That Does Change People’s Behaviour After All
Sesame Street Just Got An Autistic Character! I remember watching Sesame Street as a kid. It was smart, fun, and had a bunch of colorful characters that reflected my innermost thoughts and feelings at the time: C … ...
The Incredible Shrinking Woman One relationship that remains a constant in our lives is the one with the woman or man in the mirror. When we look at the person whose reflection stares back … ...
Should You Use Your Employer’s Mental Health Screening Tools?... In a word, no. Employer’s screening tools for any kind of mental health issue — if not required by working in a sensitive industry — should be avoided, as they bring little value to you, the employee, that you can’t get elsewhere. And with much … ...
#170: Millennial Parenting: the Pros and Cons Iain Heath via Compfight There are many factors that determine the success or failure of parenting in any given generation and millennial parenting is no different. It seems that every … ...
Seeing sound Intrinsic neural connections -- called crossmodal mappings -- can be used by assistive devices to help the blind detect their environment without requiring intense concentration or hundreds of hours of training. This new multisensory perspective on such aids (called sensory substitution devices) could make tasks that were previously attention-consuming much easier, allowing nonsighted people to acquire a new sensory functionality similar to vision.
Survivor Guilt and Re-Opened Wounds One young man, a survivor of the recent mass shooting was called upon to carry a message. He was called the “lucky one.” In reality, no one who survives a trauma can be considered lucky in any sense of the word. The recent mass shootings … ...
How to Recognize the Signs of Childhood Depression Similarly to how it manifests uniquely during adolescence versus adulthood, depression looks differently in early childhood as well. It is important to recognize the signs of childhood depression and to distinguish them … ...
Hate Change? Read This. Some people hate change. Change can be uncomfortable, it can be awkward. It can make us feel a little lost and out of sorts. Change can take time to get … ...
Today I love That Frosted Lawn Today I love that frosted lawn, each blade of grass dusted with a coating of frozen dew. It looks like a sea of sugar coated shields, an army of green … ...
The Secret to Danish Happiness For over 40 years in a row, Denmark has been voted as one of the happiest countries in the world. During this month’s Democratic primary debate, candidate Bernie Sanders said, “We should look to countries like Denmark” if we wanted the US to become a happier place—a comment that triggered fierce debate about Denmark’s public policies. What is the secret to the emotional success of this small Northern European country? In our new book The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide To Raising The Happiest Kids in the World, I explore this question with my co-author, Danish psychotherapist Iben Sandahl. At least part of the answer lies with the Danish way of “hygge”—pronounced “hooga.” The word dates back to the 19th century. It is derived from the Germanic word hyggja, which means to think or feel satisfied. There are no exact translations of hygge but some attempts are “cozy” or “homey”—words that do little to encompass the full spectrum of what it is. Hygge is essentially drama-free togetherness time. It is cozying around or “at hygge sig,” but more than that, it is being aware that that cozy time is sacred—and treating it as such. Because Danes see hygge as such a fundamental aspect of good living, they all work together to make it happen. Hygge is “we time,” not “me time” Hygge is considered such a powerful factor in Danish happiness that some universities in the UK and the US have started offering courses on it. Many think it is about lighting candles, preparing good food, and creating a nice atmosphere. But this is only the surface aspect of hygge. The truth is, it is so much deeper than that. So what is hygge exactly? Try to imagine going to a drama-free family gathering. There are no divisive discussions about politics, family issues, or Aunt Jenny’s dysfunctional kids. No snide comments, complaining, or heavy negativity. Everyone helps out, so that not one person gets stuck doing all the work. No one brags, attacks anyone, or competes with another. It is a light-hearted, balanced interaction that is focused on enjoying the moment, the food, and the company. In short, a shelter from the outside world. For some, that may sound normal for family gatherings. For most of us, it isn’t. Photo: Moyan Brenn (CC-BY-20) These unspoken rules of hygge are precisely what make it so special. American anthropologists who have studied Danish hygge have been struck by the effortless flow in hyggelig interactions and how no one tries to take center stage. It is a moment in time where everyone takes off their masks and leaves difficulties at the door, in order to appreciate the power of presence with others. There are mountains of research to support how important social ties are for well-being. Feeling connected to others gives meaning and purpose to all of our lives. Social ties can increase longevity, reduce stress, and even boost our immune system. By dedicating specific time to “hygge” we can create a safe space for families and friends to be together without stress. However, it takes everyone wanting this and working together to achieve it. Researchers also find that Denmark’s egalitarianism plays an important role. For example, a 2009 study by Robert Biswas-Diener and colleagues found that while rich Americans and Danes were equally happy, what really made the difference is that low-income Danes were much, much happier than their American counterparts. This is consistent with findings that high levels of equality translate into happier societies. Unsurprisingly, egalitarianism is also a core value of hygge, according to anthropologists. In this way, perhaps, the rules governing private life in Denmark translate into the kind of public gains cited by Bernie Sanders. Here are five rules for hygge—some of which you may want to apply to your own life. 1. Come as you are. Be yourself. Your real self. Let your guard down. You won’t be attacked on hygge turf and you won’t attack in turn. When we strip ourselves of trying to prove something we can all connect in a much more real way. Competition, boasting, and pretense are not bonding, but rather subtly dividing. 2. Forget the controversy. If your topic is too serious, divisive or controversial, it probably isn’t hyggeligt, Hygge is about a balanced ebb and flow of discussion in a lighthearted way. The focus is on the moment and being in the moment. We have plenty of time in our everyday lives to argue and debate and experience drama but hygge is about enjoying the food, the company and not getting caught up in things that take away from that. Thus, complaining, heavy negativity, judging and arguing are not allowed in the hygge space. 3. Think of yourself as a team member. Everyone sees what he or she can do to contribute, without being asked. This makes the whole team flow better and no one gets stuck doing all the work. When everyone works together in preparing, serving, pouring, and conversing, then hygge is in full bloom. But everyone has to understand that they are part of that team. 4. See hygge as a shelter from the outside. Hygge time is about providing a temporary shelter from social climbing, networking, competition, and materialism. A place where everyone can relax and open their hearts without judging, no matter what is going on in their life. For better or for worse, this place is sacred and problems can be left outside. This is special because it allows for families and friends to always be able to connect in this space without fear of judgment. 5. Remember it is time limited. Making hygge can be challenging for a non-Dane. No one taking center stage, no one bragging or complaining, no one being too negative and everyone trying to be present without arguing? This is hard to do for a lot of families! But the payoff is enormous. It feels incredible to share these drama-free moments with those you care about. If you realize that it is only for a dinner or a lunch or a limited period of time, it makes it much easier to really try and enjoy that moment. Your problems will be waiting for you outside hygge’s door when you leave. But for a little while they can wait outside for the sake of the something bigger.