Using coping imagery to reduce anxiety

Emphasize Activities That Promote Social Connection: The question to ask yourself is: What types of interactions, with what people, promote feelings of connection? This is important to identify, especially if you're experiencing depression. Feeling isolated and thinking no one gets you can make you feel more stuck and overwhelmed, potentially …

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Why talk about stress when you have pain?

It's what made him who he is today. There's a big difference between helplessly riding out a panic attack and not allowing one to hold you back, and the same is true with procrastination. While you might not like your procrastinating ways, there could be those times when you just …

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Working the room

Become involved in order to show them your winning spirit (you don't just care about your needs being met, but the needs of everyone around you.) If that doesn't get you loyal followers, nothing will! Eyewitness testimony is also powerful because eyewitnesses are often very confident in their identifications. As …

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Apologize effectively

They are the cornerstones of your script of life, creating boundaries and barriers to who you can become and what you do. Remember this: money doesn't necessarily define success. Success can be measured by self-fulfillment, awareness, emotional intelligence, and education. I've always felt that as long as I could support …

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Do i have time to do what i would like to?

During this stage you become aware of what is happening but seem unable to do anything about it. This is the awareness stage: for example, realizing the ways in which you make yourself feel anxious by seeing everything in all-or-nothing terms but not being able to stop. You now have …

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How can i escape fear by embracing it?

You can ask pharmaceutical companies if they have special discount programs or rebates for your brand-name medication. For example, I take a hypertension medication, Diovan, which erupted to a $75 copayment under my new health insurance. Astonished, I inquired about this high expense by calling the pharmaceutical company and managed …

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How can i escape fear by embracing it?

Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, professor of neuropsychology at the University of Southern California, who has long studied the effects of nutrition on the brain says, "Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain. The more balanced you make your meals, the more balanced will be your brain function-ing." Consider choosing …

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Persistent pain and sleep

If, on the other hand, he contributed effort, or in some way assumed responsibility for the task, either of those options would probably go a long way towards insuring the outcome that the habitual procrastinator so desperately seeks. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an overall term describing a range of …

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You're either the lender or the borrower

When those needs are at odds with your being your authentic self, you must prevail. By avoiding the feed, I'm much more likely to use social media mindfully while still allowing time to connect with others proactively. Just as companies like Facebook and LinkedIn implement behavioral design to keep us …

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Coping with high-intensity triggers

We've discussed the hurdles you might encounter. Now you'll be reassessing the beliefs and rules that have protected you and have been your reality. Changing that now can feel risky and even frightening. Your mind may go blank when you try to come up with ideas. I want to start …

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Procrastination and depression

Stop allowing things to get in your way. Stop allowing people and things to make your job harder. Do what's necessary to make absolutely sure the path to your goals and getting your act together is clear and free of distraction. Then, keep it that way. We're spending time on …

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Take what other people say to you in stride

opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve." He continues on to further list his preferences and opinions. Now we have a deeper idea of who the character is, what he values. Using that as an example, and with input from my friends, I made a list of my …

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Would resting be better for me?

Linking superstitious beliefs and behaviors to coincidental events occurs because of a process that psychologists call operant conditioning. Skinner, the foremost proponent of operant conditioning and author of the famous article "Superstition in the Pigeon," convincingly demonstrated that coincidence develops superstitious behavior. Skinner put pigeons into separate cages and had …

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Celebrate good news

You may remember a lot from your childhood or not. Some memories may be fuzzier than others. You may feel as if you don't have enough "big" memories. But if they were significant somehow, please include them. Nothing should be discounted. Remember, you're using a lens of compassion. Remember that …

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Getting angry has its perks

Another variable is age of onset--the age at which you first experience your depressive symptoms. The earlier the age of onset for unipolar or bipolar depression increases the probability of a return of depressive illness. Severity and length of depression, sometimes called "chronicity," will heighten the odds for relapse and …

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How do my beliefs affect me?

What values do you have about the role of religion or spirituality in your life? What values do you have related to your physical health and emotional well-being? What does it mean to value self-care? Is this something you value? Why or why not? Psychoanalysis is a deep-exploration therapy whose …

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Increase your intake of antioxidants

Keep in mind that emotional discipline starts first thing in the morning, when you wake up. That is when you create the opportunity to set the standard for your day, by saying, I am happy, I am blessed, I am joyful, I am alive, and nothing will stop me from …

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Techniques and strategies for managing stress

The common pitfall in relationships--when a couple experiences a hiccup, miscommunication or are at odds about something--is to act at war with one another, and fixate on the problem. The problem really isn't the problem, itself. It's the length of time that they focus on the problem. The longer they …

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Where there's a will there's a way!

Skill-building groups that teach and practice interpersonal and communication skills provide participants with alternatives to "saying yes" to substances. They are similar in their approach to relapse prevention, and their provision is vital. Look for programs or services that deliver skill training and relapse prevention; ask about it--insist upon it …

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How to manage setbacks

This sensual love building trigger is one of the most powerful exercises of all because it allows you to form a deep emotional connection-- simply by communicating how you feel with one, simple question. "What can I do for you?" It may be that your partner wants to cuddle on …

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How to read a person

Thereafter, let your gut instincts take over at the consultation. If you don't feel comfortable, it's perfectly fine to seek out another professional. I've done this when I sought out treatment as a patient--and as a therapist, I encourage second opin-ions if the match isn't there. Finding a "good fit …

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See the good and filter out the bad

The extremely elevated mood of bipolar disorder affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which can interfere with the quality of your life. The form on page 44 provides examples of common thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to elevated mood. Check off those you can relate to and share this information …

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Tips for having difficulty following through

They were told that the work that year would be challenging and the pace would be rapid, in keeping with their special gifts. Across the hall, by contrast, the Yellow Birds were told that they would have to work extra hard to keep up with their assignments; that they were …

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Cultivate gratitude and positive expectations

There's an emotional cost, as well, a kind of hardening of your psychological arteries. As we saw when the locus of control is out of whack, negative internal dialogue will cause you to overlook vital information that could otherwise be so incredibly powerful. You don't even recognize positive alternatives anymore …

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Developing the willingness to change

Reaction formation made her seem overly kindly when on the inside she was boiling with rage. Her perceptions of others were tinged with distrust, a mild form of compromised reality testing that left her bereft and with little hope for a better life. Farther down the gradient are defenses that …

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Incorporating meditation into self-care

When his wife took his car keys so he couldn't drive to his drug dealer twelve miles away, he got on his ten-speed bicycle and pedaled, on the highway, to get his fix. When he went to play basketball abroad--no longer US material--first in Italy, then China, Turkey, even Iran …

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Stop apologizing

When you engage in these activities, your brain associates your bed with wakefulness. Just as regular, relaxing bedtime routines can help your brain and body know when it's time for sleep, your bed itself is another important trigger. By helping your brain associate your bed with sleep, the transition into …

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Argue better

Your heart may race. Your stomach may tighten. Or the opposite--you may feel tension glide off of you or your breathing may become calm. This kind of dissociation from your body can make it very difficult to identify what your body is telling you or to determine where you feel …

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Do you say what you feel?

When the second timer goes off, pause for a moment and ask yourself, "Which situation tasted better?" This is a great way to get a taste of your own medicine (pun intended). By only partially attending to your present experience, you only give yourself a partial opportunity to emotionally benefit …

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Honest empathy

Taking a walk in nature is an escape that is good for your body, your emotions, and your brain. Watching a favorite comedy is another escape that won't complicate your life or add to your stress after the credits roll. Finally, you can cultivate healthy habits that you can practice …

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Start from a position of strength

When her friends say, "You look great!", Elisa never knows what to say. She feels hurt and frustrated that they do not see the pain she is in, yet she is tired of explaining how she feels. Also, some of Elisa's friends ask a lot of personal questions about Elisa's …

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What can i do about this?

Now! Right now I'm thinking about it, it's on my mind. "Now" will get it done; it won't be hanging over my head and cluttering up my mind any more. I noticed that often I would think about something - "Oh, I need to do that. I will get to it …

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