Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and most Westernized countries. If you are overweight, you are hardly alone, as you can see by looking around you. About two-thirds of Americans are overweight and the statistics climb by the year.
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Distorted Thoughts... Getting Back to Reality
One of the best tools we have for living a healthy life is our ability to think. Our world is composed of a large number of events that happen constantly. Some are positive and some are negative, and most are neutral. We interpret these events as they happen with a series of thoughts that flow continually through our minds.
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Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today
Almost everyone has been afflicted by procrastination at one time or another – that nagging menace that compels us to put things off for another day, another time. For some people this is a persistent problem, and for others it appears in only some areas of their lives. The result, though, is the same for everyone – increased anxiety, wasted time, poor performance, missed opportunities, guilt, excusing ourselves, and avoiding people who depend on us. There are better ways of dealing with the demands of our everyday lives.
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Arising from codependence
The households we grew up in can have a powerful influence on the way we deal with life as an adult – often in ways that we never stop to think about. We simply keep on living, repeating the same mistakes and enduring the same conflicts over and over again. We may wonder why the same old patterns keep repeating themselves even when we change friendships, jobs and relationships. The answer may lie in a less-than-nurturing childhood characterized by neglect and other forms of abuse.
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Looking for the Right Partner
Although some people prefer to remain single throughout their lives, most people strive to connect with and live in partnership with one special person. There are many obvious advantages to finding a relationship partner – physical, economic, social – but there is another significant advantage in that working through the ups and downs of a relationship allows us to come to terms with many of our own personal issues. In fact, these personal issues may make or break a relationship, depending on whether we choose to work on them. If you are single now, you can use this time to learn more about yourself and what makes relationships work.
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Most people seek a life filled with meaning, contentment, gratification, and pleasure. In moments of reflection, we may wonder what we can do to direct our lives not only away from anxiety, anger, stress, and depression – but toward a state of personal fulfillment. We may realize that the typical markers of achievement in our society – a graduation, a marriage, a job promotion, the completion of a project, buying a home – don’t always bring us the happiness that we expected, and often they increase our stress levels.
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How others treat us greatly influences the way we see ourselves. We all know people who genuinely like themselves and feel content with their lives. Because they see the positive in themselves, they are able to understand and appreciate the good in other people. They treat others with a sense of respect – a skill they know well because this is how they treat themselves. When our feelings about ourselves are positive, we show others that we like and value ourselves – and then others tend to treat us well. But when we have negative feelings about ourselves, so that we are too critical, complaining and pessimistic, others tend to take this attitude toward us as well. How we treat ourselves helps determine how others will treat us.
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Losing Your Relationship
Who can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How doI deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? Will I be able to keep my children? What about money? Can I do the banking and buy groceries and pay bills and fix the car? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change? When we hold on to our fears and refuse to do anything about them, we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble.
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Listening is the other half of communication. Our first thought, when we think about communication, may be to consider the speaker’s ability to convey ideas effectively. What we often forget is that without a listener the speaker may as well be talking to the wind. Just as effective speaking is an acquired skill, so is good listening. Some do it better than others. But all of us can learn to enrich our own listening skills.
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Dealing with Controlling People
Control, like most facets of human behavior, is probably best experienced in moderation. At one end of the spectrum, control is a positive, adaptive tool. For example, control over prolonged and constant chaos in our lives is usually a good thing. At the other end, control can be seen as negative. People who are over-controlled to the point of being unable to feel or express emotion can find life’s expected turmoils to be difficult or even impossible to handle.
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No Secrets....Telling the Truth in Our Relationships
The excitement we feel when entering a new relationship touches us at the core. It influences our thinking, our emotions and physical bodies. It feels like a dream came true. We now have a partner to share with, who understands our deepest feelings and thoughts. However, over time, these intense excitement is often replaced with hurt and disappointed feelings when our partner fail to respond accordance to our expectations, wishes or needs. This is the stage of the relationship when truthful and intimate communication is most important. Yet, this is also the time when such communication is most challenging for couples and is the cause of feelings of resentment, mistrust , anger and disconnect.
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The Influence of Birth Order
If brothers and sisters are raised by the same parents, how do they end up so different? How is it that one sibling grows up to be successful academically and professionally but with few friends, while another becomes the athlete with loads of friends? To the degree that one of the siblings is a responsible person, another will be attention-seeking or rebellious. One follows the ways of the parents and another looks outside the family for support. The strategies we learn in childhood for dealing with our parents and siblings haves a lasting influence on our behavior, often in ways we barely recognize.
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An eating disorder is a very serious problem that demands immediate attention. The Chinese used to bind the feet of women to make them smaller. So tiny and fragile were their feet, in fact, that some women were left essentially crippled, barely able to walk. To the Chinese, this was a sign of beauty and social status. But to us it seems a cruel and bizarre practice.
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We all have our own unique ways of feeling and thinking and expressing ourselves. Most of the time, our uniqueness is seen simply as an individual difference – or something special about each of us. In fact, this is what brings interest and variety to the people in our lives. This is a positive thing.
Click to read “Problematic Personalities.”
Many people search for that special intimacy in their relationship. Some of us search our entire lives for a feeling of oneness with another person. It’s hard to describe, really, what we search for, but we know it when we finally achieve it. Maybe we tire of that dark feeling of being ultimately alone as we struggle through life.
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As the saying goes “hindsight is 20/20.” …It is the pain we suffer when things do not work out the way we hoped that often is the stimulus to look inward, learn lessons and make meaningful changes. How often have you heard someone lament, “If I could only do it over again, I would do everything differently.”
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Countless millions of adults in this country have a parent with a drinking or drug problem. A brief look at some of the history of the 1900’s can clarify this phenomenon…Alcohol was associated with good times and the good life for what is sometimes called the “drinking generation” who lived through WWII… Their children, the Baby Boomers, who are now in middle age and entering older age, tended to use not only alcohol but drugs as well.
Click to read “Family Dysfunction.”
Grieving comes to most of us at some point in our lives. In fact, statistics show that each person can expect to experience the loss of a loved one once every nine to thirteen years.The resulting sadness may be the most painful of life’s experiences…
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Staying Healthy at Work
Are You Working Hard or Hardly Working? (Or Both?) The atmosphere of the workplace has changed dramatically in recent times. Ever since the exploitative practices of the industrial revolution were removed through legislation, work has been defined as a place where a person could find fulfilment through a job which was rewarding and paid a fair wage.
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We are Never so Vulnerable as When we Love
Meet The Challenge Of Connection and Get The Love You Want. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.I will meet you there.” Why is it so difficult for good people who love one another to give their partners what they ask for and get their needs met in return?
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Arguing Constructively, and Not So Constructively
Good Argument Has Its Up Side – But Only If We Fight Fairly. All couples argue. This is a normal and expected part of any relationship. Of course, some relationship experts say that arguing is healthy, while others say beware.
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The Art of Not Being Offended
There is an ancient and well-kept secret to happiness which the Great Ones have known for centuries. They rarely talk about it, but they use it all the time, and it is fundamental to good mental health. This secret is called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended.
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PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Most of us build our lives around the belief that we will be relatively safe. Granted, normal daily life involves many stressors, especially in these hectic times, but we expect these pressures to happen and we become accustomed to handling them. The more flexible we are and the more we know ourselves and are in touch with our abilities, the easier it is to deal with normal everyday stress.
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Social Anxiety - Overcoming Shyness
Ask people what they fear the most and many of them will answer, “speaking in public.” In surveys that ask people about their fears, about one person in five reports an extreme fear of public speaking. Shyness and other forms of social anxiety are common – and they prevent people from fully experiencing life.
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Loss Can Bring Gain
Loss Can Be Painful – But It Can Open the Door to New, and Even Better, Life Experiences. Loss is embedded in the process of living. It happens to everyone and it is inevitable. There is no such thing as constant gain in our lives.
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Working on Your Relationship
You can create a successful relationship – Even if you must work on it alone. Conflicts can be expected to arise in even the strongest of relationships.
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All of us experience major disruptions at certain points in our lives. For some, these hard times come frequently – the impact of the trauma is overwhelming and recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow.
Click to read Resilient Personality.
Who Controls Your Relationship
Control issues arise with all aspects of a couples life together. Rarely are we prepared to deal with the power struggle that follows the romantic experience of falling in love and committing to our partners “for better or worst.
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What About Depression?
Everyone feels sad from time to time. It’s only natural. Most people go through blue days or just periods of feeling down, especially after they experience a loss. But what experts call clinical depression is different from just being “down in the dumps.”
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We are all pleasure seekers. There are pleasure centers located in the human brain, which, when activated, are associated with feelings of euphoria. This happens to us every day…. Addictive behavior can be seen as an attempt to control our daily cycles by maximizing pleasurable…
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All of us have been hurt, in one way or another, by someone else. While it is easy to forgive a friend for the slight distress we feel over a phone call that was not returned, it is not so easy to forgive those who have harmed us in a major way.
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Where Did the Love Go? Relationships are seldom as simple as we would like. They bring out our needs, anxieties, and conflicts with people from our past – parents, friends, and former partners.
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Altruism Option - A Key to Wellness and a Fuller Life
A positive approach to life and paying attention to ways that we can contribute to others, can make an immense difference in the perceived quality of our life.
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Anxiety is the body’s reaction to an event that is experienced as disturbing or threatening. We are more likely to feel the anxiety that emerges from stress when we face overwhelming responsibilities at work or home, experience loneliness, rejection, or the fear of losing things that are important to us, such as our jobs or friends.
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The experience of finding the right partner and falling “in love” is one of life’s true joys…. The “high” that comes from this feeling of loving passion, at least for some people, is so compelling that they use it to fill gaps in their lives, much as they might use a drug. Being in love, for them, can resemble an addiction.
Click to read Relationship Addiction