89% of Unhappiness Rooted in Comparisons

pensive female

OK, so maybe I made up that 89% statistic, but I think it illustrates an important point: You are great just BEING YOU. Too often, believing anything less comes from comparing yourself to others, whether it’s about money, possessions, looks, or anything else.

So if you’re guilty of constantly comparing yourself to others – it’s time to stop!

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Ways to Embrace the Season: Eight Fun and Relaxing Fall Activities

Fun in the Fall

Summer may not officially end until September 21st, but fall is definitely in the air in many parts of the country, including where I live in the Northeast. Fall brings with it many pleasures, from apple cider, to crunchy leaves, to kids and pets in costume. Clearly this is a well-loved season. Still, with the lazy days of summer behind us, school back in session, and the holidays just around the corner, the fall can feel a bit stressful as well. [Read more…]

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Easing the Back-to-School Transition: 5 Steps to a Calmer School Year

back to school

The start of the school year is an overwhelming time for parents and children alike – and it can be especially hard on those who are struggling with stress and anxiety. As a parent, you’re dealing with a hectic schedule and new morning and evening routines. There are times when it seems next to impossible to juggle work, caring for younger children, and getting the kids to and from school and extracurriculars, while still managing household chores and other personal matters.

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Are You in a Toxic Relationship?

At some point, nearly everyone will encounter someone “toxic,” or find themselves involved in a toxic relationship with a friend, family member, coworker, or romantic partner. These toxic entanglements attack your state of mind and well-being in the same way that actual toxins attack your body. Toxic relationships can destroy your self-worth and confidence, drain you emotionally, and leave you questioning all the things you once liked about yourself. For those who already struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental illness, toxic people can be especially detrimental. They can also bring a previously healthy person down to the point where he or she develops anxiety and depression issues that weren’t there before.

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Less Stress at Work than at Home?

Stressed at Work

As workplace stress levels rise and employers expect more and more from their workers, a new study from Penn State University uproots the conventional wisdom that for most, the office is a major stressor, while home is a sanctuary away from it all.

For the study, researchers took into account participants’ self-reported stress levels, as well as, their actual cortisol (stress hormone) levels, at work and at home. Surprisingly, they found that people – particularly parents — tend to be less stressed at work than at home.

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Reactions to Stress May Be Written in Our DNA

DNA

A common complaint I hear from anxiety sufferers is that those who don’t share their struggle just can’t understand what it’s like. People with anxiety disorders (myself included) are too often on the receiving end of well-meaning advice like, “That’s not something to get upset about,” or “Try not to worry about it.”

While the intentions are usually good, this advice is misguided and not helpful for those of us trying to manage anxiety. In fact, recent scientific research shows that the way stress and anxiety impact us, is largely determined by our genes. In other words, the difference between someone who can easily navigate life’s challenges and someone who struggles to cope, may actually be their genetic makeup. [Read more…]

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Is Your Stress Rubbing Off On The People Around You?

Contagious Stress

New study indicates stress can be contagious

In the American Psychological Association’s 2013 Stress in America survey, 61% of respondents said they believe that stress management is very important, but 44% don’t think they’re doing enough to deal with their stress. What’s more, nearly 20% report that they don’t engage in any sort of stress management at all. If you count yourself among the ranks of frazzled Americans who aren’t doing enough to lower your stress levels, here’s another reason to make it a priority: a new study out of Germany has found that stress can actually be contagious. [Read more…]

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Five Tips For Less Stress Right Now

Relaxed in Spring

The month of April always feels like a turning point in the year. We celebrate favorite spring holidays like Easter and Passover, families unwind over spring vacation, and the weather finally starts to improve; reminding us that summer is just around the corner.

But did you know that April is also National Stress Awareness month? With this effort, every April since 1992, health care professionals have worked to spread awareness of country’s stress epidemic and its consequences.

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Anxiety and Older Adults: Identifying Problems and Finding Help

Elderly_Woman_,_B&W_image_by_Chalmers_Butterfield

Anxiety can be difficult to discuss no matter who you are. Far too many people don’t get the help they need, whether it’s because of the stigma or because they don’t realize they have a treatable problem. However, one group is disproportionately affected by the stigmatization of mental illness, and these individuals are far more likely to suffer from an undiagnosed anxiety disorder: older adults and the elderly.
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