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Break the Cycle of Anxiety and Avoidance

You can break the cycle of anxiety and avoidance. Here, understand the cycle and gain tips for breaking it with purpose and meaning.

It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of anxiety and avoidance. Avoidance is a common human behavior that has good intentions but can spiral out of control until, before we realize it, we’re trapped, boxed in by anxiety and blocked from fully living (see What is Avoidance Doing to You?) Avoidance is fear- and anxiety-based. Whether we avoid one situation, such as making or taking phone calls, or almost every situation, such as anything that takes us out of the house, we are letting anxiety limit our lives. Let’s explore how to stop avoiding.

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How to Reduce Stress When Reducing Stress Causes Anxiety

Knowing how to reduce stress can be hard when anxiety about stress relief gets in your way. Here are tips for how to reduce stress despite worry and fear.

Many of us want to but don’t know quite how to reduce stress. It’s perhaps surprising, but true: the idea of reducing stress can actually cause anxiety rather than alleviate it. We do have legitimate reasons for clinging to stress despite wanting relief from it. Sometimes the mere idea of relaxing causes anxiety because we’re afraid that our performance will decline or that seeking stress relief will cause us to be judged as weak. Stress can come to be a badge of honor, too. High degrees of stress can show the world, and ourselves, how much we are achieving or how much we care about loved ones, and more. 

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Make an Emotionally Healthy School Year: A Checklist

Emotional health is just as important as academics when it comes to your child's or teen's wellbeing. Learn how to help them be emotionally healthy.
An emotionally healthy school year means that kids and teens are thriving. The school year is underway. Classes have begun, students are learning, and ideally, there’s a concerted effort among schools, home life, and other support systems to help students build academic success. Academics are important, but they’re not the only part of school. Our kids, no matter their grade, deal with an entire world of people and situations that impact their emotional health and wellbeing. Use this checklist to help your kids create and maintain an emotionally healthy school year.

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Enhance Your Emotional Health with a Bare Spot in a Garden

We can enhance our emotional health with a bare spot in a garden. Creating a bare spot helps shift perspective and appreciate beauty despite what’s around us.
 
Emotional health is an important component of our mental health and has to do with our subjective emotions like joy and sorrow, pride and shame, self-love and self-loathing, and more. While it’s true that emotions come and go, often striking us seemingly out of the blue, it’s also true that we are not powerless in the face of our feelings. While we might not entirely stop them, we can rise above negative emotions in order to live well in spite of them. One way to do so is by creating a bare spot in your garden.

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How to Handle ANTs to Increase Wellbeing, Mental Health

Automatic Negative Thoughts, or ANTs, can decrease mental health and wellbeing. Learn three ways to handle ANTs to enhance mental health, wellbeing.
Knowing how to handle ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) can reduce anxiety and increase wellbeing. Recently, in ANTs—Automatic Thoughts Can Ruin Your Picnic, I explored how ANTs can be pesky little creatures that get in the way of our living life fully. These automatic negative thoughts that pop into our minds in certain situations can cause great stress and anxiety. They can even intensify depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. We all have ANTs (they’re not exclusive to mental illness). Unfortunately, it’s natural for the human mind to get stuck in unhelpful thought patterns that drag us down. There are ways to deal with ANTs so they don’t ruin the proverbial picnic of your life. Here are three approaches whose effectiveness has been proven by research.

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ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts – Can Ruin Your Picnic

ANTs are automatic negative thoughts that pop into the mind without us trying to put them there. Learn more about the types and how they impact wellbeing.
Are ants trying to ruin your picnic? If you’re human, it’s quite likely that they are. Ants are pesky little critters that love picnics, and ANTs are pesky little (or big) thoughts that love our mind. No matter what kind of ants you are dealing with—the insects or the negative thoughts—you don’t have to let them ruin your picnic.

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Think Like a Business: Self-Optimize with Personal SEO

Self-optimize for your wellbeing and mental health. Use these 4 tips to think like a business and optimize yourself and your life.

Self-optimize to live your life intentionally, creating your own concept of a quality life. Determining what makes a quality life and creating a path to get there is a process that in many ways is similar to what web developers call search engine optimization, or SEO. Think like a successful business person and self-optimize to enhance your own personal SEO.

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Mindfulness for Traumatic Brain Injury, Mental Health

Mindfulness for traumatic brain injury can help soothe TBI symptoms. Here are 8 tips to practice mindfulness despite traumatic brain injury symptoms.

Mindfulness for traumatic brain injury can be both extremely helpful and seemingly impossible. For a long time, mindfulness and traumatic brain injury didn’t fit together for me at all. Over a decade my first brain injury (I’ve had three), I still deal with TBI symptoms (check out these eight signs of TBI). I’ve explored a wellbeing technique known as mindfulness for numerous challenges, including anxiety, mood disorders, “ordinary” stress, and so much more. It works to improve mental health. But what about for brain injuries?

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