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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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Thrive with TBI: See the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses

Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses doesn't mean being falsely optimistic. Learn what it does mean and how you can shape how you see your world.

My first traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurred more than a decade ago. Since that time, I’ve worked to thrive, to live well in spite of my unique brain injury sequelae. I recently discovered a whole new way to thrive with TBI. I now see the world through rose-colored glasses.
TBI can cause different types of visual impairments and disturbances. For me, my already-mediocre vision worsened, I began experiencing double vision, I developed depth-perception issues that exacerbated my normal clumsiness and rendered me unable to properly give high-fives (much to the amusement of my children), I developed significant sensitivity to light (termed photophobia despite the fact that it has nothing to do with fears and phobias), and headaches (I haven’t had a single headache-free day since 2004). Finally connecting with the right eye doctor has improved my vision and my outlook.

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It’s Never Too Late for the Brain to Heal from TBI

 It's never too late for the brain to heal from TBI, even more than a decade later. In time for mental health awareness month, I learned this lesson.

It’s never too late for the brain to heal. I recently learned this lesson, and it’s timely for Mental Health Awareness Month, and opportunities for growth and increasing our wellbeing are all around us. We simply need to know where to look. For me, this “looking” had the most literal of meanings. For mental health awareness month, I scheduled an appointment with a new eye doctor.

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