Archives for Positive Emotions


Surviving the Summer Blues

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. -- Edgar W. Howe

Perhaps you have been enjoying your summer, getting extra time to have fun with your kids without the pressure of homework and extracurricular activities. Perhaps not.

Let’s face it, summer is a mixed bag. For working parents who don't get time off in the summer, it...
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Are You Tending Your Garden of Love?

"Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing."  -Jim Rohn

The wish for a deep sense of human connection and commitment is universal. Ask people what is most important to them and their first answer is always the same--their family. Our families give us a sense of identity and belonging, reminding us of who we are and what is...
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Celebrating the Essence of Thanksgiving

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself."   -Tecumseh, Shawnee leader

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every day had a little bit more of the essence of Thanksgiving? Although it may seem at first glance that the holiday is all about...
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Brain Research

Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine

"The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." -Voltaire

Although we have known instinctively for millennia that laughter, like crying, can be a powerful antidote to pain and suffering, the scientific world is finally catching up. According to the American Association for Therapeutic Humor, laughter may have a direct effect on the body's ability to fight infections, boosting the number of "killer" white blood cells produced to attack...
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The Hard Truth About Happiness

“I just want to be happy!”

Young and old, male and female, rich and poor, we utter these six simple words. If you ask parents what they most want for their kids, they say the same thing—“I just want them to be happy.” Why is this precious human emotion so available to some and so elusive to others?

Although happiness has been the subject of thought and writings going as far back as the ancient Greek...
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Breaking Free from Your Victim Story

“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.” -Paulo Coelho

How often do you say things out loud or to yourself like: "He makes me feel stupid" or "I'm depressed because she is always criticizing me" or "I would be happy if my partner would only treat me better? He/she won't let me do that, think that,...
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Depressed? 6 Tips to Help Find Your Soul

Ashley burst into tears within a few moments of sitting down in my office. "I don't know why I'm crying. I have a loving husband and two precious children. I work out a lot and I eat well--at least most of the time. I have really great girlfriends although I never get enough time with them. I just don't know who I am any I don't know where I lost myself."

It didn't take long...
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6 Tips for Breaking the Blame Barrier

Hardly a day ever goes by when I don't hear someone blaming someone for something. It is one of the most common--and one of the most frustrating patterns that confront couples and families. Blame can destroy a good marriage, wreak havoc on our friendships, and put innocent kids in the middle of their parents' arguments.

Not only are families besieged by this destructive pattern, the whole culture is mired in it. We blame the...
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10 Tips to Manage Stress More Effectively

—Countless research studies have underscored how anxiety and depression correlate significantly with an individual's sense of control or lack of control over his or her own destiny. The same thing is true when it comes to stress.

In fact, given our mortality combined with our lack of control over so much of life, stress goes hand in hand with being human. Although we can't make all our stresses disappear with a magic wand, we can...
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7 Warning Signs Of a Troubled Marriage

I've been counseling couples and families for over three decades and one thing stands out. Most people wait too long before they reach out for too long. Problems that might have been solved in five to ten sessions become crises that break up perfectly good relationships.

Since only a precious few learned the necessary skills to weather the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, it is easy to slip into negative patterns of relating--either...
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