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When we hide our pain and isolate ourselves, we throw away the most powerful antidepressant: loving support from people who care about us.
You don’t need coping strategies when you’re sad discouraged, or helpless. You need people. You need support. You need someone to give you a hug and listen carefully to your story.
Most of us hesitate to push back and stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of being perceived as aggressive or rude. And so we default to being passive.
But there’s a middle road between being passive and aggressive: You can be assertive. It means standing up for your own wants, needs, and values, in an honest and respectful way.
Cultivate a healthy skepticism of your own thoughts. Learn to let them be. You’ll be happier for it.
Your thoughts aren’t special. And a lot of them are actively detrimental if you maintain a habit of always giving them tons of respect and attention.
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Having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy.
Action steps: T...
These are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life.
Action steps: Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. This is flow, when we're so immersed in our task that we lose track of time.
Action steps: Find work and hobbies that you’re passionate about and that fully engage you.
The way we talk to ourselves about the events in our lives is subject to the same laws of learning and habit formation that physical behaviors are.
That means we can learn to talk to o...
Our emotions are always mediated by some form of thinking.
If our thoughts determine how we feel, that means how we habitually think will determine how we habitually feel.
It happens when we assume we understand what other people are thinking without any real evidence.
It is a failure of imagination because we often only imagine and focus on the negative aspects.
Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet, compared emotions to unexpected visitors.
We're supposed to let them in and not hide from them, suppress them or pretend they do not exist.
In a society that promotes gratitude and positivity, there is pressure to suppress or conceal negative feelings.
But psychological studies reveal that acceptance of your negative feelings promotes emotional resilience, with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Acceptance of negative emotions involves not trying to change how we feel but taking them for what they are.
Acceptance works because it blunts the emotional reactions to stressful events. In time, it can lead to positive psychological health.