“I Wanted to Be in a Field that Could Promote Creativity, Joy, Connection, and Living to One’s Highest Potential.” – Personal Development Article

Interview: Steven Hayes. Steven Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. He’s extraordinarily prolific—author of 44 books and nearly 600 scientific articles—and his career has focused on understanding human language and cognition and the alleviation of human suffering. He developed the Relational Frame Theory, an account of human higher cognition, and has guided its extension to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a popular evidence-based form of psychotherapy…

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Beware of People Who Promise You the World – Self Improvement Article

A friend recently asked me, “What’s a red flag that most people wrongly interpret as a positive thing?” It was a great question and an answer immediately came to mind: those who promise too much. I see people fall for the “over-promising trap” very often. They meet someone who is super nice to them, treats them well, and promises the world to them. Then they inevitably get burned and blind-sided… They think, “I never saw this coming! He was so…

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The Growing Worry of Workplace StressPick the Brain – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

Workplace Stress is becoming all too commonplace within the Canadian workforce. With 62% of workers reporting that work is their main source of stress, it is time to better manage our levels of stress and mental health concerns. One of the most efficacious methods of combating workplace stress is mindfulness. What is Mindfulness?  Mindfulness is a term that has garnered a lot of attention over the past few years. It has emerged as an effective tool to help combat the…

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The Power of Proving Yourself Wrong – Self Improvement Article

One important attitude behind self-growth in any area of life is: always be open to the possibility that you are wrong about something. Because only by admitting you’re wrong can you truly learn, grow, and change yourself. My favorite way to prove myself wrong is to play “devil’s advocate” toward my current beliefs. I assume the opposite of what I believe is true, and I begin to search for facts and evidence that support this opposing view. Often when I…

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How to Prevent Your Anxiety from Rubbing Off On Your ChildPick the Brain – Self Improvement Article

Sometimes, it seems like our kids aren’t learning anything from us—but that’s simply not the case. Kids absorb all the information around them and learn by example. While that can be a good thing, it can also be a problem if you don’t want to pass on certain behaviors you’re modeling for them, like anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety, first remember that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of people have trouble controlling their anxiety. But it’s also…

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A Great Tool for Habit Change and Motivation – Self Improvement Article

Gamification is the process of using “gaming elements” in non-gaming situations. The basic idea is that by making an activity seem more like a “game,” individuals will be more motivated and focused to continue that activity and stay committed to it. One of the most common examples of this is when businesses use rewards and badges for customers who have been loyal to their company. The more products you buy, the more you work your way to different “reward tiers,”…

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The Mind and Body Connection; How Posture Affects Your MoodPick the Brain – Personal Development Article

We all have heard the phrase, Mind, Body, and Soul, but very few people understand how they all work together. Most people believe the phrase “I can achieve anything I put my mind to”. In some cases this is true, however, when it comes to physical well-being and posture, the body plays a huge role in how we feel. The body sends messages known as “somatic markers” through neurotransmitters in your brain letting you know that you are not well.…

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What Are Your Superpowers? Create Unique Names for Your Strengths – Self Improvement Article

Do you have superpowers? When it comes to self improvement, we often focus more on our weaknesses and what we want to fix about ourselves rather than our strengths and what we are already good at. The main reason for this is that we tend to have a “negativity bias.” Our minds are designed to solve problems and fix things. And as a result, we take our strengths for granted and instead we spend most of our time thinking about…

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Early Experiences That Influence Mental Health – Self Improvement Article

Psychology research is clear that our childhood and early experiences can have a massive influence on our happiness and well-being later in life. While most of this research has focused on how negative experiences can impact our mental health into adulthood (such as poverty, abuse, or neglect), a new study published in the scientific journal JAMA Pediatrics looked into how early positive experiences can influence mental health in a good way. First, this article will review the key findings behind…

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Social Comparison and “Keeping Up With The Joneses” – Self Improvement Article

You don’t measure up with anyone, because you can’t accurately compare yourself to others. One of the ultimate traps in life, especially when it comes to our happiness and well-being, is spending too much time comparing our lives with others and trying to measure it in relation to someone else. We compare ourselves in virtually every area of our lives. We compare each other’s homes. We compare each other’s jobs. We compare each other’s bodies. We compare each other’s relationships.…

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Multi-Stage Meditation: A 15-Minute Routine – Self Improvement Article

Meditation is becoming one of those habits that we all know is good for us, but we have trouble actually doing it on a consistent basis. When I first learned about meditation and tried it out, it was about 10 years ago. Since then my practice has been very sporadic. I enjoyed it and could see its benefits afterwards, but I could never transform it into a steady habit. However, meditation is slowly become as essential to my daily routine…

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Understanding Our Reflections – *Positive Provocations* – Self Improvement Article

“We live in a house of mirrors and think we are looking out the windows.”~ Fritz Perls Who are you looking at? Who is looking back at you? Who are you looking for? The Greek Philosopher Socrates often referred to the pursuit of knowing thyself as the most important part of living. He also declared in many of his writings, that an un-examined life is not a life worth living. On some level or another, all of us are seeking…

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Contentment through Letting Go of Expectations – *Positive Provocations* – Self Improvement Article

‘Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed’ ~Alexander Pope Every morning we wake up and open our front doors to pick up the newspaper and enjoy the fresh news with a nice cup of steaming tea/coffee. Well, that is usually the ritual in my house. Now we have been having this ritual for years and years and I am beginning to think it was passed down from our forefathers…:) When one fine Sunday morning (when…

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A No-Bullshit Guide to Meeting the Right Person – Personal Development Article

A sizable portion of the dating pool is made up of people who think that all of the people they meet and date are untrustworthy, shallow, selfish, and manipulative. Yet, as I’ve written previously, if all of your relationships end in psychological ruin, then that says more about you and less about the opposite sex (or whoever you’re dating). Your sample size sucks. And your ability to choose a romantic partner sucks. There are millions of attractive, confident, emotionally stable,…

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Shine Where You Are: Making the Most of “Here” Before You Get to “There” | Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self ImprovementPick the Brain – Self Improvement Article

Are you exactly where you want to be? For most people the answer is probably “No.” Maybe it’s “No, not quite, but I’m getting there,” or maybe it’s more like “No way, I’m not even close!” Maybe you’d like a job you could enjoy more, or a bigger house, or a newer car. Maybe you’re single and you want a relationship, or maybe your bank account could be a little healthier. Maybe you could be a little healthier. Maybe you…

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Let People Know When You Are Having a Bad Day – Self Improvement Article

Often times when we lash out or get angry with someone, it’s not the other person’s fault – but our own. We are ultimately responsible for how we respond to other people. When we are angry or frustrated and we take that out on someone else, that’s often due to our own mismanagement of our stress and emotions. Of course it’s “easier said than done.” When you find yourself amped up and heated, it becomes increasingly more difficult to regulate…

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Keats on Depression and the Mightiest Consolation for a Heavy Heart – Brain Pickings – Happiness Article

“One feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless,” Van Gogh described depression in a stirring letter to his brother. “The gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain,” William Styron wrote a century later in his classic masterwork giving voice to the soul-malady so many of us have suffered silently. Before Styron, even before Van Gogh, the great Romantic poet John…

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At the Brink of Losing, I Found MyselfPick the Brain – Personal Development Article

“I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realise is that you’re not alone.” ~Dwayne Johnson Did you ever bow down to your mind demons? I have… but that experience taught me the best lifetime-lesson. My life was not a fairytale. But fortunately, my fight was never for bread and butter.  I had every means to suffice my materialistic desires. I had beautiful people around in the form of friends and family. But the ironical…

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What Are the Solutions to Political Polarization? – Happiness Article

What drives political polarization? Is it simply disagreement over the great issues of the day? Not necessarily. Recent research by the More in Common Foundation found that more than three-fourths of Americans support both stricter gun laws and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought here as children. Roughly the same number of Americans agree “that our differences are not so great that we cannot come together.” Are they right? Advertisement X Oct. 10-12, 2019: Greater Good Institute for…

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When To Keep Your Mouth Shut and Preserve Your Energy – Self Improvement Article

When someone says a stupid or rude comment in front of you, it’s tempting to want to immediately respond to it. However, often it’s best to just keep your mouth shut and ignore it. Of course, practicing silence is easier said than done. We have a natural impulse to want to defend ourselves when we feel personally attacked or someone says something that offends us. But what good comes when you feel the need to always respond to others or…

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Kahlil Gibran on Friendship and the Building Blocks of Meaningful Connection – Brain Pickings – Self Improvement Article

“We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us,” the poet Adrienne Rich observed as she contemplated the art of honorable human relationships on the cusp of the Internet revolution that furnished the commodification of the word friend. “Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship,” Seneca counseled two millennia earlier in his meditation on true and false friendship, “but when you have decided to admit him, welcome…

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Tips for Improving Long-Term Mental Health and Addiction RecoveryPick the Brain – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

Though it may be a surprise for some, mental health problems are commonplace. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 44 million American adults deal with mental health symptoms on an annual basis. That’s nearly 20% of the country’s adult population. Thankfully, similar to physical conditions like joint pain or eczema, mental health problems can be treated and managed before they become increasingly debilitating over time. That’s why it’s so important to develop strategies for improving your mental…

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William Godwin’s Stunning 1794 Advice to a Young Activist on How to Confront the Status Quo with Self-Possession, Dignity, and Persuasive Conviction – Brain Pickings – Self Improvement Article

In the autumn of 1793, the thirty-year-old West Indian political reformer Joseph Gerrald set out for Edinburgh as a delegate for a convention of British reformers gathering there to advance the then-radical causes of universal suffrage and annual parliaments. During the trip, he toured the Scottish countryside to promote the ideals of the reform movement and soon published a fiery pamphlet addressed to the people of England, unambiguously titled A Convention, the Only Means of Saving Us from Ruin. Although…

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How Your Personality Shapes What Types of Exercise Work Best For You – Self Improvement Article

Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but many have trouble transforming that belief into action and making exercise a consistent habit in their lives. One reason may be lack of motivation or discipline, but another reason could be that you just haven’t yet found the type of exercise that works best for you and resonates with you. The more we know ourselves, the easier it is to create new habits that work for us. So the first step toward…

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Alexander Chee’s Lovely Letter to Children About How Books Save Us – Brain Pickings – Self Improvement Article

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us,” Franz Kafka wrote to his childhood best friend. For Alexander Chee, another writer of titanic talent, Kafka’s metaphor came alive in his own childhood when his family moved from Guam to America, relinquishing the warm seas of the South Pacific for the frozen seas of Maine in search of a better life. Reading became a portal to places in the outside world he missed, places in his inner…

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Top 5 Effective Ways to Deal with the Narcissistic PartnerPick the Brain- Self Improvement Article

Having a narcissist as a partner can be extremely challenging. Narcissists think that the world revolves around them, and they often get close to someone only for their own wish-fulfillment. They are completely self-centered, and their needs always come first. You certainly know that this isn’t the way to go in a relationship. Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect, honest communication, trust, and real connection. This isn’t something that a narcissistic partner can offer. If you fell in love…

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Oliver Sacks on the Psychological and Physiological Consolations of Nature – Brain Pickings – Self Improvement Article

“I work like a gardener,” the great painter Joan Miró wrote in his meditation on the proper pace for creative work. It is hardly a coincidence that Virginia Woolf had her electrifying epiphany about what it means to be an artist while walking amid the flower beds in the garden at St. Ives. Indeed, to garden — even merely to be in a garden — is nothing less than a triumph of resistance against the merciless race of modern life,…

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“Little Prince” Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on Losing a Friend – Brain Pickings – Self Improvement Article

“Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship,” Seneca counseled in considering true and false friendship, “but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul.” To lose a friend who has earned such wholehearted admission into your soul is one of life’s most devastating sorrows. Whatever shape the loss takes — death, distance, the various desertions of loyalty and love that hollow out the heart —…

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What’s the Problem with Masculinity?- Self Improvement Article

Meeting Pablo Escobar’s brother turned out to be one of the more disappointing moments of my life. In Medellin, Colombia, you can go to the Escobar house. In fact, there’s a whole tourism industry that’s sprouted up around Escobar and the old cartel. Much of this tourism is promoted and encouraged by the Escobar family themselves, as it’s ostensibly the only way they have to make much money these days. When you meet him, Roberto Escobar is a short, hunched-over…

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How to Self-Evaluate The 4 Parts of Your Life That MatterPick the Brain- Self Improvement Article

How is your life going over all? If I asked you that in person, you’d probably give me a standard, “Fine,” answer, you wouldn’t likely self-evaluate, and certainly wouldn’t do anything to make your life better.  It would be an entirely pointless interaction. Well fortunately, we’re not talking in person.  I’m some dude on the internet, and I’m not interested in your pleasantries.  You don’t have to worry about starting to cry in public when you think about everything going…

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