Wisdom

How I’m Finding Hope in the Pandemic – Happiness Article

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell It’s hard to believe the state of the world we are in. It feels like 2020 has become the plot of an apocalyptic movie. A microscopic virus invades planet earth targeting human beings. As mass numbers of human beings retreat indoors, wildlife begins to flourish. Slowly, continent by continent, the human bacteria is eliminated. Only…

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14-Day Meditation Challenge: Put Down Your Phone and Be – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.” ~Sharon Salzberg I came home from my doctor’s appointment last week and rambled off three to four different things that were happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus. By the fourth item my wife asked me to stop. She said please tell me something good. I told her that my doctor said my pathology report came back negative. That the procedure on my neck…

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If You Think People-Pleasing Is Being Kind… – Happiness Article

“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” ~Plutarch People-pleasing can seem Iike a way of connecting with others. We believe that if we keep people happy, then they’ll like us and want us around. While it may be true that pleasing others will win us approval and a place in their lives, changing and editing ourselves can’t create the connection we long for. We confuse…

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Trauma Can Make Us Sick: How I Found a Key to Healing – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Our bodies contain our histories—every chapter, line, and verse of every event and relationship in our lives.” ~Caroline Myss I could hear my teacher talking, but I wasn’t listening. Staring at the math homework in front of me, I couldn’t get the sound of my heartbeat out of my head. Two times two equals, thump thump, equals thump thump, four. The more I focused on my heartbeat, the louder it became. I could even feel beating in my chest. Noticing…

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How to Take Good Care of Yourself During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

For more than a week now, I’ve been immersed in how to handle the pandemic that is unfolding all around us. By now, one thing is clear to me. We are either our greatest allies or our own worst enemies at such times. How we react makes all the difference. One friend brought home a three-inch tome all about pandemics, determined to read her way through it. Another began advising everyone on how to correctly make homemade hand sanitizer. Still…

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Deep Down You Know When It’s Time to Let Go – Happiness Article

“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.” ~Daphne Rose Kingma One of the most challenging things in life is knowing when to let go—when to let go of a job, a relationship, a belief, a repeating thought, a situation… fill in the blank. Most of us have defaulted to safety, which often means procrastinating and generally feeling stuck. While there’s nothing wrong with safety—it is, after all, one of our…

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The Healing Wisdom of Alejandro Jodorowsky – Self Improvement Article

“Psychomagic” is the power of using your imagination and creativity to heal yourself. The term was first popularized by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who is most known for being a Chilean-French filmmaker in the 1970s, with his avant-garde films El Topo and The Holy Mountain. There’s a lot more to Jodorowsky than filmmaking though. He’s worn many different hats over the years including being a poet, artist, novelist, comics writer, musician, philosopher, puppeteer, and mime….to name a few. He oozes creativity and…

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I Used to Be Hungry All the Time – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

I mean, hungry allll the time. Basically, if I was awake, I was ready to eat. I’d mindlessly pick at whatever was available. I’d wander the kitchen feeling “snacky” all the time. I’d be completely consumed with thoughts of what I was going to eat next from the minute I woke up til the minute I went to bed. And behind all the desires to eat were always the arguments—what I wanted to eat versus what I thought I was…

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Why You Should Love Your Imperfect Self – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” ~Lucille Ball If you were to ask me ten years ago what self-love meant, I would’ve probably said something general like “being happy.” But self-love goes way deeper than that; it involves accepting the past versions of yourself and your present challenges, while giving yourself credit for how far you’ve come. While we may have an idea of the “perfect person” we want to be, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves…

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How to Stop Agreeing to Things That Aren’t Good for You – Happiness Article

“Agreeing to things just to keep the peace is actually a trauma response. When you do this you’re disrespecting your boundaries.” ~DJ Love Light Two years ago, I moved from New England to the Pacific Northwest. It was time for a change, and though I was excited to begin a new chapter of my life, I was sorry to leave my old friends behind. The first year in my new home was hectic. I hopped from hostel to hostel on…

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If You Hate Your Body and Think You Need to Fix It… – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“That girl was fat, and I hate her.” One of my clients said this the other day—about herself. Well, her little girl self. And my heart broke. One of the very first things I do with clients is encourage them to practice self-compassion and kindness—just extending themselves the same basic human compassion and kindness that they would anyone else. Very much the opposite of what most people who struggle with weight and food are used to. After all, when it…

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Unsubscribing From Your Thoughts – Melli O’Brien – Meditation Article

The human mind is a double-edged sword. On the upside, it enables us to plan, solve problems, create goals and work towards our dreams… But the dark side of the human mind is that it also tends to haunt our inner world with unhelpful and painful thoughts. We experience self-criticism, rumination and worry. For many of us, that inner voice can become our own worst enemy, crushing our self-esteem or driving us to feel constantly stressed, negative or anxious. Why…

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Dealing with Online Hate: What to Do When People Are Mean – Happiness Article

“The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become.” ~Unknown I work for a website that creates videos on lifestyle, fashion, food, travel, fitness, and more. Our channel has a massive following from all walks of life, and we receive a lot of love but also a bit of hate. Even though many people are involved in the production of a video (directors, videographers, editors), the comments, feedback, and of course the hate is usually…

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What to Do When You’re Stressed, Distressed, or Overwhelmed – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Picture a pattern of upright dominoes that have been positioned just far enough away from one other to highlight the gap between them, but just close enough to hit each other if one of them tips over. Hit a single domino and it sets off a chain reaction. Oftentimes, our own actions, reactions and counter-reactions, criticisms and defensive responses function like dominoes. When we’re not able to access our mindfulness, reactivity takes over.” ~Alicia Muñoz, psychotherapist and author, from Mindful…

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Love Yourself, on Valentine’s Day and Always – Happiness Article

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” Brené Brown  Growing up I watched my grandparents’ relationship with longing. They anticipated each other’s needs, they did small loving gestures for each other every day, and they put the other fist without resentment. I longed to have a relationship like theirs one day and meet someone who understood me the way they understood each other. In contrast, I observed the relationship between…

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Radical Gratitude: How to Turn Your Pain into Peace – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

My journey to living in gratitude began in 2010. And let me say that up until that time, until I was age forty-five, I was a complainer, griper, and a whiner, with absolutely no reason to complain! Luckily, I was saved from these very wasteful, counter-productive habits when I was given a blank journal one Thanksgiving season by a New Thought minister, who told us if we journaled five things we were grateful for forty days, our life would change…

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How to Reap the Benefits of Meditation Without Meditating – Happiness Article

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” ~Bruce Lee The benefits of meditation are far reaching and have been well known for centuries. However, the idea of formal meditation doesn’t sit well with some of us. The idea of sitting cross-legged for extended periods and delving inward puts many of us off before we’ve even got started. Even the word “meditation” can be a very real barrier to entry for some. What…

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10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This Has Set Me Free – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” ~ Louise Hay Looking back on my life, I came to understand that perfection was my worst enemy. I was raised in an environment of high expectation, and every day in school felt like I was competing with others and fighting to be the best in class. At the age of ten I believed I was stupid just because my brain couldn’t work out physics and math.…

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When You’re Unhappy and Want Things to Change – Happiness Article

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ~Seneca This is the first time I am admitting it: I was bullied in school. I was thirteen years old at the time, and it went on for the one year that I lived in Dorm 11. I never acknowledged it because I felt bullying was too small a misfortune to complain about. But now when I think back to it, I can remember exactly how the dormitory looked. I remember…

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How To Make Peace With Your Noisy Mind—7 Tips From An Ex-Monk – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Leave your front door and your back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.” ~Shunryu Suzuki There are few things more exasperating in life than having a noisy chatterbox in residence between your ears—a busy mind that never stops and won’t leave you in peace for a moment. You are sitting by the pool on your long-awaited vacation. The weather is perfect. Your diary is clear. You settle down on your deckchair with an ice-cold drink and your…

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How I Found the Gift in My Pain and Let Go of Resentment – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.” ~Glenda Cloud How much time slips by when you’re living in the pain of resentment? Do you ever question if your bitterness has held you back from living your true destiny? Is blaming everyone else sabotaging your life and future? It’s only now that I can admit to the years I wasted pointing the finger at everyone else. It was easier for me to say it was their fault than accept responsibility for my…

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How to Start All over and Rebuild Your Life from Scratch — Purpose Fairy – Self Improvement Article

It’s never too late to start all over and rebuild your life from scratch; never too late to become the person you were destined to become. If you are still here, still living and breathing, then you have all that it takes to move in the direction of your dreams… Don’t give up! ~ Luminita D. Saviuc When life “forces” you to start all over and rebuild your life from scratch, instead of panicking and looking at the whole thing…

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Why This Will Be the Year I Stop Running from Pain – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“One has to accept pain as a condition of existence.” ~Morris West This may seem sounds counter-intuitive, but this year I want to let go of trying to avoid suffering. It doesn’t mean that I am a masochist and plan to spend the next year being miserable. It’s more a question of learning to accept life as it is—uncertain, full of surprises, and with its full quota of difficult circumstances. Our Wish for Happiness The thing is that we all…

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My Best Self Improvement Articles from 2019 – Self Improvement Article

This was a monumental year for The Emotion Machine, which officially turned over 10 years old this year! That’s a whole decade of writing and sharing information about psychology and self-improvement. It’s now time to recap the best article published in 2019. As always, it’s a nice combination of articles covering a wide-range of topics including positive psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, mindfulness meditation, and emotional intelligence. Please take a look through and see if there are any interesting articles…

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When You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life – Meditation Article

I have great news. You don’t have to know ‘what to do with your life.’ You don’t don’t need a ten-year plan. You don’t need to wait till you ‘get there’ or wait to ‘reach your potential’. You just need to be present each moment, each day⁠—respond to what arises, learn and iterate. Think about the rhythm of your personal evolution as circular, not linear. It is an ongoing process of play and experimentation with life, learning, reflection and refinement.…

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Are the Things That Matter Getting Your Attention? – Meditation Article

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver Are the things that matter most getting your time and attention, or are you too busy for them? Are you finding time to enjoy the things that light you up and make you happy, or are they being squeezed out of your over-full to-do list? Does life feel like a hectic rush or a balanced flow? When asked what surprised him…

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The Boundaries That Helped Me Stop Being a Doormat – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” ~Doreen Virtue I’m really nice. Too nice actually. I’ve even been something of a doormat in my life. But what can I say? I was trained that way. There weren’t a lot of boundaries in our home when I was growing up. Instead, my addict mom was either checked out, partying, or raising hell, so I became the adult in the room. I was at her service most…

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Why Mindful Listening Is a Radical Act of Love – Meditation Article

When was the last time you felt truly seen and heard by someone? Can you remember what it felt like? Perhaps you can remember a feeling of being cared about? Maybe you felt relaxed, calm and open? When someone gives us their undivided attention the message it sends is ‘I care,’ ‘I’m here for you,’ ‘I’m listening.’ But that kind of attentiveness is quite rare these days. When listening to another person, we are often there in body but not…

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If You Feel Stuck, Stressed, or Burnt Out, Nature Is the Solution – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.” ~John Burroughs Nature is a big part of my life, as I spend a lot of time outdoors. When I first started hiking and backpacking, I liked being able to explore new places and get some exercise outside. In my twenties, I traveled throughout the Western United States hiking in the mountains and discovering the incredible desert. I moved a lot, I tried new…

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How I Found Healing and Happiness in a Third World Country – Happiness Article

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~Jim Rohn For years I dreamed of leaving the winters of Northern Ontario, Canada and basking in the warm golden sun somewhere in Central America from October to May. I would joke with my co-workers every winter “This is my last winter here, I swear!” I did that for years until finally, one year, it was my last winter there. But it wasn’t because it was the…

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