Self-Improvement

How Clutter Drags You Down (Plus 3 Ways to Fix It)

How Clutter Drags You Down (Plus 3 Ways to Fix It)

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When you walk in the door after a long day at work, what’s the first thing you see?

If your eyes fall on clothes piled on the couch, papers on the dining room table, and dishes in the sink, the mess in your home could be a hidden source of stress, fatigue, or depression.

A 2010 study found that women who described their homes as “cluttered” were more likely to be depressed or fatigued than woman who felt their homes were “restful.” The women with the cluttered homes also had higher levels of the cortisol, the stress hormone.…

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The Problem with Perfection (and Why Better Is Better)

The Problem with Perfection (and Why Better Is Better)

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I know you. You want to be perfect. You want to go to the gym and do everything just right. You want to count your macros, your calories, how many times you chew, and how many hours, minutes, and seconds you take between feedings.

Here’s my advice: stop it. You are killing your fitness. Seriously. There is no such thing as “perfect.” You know this.…

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How Grudges Hold You Back from Happiness (and How to Forgive)

How Grudges Hold You Back from Happiness (and How to Forgive)

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I’ll be honest — holding a grudge comes naturally to me.

I have a long memory and can recall, in fine detail, all manner of slights, insults, and wrongs made against me for the past forty years. Combined with my love of being right, this leaves me inclined to grasp onto grudges and hold tight with impassioned zeal.

Which makes me qualified to state, after years of experience, that holding a grudge ultimately causes more harm than good.…

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Friendship: How to Make and Keep Friends (and Boost Your Health)

Friendship: How to Make and Keep Friends (and Boost Your Health)

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Making friends as a kid is easy. When you’re young, you see your friends every day at school or at after-school activities. No full-time job or adult responsibilities means kids can spend endless hours of playing, laughing, and talking with friends.

Then adulthood hits, and with it work and family responsibilities.

At some point you realize friendship takes work, and overwhelmed with just getting through the day, you wonder: is it all worthwhile?…

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How to Do a Relationship Health Check for Valentine's Day

How to Do a Relationship Health Check for Valentine’s Day

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Given the marketing hype around Valentine’s Day each year, you could be forgiven for thinking relationships are meant to resemble the elaborately-worded greeting cards, floral arrangements, decadent delights, sparkling jewelry, and gushes of romanticism we see in the media.

For this reason, many people eschew Valentine’s Day and dismiss it as a ploy to sell more stuff. Perhaps they’re right — the commercialization of Valentine’s Day does seem to grow each year.…

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This Day Will Never Come Again

This Day Will Never Come Again

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The title of this article is actually a quotation from the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, a well-known theologian. I first came across his words while reading a book by Caroline Myss (a fantastic writer whose books I highly recommend) and it struck a profound cord with me.

Merton wrote this passage while contemplating the scene of a hot summer day in the country.…

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How to Know When Quitting Is the Right Thing to Do

How to Know When Quitting Is the Right Thing to Do

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When were you last congratulated for quitting? Most of us would be hard-pressed to remember such a time. After all, quitting is usually associated with failure, weakness, and giving up. Being labeled a “quitter” is not something many people aspire to.

Instead, our achievement-oriented culture urges us to push through adversity, overcome all obstacles, and strive for success. Yet, quitting — like failure — is a normal part of life.…

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How to Stop Holiday Stress (and Still Love Your Family)

How to Stop Holiday Stress (and Still Love Your Family)

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The holiday season is traditionally portrayed as a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness, where we give thanks for the past and look forward to the future.

In reality, it’s usually a time when we try to squeeze more things — parties, shopping, social activities, food, drinks, gifts — into our already full lives. We often do these things out of a sense of obligation, in the belief they’ll make our loved ones happier and bring us closer together.…

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Perfection and Plan B: 9 Tips for Mastering Life When Things Go Wrong

Perfection and Plan B: 9 Tips for Mastering Life When Things Go Wrong

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We talk about it all the time: “Perfection as the enemy of progress.” And while each of us understands the logic of this statement, we’re still drawn to perfection like a fish to a shiny lure.

We we want to do things perfectly. We feel great about ourselves when things around us are orderly — when everything is in its place, stuff put away, piles picked up, nothing left out.…

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4 Tools to Overcome Negativity Bias (and Learn to See the Positive)

4 Tools to Overcome Negativity Bias (and Learn to See the Positive)

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Quick, name three good things that happened to you recently.

Next, name three things that aren’t going well.

Which was easier?

If you’re like most people, coming up with negative examples was much easier. It probably wasn’t difficult to think of more than three things that are causing you stress or worry.

The reason for this is something called “negativity bias.”

This is a phenomenon that causes our minds to react more strongly and persistently to bad things.…

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How to Stop Overthinking and Start Living Instead

How to Stop Overthinking and Start Living Instead

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Do you spend much of your life “in your head,” analyzing decisions you’ve made, going over things you could have done better? Do you rehearse upcoming conversations, try to anticipate others’ reactions, or attempt to plan future activities down to the smallest details? Do you feel exhausted by this drain of mental energy, and find yourself unable to make decisions?

If so, chances are you’re an overthinker.…

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Know What You Want and Forgive Yourself Along the Way

Know What You Want and Forgive Yourself Along the Way

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I recently attended a popular fitness conference that I go to every year. The presentations and workshops are always great, but often the best learning experiences come from casual conversations.

When we’re at this conference, my wife and I love waking up early and enjoying the hotel hot tub. One morning, we started talking to a gentleman who made a career switch later in life to become a personal trainer.…

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