The Benefits of Experiencing a Wider Range of Emotions

We all know negative feelings can have physiological consequences. When we are stressed or anxious for a prolonged period of time, for example, our blood pressure spikes, our stress hormone levels soar, and our weight inflates—all of which can impact our long-term health. On the flip side, positive emotions have been linked to lower incidences of disease and increased...

The Surprising Benefits of Negative Emotions

I grew up with an excessive idolization of happiness. It was partly because of my upbringing. My parents, who had undoubtedly seen many hardships in their lives, were deeply grateful for everything they had, and baffled when we children were sometimes unappreciative of our lot. “Be happy” became our family mantra, further strengthened by a societal compulsion to don the...

How Journaling by Hand Changed My Life

In the summer of 2015, I picked up a book called The Artist's Way, a manual on how to rediscover the creativity we lose in adulthood. It lays out a 12-week course on creative rehabilitation. Here are the two main instructions: Write three pages every day, then once a week go be weird by yourself. I latched onto both commandments...

Four Steps to Embracing Your Negative Emotions

Many years ago, when my youngest was still in Montessori school, she would howl her lungs out and cling to me desperately every single morning when I dropped her off with her teacher. I would be distraught as I reluctantly made my way back to my car, often hanging around in the parking lot so I could peek in...

How to Break the Bad Habits That Hold You Back in Life

“You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success if found in your daily routine.” ~John C. Maxwell We all have bad habits. The problem is that many of our habits are so deeply ingrained that we don’t even notice them anymore. If we do, we make excuses to hang onto them. If...

There’s More to Life Than Being Busy: Why I Took a Pressure-Free Pause

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another—and ourselves.” ~Jack Kornfield It was a Monday a few weeks ago, 6:00am, and I was taking a morning walk. The only light in sight was the neon yellow glare of the street lamps. My heart was heavy. It was as if someone had...

It Could Always Be Worse: The Power of Gratitude and Perspective

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~Marcus Aurelius So, yesterday wasn’t the best day. I backed up into my husband’s car in the dark, on my way to a meeting. I didn’t see it in the mirrors. It was dark. (Did I...

What to Do When Your Need to Please Is Ruining Your Life

“We are captives of our own identities, living in prisons of our own creation.” ~Theodore Bagwell Have you ever thought you had to do what other people said or they wouldn’t love you? Have you felt selfish for wanting to put your needs first, or guilty for setting limits with the people you care about? Have you learned that even when you’ve...

How We Suffer When We Judge Other People’s Choices

“The greatest gift you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” ~Brian Tracy Two months ago I travelled back home to Connecticut to care for a sick parent. My dad was preparing for cancer treatment, trying to figure out the medical system, and packing up to move all at the same time. He was overwhelmed...

Why I No Longer Believe There’s Something Wrong with Me

“Our thoughts create our beliefs, meaning if you think about yourself a certain way for a long enough period of time you will ultimately believe it.” ~Anonymous You’re ugly. You’re stupid. You’re a loser. Imagine thinking this way about yourself every day. No exaggeration. That was me. When a girl didn’t want to go on a second date with me, I told...

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