Author Archive | Beta and Mary McDonald


Unplugging: Happiest Teens Limit Screen Time

Unplugging from Technology Gives Teens Room for Real Happiness Teenagers are being emotionally slammed by technology. A new study links anxiety, severe depression, suicide attempts and suicide to the rise in the use of smartphones, tablets and other devices. These “connections” through technology are making teenagers disconnected from “real” relationships that include talking, listening, making […]

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Soldiers mutually supporting each other

Iraq Veteran Says Books Saved Him from Suicide

Veterans Living in Darkness When Iraq veteran Kevin Powers writes about living in darkness, he means it physically and emotionally. After returning from combat in 2005, he spent days and nights in his small apartment in Richmond, Virginia with the shades pulled down, with no direction, no meaning for his life. “Whether my distress was […]

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5 Easy Steps You Can Take Toward Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness Happiness is something humans pursue. It’s just in our nature. It’s so much a part of our species, especially Americans, that the founding fathers included “the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. Maybe Americans are so urgently in pursuit of happiness because it’s in our psychic DNA. The first […]

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The Stress of Being a Constant High-Achiever

The Stress of Being a Constant High-Achiever Anxiety and Depression Caused by Academic Stress “Bright. Accomplished. Ambitious. At times anxious, deeply depressed, even hopeless.” It’s not the first description that comes to mind about some of the high-achieving students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the world’s most renowned universities for innovation, with a […]

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Using Good Stress to Challenge Yourself and Get Things Done

How to Let Go of Bad Stress and Use Good Stress Let’s get over the myth that all stress is bad. A moderate degree of stress is natural. It’s what nudges us to get stuff done. “Stress is really just our body’s response to a challenge,” says Richard A. Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry […]

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Baby kissing self in mirror

Self-Kindness is Healthier than Self-Criticism

How to Be Kind to Yourself for a Healthier and Happier Life Self-criticsim is an abrasive demon that can wear away the shine from your “being”. The simple solution is to accept who you are and be kind to yourself. OK, it’s not always that simple, but when we understand the negative effects of self-criticism, […]

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Tips to Create Your Optimal Self

How to Create a Life that Honors Your Best Self Being happy, satisfied, content, joyful, optimistic, loving, emotionally and physically healthy – all the ways of “being” that suggest the highest ideals of life can be like trying to catch a rainbow in your hand. Beautiful colors that disappear when we reach for them. Even […]

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Worried college student leaning on hand in front of textbooks

Stressed Students Yearn for Relaxation and Happiness

Self-Imposed Stress Students at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut have a lot going for them. For some students at the Ivy League college, they may also have some things going against them. Specifically against their mental and physical health. What they have going on in their lives may include self-imposed high-level stress that often […]

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Affectionate old couple with the wife holding on lovingly to the husband's face.

3 Tips for Lasting Romance Based on Brain Science

Brain Science Gives Clues on Enduring Love Marriage and other long-term relationships are complex, often triggering emotions and reactions that can be surprising to ourselves and our partners. Psychologist Helen Fisher says you can keep it simple. Just follow three guidelines that nurture a romantic long-term relationship, based on the activity of the brain. Fisher […]

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Turtles All the Way Down book cover by John Green

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Spiraling Worries and Obsessions The main character in the book Turtles All the Way Down is a 16-year-old girl named Aza Holmes who lives in Indianapolis and struggles with all the usual teenage issues like dating, getting along with her parents, friendship and worrying about getting into college. But she is also frequently overcome by […]

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