Posts tagged: Fresh perspective

Why nostalgia is good for your self-esteem


We’re all familiar with that overwhelming sensation that bubbles up whenever we hear a certain song, eat a certain food, or maybe walk down a certain street. It’s that feeling of emotional homesickness, best known as nostalgia.

But nostalgia gets a bad rap. The word itself — a bittersweet combination of nostos (a return home) and algos (the accompanying pain) in Greek — emphasizes the sadness of memory. And for centuries, it’s been labeled a disorder and attributed with negative thinking and depression.

However, researchers have recently come to believe there is more of an upside to nostalgia than a downside. Looking back at your life isn’t just about feeling loss, but also has the potential to deliver a sense of meaning and self-continuity. For example, revisiting old pictures can remind us of memories that are positive; we see ourselves among the networks of friends and family that we’ve built across our lives and we feel rooted.
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21 tiny ways to stop feeling hopeless


When hopelessness hits, we feel sunk. All our worst stories swirl in our head, punctuated by words like can’t, won’t, never, impossible. Life feels bleak.

If only there were a switch we could flip that would turn our thoughts and emotions around.

Until there is (we’re not holding our breath), we can take tiny steps that will gradually restore our faith in possibility. To start, summon your strength and any of the twenty-one ideas below that feels right for you. Consider the smallest sense of relief as great progress, because it is. Then engage your relief to try another.

One request: If you believe your depression is clinical, please reach out to a professional.

When you’re feeling hopeless, ask yourself:

1. “How important is this to my life overall? Does it really make everything else worthless?”

2. “What can I control?”

3. “What makes me feel worse? Should I do something other than play the same game on
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Divorce! Job loss! How yoga helped me release the grief


yoga

In our Reader Stories series, Unstuck readers share personal stories about getting stuck — and unstuck. Here, author and writing coach Jen Violi explains how yoga helped her move through the shock of loss. 

On the hallway floor of my new apartment, I sat and leaned against the closet doors. It felt safer down there, in part because moving around meant I would see painful reminders of my husband, now in a different state, now not living with me. Last month: us. This month: me.

In this moment, moving around also meant I might step on broken glass. Because, of course, the front of the frame of a picture collage of us had shattered when I tried to put it in the closet, out of view. Of course. Metaphors can be so distressingly obvious.

A grain of hope

Eventually I got up, led by a need to pee, as well as the
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Jealousy is a gift — embrace it


We’re raised to think of jealousy as something to avoid. If we’re jealous of someone else’s life, it must mean we aren’t grateful for our own — right?

Jealousy can in fact be a positive emotion, and an opportunity to shift our perspective. When we’re jealous of someone, it’s usually not so much about what they have, but about what we perceive ourselves as not having. As Julia Cameron wrote in her creativity guidebook, “The Artist’s Way”:

Jealousy is always a mask for fear: fear that we aren’t able to get what we want; frustration that somebody else seems to be getting what’s rightfully ours even if we are too frightened to reach for it.

3 questions to ask about your jealousy

The next time you feel yourself becoming jealous, consider it an opportunity to ask yourself:

  1. What am I afraid of?
  2. What do I really want?
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Making decisions in pencil


making decisions in pencil

A few years back, I was at a career crossroads and fortunately had an insightful coach to guide me.

I’d always imagined my life as a chess game where I could see multiple moves out — if I do this, it puts me in position for that, which will ultimately land me at my goal. My crisis was that I no longer saw the chess board and I couldn’t tell how the opportunity I was considering would play out in the long
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How to feel better in your bathing suit — and enjoy your summer


Bathing suit

It’s summer. Finally. So we start to fantasize about a trip to the beach, only to interrupt our reverie with fear or loathing about how we’ll look in a bathing suit. Or we go to the beach, but when our friends peel off their extra layers to jump in the water, we hang back. We don’t want to expose the parts of us that are too big, too small, too lumpy — too imperfect.

If this resonates, you’re not alone. One survey found that 89 percent of American women are unhappy with their weight. And men are hardly immune from the pressures to look a certain way. As Shape recently reported, the implications of a negative body image strongly affect our happiness:

Researchers from Chapman University in California surveyed over 12,000 participants about their body image and attitudes about their overall happiness and satisfaction with life while
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Does being humble get us anywhere?


Does being humble get us anywhere

In a world that seems to reward those who shout the loudest, humility can feel like an outdated virtue. In fact, it’s an essential quality to cultivate as we try to get (and stay) unstuck in all areas of our lives.

At its core, humility is the absence of arrogance. We like humble people. They’re not trying to impress anyone. They’re at ease with themselves. They can take a compliment without letting it go to their head. They think inclusively. They give people the benefit of the doubt. They share things rather than showing them off. They say thanks, and they mean it.

Humble people aren’t attached to being the best. They know what they’re good at, and what they aren’t so good at. Humility, then, is actually the truest form of confidence. And it’s liberating.

Humility doesn’t always come naturally. But it’s a skill we can practice and learn. Often, being humble
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How to get past rejection


Getting rejected stinks, plain and simple. We wanted something — a job, a fresh opportunity, a relationship with someone — and we didn’t get it. What’s to like about that?

Nothing — right?

Even worse than the initial sting of rejection is the ripple effect it can have on our lives. We start to doubt ourselves. Our motivation plummets. We’re afraid to put ourselves out there again.

Here are three strategies for getting past the awful feelings that rejection brings with
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Why don’t I take my own advice?


Why don't I take my own advice

Giving advice can be easy.

— If it’s really bothering you, just talk to him about it.
— You should make sure to negotiate your salary.
— Definitely get a second opinion.

So why don’t we listen to our own words of wisdom?

— My situation’s more complicated, we think.
— I don’t want to give the wrong impression, we reason.
— I don’t have the time, we explain.

Beneath all this rationalizing is a fear of some sort, and it blocks us from embracing what we know, in our gut, to be the right path forward.

Here are 5 ways to take your own best
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3 ways to conquer money worries


Stuck moment: I didn’t skip her party because I don’t care. I’m just trying to be responsible about how I spend my money. That means pulling back on the fun stuff. But she doesn’t understand — she doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle.

* * *

Money is important. It’s hard to get by without it. We do our best to earn more, save well, and spend wisely so we can do the things we want to do. But sometimes it feels like it’s never enough.

That’s when we start worrying about the things we can’t afford. We don’t take that vacation. We bail on an outing with friends. We can become so frugal that we get stingy with ourselves — and lose sight of why we’re saving money in the first place. We might even get resentful.

When financial discipline turns into self-denial, we need to check our attitude. Take a look
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