Ballantyne Magazine

WINTER 2017-2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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For additional reading, psychologist Heidi Limbrunner and clinical social worker Kristen McClure recommend the following books and articles: Books • "Gratitude Works! A 21-Day Guide to Creating Emotional Prosperity" by John Emmons • "Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment" by Dr. David Lykken Articles • "The Economics of Happiness" by Richard Easterlin. www-bcf.usc. edu/~easterl/papers/Happiness.pdf • "Our Brain's Negative Bias" by Hara Estroff Marano. www.psychologytoday. com/articles/200306/our- brains-negative-bias Limbrunner, McClure Websites • www.southeastpsych.com • www.charlotte-anxiety-and- depression-treatment.com us more likely to healthfully cope with stress. I remind parents that they are role models, and they want to set a good example for their kids about the importance of self-care. Taking time for yourself likely makes you a better person and parent." Be Aware of 'Negativity Bias' Research shows the human brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. This is an evolutionary phenomenon based on the need to survive out in the wild, says McClure. "Times have changed but we have to retrain our brains to focus on the positive," she explains. "We can get up in the morning and witness a beautiful sunrise and savor a crois- sant and a cup of coffee, but if we spill the coffee or if our children are late for the bus, we'll quickly forget the sunrise and the croissant and focus on the bad things that happened. By being mindful and shifting our focus, we can retrain our brain to accept the negative but remember the positive." Limit Social Media, News The media you ingest can also affect your outlook, McClure says. "News is around 24/7 and can be inherently overwhelming and depressing. Be selec- tive and don't tune into news all day." Similarly, limit or get off social media all together, she adds. "Social media is a relatively new phenomenon whose effects are still being tested. But what we're seeing so far is that being on social media decreases happiness. We compare our lives to the artificial lives portrayed on social media, and we feel isolated and it encourages us to not have real relationships." Some people may be negatively wired or have bad things happen to them, but Limbrunner and McClure believe most individuals can learn to handle life's ups and downs and not let things become overwhelming. "Every day," McClure advises, "make an effort to try and focus your mind on the good stuff." Want to Learn More? BALLANTYNE WINTER 2017-2018 72 Feature

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