Why Pursuing Your Passions Can Increase Anxiety

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We all know truly passionate people in our lives. They’re the ones who fully embrace their calling, vocation, or dream and pursue it daily with a mixture of enthusiasm and discipline. There’s the all-star athlete who balances a rigorous training, practice, and game schedule. Or the food blogger who carves out time late after the kids have gone to bed to dive into recipe preparation, writing, and photo editing. And there’s the activist who’s passionate about helping others and logs long hours at a homeless shelter after a full day at the office.

When we’re passionate about an activity, cause, or talent, we’ll do whatever it takes to devote ourselves fully to it, which is exactly why the admirable work of pursuing our passions can slowly ramp up symptoms of anxiety.

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The Truth About Periods and Mental Health

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Bloating. Headaches. Moodiness. These symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are well known, likely because more than 90 percent of women experience at least one symptom before their monthly cycle. But for some women, the symptoms go beyond minor discomfort and a feeling of being off.

“I tell everybody, ‘I’m not myself right now. I’ll call you back when I’m Ronna again,” one woman was quoted as saying on National Public Radio.

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4 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Mental Health While on Dating Apps

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When I joined the online dating scene in 2011, I strategically crafted my profile with the right keywords, phrases, and photos that I thought would grant me the best chance of landing a date, and hopefully, a long-term relationship that would end in marriage. It was challenging to accept this new level of vulnerability and publicly announce that I’m single, looking, and by the way, would you please pick me?

Dating apps like Bumble represent some of the highest-grossing social experiences in app stores worldwide. Bumble’s $1 billion valuation comes as it surpassed $100 million in revenue in 2017. It reached these heights by offering something different to the dating app experience: letting the other party initiate the conversation.

Dating in the modern era is a process that requires patience as you swipe, click, and message your way through a sea of potential significant others. To safeguard your mental health from the first day you create your profile, follow these key guidelines as you navigate dating apps.

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4 Ways Your Stomach’s Microbiome Might Impact Your Mental Health

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Brain chemistry, self-esteem, and personal relationships all play an integral role in your mental health. Now researchers are looking beyond these well-known factors to understand how microbial activity — specifically in your gut — impacts how you feel mentally every day.

The Human Microbiome Project started in 2007 to catalog the micro-organisms living in our body. Since then, researchers have pinpointed two million unique bacterial genes found in each human microbiome.

While there isn’t an direct connection between our stomachs and our brains, the stomach sends messages to the brain, just as the brain sends messages to the rest of the body. If the microbiome is out of balance and the neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that partially determine how you feel on a daily basis aren’t produced effectively, your mental health could suffer.

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The Upside to Anxiety: 3 Reasons Why Anxiety is Actually Good for You

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Most of us can recall moments of anxiety where our chests tightened, our pulses raced, and fear washed over us. For those suffering from anxiety disorders — the most common mental illness in the U.S. — these symptoms pale in comparison to the hyperventilation, dizziness, and extreme panic associated with chronic anxiety.

The U.S. has been unceremoniously dubbed the most anxious nation on Earth, and anxiety sufferers on all ends of the spectrum work diligently to ward off these negative experiences. But is anxiety always bad?

The quick answer: It depends.

Situational feelings of anxiety — not chronic anxiety — can actually be good for you. Here’s why…

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The Mental Health Costs of Infertility

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“I’m sorry to say that your test results were negative.”

Moments before the answer, I knew the nurse was about to deliver another bout of crushing news. The tone in her voice and subtle hesitation quietly revealed that despite our best efforts with a superovulation cycle, I was still not pregnant.

After the call, I brushed a stray tear aside and went back to my desk to finish the work day, only to release buckets of emotion the moment I slid into the driver’s seat of my SUV to head home.

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5 Secret Stressors That Are Killing You

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Stress is a natural part of everyday life. We’ve all experienced sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, and a boost of adrenaline in a stressful situation. This primal instinct to protect ourselves from threats or danger originated long ago with our ancestors, and it continues today.

Obvious stressors present themselves at key turning points in life — a death in the family, or a significant life change like a move or new baby. But there are also stressors that can live under the radar, undetectable by our conscious mind. Having gone unnoticed, these stressors can initiate an extended “fight or flight” response that can have serious consequences for your health.

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