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Opposite Action: using negative emotional prompts for positive outcomes

We all have so many things we know we SHOULD do, but ug it's so hard to make the time to do new things… especially when we're all so busy being stressed out, restlessly bored, vaguely miserable,¬†generally unhappy, dealing with floating rage, or whatever your personal favorite miserable brain loop is.

But what if you used that misery to help you do something awesome?

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7 ways to deal with your chronically late friend

After a year of dealing of my friend's lateness to most events, a mutual friend and I held a mini-intervention. There wasn't an ultimatum, but the premise was that Things Had To Change. Unfortunately, the thing that had to change was me.

So here are my tips for dealing with your chronically late friend…

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"Why do you smoke?"

I, like most people, know the risks and dangers associated with smoking. We should — we hear them often enough. So when a kid, who are often present at adult parties, asks me "Why do you smoke?" it becomes difficult to answer.

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Help I'm cracked-out on chapstick: How to ditch your lip balm habit in 5 steps

I used to have a serious lip balm habit. I had to have lip balm in my purse at all times. I also had a couple of sticks around my apartment, and I would have a minor panic attack if there wasn't a Chapstick in arm's reach. For someone like me whose lip "dryness" doesn't arise from any actual medical condition or symptom, I realized lip balm was unnecessary. Here are some recommendations for cutting out lip balm, and simplifying this one tiny aspect of life…

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I don't want to be "that guy": My personal guidelines for smartphone use

Smartphone addiction is definitely a thing, and as a person who already struggles with turning off the internet, surely having a whole computer in my pocket would be like an alcoholic living above a bar. To make a long story short, I have a smartphone now. I went fearfully into the transition, kicking and screaming. A month in, I've found that by setting some ground rules for myself I've been able to moderate my behavior. Below are Alissa's Personal Guidelines for Responsible Smartphone Use.

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Depositing peace: How a special pebble helps me build relationship resilience

As a young adult, I developed a habit of carrying a shell with me on difficult days. The shell had been collected by my boyfriend and myself in our earliest days together. When my workday was becoming stressful I simply slipped a hand into my pocket and held it — tracing its outline and breathing in imaginary salt air. A few months ago (whilst on holiday in the Isle of Weight), I absent-mindedly mentioned this habit to my boyfriend.