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My Top 10 Psychology Articles of 2013

psychology articles

The year 2013 is coming to an end – this article is a celebration of the top 10 best psychology and self improvement articles published this year at The Emotion Machine.

As of today there have been more than 500 articles posted here in the past 4 years. These are great places to start learning more about how your mind works and how to improve your life.

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Pay Attention to Family Patterns and Know When to Change Them

family patterns

Our family and close relatives are often times one of the strongest factors in shaping who we are and what we become later in life.

You can’t fully understand yourself if you haven’t first looked at the patterns that run through your family. This is true for both genes and environment, both of which interact together from generation to generation.

One of the first key factors that influence our family patterns are learned behaviors. These are the habits and routines that our grandparents taught our parents, and our parents taught us, and we teach our own kids.

Some of these learned patterns can be traced back to past generations that you probably haven’t even met or don’t even know exist. And other learned patterns may be something that was just started from your parent’s generation.

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5 Reasons to be Less Materialistic


Many of us grow up with a desire to one day be rich and wealthy. We imagine our future lives filled with big houses, nice cars, TVs, and a slew of other luxuries we wish to one day surround ourselves with.

Where does this materialistic attitude come from? It has to do a lot with out culture – the celebration of being rich and famous that we often see in movies, TV, and in the media.

We are exposed to these ideas at a young age, and we too begin to form our own beliefs about what it means to be happy and what we want to do with our lives.

Continuing research in psychology and showing that a materialistic attitude can sometimes hurt our overall well-being and happiness. Here are some of the ways we should try to become less materialistic.

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Give Yourself Time to Digest Big Life Events

big life events

Our lives are always changing in both small and large ways.

Sometimes these changes can be very sudden and abrupt. They hit us hard and unexpectedly, and we’re forced to take a step back and reevaluate just what has happened.

These big life events can seem dramatic and hard-to-swallow at first, which is why it’s so important to give ourselves adequate time to digest them.

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Too Much Awareness Can Be a Bad Thing

too much awareness

Every now and then it’s good to step back and reflect on ourselves and the state of our lives, but too much awareness can be a bad thing too.

Our minds are exposed to massive amounts of information in any single day – and our conscious minds aren’t designed to handle all that information at once.

Instead, a lot of it is supposed to get filtered and processed through our unconscious minds. And by doing this, our brains preserve a lot of our focus and mental resources for only the most important things.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel like you have too much awareness? It can be incredibly distracting and draining.

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