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"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." – Albert Schweitzer The past year+ has been challenging for us all. As we watched the election process, we saw hate come to the forefront, a candidate promote negativity and hostility toward others, and observed just how divided our country is.

The rate of adolescents reporting a recent bout of clinical depression grew by 37 percent over the decade ending in 2014, with one in six girls reporting an episode in the past year, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests. The findings, published online Nov. 14 in the journal Pediatrics, highlight a need to focus on the mental well-being of young people and match those in peril with mental health professionals.

Most self-aware adults tend to avoid making biased or discriminatory comments in the presence of children. But new research from the University of Washington suggests that preschool-aged children can learn bias even through nonverbal signals displayed by adults, such as a condescending tone of voice or a disapproving look.

For most of us, smartphones have become extensions of our hands. We rely on them for so much: to connect us to friends and family, to check the time, to manage our busy schedules, and if you’re in DBT therapy, to call your therapist for skills coaching. Our phones can be assets to our day, and they can also be distractions, leading us down a path of time-wasting and mindlessness. They can be reminders of all the stress in our lives, all the to-dos, and can be vehicles of jealousy and “FOMO” when on social media.

Mindfulness, a moment-by-moment awareness of one's thoughts, feelings and sensations, has gained worldwide popularity as a way to promote health and well-being. But what if someone isn't naturally mindful? Can they become so simply by trying to make mindfulness a "state of mind"? Or perhaps through a more focused, deliberate effort like meditation or mindfulness skills?

It’s important to be understanding – even when you don’t get where you child is coming from. As parents, we have all been in the situation where we don’t understand why our child is losing it over something that seems so minor. The same could be said for sometimes not getting it when it comes to what our family or friends are going through.

Stress can interfere with your mental and physical health tremendously. Everyday frustrations and mild "stressors" may seem minor, but your nervous system is taking note. That annoying traffic on your way to work or the group text message causing your phone to beep every five seconds impacts your mental and physical health. If you want to feel better, you've got to minimize the stressors in your life.