What do you really know about Depression and Anxiety?

 

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How to tell the difference between feeling sad and being depressed.

 

They're both valid experiences, but they're very different.

How to tell the difference between feeling sad and being depressed

 
Depression is one of the most commonly experienced mental illnesses, with recent statistics indicating that more than 3 in every 100 people suffer from it in the UK.
But despite the frequency with which it occurs, it can be difficult for some people to tell whether they're actually suffering from a bout of depression, or if they're just experiencing a phase of sadness.
 
Sadness is an emotion that must not be dismissed, but it is not the same as being depressed.
 
So how can you tell the two apart?
 
We asked Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, to explain exactly how to differentiate between the two.
With this kind of information, you can determine whether what you're experiencing is something you should seek support from your GP for.
 
"Depression is one of the commonly occurring mental health problems, characterised by a constant feeling of sadness, and is very different from temporarily feeling low," Dr Winwood told Cosmopolitan UK.
 
"People living with depression often experience intense feelings of guilt, low self-esteem and poor energy and concentration, all of which can have a severe impact on day-to-day life.
While many of those who experience depression believe they are alone in their symptoms, in reality this is not the case."
 
Young woman writing diary in bed
 
When you feel sad, it can give you a bleak overall outlook on many areas of your life, however if you're depressed, you will experience a number of the symptoms listed below.
But as Dr Winwood points out:
 
"Everyone that lives with depression experiences a different combination of symptoms".
 

The symptoms can be broken down into three categories - thoughts and feelings, physical symptoms, and behaviours:

 

Thoughts and feelings

  • Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Sudden forgetfulness, concentration issues and/or indecisiveness
  • Negative thinking
  • View of life as pointless
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Constant sense of guilt
  • Sense of worthlessness
  • Helplessness
  • Low sex drive
  • Easily agitated and/or irritated
  • Numbness
  • Unable to relate with others / feeling misunderstood
  • Consistently feel low
  • Isolation
  • Numb or empty
  • No interest in usual hobbies

Behavior

  • Detachment from others
  • Difficulty talking to people
  • Cry regularly
  • Avoiding usually enjoyable activities or social events
  • Self-harm
  • Sleeping or eating much more or less than usual
  • Increasing alcohol, tobacco or drug intake

Physical symptoms

  • Sudden increase or loss of appetite
  • Loss of sex drive and lack of interest in sex
  • Lack of energy
  • Increased feeling of aches and pains
  • Constipation
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Menstrual cycle changes in women

You don't have to experience all of these symptoms to classify yourself as depressed. In fact, the reality it far from it.

 

"If you feel like you're experiencing four or more of these symptoms daily for more than two weeks, it is likely you are living with a depressed mood and recommend you visit your GP to discuss the symptoms further," advised the doctor.

 

 

Anxiety Disorders: What Are They?

 

6 Subtle Things That Significantly Mess With Your Anxiety

5,008 Anxiety disorder Images - Free & Royalty-free Stock Anxiety disorder Photos & Pictures | Depositphotos
 
 

Anxiety is tricky.

 

It can feel like your only means of survival when, in fact, it’s the one thing that’s completely ruining your life.

 

Let me start by saying I’m not a therapist, nor am I a psychologist.

I am, however, someone who suffers from anxiety.

 

I’m a woman who watched many years of my life be robbed by the crippling effects of anxiety.

I’m a woman who wants to help spread what I’ve learned through managing my own anxiety.

 

With that being said, therapy works wonders, especially cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you’re currently seeking professional help, kudos to you.

I hope it changes your world for the better.

 

Aside from therapy, though, there are small changes you can make in your life that don’t make your anxiety worse.

They’re subtle behaviors and ways you choose to spend the downtime that causes unnecessary distress without you realizing it.

 

So what are those subtle things that can make your anxiety worse?

Let’s talk about them.

 

Staying up well into the night while scrolling on your phone.

Let’s be real; everyone does this.

Social media is designed to make it effortless to scroll for hours without you even realizing it.

But for those of us who suffer from anxiety, it’s a recipe for disaster.

 

First, staring at your phone screen before bed ruins your sleep cycle.

Instead of letting your eyes rest before bed, you’re exposing them to blue light, which is shown to keep you more awake and alert.

 

Which isn’t a big deal during the day, but it’s a huge deal at night.

Sleep is beneficial for people who suffer from anxiety. You need a good night’s rest.

 

Second, social media is a black hole for feeling good.

You’re more likely to come across sensationalized content that triggers your anxiety or content you can compare yourself to, making you feel worse about yourself.

 

Assuming that texts and DM’s suffice as socializing.

Many people think that when they’re stressed or going through hard times that isolation from other people is what’s necessary.

But research shows that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Socialization is key to feeling better.

 

I know that can feel hard or near impossible, so it’s important to pinpoint which of your friends and family members you feel most comfortable with.

That way, it doesn’t feel totally out of your comfort zone to see them.

 

Keeping in touch with people via texts is great and all, but it’s in-person meet-ups or, at the very least, phone calls that help distract you from the negative effects of anxiety.

Through people, you can also regulate your emotions and calm your worries.

 

Watching and reading content that upsets you.

As someone whose anxious, I’m sure you agree that you feel a lot of feelings.

For me, it took a long time to realize just how significantly the content I consumed affected my anxiety and overall happiness.

 

Say you’re watching a drama series on Netflix.

You’re watching a character’s life completely unravel and, before you know it, you’re empathizing with the character.

When you finally turn off the TV, you’re sad and feel gloomy inside.

 

This same experience goes for the music you listen to, books you read, and movies you watch.

When you consume sad, negative, or stressful content, it greatly affects your mood.

But the same goes for calming, happy content.

You can use the opposite to your advantage.

 

Putting off life’s responsibilities.

At the peak of my anxiety, I put off everything.

Doctors appointments.

Doing my taxes.

Paying bills.

And even simple things like making meals or taking showers.

But all that did was heighten my anxiety.

 

Procrastination is something we all do at some point in our lives, but it’s a Catch-22 for people with anxiety.

You may think that you won’t feel anxious by avoiding uncomfortable responsibilities, but the lingering reminder that they need to be done only increases anticipatory anxiety.

 

I’m not saying you have to complete your whole to-do list in one fell swoop, but you’re going to feel a lot of relief if you check one thing off your list.

It’s one less thing that will haunt you in the moments just before you fall asleep when your mind is racing with everything you need to do.

 

Hyper-focusing on the future.

My therapist once said, “anxiety lives in the future, and depression lives in the past,” and that really put things into perspective for me.

I feel the most anxious when I invest too much energy into worrying about the future.

 

The thing about hyper-focusing on the future is that it’s unknown.

You can imagine a million different outcomes and, for us anxious people, those tend to be very doom-and-gloom—cue anxiety increase.

 

It’s going to feel difficult but retraining your brain to focus on the present is crucial to feeling less anxious.

There are plenty of grounding exercises you can use and mindfulness techniques that help you focus on the here and now.

 

Sitting down more than you moving your body.

Isolation and over-worrying don’t normally coincide with exercise.

For the most part, they’re both activities that people with anxiety do while curled up in their beds bingeing TV shows.

 

But exercise is a great way to manage anxiety.

It’s shown to improve your sleep, reduce stress, and release feel-good hormones called serotonin.

My point: there’s a long list of benefits from exercise for anxious people.

 

Now maybe you’re thinking, “but I hate exercising!” or “that’s the last thing I want to do when I’m anxious.”

Both are fair points.

But doing something as simple as taking a walk has the same benefits, too.

Plus, you can listen to your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook while you do.

 

These behaviors might seem subtle, but repetition of them will significantly impact your mental health.

It tends to be the small things that go unnoticed that cause us the most harm.

 

I’m not saying that changing these behaviors will suddenly fix your anxiety (that’s what therapy is for).

But it doesn’t hurt to give yourself the best chance you can at a happier life with less anxiety.

 

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The Single Most Exciting Fact About Anxiety

Learning to internalize this truth will change your life.

 
Photo via Grappler Union Podcast

I have an intense love-hate relationship with scary things.

 

Several weeks out from a major Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament like the world championships, I usually am so excited that I can’t stop talking about Jiu-Jitsu.

I’m a blabbermouth about how awesome Jiu-Jitsu is and how much fun I have when I’m competing.

In the weeks before a big tournament, I look like the person in the picture above — happy, outgoing, a little tired, and full of bad jokes and finger guns.

The only difference is that nowadays, I sport a bleach-blonde mullet instead of a “bro fade”.

 

However, several days before my tournaments, something changes.

I become a different person.

By the time I step onto the mat to compete, I’m hardly myself.

 

In the past, this was a bad thing.

For years, performance anxiety ruined my competitive experience.

No matter how many times I listened to that one Eminem song, my palms were always sweaty. Knees weak.

Arms heavy. I couldn’t eat anything and I wasn’t wearing a sweater, but the physical symptoms of my anxiety made it impossible to reach my potential.

 

I could never get out of my head, and anxiety ruled my life.

My life itself wasn’t bad, but it didn’t matter and I couldn’t see that, because I was trapped in my mind’s safe but miserable prison.

 

That was until I learned that anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, neurologically, anxiety and excitement are basically the same.

Nowadays, when I step out to compete, I’m a shadow of myself in all the best ways.

 

Are You Really Anxious?

Or Are You Excited?

If this fact about anxiety doesn’t blow your mind, that’s okay.

Every time I study this, my mind is blown open wide enough for both of us.

 

I always thought of anxiety as a very negative experience and excitement as a very positive experience, but according to your brain, they’re the same.

Both emotions elevate your cortisol levels. Both emotions increase your heart rate. Both emotions make you have physical symptoms like sweaty palms.

Both are emotions caused by arousal.

 

For instance, last week, when I was competing in the Jiu-Jitsu world championships in California, I was incredibly anxious and excited at the same time.

I was anxious because it was the world championships and I wanted to not suck in front of everyone, but I was excited because I was in California with my friends and it was the world championships.

I had the opportunity to show the entire Jiu-Jitsu world everything that I’ve been working on for the last few months.

It was a very exciting and very nerve-wracking experience.

 

So, which emotion dominated my experience?

I didn’t become a world champion last weekend (I finished in the top 8), but excitement was still the emotion that dominated most of my experience on the competition mats last weekend.

Because of that, a possible negative experience ended up becoming an overwhelmingly positive one.

The difference between anxiety and excitement is the story that you are living in.

 

This also doesn't invalidate your anxiety.

Anxiety is still very real, and it still really sucks.

I know that from experience.

 

If you’re living in a crappy story or a scary experience, anxiety is a natural feeling.

It’d be kind of twisted if you were excited about the possibility of getting rejected by your crush or getting chased by a mugger.

 

However, your brain chemistry still doesn’t know the difference between anxiety and excitement.

Because of this fact, you can actually hack your brain to improve your experience and ultimately decrease your anxiety. If you, like me, struggle with anxiety, this is the coolest fact in the whole freakin’ universe.

 

When you’re experiencing something negative, you can train yourself to channel your energy into something positive.

If you’re anxious about your crush, don’t try to calm down, try to do something that will change the experience from an anxious one to an excited one.

 

You can still feel like shit about a negative situation and be excited about something else.

When I feel anxious because my body is physically breaking from the onslaught of martial arts training I put myself through, I make an effort to get excited about growing as a writer or becoming mentally stronger.

I create a story that distracts me from the anxiety I feel until the sensation passes (and it will always pass).

Anxiety gives you increased energy. Use that energy for progress, not rumination.

 

Closing Thoughts

Learning to channel your anxious feelings into excited ones is one of the few psychological superpowers that can actually change your life.

 

It’s okay if you’re not always successful with changing your anxiety into excitement, but the effort of trying to do so will help you build the strength to overcome your anxiety eventually.

Anxiety is a neurological response to the world around you that is sometimes paired with physical symptoms.

By fighting the physical symptoms, you often make them worse.

 

Stop trying to “calm down”.

Start trying to listen to your body.

Start trying to flow with the energy your mind is giving you.

That’s hippie speak for “let go”.

 
 

 

20 JOURNAL PROMPTS

FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

 

  1. List 20 things that make you smile.
  2. Write about what you love about life.
  3. When things seem tough, I want to remember _________
  4. What is something that you have overcome?
  5. Write about some of the kindest things that you can do for yourself when you are in pain (physical and/or emotional).
  6. Write about your victories this week.
  7. What do you think your life would be like if you didn't have anxiety or depression?
  8. What positive changes have you made or experienced in the past year?
  9. Write the words that you need to hear.
  10. What does your best day look like?
  11. What would you like to be remembered for?
  12. Write about one thing that you look forward to every day.
  13. Build a list of 15 songs that can help change your mood.
  14. Write about five of your best talents.
  15. List three things that you would do if you weren't afraid.
  16. What are five things that help you feel better when things are difficult?
  17. Write about ten things that you are thankful for.
  18. What is your favorite memory?
  19. Choose one thing that triggers anxiety or depression, and then write about a few ways that you can combat this trigger.
  20. Write about something that you forgive yourself for.

 

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Try This 5-Minute Mental Exercise When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Is your head spinning? Grab a pen.

 

It’s probably safe to say that, at some point this week, you felt overwhelmed.

 

One of the biggest issues with overwhelm is that it can be completely paralyzing.

 

How can you figure out what to do or think with so many emotions, sensations, and thoughts competing for your attention? 

 

To that end, I’ve created a five-minute trick you can use to break down your mindset and make a clear path forward.

 

This exercise is helpful whether you’re feeling too much, you’re confused about what you’re feeling, or you can’t even start to process what’s going on internally.

Some indicators of this last one are a strong need to avoid others or to distract yourself, whether that’s with wine or reality TV. Other signs of overwhelm include brain fog, feeling on edge, and fatigue or numbness.

 

This trick can be done on a piece of paper or a touchscreen (or even in your head, if you’re in a pinch).

 

First, draw a large circle.

Next to it, make a list of everything you’re feeling, emotionally and physically.

Maybe your chest is tight with anxiety about your job, you’re angry about something in the news, and you’re also excited about an upcoming Zoom with an old friend.

If you notice body sensations that don’t tie to any specific emotion, mark those down, too.

For example, perhaps there’s a pit in your stomach and you’re not sure why, or you feel a gnawing hunger even though you’ve just eaten a snack.

 

You can also take note of purely physical sensations like back pain or an itchy bug bite. While these sensations may not have emotional roots, they still sap our energy and can contribute to feeling overwhelmed, so they’re worth figuring out a way to consciously address.

 

Once you have the list, draw a line connecting any emotions or sensations that overlap.

 

For example, you might draw a line between “sad” and “down.”

Decide which word is the better descriptor, and cross out the other.

See if you can connect the unknown body sensations to an emotion at this point (perhaps tired=sad?).

If not, leave them as is.

 

When you have a final list, begin to make your circle into a pie chart.

 

How large a slice should each emotion get based on how much you’re feeling it?

You may need to take a few breaths and check inward.

Do the best you can, and don’t worry if you’re not sure if it’s completely accurate. (After all, emotions and sensations are, to a large degree, subjective.)

 

Does anything about the resulting pie chart surprise you?

Take special note of opposing emotions (for example, hope and hopelessness), as they may be taking up energy as they compete to be heard.

 

Be sure to address both with the next step, below.

 

Having a plan will help all of those emotions begin to calm now that they’ve had the chance to be heard.

 

Now that you have a concrete picture of your internal landscape, for each slice, write a bullet point or two about how you can address the emotion.

 

For example, under “hopeful,” you might write “attend a rally” or “journal about visions for a more inclusive work environment.”

 

Hopelessness may necessitate connection with a spiritual source, a favorite form of self-care, or just sitting with that feeling instead of pushing it away.

 

Decide which bullet points are the most important to address today, and don’t feel like you have to get to them all immediately.

 

Having a plan will help all of those emotions begin to calm now that they’ve had the chance to be heard.

 

If there are slices where you can’t think of anything to do (for example, a weird feeling that you’re forgetting something, or a vague sense of frustration or confusion), circle them and draw a nearby heart. Same goes for body sensations that you still don’t understand (perhaps that gnawing hunger mentioned earlier, for example).

By doing this, you are acknowledging these facets of your psyche and opening up to further information from them when they’re ready to share.

 

Done on a regular basis, this quick practice can be illuminating as you see how the different slices change and shift.

 

Your newfound ability to name, acknowledge, and accept all of your emotions will not only prevent regular overwhelm, but also provide new energy to use as you navigate a constantly changing world.

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How To Reduce Anxiety and Build True Confidence From Your Core

I had to learn tactics to cope with uncertainty, instead of being constantly triggered into “fight or flight” mode

 
Growing up, I was probably the “most confident person” in my cohort. I aced everything, won awards, got articles published… I thought there was nothing I couldn’t achieve.

Then, in the last year of college, I started to have massive anxiety attacks.

I lost a bunch of hair, couldn’t have more than three hours of sleep for over three months, and relaxation didn’t exist in my dictionary.

 

I was still not getting what I wanted.

And the more I wanted it, the harder I tried, the more anxious I felt.

I kept running on the hamster wheel until I was ordered to stay home and rest for two weeks by my doctor.

 

At the rock bottom of my life, I was thinking: What’s the point of living, if I had to live my entire life with such efforts and pain?

 

It took me years to realize I had low self-esteem.

I built my self-worth on my achievement.

If something didn’t go my way, it’d trigger my brain’s survival alarm and got me into “fight or flight” mode.

That’s why I couldn’t relax.

That’s why I was always anxious.

That’s why my “confidence” was false bravado — the reality was I was dying inside.

It took me another year to consciously rebuild my self-esteem, manage anxiety, and build true confidence. Here’s the process:

 

1. Know You’re Anxious

Awareness is the first step towards change.

But if you are like me, with years of anxiety stored in my brain and body, it’ll take some effort to discern.

So start with a mindfulness practice.

 

Thanks to my acting training, I’m very sensitive to how emotions show up in my body.

For me, the first sensation of anxiety and stress is a clutch in my throat: The muscles tense up, and swallowing becomes more difficult than usual.

 

Training your senses will help you better identify your emotional state so you can make a conscious effort to change.

 

“You must learn to heed your senses.

Humans use but a tiny percentage of theirs.

They barely look, they rarely listen, they never smell, and they think that they can only experience feelings through their skin.” — Michael Scott, The Alchemyst

 

2. Experience Anxiety by Allowing

When asked what’s causing you anxiety, most people will attribute it to outside sources: a sick baby, traffic, waiting for test results, etc.

I still remember the analogy my first coach used to describe my mental state back then — constantly fluctuating like Dow Jones.

 

Here’s the thing: It’s OK to not feel OK.

You are not your emotions.

You can simply relax, watch them come and go without going with them.

 

You can “watch” your anxiety like watching the cars on the highway.

You just stand there and watch.

Bad things happen.

Unexpected things happen.

No one is entirely immune to stress.

But are you allowing your emotions, or resisting them?

 

“If you’re resisting something, you are feeding it.

Any energy you fight, you are feeding.

If you are pushing something away, you’re inviting it to stay.”

— Michael Singer

 

3. Adjust Your Expectations

High achievers are more likely to feel anxious or stressed because they have higher expectations of themselves.

While it’s helpful to strengthen your skills by doing stretch tasks, having unrealistic expectations while you’re conquering challenges is likely to give you anxiety attacks.

 

We too often focus on raising the bar but forget to adjust our expectations accordingly.

Even machines get overheated — let alone humans.

There are limits, no matter how good you are at your job.

 

And the limits are constantly changing.

You cannot expect yourself to be at 100% when you catch a cold, have an allergy, or are on your period.

That’s completely OK.

 

Elizabeth Shepherd, my Shakespeare teacher with a six-decade acting career, once told us:

Out of the eight shows per week, two of them are given by God, two of them are marvelous, two of them are great, and the other two — you’re being a professional actor.

 

Learn your limits, adjust your expectations, and keep trying your best.

 

4. Build True Confidence With Trust

False bravado serves to boost your ego and cover up your pain — it’s a shiny armor you build to protect yourself from the outside world which often doesn’t go as you wish.

 

True confidence comes from within.

It starts with self-trust.

 

Remember: There will be things you cannot control.

But there won’t be things you cannot handle.

 

If you look at what you’ve achieved in the past, what your parents achieved, and what human beings achieved in our history, you will see the truth of this statement.

If you’re still in doubt, let me ask you this: Terrible things happen every day.

People are dying while you’re reading this piece.

Why are we still bringing children to the world, hoping for a better future for the next generation?

 

Because deep down we trust.

 

Accept whatever you cannot control, so you won’t get anxious over it.

Take action towards whatever you need to handle, despite how you’re feeling at the moment.

Yes, you will feel anxious — it’s very easy for your brain and it will direct you there again and again.

 

But if you tell yourself to focus on what you can do, your anxious little voice will disappear.

Knowing and applying this will give you a solid foundation for building self-trust.

Repeating this process will gradually boost your true self-confidence: you will know, at your core, that you can deal with obstacles and achieve what you want.

 

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong.” — Peter McIntyre

 

When you’re not scared of being wrong, when you’re not scared of things “not working out”, you will be far less plagued by anxiety.

You will enjoy your work and life more, and feel confidence exuding from your core.

 

Yes, you can go look for tips and tricks for handling anxiety.

But if you don’t work on your beliefs and your confidence, you’ll just be applying band-aids to your wounds, desperately hoping for a quick fix.

 

Only when you understand your anxiety comes from how you interpret the world around you can you find inner peace.

Only when you know you do not need to “fix” it or push it away can you start to build true confidence within.

 

 

How to Manage Anxiety

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Anxious

 

That constant nagging feeling of worry which is described as anxiety preys on our confidence and can turn even the most enjoyable activity into a complete nightmare.

 

Anxiety doesn’t care who you are, what you do, or even your age.

We are all at risk of experiencing anxiety, and I would argue most of us do face prolonged anxious thinking at some point in our lives.

 

Knowing the propensity we all have for feeling anxious, and how terrible it is to have anxiety dictate your life, what steps can we take to prevent anxiety from taking hold of us?

 

When faced with anxiety, there are five questions you must ask yourself.

Answering each of these will provide you the power to manage the anxiety you’re currently dealing with and build the strength within your mind to keep anxiety from taking hold of you in the future.

 

What is Anxiety

Before getting into the questions you need to ask yourself, it will be helpful to examine what it means to be anxious.

Anxiety, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, is excessive worry and fear.

Now, anxiety that occurs occasionally, perhaps surrounding a singular event, is normal and has no cause for alarm.

 

However, when anxiety takes hold of your life, it’s effects are felt much more frequently.

When you are truly faced with anxiety on a daily basis, that is when it begins to hinder your way of life.

There are multiple forms of anxiety, with different names given based on what fuels anxious thoughts.

I would like to introduce three of the most impactful and common in terms of athletes and performers.​

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This is an overarching term for anxiety that sticks around for an extended period of time.

You don’t experience anxious thoughts every now and then, but rather, your mind is full of anxious thinking on a daily basis.

 

To be classified as having GAD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, you must have feelings of anxiety for most days, for at least six months.

 

This is really a broad term used for constant feelings of anxiety.

The other two types are more specific to situations.

Individuals suffering from them will likely also fall into the category of having GAD.

 

Performance Anxiety

When you’re an athlete or performer suffering from GAD, there is a significant chance you also can be categorized as having performance anxiety.

This is when you are anxious leading up to competition.

Don’t get this confused with traditional nerves, however.

Performance anxiety takes feelings of nervousness to a whole other level.

 

This form of anxiety is centered around performances.

Anything that can be perceived as a performance is a stimulant for anxiety.

Worrisome thoughts will fill your mind leading up to, during, and after a performance.

 

Anxiety involving competition lowers your level of play, resulting in more anxious thoughts. Performing poorly results in a worsened fear of failure, leading to increased feelings of anxiety.

 

Social Anxiety

Individuals with social anxiety have intense fears and worries regarding social interactions.

The reason for their worry comes from the perceived negative perceptions of others.

 

When you have social anxiety, you may also experience GAD.

However, one way to remedy feeling anxious on a daily basis is avoiding social situations.

This leads to avoidance behavior because that’s the easiest way for you to rid yourself of perpetual feelings of anxiety.

 

As an athlete or performer, social anxiety takes a toll on your level of production.

Fearing social interactions is difficult when sports and performances are social in nature.

 

A lot of times, social anxiety leads to self-sabotage, as it proves to be a safe way to avoid being in too many social interactions.

 

The Basis of Anxiety

Thinking about the three forms of anxiety listed above, do you notice a commonality among them?

 

Yes, they all have their slight differences in terms of the specific situation driving anxiety.

Social anxiety is induced when around other people, performance anxiety is felt when life is perceived as a performance, and GAD is experienced around most areas in your life.

 

You can even throw in PTSD, panic disorder, and any other form of anxiety you’ve heard of.

All of these are characterized due to the different stimuli for anxiety.

 

However, at the base of each one is a singular source of worry…fear.

 

The root of all anxiety is fear.

Fear of something happening again, or for the first time.

Otherwise, there would be no reason for our continuous worrying.

 

It may not always be apparent what it is you’re fearing, but step back and examine your anxiety and there will always be an underlying fear fueling the feelings you’re experiencing.

 

Let’s use performance anxiety as an example.

When you are anxious about a performance, where does this anxiety come from?

You may say you’re worried about messing up.

Okay, my question would then be, why?

 

Why are you concerned about making a mistake?

You say it’s because you want to do well.

That’s perfect, now why do you want to do well?

 

Even if you say you want to do well out of an intense desire for success, the anxiety you feel will still be based on fear.

You are fearful of not attaining the success you desperately seek.

 

Some of the other reasons you are faced with performance anxiety are the fear of embarrassment, the fear of causing others stress, the fear of losing the esteem of your parents, coaches, or peers, and the fear of negatively impacting your future.

 

Social anxiety would appear similar in that you are afraid of something negative happening in a social situation.

As for GAD, fear lurks around every corner.

It seems that most situations in life will prove to be an opportunity for fear.

 

So, no matter what form of anxiety you are experiencing, fear will be the soil from which the anxious thoughts will grow.

 

“It may not always be apparent what it is you’re fearing, but step back and examine your anxiety and there will always be an underlying fear fueling the feelings you’re experiencing.”

 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Feeling Anxious

After outlining three common forms of anxiety, and introducing you to the truth that fear is the basis for all anxiety, I now want to provide you with five questions you can ask yourself any time anxiety enters your life.

Even with GAD, there will be moments when you feel more anxious than others.

One of the best habits you can get into is taking a moment when you feel anxious, pausing, and asking yourself these questions.

 

When anxiety rules our lives, mainly it happens as a result of inattention.

We feel powerless to the anxiety, so we seek to ignore its existence.

By turning a blind eye to the anxiety we feel, the problem is only being worsened.

 

Each of us holds the power to undo the grasp of anxiety.

 

Only with awareness, however, is this strength revealed.

These questions provide you with such awareness.

The more you make these questions routine whenever you feel anxious, the greater your understanding will grow, and the less anxiety will control your life.

 

“What am I Thinking?”

The first place you always want to turn whenever you are feeling anxious, or any other way for that matter, are your thoughts.

What thoughts are filling your head right now?

Once you begin to understand the thinking taking place, you can start to piece together what cognitive reactions are influencing your anxiety.

 

Anxiety is experienced as thought, either consciously or subconsciously.

You are worried about something happening, this worry is formed through thinking.

 

The way you are responding to either a past situation, your current environment, or a future event is what’s fueling the anxiety you currently are experiencing.

 

What you want to do is, when you are feeling anxious, pause for a moment and turn to your thoughts.

Now, this is not always the easiest thing to do; oftentimes we’ll tend to forget.

That’s why, a great tactic is to write the thoughts down, either on your phone or in a small journal. This will keep you honest and make the activity a habit.

By first asking yourself, “What am I thinking?” you’ll gain insight which will help as you transition into question two.

 

“What Am I Afraid Of?”

Remember how I said fear is the basis for all anxiety?

Well, the next question you need to ask yourself is, “What am I afraid of?”

 

What is it that has gotten you so worried about what may happen?

I love this question because most of the time, none of us want to own up to what we fear.

 

For instance, I used to really fear losing the approval of others.

If I were to tell one of my friends about this fear back in college, I would have felt incredibly embarrassed.

I didn’t even want to face the fact myself.

 

But, by not addressing the underlying fears present in your life, anxiety will have no reason to be ignored.

It will continually reveal itself the more you hide what you’re fearing.

 

You don’t have to tell anyone your fears, you just need enough courage to face them yourself.

 

Examine the thoughts you noticed in question one, and see if there is a commonality among what you’re thinking about.

That will help you piece together the fear that’s to blame for your anxiety.

 

“Am I Blaming Others?”

The first two questions were geared towards helping you uncover what’s fueling your anxiety.

But there’s a belief you may hold that will completely negate the power gained by answering questions one and two.

 

That belief is the idea others are to blame for your anxiety.

Now, I know this is not a popular point of view, but no one is to blame for the way we feel at any given moment except ourselves.

You can look at this one of two ways; either you feel down on yourself for being the cause for your anxiety, or you feel empowered because if you are to blame, then you are also the one who is responsible for the change.

 

So ask yourself, “Am I blaming others for my anxiety, or have I taken full responsibility for the way that I feel?”

“There’s a belief you may hold that will completely negate the power gained by answering questions one and two.That belief is the idea others are to blame for your anxiety.”

Tweet This

 

“Is Anxiety Helpful?”

Is the anxiety you’re feeling right now helpful?

When you are feeling anxious, is your quality of life elevated or decreased?

 

How are your performances affected when anxiety takes control?

Do you perform your best, or is there a feeling inside that you always are leaving a little potential on the table?

I know the obvious answer is going to be no, anxiety is not helpful, otherwise you would not be researching ways to manage anxiety.

The point of this question is to help you begin realizing just how unhelpful anxiety is.

 

When you start to see what a drastic change would occur in your life if you were free from anxiety, motivation begins to grow inside.

You begin feeling empowered and ready to make a change.

By accepting just how unhelpful anxiety is, you’ll be ready to accept the responsibility required to finally do something about the anxiety which rules your life.

 

“What Can I Do To Change?”

We have come to the final question you must ask yourself whenever you’re feeling anxious.

Begin thinking to yourself, “What can I do to change the way that I feel?”

 

This question proves worthless unless you’ve taken responsibility and stopped blaming others for your anxiety.

If you wait for something external to happen before you’re rid of anxious thoughts and feelings, you’ll be left waiting forever.

 

Nothing outside ourselves is going to generate the lasting change required to free ourselves from the grip of anxiety.

The change must originate from within.

So, when you’re feeling anxious, the last question you need to ask is, “What can I do to change?”

 

You may need to immediately remove yourself from an anxious environment, that could be the first step towards change.

From there, look to your thoughts and see if any cognitive restructuring needs to take place to reframe your thinking.

 

There are different ways you can go about strengthening your mind to reduce the impact of anxiety, which you can read more about here.

The important thing you understand is, the power is within you to change the way that you feel.

 

READY TO MASTER YOUR MIND?

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Final Thoughts

Anxiety will leave you feeling worn out, frustrated, and unmotivated if you allow it to stay in your life for long enough.

No matter what form of anxiety is present in your life, fear will always be the core influence.

 

We fear outcomes and situations repeating themselves so much, we end up torturing ourselves more in thoughts than reality.

When you are experiencing anxiety, you want to stop and ask yourself five questions, taking the power away from anxiety and placing it back in your own hands.

 

Ask yourself: “What am I thinking?” “What am I afraid of?” “Am I blaming others?” “Is anxiety helpful?” and “What can I do to change?”

 

These will give you the strength you need to make the change in your life, moving towards a reduction in the influence anxiety has on you and your performances.

 

Are you experiencing anxiety?

What are your coping strategies?

If you are struggling with anxiety right now, learn how mental performance coaching can help free you from anxiety’s terrible grasp.

 

 

Seven Quick Fixes to Feel Better

by Madisyn Taylor

Anxiety and fear dissipate quickly when countered with conscious breathing.

The signals our bodies use to tell us we need to cleanse ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally are multifaceted and often mirror symptoms we associate with illness.

 

If we heed these signs, we not only feel better quickly but also stave off poor health before it can start.

 

These quick fixes for common ailments can get you started.

1. Applying pressure to the acupressure point between the thumb and forefinger can release blockages causing pain, tension, and fatigue. You can relieve a headache naturally by squeezing for 20 seconds and releasing for 10 seconds, without letting go, four times.

2. To breathe freely, irrigate your nasal passages with a neti pot and warm salt water. As you clear and soothe the sinuses, congestion associated with allergies or infection will gradually disappear.

3. Apple cider vinegar is a powerful purifying and detoxifying agent. Soaking for 20 minutes in a warm bath infused with two cups of apple cider vinegar pulls toxins from the body and can clear blocked energy.

4. The foods you eat can have a profound impact on your outlook and mood. Eating a small yet satisfying meal rich in complex carbohydrates can lift your spirit and help you let go of feelings of anger, irritability, and depression.

5. Anxiety and fear dissipate quickly when countered with conscious breathing because concentrating on the breath enables you to refocus your attention inward. You can ground yourself and regain your usual calm by taking a series of deep belly breaths as you visualize your feet growing roots that stretch miles down into the earth.

6. Though tuning out can seem counterproductive, a few minutes spent lost in daydreams or listening to soothing music can help you see your circumstances from a new angle when you feel frustrated.

7. If you feel ill health coming on, brew a wellness elixir.

Simmer three sliced lemons, one teaspoon freshly grated ginger, one clove of freshly minced garlic, and one quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper in five cups water until the lemons are soft and pale.

Strain a portion into a mug and add honey by tablespoons until you can tolerate the taste.

Drinking this potent mixture of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal ingredients three times each day can ensure your symptoms never progress into a full-blown illness.

 

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You Might Not Actually Be Struggling With Depression

But you may be dealing with depression’s lesser known evil twin

 

Benjamin SledgeBenjamin Sledge

 

“My depression is worse than ever.”

 

Sipping my Americano, I nod in response to my friend and then open and close my palm in a gesture to say “Tell me more.”

 

A few years earlier he went through a dark time when a drunk driver hit his motorcycle and he lost a leg.

Not long after, his wife of two months filed for an annulment.

 

We’ve often talked through his depression and lifelong struggle with it, but this time the situation was different.

He’d recovered from the loss of his leg and was in a healthy spot with his new girlfriend.

 

“Well, my day begins early enough and I’m ready to tackle the things I need to.

I have a break between clients most days, so I tell myself I’ll use the time to accomplish what I need to get done for work, my relationships, and life in general.

 

Chores, bills, you know.” Trailing off he bites down on his breakfast taco, then wipes the edge of his mouth.

 

“Anyway, I do none of it.

I’ll sleep, or I’ll put on Netflix and zone out.

 

Then I run late for appointments and I’m pissed at myself for not doing what I need to.

At night it’s the same story — more Netflix and apathy.

Then I begin to feel indifferent and hate myself that I feel so numb to my circumstances.

From there, I spiral.

It gets harder to get out of bed every day.

I don’t go to the gym.

I don’t practice my spiritual disciplines.

 

I hate myself for it, but I also have little zest for life and I grow increasingly depressed, isolating myself from others and believing this is how it will be forever.

 

I have no idea how to break out of it, and my pills don’t seem to help.”

 

Whistling low through my teeth, I slurp my drink once more then smile.

“Well the good news is it’s not quite depression.”

 

The disbelief on my friend’s face is clear.

He’s spent most of his life battling depression.

But I hold up my hand before he can object: “You’re dealing with depression’s twin cousin.

It’s called acedia.”

“Ah-seed-e-what?”

 

The Noonday Demon

 

Acedia (pronounced ah-SEED-e-uh) is an old term coined by monks who lived in the desert during the fourth century.

Before the Seven Deadly Sins became known to the world, the early Desert Fathers had a list of “Eight Bad Thoughts.”

 

One of the most severe thoughts was that of acedia, which the church eventually rolled up under the sin of “sloth” when the seven sins became commonplace.

One would think “lust” would be the one they hammered on given the religious leanings of the modern church, but it was considered one of the most minor “bad thoughts.”

The monks viewed lust as a lower form of greed in that you desired something you didn’t have.

 

Acedia was one of the most severe and deadly thoughts because of the despair and absolute disdain for life it produced in a human being.

It’s a shame the word has been lost to ancient textbooks and is no longer used, because acedia’s connotations carry far more weight in today’s cultural environment.

 

I first learned the term when I read author Kathleen Norris’s book, Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life. In the book she quotes a monk who states:

 

“The demon of acedia — also called the noonday demon — is the one that causes the most serious trouble of all…He makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all, and…he instills in the heart of the monk a hatred for the place, a hatred for his very life itself.”

 

Many of the desert monks found themselves in the same place as my friend.

Work in the morning, but by noon, they despised the repetitive nature of chores or work.

 

After some time in this condition, they felt little zeal for life.

Prayer stopped, sleeping increased, and they felt numb.

Eventually, they despised life itself as they spiraled into a dark hole.

 
Image for post
Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash

This condition can even begin due to traumatic events in one’s life. Norris — no stranger to suffering and pain — tragically lost her husband, but instead of spiraling into depression, she found herself battling acedia. In an interview regarding her struggle after her husbands death she explained:

 

“There were so many days when I woke up indifferent to everything, especially when my husband died…When he was alive, the care-giving had to be done so I couldn’t be indifferent.

But I think one of the worst phases — and I don’t want to malign the show because it was kind of entertaining — was when I watched an entire season of America’s Next Top Model. In one sitting.”

 

Reading through the book, I nodded along and remembered times when I thought I’d been depressed only to discover I’d been battling its twin cousin.

 

That old feeling of indifference and apathy leading to a numbness, only to spiral further out of control and despise being alive.

 

When I started researching depression for a book I was writing, our organization surveyed five hundred men and women.

 

When we compiled their answers, many of them explained the exact symptoms of acedia.

 

Because depression is complex and we use one word to lump several aspects together, the healing process can become confusing.

 

It’s like the word “love” in effect. While I love my wife, I also love breakfast tacos.

 

But I certainly don’t “love” the two the same way.

 

That morning over coffee, I explained to my friend that due to the way depression and acedia intertwine, he could be dealing with both at the same time.

 

“The good news and bad news, however,” I told him, “is acedia is a condition you can fight, but fighting it can also be mundane and feel as if you’re getting nowhere.”

 

Combatting Acedia

 

I’m willing to bet if I asked each person reading this, “What things are you constantly putting off and why don’t you want to do them?” everyone would have an answer.

In our day-to-day lives vain repetition sounds terrible and we hate doing it.

 

For instance, if I told you I needed you to stuff 2,000 envelopes with letters, then handwrite the names and different addresses on them, you’d say it was torture, right?

 

We put off things like prayer though we’re certain it will enrich our spiritual life.

We put off doing the dishes or laundry even though we know we need clean dishes to eat on and clothes to wear.

 

After I gave my friend a copy of the book Acedia & Me for him to read, he called me one evening to say, “MY GOD! IT’S LIKE I’M READING MY LIFE ON PAPER!”

 

He found that even in his romantic relationships acedia had covertly snuck in.

 

While finding romance and a significant other is often on the forefront of many young singles’ minds, here’s something most people forget about staying together “for better or for worse”: it can — at times — feel like going through the motions.

 

That romantic infatuation or ooey gooey feeling you once had, with time, will morph into a love of the will.

 

Funny enough, every marriage that has stood the test of time will confirm “love is a choice and action, not just a feeling.”

 

So here’s the good news.

 

Combating acedia has simple steps that can help you act and combat the feelings of indifference, self-hate, apathy, and keep you from spiraling further.

 

The bad news is that it begins by choosing to take part in little things that may seem repetitive, but make a big difference.

 

When HeartSupport surveyed our 500 respondents battling through depression, we asked a simple question: “What things have helped you cope and battle your depression?

Here’s what their answers revealed — most of the activities that helped were repetitive tasks that could be done daily or weekly.

 

Things like serving within their community, writing, journaling, yoga, exercise, cleaning, or several other mundane or repetitive activities.

 

What the desert monks found in their battle with acedia was the same.

 

They found joy after they had completed tasks at work even though sometimes the drudgery seemed insurmountable.

By pushing through and praying — even in short bouts — they were glad they did.

For everyone in this life, discipline often becomes the defining fire by which things like talent or goals become an actual ability.

 

It is indifference and believing it will always be this way that keeps us stuck.

You may be tempted to think, “this is just another way to call depression something else” but consider that there’s always been a power in naming things or knowing your enemy to fight them.

 

For instance, in his epic, The Name of the Wind, author Patrick Rothfuss has his main character learn the name of the wind to command the element which in turn transforms him into a legendary wizard.

 

In Harry Potter, knowing Voldemort’s name — and that he was Harry’s true enemy — gave Harry the power to defeat the evil magician.

Perhaps the most quoted example comes from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War in which he states:

 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

 

If you don’t know what you’re fighting, then you can’t expect there to be progress. But if you do?

 

There’s a good chance that some forward momentum, no matter how small, might be the crest of the tide that begins to break the chains.

 

So if your enemy’s name is acedia, then you know what to do.

 

Break the chains.

 

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→ Explore PsyBlog's ebooks, all written by Dr Jeremy Dean:


 

Featured Video

 

Stuart Eisendrath, MD, introduces his book WHEN ANTIDEPRESSANTS AREN'T ENOUGH: Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness to Alleviate Depression.................

 

 

3 Scientifically-Proven *Natural* Stress-Busters You’ve Not Tried Before

Not a usual article about meditation, music, and exercise stuff

Darshak Rana
 
A Girl Showing Scientifically-Proven Natural Stress-Busters No One Has Ever Tried Before
Photo by refargotohp on Unsplash

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

Sydney J. Harris

 

Stress makes your brain like a high-tension wire — constantly buzzing!

You’ve got a day job, growing kids, a messy home, a long grocery list, evening dinner to be cooked, a pile of laundry to be folded, a sink full of dirty dishes, personal hobbies to be taken care of— all requiring your time, energy, and attention.

 

It’s critical that you develop a stress management strategy that’s easy, quick, and effective because it doesn’t take stress a long time to cause irreparable damage.

It’s even better if you can find “a natural way” to burst the tension balloon before it inflates!

However, the good news is it’s doable — You can checkmate stress!

 

But, the catch is you don’t have to force yourself to be in control of your life all the time.

 

“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful.

It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”

―Jill Botte Taylor

 

We live in a fast-paced, stressful world where finding natural ways to manage and reduce stress is vital because “natural” is sustainable.

Otherwise, the cost of stress that accumulates and persists for an extended period is substantial — Health and even broken relationships are on the line due to this unattended feeling.

 

According to American Psychology Association, a weakened immune system is another side effect of chronic stress. Too high cortisol levels can have various negative effects, ranging from weight gain to grey hair and beyond.

 

So, there is an even greater need to address stress if not overcome it completely.

Here is my tried and tested formula that helps me regain my composure. It expedites blood flow to my brain, which naturally makes me feel energized.

 

 

Science also backs all of these natural stress-buster remedies, so go ahead and give it a try without *stressing* about its side effects!

 

The 4–7–8 Method

A diver showing 4–8–7 breathing method to beat stress
Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard by now that breathing slowly and deeply can help lessen stress levels.

However, how frequently do you see yourself breathing during exigencies?

 

Research says:

“Our bodies have an in-built stress reliever system that gets activated by breathing techniques.”

So, whenever you feel anxious or stressed, take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

This simple act can assist in reversing the stress response.

The nicest part about this is you can do it wherever you want and for as long as you want.

It’s ideal when you need to reduce your adrenaline response rapidly but don’t have time (meetings, insults, arguments, etc.)

Counting each inhalation and exhalation is a good way to focus on the present moment.

Bring your attention back to your counting whenever you notice your mind drifting.

You can try my favorite breathing technique if you don’t have one. It’s called the 4–7–8 breathing method developed by Dr. Andrew Weil.

 

It’s based on an old yogic breathing method called pranayama.

  • Count to four while taking a slow, deep breath through your nose.
  • Hold your breath for seven counts.
  • Take another leisurely breath through your mouth for eight counts.
 

L — O — L

An animal showing that laughter is the best natural stress-buster
Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

L-O-L is the same acronym you’ve been using in messages, texts, and emails.

L-O-L = Laughing Out Loud

 

Experts suggest:

“When it comes to relieving stress and anxiety in a short time, laughter truly is the greatest medicine.”

 

Laughing causes favorable short-term changes in your body that allow you to feel more relaxed in the long run.

 

The benefits include:

  • Laughter calms down the entire body: Science says a good laugh can relax your muscles for up to 45 minutes.
  • Laughter heals the body: Research suggests laughter directly attacks the stress hormones while creating infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells.
  • Laughter reduces pain: Science backs that laughter releases endorphins — the body’s natural happy hormones that reduce pain and boost general health.
  • Laughter improves heart health: Study suggests that laughter enhances blood flow, preventing heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.
  • Laughter burns calories: No, it’s not a substitute for exercise, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn 40 calories, which might equal three or four pounds in a year. Okay, I am sold!
  • Laughter eases anger’s burden: A shared chuckle quickly diffuses tension and conflict. Seeing the humor in a situation might help you move on from a conflict without bitterness or animosity.
  • Laughter may even increase life expectancy: An American study indicated that people who laugh often outlast those who don’t. A notable difference was observed for people facing cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

So, don’t get offended if people around find you laughing without reason!

 

The Smell of Elixir

Essence oils to use as a stress buster.
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Stress and anxiety can be alleviated by inhaling the aroma of essential oils.

 

Certain oils and scents are more effective for some people than others, so try a few different ones and see what works best for you.

Research says that continuous exposure to lavender essential oils for 7 days can significantly inhibit anxiety and depression-like behaviors.

 

Another scientific study also examined the benefits of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia in 67 women between the ages of 45 and 55.

 

The findings imply that:

“Aromatherapy may assist to lower the heart rate in the near term while also helping to alleviate sleep problems in the long run.”

 

If you’re a fan of aromatherapy in any form, try oil diffusers, candles, or incense sticks, perfumes, or body care products.

P.S: Be sure to check the allergens if you’re allergic to smells!

 

Beat Stress To Win Back Life

“Stress is the trash of modern life–we all generate it, but if you don’t dispose it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”

Danzae Pace

 

Stress has become a part of our modern lifestyle.

That doesn’t mean it’s a way of living.

Nope!

Since changing lifestyle and adopting healthy habits is not easy and quick, these above-mentioned natural stress busters make it effortless to beat anxiety.

 

 

When You Get Scared, Are You an Opossum or a Skunk?

There are many “normal” ways to respond to stress. All of them have examples in the Animal Kingdom.

 
Photo by Lex Melony on Unsplash

In child psychiatrist Bruce Perry’s landmark book on trauma and healing, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he describes the case of Amber, an unconscious teenage girl whose doctors did everything they could think to do to revive her.

She had no heart problems, no abnormal toxicology screens.

Teachers had found her passed out in the bathroom, and no one knew why.

 

Through careful, attuned questioning of the girl’s mother, Dr. Perry discovered that the man who had sexually abused Amber when she was a young child had, just the night before, contacted Amber. Dr. Perry developed a theory — albeit, a strange one:

 

What if Amber had overdosed on fear?

 

Perry describes dissociation as a primitive, brainstem-based response to trauma that can feel like extreme daydreaming, sleepwalking while awake, or watching oneself from above one’s body.

He would later learn that Amber’s dissociative episodes were so intense during her abuse, she came up with vivid storylines to escape into that were often hard to distinguish from reality.

 

On this particular day, Amber’s extreme fear tripped her brain into a whole new level of dissociation — complete unconsciousness. She couldn’t be awakened.

Like an opossum playing dead.

 

Animals, People, and the Fear Factor

In many ways, the most basic parts of our human brains, the parts that form the earliest, are not that much different from the smallest-brained animals, like reptiles and birds.

Developing sequentially from the bottom-up through infancy and early childhood, our brains have two basic responses to fear/stress: dissociation and hyperarousal.

 

The purpose of dissociation is to shut down the body’s systems and slow the heart rate, in preparation for pending harm.

This makes sense: if you’re about to be eaten, slowing down blood flow means you’ll lose less blood, giving you at least a small chance at survival.

Or, like an opossum playing dead, you might look less appetizing to a predator who prefers fresh meat.

 

Dissociation is our earliest defense against pain.

Infants who don’t receive consistent, reliable attention from caregivers may find their cries earn them nothing, so they dissociate — growing quiet as a means of preserving precious energy.

(This is why a crying baby is a very good thing: it means they’ve developed trust in their grownups, and know someone will help them eventually.)

 

As we grow older, we gain more control over our bodies and our environments, so we learn to react to stressful situations through a variety of hyperarousal responses.

Most of us are familiar with fight or flight — reacting with sudden anger or aggression (like a bear attack when you come too close to her cubs), or by physically leaving the situation as quickly as possible (like a bird flying away).

 

But there are actually at least four other hyperarousal responses that don’t get enough press.

Most of us have experienced all of them in others or perhaps experienced them ourselves.

 

Here’s a helpful way to remember them, based on how we see hyperarousal in the animal kingdom:

 

Freeze

This is the classic deer-in-the-headlights reaction.

Something puts your brain on high alert, but instead of moving from where you are, you freeze in place until you can figure out what to do next.

 

Fawn

Fawning behavior is seen in dogs that are abused by their owners.

Instead of running away when they sense building anger in humans, they sidle up to them, ears back, and lick their hands.

In humans, fawning looks like survivors of domestic violence choosing to defend their abusers even when the police show up.

Sometimes the best way to stay safe is to keep a predator happy.

 

Flock

When schools of fish detect a shark, the way they swarm, dive and part in perfect harmony appears as if they have a single brain.

Fish are the ultimate flockers; they avoid predators by confusing them, sticking close in a moving mass of bodies.

In a similar way, humans who hear a gunshot may choose to escape the scene, emboldened by the size of the fleeing crowd.

 

Fume

When a skunk has exhausted its repertoire of early warning responses (shaking, tail-raising, stomping), it reacts to the bold predator by becoming so disgusting-smelling, it can’t possibly be considered tasty.

People who have been hurt by others do this too.

In order to ward off unwanted attention, avoid intimacy, or perhaps, in a self-sabotaging way, to prove to themselves what they fear most — that they are unattractive/unlovable/unworthy — stressed individuals find ingenious ways to “foul the air.”

They may say something incredibly hurtful, or do something so awkward and embarrassing, it can’t be ignored.

They clear the room and feel immediate relief.

 

However, you choose to react to stress and fear — or more accurately, how your brain chooses to react, informed by a lifetime’s experiences of successful or unsuccessful attempts at staying safe — know that it is normal.

So normal, in fact, that millions of beings for billions of years have reacted in the very same way.

 

Dr. Perry was able to find a medical solution to Amber’s extreme dissociative response, but that wasn’t the end of Amber’s story, nor the solution to her deep-rooted anxiety.

The key ingredient of her healing process occurred through the most simple yet profound therapy: connecting and confiding, openly and vulnerably, with safe people.

People who showed her a kind of love and commitment to her well-being she hadn’t yet experienced. People with whom she was able to form trusting, lasting relationships. Her therapist (Dr. Perry) included.

 

The efforts we make to self-preserve can cause us to react in myriad ways.

We confuse our predators, but we can also confuse ourselves, trying to understand why we act the way we do.

Much of what our brains do is a mystery!

 

We can avoid becoming sensitized to pain and stress, and heal from sensitization, by remembering that scary relationships hurt us, but it’s in safe relationships that we are healed.

 

 

Great INFO, a little outdated with using albums..........but great info.

 

How Listening to Music Can Relieve Your Anxiety

Listening to music turns out to be a science-backed way of coping mindfully with anxiety

 

There I was, sitting on the floor of my unfurnished room.

No, that’s not right; I was lying on the floor — devastated.

 

I realized that I had moved to a new city with zero social contacts right before another lockdown.

And that city just turned into a ghost town.

 

Every day I walked the same circle-shaped route in the city park.

When I was feeling adventurous, I walked the other way around.

You know, to keep it exciting, to “mix things up.”

But that didn’t prevent my loneliness from reaching never-experienced heights. Not to mention, I could almost watch daylight sink into pitch-black darkness.

 

Winter was coming.

And so was my seasonal depression.

In this anxious state, I rediscovered the beauty of listening to music full-length. No breaks.

No distractions.

 

Just me and the music.

This measure was one of the biggest cures for my stress and anxiety levels during the pandemic.

And I’m not alone; several studies have proven the effects of music on your well-being.

 

Why Music Soothes

One study examined dental patients who were listening to music before their treatment.

Their situational anxiety “decreased significantly.” Similar research even proved music to be superior over pre-operative medication.

 

A meta-analysis provides further evidence on anxiety relief.

The subjects — healthy individuals — have reported an “overall decrease in self-reported anxiety.” The findings also reveal that listening to music greatly affects blood pressure, cortisol level, and heart rate.

 

Music also enhances your mood.

That’s what a study conducted on information system developers in work environments suggests.

The shift in their mood, in turn, enhanced their quality and perception of work.

 

The positive effects of music have even sparked a form of therapy — music therapy.

Participants analyze, improvise, write, and, of course, listen to music.

The documented benefits include:

  • Improved self-image and self-esteem
  • Decreased anxiety and agitation
  • Successful and safe emotional release

The scientific benefits of music go on and on.

Perhaps because music roots in the human species for survival benefits and sexual selection.

 

Music touches us in our core instincts.

 

But how can we benefit the most from these insights?

What should we listen to, and how should we listen to music?

 

How to Make the Most of Music for Anxiety Relief

Active listening is important.

That is, to fully devote yourself to the music and not just let it drone in the background.

Molly Warren, a specialist in music therapy, explains the power of active listening:

 

“Because of its rhythmic and repetitive aspects, music engages the neocortex of our brain, which calms us and reduces impulsivity.”

 

Further research confirms that music can be an effective tool to induce emotions.

 

There are two ways to use this to our advantage.

First, we can use music to alter our mood.

Warren points out that matching music to our mood can keep us stuck in our anxious state.

Because of that, music therapists first play music matching the mood.

Then, they slowly shift it to the desired state — usually calmness or contentment.

 

Second, music can comfort our mood without changing it.

Listening to sad music, for example, can make us feel better when we’re down.

 

Markham Heid explains that sad songs don’t prolong sorrow if the music we listen to reflects our mood or is personally relevant to us.
Conversely, they supply us with “relief and pleasure — and maybe even a greater sense of emotional connection to other human beings.”

 

Through my own experience, I can confirm that listening to personal songs has been one of the best ways for me to merge with the music.

It’s what allows me to let all my worries go — even if it’s just for a moment.

 

Music that means the world to you can send you to another world.

 

How to Put the Findings into Practice

This might look different for everyone, but this four-step approach works best for me:

  1. I make sure I’m undisturbed and uninterrupted. I shut my door, close the curtains, and silence all my digital devices.
  2. I dim or switch off the lights, so the silhouette of my hand blurs with the space around me.
  3. I put on my favorite album. (Currently Dreamland by Glass Animals in case you were curious.) I prefer speakers over headphones because the experience feels “freer.”
  4. For the length of the album — in the case of Dreamland, 45 minutes and 24 seconds — I devote my full attention to the music. Depending on my mood, I dance, sing, or lie down. I find closing my eyes to be an effective way to focus my attention on the sounds.

Sessions like these have made me feel less lonely and anxious during the darkest times of the pandemic.

Every time the last chord hits, I feel more alive, content, and optimistic.

I’ve learned to become one with the music.

 

Since this is a very personal approach, I can only encourage you to find your own “therapeutic” music.

 

If you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Records your parents listened to in your childhood.
  • The music you listened to during a special moment in your life.
  • Songs where the lyrics and melody speak to your soul — you don’t need any reason or explanation for that.

Find what works for you and make the musical experience your own!

Experiment as much as you want to.

What do you have to lose?

It’s not an injection, medication, or surgery; it’s music.

Put on music right now.

Feel the magic.

 

   

Taming Monkey Mind in Meditation

by Madisyn Taylor

We all have the endless chatter and noise in our head, often referred to as the monkey mind.

It's been called the monkey mind – the endless chattering in your head as you jump in your mind from thought to thought while you daydream, analyze your relationships, or worry over the future.

 

Eventually, you start to feel like your thoughts are spinning in circles and you're left totally confused.

One way to tame this wild creature in your head is through meditation – although the paradox is that when you clear your mind for meditation you actually invite the monkey in your mind to play.

 

This is when you are given the opportunity to tame this mental beast by moving beyond thought – to become aware of a thought rather than thinking a thought.

The difference is subtle, but significant.

When you are aware of your thoughts, you can let your thoughts rise and float away without letting them pull you in different directions.

Being able to concentrate is one of the tools that allows you to slow down your thought process and focus on observing your thoughts.

To develop your concentration, you may want to start by focusing on the breath while you meditate. Whenever your monkey mind starts acting up, observe your thoughts and then return your focus to your breath.

Some breathing meditations call on you to focus on the rise and fall of the breath through the abdomen, while others have you concentrate on the sound of the breath.

Fire can also be mesmerizing, and focusing on a candle flame is another useful tool for harnessing the mind.

Keep the gaze soft and unfocused while observing the color, shape, and movement of the flame, and try not to blink.

 

Close your eyes when you feel the need and continue watching the flame in your head.

Chanting, devotional singing, and mantras also still the mind.

However you choose to tame the monkey mind, do so with firm kindness.

The next time the chattering arises, notice it and then allow it to go away.

With practice, your monkey mind will become quiet and so will you.

 

 

Walking through Your Fear

by Madisyn Taylor

Frequently, in walking through our fear, we discover that the strength of our fright was out of sync with reality.

The situations, activities, and individuals that frighten us remain static.

Their relative intensity does not change.

 

Fear, on the other hand, self-magnifies.

It is when you are afraid and envisioning all that might go wrong that the energy underlying your fear grows.

A tiny flicker of anxiety can easily develop into a terror that manifests itself physically and eventually paralyzes you into inaction.

Though frequently, in walking through that fear, we discover that the strength of our fright was out of synch with reality.

And we learn that doing what frightens us can lead to great blessings.

Confronting your trepidation head-on will help you accept that few frightening scenarios will ever live up to the negative disasters that we sometimes play out in our minds.

Though fear is literally an evolutionary gift meant to sharpen your senses and energize you during times of great stress, it can nonetheless become a barrier that prevents you from fulfilling your potential by causing you to miss out on rewarding, life-changing experiences.

 

During the period before you face your fear, you may have to deal with a barrage of negative thoughts and emotions.

Walking through it, whether your fear is public speaking, taking part in an activity that makes you nervous, or asserting yourself when the odds are against you, may be equally as difficult.

 

But once you have emerged unscathed on the other side, which you will, you will likely wonder why you assumed the worst in the first place.

As you spend time worrying about what might happen, it's good to know that your fear probably won't happen at all.

It may feel like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders, and you will likely feel a sense of passionate pride.

Walking through your fear can mean taking risks and can require both practice and patience.

Since it is challenging to act when you are gripped with fear, start small.

Each step you take into fear will strengthen you and help you confront future fears with poise, courage, and confidence. You will also find that when you are willing to stare your fear in the face, the universe will always offer you some form of aid or support.

 

When you see the heights of accomplishment and personal evolution you can attain when you walk through your fears, your faith in yourself will grow, allowing your next step to be easier.

 

 

"How living my life on the internet impacted my mental health"

YouTuber Lucy Wood opens up about the link between social media and personal wellbeing.

 
YouTuber Lucy Wood opens up about the link between social media and personal wellbeing
YouTube/LucyWood
 

"I started making YouTube videos in the summer of 2013. I'd just finished uni and was in that classic 'I don't know what the hell I'm doing with my life' phase -

 

I basically needed something to do.

It was a bit of fun at the time before YouTube was a big marketable thing; before anyone was famous because of it.

People made content because they wanted to share what they bought, talk about their favorite lipsticks, do a Primark haul.

 

I'd lived my life on the Internet before this anyway, but it was over the following three or four years when my subscriber count grew significantly, that I noticed the relationship between my mental health and YouTube change.  Read more....

 

 

OPINION: Being high-functioning and depressed doesn’t mean you’re not suffering

 

Writing this article, I knew it would be difficult for me to get the words out.

I wanted to talk about depression generally enough so others could relate, but also specific enough for it to matter.

I knew the topic of being extroverted and depressed would be hard to put into words.

 

Sometimes you get depressed because of events that happen in your life.

You just can’t process through everything and your mind just can’t handle it.

 

Other times, you wake up and you can’t get out of bed for no reason.

There’s no reason to be sad in your life; you go to college, you have friends and a nice family, but you just feel sad and lonely.

You just sit there and you can’t focus on anything because your mind won’t cooperate.

 

The latter is what it’s like for me. I have two jobs and friends, and staying busy keeps my mind from running.  Read more....

 

 

Expert Insights for Women on Treating Depression (also great for men )

Psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer Discusses Help for Mood Disorder Symptoms
 

Ever been depressed and felt you should be able to recover without help or, worse, that you were born to suffer?

 

In this Lifescript exclusive, depression expert Peter D. Kramer, M.D., shares how treatments have evolved, some surprising causes and what patients need to know about getting help.  read more.......

 

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When Isolation Is Ok

by Madisyn Taylor

         Sometimes we need to be alone, to simply do nothing but enjoy the sound of silence.

We all need time alone.

Even those of us who are social butterflies need some time to ourselves.

Solitude is necessary for meditation and quiet reflection.

 

We also may choose to isolate ourselves when we are busy and need to meet a deadline.

We may cherish time alone when we want to give ourselves over to art or music, lose ourselves in a good book, or delve into a personal project.

Having time to ourselves allows us to focus completely on our yoga practice or get into the zone while running or strength training.

 

Sometimes we need to be alone to simply do nothing but enjoy the sound of silence. Our alone time revitalizes and replenishes us, grounding us in our own company.

Yet, too much isolation, especially when our intention is to hide, withdraw, or not deal with the realities of our lives is not physically, mentally, or spiritually healthy.

 

It is during moments like these when being in isolation takes us away from our lives, rather than enhancing it.

If anything, too much isolation can create a buffer whereby we don't have to deal with our problems.

Sometimes, pushing ourselves to deal with our issues and be in our lives, rather than isolate, is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves.

Also, just as it is important for us to have our "alone" time, we need to remember that as human beings, we are by nature social creatures that thrive on human contact.

Our lives cannot occur in a vacuum, and we cannot fully live in this world without interacting with others.

 

Consider using isolation as time spent for rest, reinvigoration, and personal growth. Isolation can then not only empower you, but it can allow you to return to your work and your relationships restored and ready for life.

 

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6 ways to support someone who’s having a panic attack

 

by: Mia Arderne

 

What’s the best way to respond when someone tells you they are having a panic attack or feeling severely anxious?

 

There are many forms of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and PTSD.

While social phobia is characterized by the ‘intense fear of humiliation in social settings’, panic disorder is often linked to a sudden and unpredictable feeling of terror.

 

Some common features of anxiety disorders are panic attacks or episodes, and the avoidance or fear of specific places or situations (crowds, or driving, or taking public transport).

Panic attacks usually last for four to six minutes and can include a racing heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, numbness, trembling, sweating, chills or hot flushes, difficulty breathing, a sense of unreality, and chest pains. 

According to SADAG, ‘Women are affected twice as frequently as men’ – more great news about being a woman today.

 

Here are a few suggestions for how to support a friend or loved one when they’re going through an episode or attack:

 

1. Curb the ‘What If?’ thoughts by helping them to focus on the present

 

 

 

The feeling of fear is disproportionate to the actual situation. You can help bring the person going through the attack back into the present by encouraging them to focus on manageable tasks, for example, naming the objects or colors around them, or counting backward from 100 in threes.

 

2. Confront it by naming or labeling the experience

 

Call it what it is (anxiety, a panic attack), and don’t wish the attack away. Accept it and encourage your friend to give it time to pass. SADAG suggests asking your friend to rate the feeling of fear or anxiety from zero to 10. Then encourage them to keep track of how it fluctuates and notice that it will not stay at the highest level for too long. Remind your friend that they will be okay – it’s an attack and it’s going to pass.

 

3. Ask and affirm, don’t assume

 

Ask the person what they need right now, and ask what you can do. They may be able to guide you and, for example, ask for help getting out of the building or for help with a specific need. Don’t make assumptions. It can sometimes help to affirm or support them with words of encouragement, or just affirmation – ‘we’ll stay here as long as you need to’ – depending on the person. You can also affirm them by acknowledging small victories; things that may seem unremarkable but are a huge deal for someone with an anxiety disorder, like making it to the shops. It’s important to commend small steps and not enable avoidance.

 

 

4. Don’t dictate or be dismissive

 

You can encourage breathing slowly, but don’t dismiss what is happening by saying things like ‘just relax’ or ‘calm down'. If they could, they would. Don’t say disparaging things like ‘you’re just being irrational’ or ‘you have to do x’ – that will likely make it worse. Be patient.

 

5. Don’t be a martyr

 

Do not panic when you see someone having a panic attack. You might understandably be concerned, but compounding it does not help. Do not sacrifice your own well-being or health to help someone with anxiety. This will cause resentment. It’s important to remain functional.

 

6. Help them to get help

 

Remember that the person may need professional help, and you can encourage them to do something about their anxiety.  Anxiety disorders may not be caused by a single condition or situation. The disorder could come about as a result of hereditary factors, brain chemistry, life experiences, or a combination of all three. It can be aggravated by certain physical or environmental triggers, so it may help to know what those are for the affected person. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication in severe cases are the advised treatments.

 

 

 

Depression Screener



Taking a depression-screening test is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of clinical depression. The depression-screening test on this site is completely anonymous and confidential.  TAKE THE TEST

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What are your unique gifts to share with the world?

Do you feel that you have to buy a lotto ticket to win?

Do you agree that we have to find our self-love to transform?

Do you want to be happy?  A dumb question huh, think about it.

What did you do today that made you happy?

What did you want to do today to be even happier?

Do you agree that "other activities" are better than sitting on the couch watching TV?

 

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Emphasis on a Distraction from Depression

 

Has any of this ever happened to you?

  • Maybe you have found yourself in the hospital’s ER because you thought you were having a heart attack, only to be told later it was anxiety?
  • Do you ever fear you might stop breathing because your chest feels tight and your breathing is erratic?
  • When you drive, do you fear the idea of getting stuck in traffic, on a bridge, or at a red light?
  • Do you ever feel afraid you might lose control or go insane?
  • Have you struggled with anxious, intrusive thoughts?
  • Do you ever feel uncomfortable in enclosed spaces such as supermarkets, cinemas, public transport, or even sitting at the hairdressers?
  • Do you fear socializing because you might get anxious and have to leave in a hurry? What will they think, right?

Click on this link for multiple Videos...................

Animated Videos To End Panic Attacks and Anxiety

 

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Additional LINKS for more information on Depression

Listed below are links to more information on what is quickly labeled DEPRESSION. 

You have to be aware of your own feelings.....no one else feels them. 

Explore the WWW for answers and come up with some possible understanding of how you feel and why. 

For further answers seek professional assistance.

 

NOW if you feel you are really feeling SAD, alone, or other stuff, explore the links on self-love and discover your Trump Card. 

You are unique, you are important, you are perfect.

 

Let's explore some thoughts on Clinical Depression.

Dealing with and feeling Sad.

What can I do if I feel Lonely?

6 Ways to Ward Off Depression for Women....but Guy's check this out.

 

Your Trump Card: Self-Love.

How To Love Yourself In 17 Ways.

Keys to Self-Esteem and Self-Love.





How to Develop Trust through Self-Trust [self-trust]

 

What the heck is self-trust?

 

If you’re like most people, you’ve never heard of self-trust.

Because I’ve read hundreds of books on success, I’ve studied it some, but it’s not a common topic most authors or speakers cover.

I recently read Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, and shared the stage with him last week in Vegas at my company’s convention.

It’s amazing how little self-trust is talked about based on how powerful understanding it is for your success.

 

Let me ask you this . . . have you ever made a commitment to yourself and not followed through on it? 

New Year’s resolutions spring to mind or maybe a goal that you set but never followed through on for your business, health, or finances. 

We’ve all done it. 

 

Imagine if that was a promise you made to someone else. 

Would you have tried harder to do what you said you were going to do? 

Most would answer that with a resounding YES!

 

Breaking your word with yourself results in low self-trust

It’s just that you’ve been doing it for so long that you don’t realize the damage it can cause you. 

Low trust is the very definition of a bad relationship. 

Are you in a bad relationship with yourself?

 

Why does this matter? 

Because you can’t build trust with others if you don’t first trust yourself! 

If you wanna know how to develop as a leader, then you must first understand how to re-gain your self-trust.

 

In Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he explains that self-trust is where you learn the foundational principle that allows you to build and sustain trust in all types of relationships. 

That principle is credibility. 

Ask yourself, “Am I credible?”

“Am I believable?”

“Am I someone people (including myself) can trust?” 

If the answer is no, don’t worry.

You can work on credibility and re-building it within yourself!

 

 

“Self-trust is the first secret to success . . . the essence of heroism.”

                                                                   – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

So there are 4 Cores of Credibility.  Basically, these are what make you believable!  The first 2 deal with character; the second 2 are competence-related.  All 4 are necessary!

 

The 4 Cores of Credibility (Building Blocks of Self-Trust)

 

Core 1: Integrity – Are You Congruent?

This isn’t the same as honesty. 

It’s much more than that. 

Integrity is having the courage to act in alignment with your values and beliefs. 

Your actions are congruent with your values.

 

Core 2: Intent – What’s Your Agenda?

This has everything to do with your motives or agenda and the resulting behavior. 

Trust grows when our motives aren’t purely self-motivated. 

It grows when we serve and lead.

 

Core 3: Capabilities – Are You Relevant?

Simply put, these are the abilities you possess that inspire confidence.  This could include our talents, strengths, skills, knowledge…  It’s the means we use to produce results.  These can come from training.

 

Core 4: Results – What’s Your Track Record?

Did you do what you said you would do? 

People pay attention to the promises or commitments you make and if you follow through on them.  This affects self-trust when you continually miss the goals you set for yourself, just as it affects others when you have a poor track record with them.

 

To get a better understanding of how these 4 cores work together, check out the diagram of the tree.  Credibility is a living, growing thing that should be nurtured. 

Integrity exists as the roots and Results at the top. 

Makes sense, right?

 

Look over these cores of credibility. 

Where do you need work? 

Where are you doing great and deserve a nice pat on the back? 

Identify the areas you need to work on and get to it.

 

If self-trust is required to build trust with others and no relationship can exist without trust, shouldn’t this be a priority?

 

read more........................

 

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Could You Be Depressed?

Here is a basic quiz indicator.

Like Picasso, everyone goes through a "blue period" from time to time.
But if you're depressed, you are experiencing more than just the occasional bad mood or terrible day. Depression affects 20 million people in any given year and is a serious enough disorder to compromise one's ability to function normally day to day.
 
Find out if you're just blue or if you might be clinically depressed.
 



Extrovert-Me! - Get the most out of life----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

GREAT LISTS TO EXPLORE:

 

SEARCH our Library for tons of additional information on change and being happier.

 

As you explore these links.......did you find an outstanding Web Site that you would like to share with others.  It is all about connection. Drop us a web email from the Contact Page.

 

Links from readers of this Web Site:

 

Dr. Phil.com - A great source for information.

 

20 JOURNAL PROMPTS

FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Copied from Cblue82 on PatietsLikeMe blog

 

  1. List 20 things that make you smile.
  2. Write about what you love about life.
  3. When things seem tough, I want to remember _________
  4. What is something that you have overcome?
  5. Write about some of the kindest things that you can do for yourself when you are in pain (physical and/or emotional).
  6. Write about your victories this week.
  7. What do you think your life would be like if you didn't have anxiety or depression?
  8. What positive changes have you made or experienced in the past year?
  9. Write the words that you need to hear.
  10. What does your best day look like?
  11. What would you like to be remembered for?
  12. Write about one thing that you look forward to every day.
  13. Build a list of 15 songs that can help change your mood.
  14. Write about five of your best talents.
  15. List three things that you would do if you weren't afraid.
  16. What are five things that help you feel better when things are difficult?
  17. Write about ten things that you are thankful for.
  18. What is your favorite memory?
  19. Choose one thing that triggers anxiety or depression, and then write about a few ways that you can combat this trigger.
  20. Write about something that you forgive yourself for.

 

 

6 ways to support someone who’s having a panic attack

 

by: Mia Arderne

 

What’s the best way to respond when someone tells you they are having a panic attack or feeling severely anxious?

There are many forms of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and PTSD.

 While social phobia is characterized by the ‘intense fear of humiliation in social settings’, panic disorder is often linked to a sudden and unpredictable feeling of terror.

 

Some common features of anxiety disorders are panic attacks or episodes, and the avoidance or fear of specific places or situations (crowds, or driving, or taking public transport). 

Panic attacks usually last for four to six minutes and can include a racing heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, numbness, trembling, sweating, chills or hot flushes, difficulty breathing, a sense of unreality, and chest pains. 

According to SADAG, ‘Women are affected twice as frequently as men’ – more great news about being a woman today.

Here are a few suggestions for how to support a friend or loved one when they’re going through an episode or attack:

 

1. Curb the ‘What If?’ thoughts by helping them to focus on the present

 

 

 

The feeling of fear is disproportionate to the actual situation.

You can help bring the person going through the attack back into the present by encouraging them to focus on manageable tasks, for example, naming the objects or colors around them, or counting backward from 100 in threes.

 

2. Confront it by naming or labeling the experience

 

Call it what it is (anxiety, a panic attack), and don’t wish the attack away.

Accept it and encourage your friend to give it time to pass.

SADAG suggests asking your friend to rate the feeling of fear or anxiety from zero to 10.

Then encourage them to keep track of how it fluctuates and notice that it will not stay at the highest level for too long.

Remind your friend that they will be okay – it’s an attack and it’s going to pass.

 

3. Ask and affirm, don’t assume

 

Ask the person what they need right now, and ask what you can do.

They may be able to guide you and, for example, ask for help getting out of the building or for help with a specific need.

Don’t make assumptions.

It can sometimes help to affirm or support them with words of encouragement, or just affirmation – ‘we’ll stay here as long as you need to’ – depending on the person.

You can also affirm them by acknowledging small victories; things that may seem unremarkable but are a huge deal for someone with an anxiety disorder, like making it to the shops. It’s important to commend small steps and not enable avoidance.

 

 

4. Don’t dictate or be dismissive

 

You can encourage breathing slowly, but don’t dismiss what is happening by saying things like ‘just relax’ or ‘calm down’.

If they could, they would.

Don’t say disparaging things like ‘you’re just being irrational or ‘you have to do x’ – that will likely make it worse. Be patient.

 

5. Don’t be a martyr

 

Do not panic when you see someone having a panic attack. You might understandably be concerned, but compounding it does not help.

Do not sacrifice your own well-being or health to help someone with anxiety.

This will cause resentment.

It’s important to remain functional.

 

6. Help them to get help

 

Remember that the person may need professional help, and you can encourage them to do something about their anxiety. 

Anxiety disorders may not be caused by a single condition or situation.

The disorder could come about as a result of hereditary factors, brain chemistry, life experiences, or a combination of all three.

It can be aggravated by certain physical or environmental triggers, so it may help to know what those are for the affected person. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication in severe cases are the advised treatments.

 

 

 

Depression Screener



Taking a depression-screening test is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of clinical depression. The depression-screening test on this site is completely anonymous and confidential.  TAKE THE TEST

 

The 10 Depression Tools

These proven tools can help you feel stronger and more hopeful.

  1. Connect with others
  2. Stay positive
  3. Get physically active
  4. Help others
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Create joy and satisfaction
  7. Eat well
  8. Take care of your spirit
  9. Deal better with hard times
  10. Get professional help if you need it

 

Many people handle what they feel is depressed in different ways.  There is research on alternatives to medication and sitting at home.

 

 

  In defining the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron provides examples of characteristic behaviors, and these are reflected in the questions she typically asks patients or interview subjects:

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

 

          Read more at the HSP website

 

          Are You Highly Sensitive?  Take A Self-Test





-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

What are your unique gifts to share with the world?

Do you feel that you have to buy a lotto ticket to win?

Do you agree that we have to find our self-love to transform?

Do you want to be happy?  A dumb question huh, think about it.

What did you do today that made you happy?

What did you want to do today to be even happier?

Do you agree that "other activities" are better than sitting on the couch watching TV?

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Emphasis on a Distraction from Depression

 
Has any of this ever happened to you?
  • Maybe you have found yourself in the hospital’s ER because you thought you were having a heart attack, only to be told later it was anxiety?
  • Do you ever fear you might stop breathing because your chest feels tight and your breathing is erratic?
  • When you drive, do you fear the idea of getting stuck in traffic, on a bridge, or at a red light?
  • Do you ever feel afraid you might lose control or go insane?
  • Have you struggled with anxious, intrusive thoughts?
  • Do you ever feel uncomfortable in enclosed spaces such as supermarkets, cinemas, public transport, or even sitting at the hairdresser’s?
  • Do you fear socializing because you might get anxious and have to leave in a hurry? What will they think, right?

Click on this link for multiple Videos...................

Animated Videos To End Panic Attacks and Anxiety

 

 

Additional LINKS for more information on Depression

Listed below are links to more information on what is quickly labeled DEPRESSION. 

You have to be aware of your own feelings.....no one else feels them. 

Explore the WWW for answers and come up with some possible understanding of how you feel and why. 

For further answers seek professional assistance.

 

NOW if you feel you are really feeling SAD, alone, or other stuff, explore the links on self-love and discover your Trump Card. 

You are unique, you are important, you are perfect.

 

Let's explore some thoughts on Clinical Depression.

Dealing with and feeling Sad.

What can I do if I feel Lonely?

6 Ways to Ward Off Depression for Women....but Guy's check this out.

 

Your Trump Card: Self-Love.

How To Love Yourself In 17 Ways.

Keys to Self-Esteem and Self-Love.





How to Develop Trust through Self-Trust [self-trust]

 

What the heck is self-trust?

 

If you’re like most people, you’ve never heard of self-trust.  Because I’ve read hundreds of books on success, I’ve studied it some, but it’s not a common topic most authors or speakers cover. I recently read Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust and shared the stage with him last week in Vegas at my company’s convention. It’s amazing how little self-trust is talked about based on how powerful understanding it is for your success.

 

Let me ask you this . . . have you ever made a commitment to yourself and not followed through on it?  New Year’s resolutions spring to mind or maybe a goal that you set but never followed through on for your business, health or finances.  We’ve all done it.  Imagine if that was a promise you made to someone else.  Would you have tried harder to do what you said you were going to do?  Most would answer that with a resounding YES!

Breaking your word with yourself results in low self-trust.  It’s just that you’ve been doing it for so long that you don’t realize the damage it can cause you.  Low trust is the very definition of a bad relationship.  Are you in a bad relationship with yourself?

Why does this matter?  Because you can’t build trust with others if you don’t first trust yourself!  If you wanna know how to develop as a leader, then you must first understand how to re-gain your self-trust.

 

In Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he explains that self-trust is where you learn the foundational principle that allows you to build and sustain trust in all types of relationships.  That principle is credibility.  Ask yourself, “Am I credible?”, “Am I believable?”, “Am I someone people (including myself) can trust?”  If the answer is no, don’t worry. You can work on credibility and re-building it within yourself!

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Self-trust is the first secret to success . . . the essence of heroism.”

                                                                   – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

So there are 4 Cores of Credibility.  Basically, these are what make you believeable!  The first 2 deal with character; the second 2 are competence-related.  All 4 are necessary!

 

The 4 Cores of Credibility (Building Blocks of Self-Trust)

 

Core 1: Integrity – Are You Congruent?

This isn’t the same as honesty.  It’s much more than that.  Integrity is having the courage to act in alignment with your values and beliefs.  You’re actions are congruent with your values.

 

Core 2: Intent – What’s Your Agenda?

This has everything to do with your motives or agenda and the resulting behavior.  Trust grows when our motives aren’t purely self-motivated.  It grows when we serve and lead.

 

Core 3: Capabilities – Are You Relevant?

Simply put, these are the abilities you possess that inspire confidence.  This could include our talents, strengths, skills, knowledge…  It’s the means we use to produce results.  These can come from training.

 

Core 4: Results – What’s Your Track Record?

Did you do what you said you would do?  People pay attention to the promises or commitments you make and if you follow through on them.  This affects self-trust when you continually miss the goals you set for yourself, just as it affects others when you have a poor track record with them.

 

To get a better understanding of how these 4 cores work together, check out the diagram of the tree.  Credibility is a living, growing thing that should be nurtured.  Integrity exists as the roots and Results at the top.  Makes sense, right?

 

Look over these cores of credibility.  Where do you need work?  Where are you doing great and deserve a nice pat on the back?  Identify the areas you need work and get to it.  If self-trust is required to build trust with others and no relationship can exist without trust, shouldn’t this be a priority?

 

read more........................

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Could You Be Depressed? Here is a basic quiz indicator.

Like Picasso, everyone goes through a "blue period" from time to time. But if you're depressed, you are experiencing more than just the occasional bad mood or terrible day. Depression affects 20 million people in any given year and is a serious enough disorder to compromise one's ability to function normally day to day.
Find out if you're just blue or if you might be clinically depressed.
 



Extrovert-Me! - Get the most out of life

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 






SEARCH our Lirbary for ton's of additional information on change and being happier.

 

As you explored these links.......did you find an outstanding Web Site that you would like to share with others.  It is all about connection. Drop us a web email from the Contact Page.

 

Links from readers of this Web Site:

 

Dr. Phil.com - A great source for information.  Sent to post on site by Steve.

 

 

 

 

Expert Insights for Women on Treating Depression (also great for men )

Psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer Discusses Help for Mood Disorder Symptoms
 

Ever been depressed and felt you should be able to recover without help or, worse, that you were born to suffer?

 

In this Lifescript exclusive, depression expert Peter D. Kramer, M.D., shares how treatments have evolved, some surprising causes and what patients need to know about getting help.  read more.......

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overcoming Depression with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6 ways to support someone who’s having a panic attack

 

by: Mia Arderne

 

What’s the best way to respond when someone tells you they are having a panic attack or feeling severely anxious? There are many forms of anxiety disorder, including generalised anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia and PTSD. While social phobia is characterised by the ‘intense fear of humiliation in social settings’, panic disorder is often linked to a sudden and unpredictable feeling of terror.

 

Some common features of anxiety disorders are panic attacks or episodes, and the avoidance or fear of specific places or situations (crowds, or driving, or taking public transport). Panic attacks usually last for four to six minutes and can include a racing heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, numbness, trembling, sweating, chills or hot flushes, difficulty breathing, a sense of unreality and chest pains. According to SADAG, ‘Women are affected twice as frequently as men’ – more great news about being a woman today.

 

Here are a few suggestions for how to support a friend or loved one when they’re going through an episode or attack:

 

1. Curb the ‘What If?’ thoughts by helping them to focus on the present

The feeling of fear is disproportionate to the actual situation.

You can help bring the the person going through the attack back into the present by encouraging them to focus on manageable tasks, for example, naming the objects or colours around them, or counting backwards from 100 in threes.

 

2. Confront it by naming or labelling the experience

 

Call it what it is (anxiety, a panic attack) and don’t wish the attack away.

Accept it and encourage your friend to give it time to pass.

SADAG suggests asking your friend to rate the feeling of fear or anxiety from zero to 10.

Then encourage them to keep track of how it fluctuates and notice that it will not stay at the highest level for too long.

Remind your friend that they will be okay – it’s an attack and it’s going to pass.

 

3. Ask and affirm, don’t assume

 

Ask the person what they need right now, and ask what you can do.

They may be able to guide you and, for example, ask for help getting out of the building or for help with a specific need.

Don’t make assumptions.

It can sometimes help to affirm or support them with words of encouragement, or just affirmation – ‘we’ll stay here as long as you need to’ – depending on the person.

You can also affirm them by acknowledging small victories; things that may seem unremarkable but are a huge deal for someone with an anxiety disorder, like making it to the shops.

It’s important to commend small steps and not enable avoidance.

 

 

4. Don’t dictate or be dismissive

 

You can encourage breathing slowly, but don’t dismiss what is happening by saying things like ‘just relax’ or ‘calm down’.

If they could, they would.

Don’t say disparaging things like ‘you’re just being irrational’ or ‘you have to do x’ – that will likely make it worse.

Be patient.

 

5. Don’t be a martyr

 

Do not panic when you see someone having a panic attack.

You might understandably be concerned, but compounding it does not help.

Do not sacrifice your own well-being or health to help someone with anxiety.

This will cause resentment.

It’s important to remain functional.

 

6. Help them to get help

 

Remember that the person may need professional help, and you can encourage them to do something about their anxiety. 

Anxiety disorders may not be caused by a single condition or situation.

 

The disorder could come about as a result of hereditary factors, brain chemistry, life experiences, or a combination of all three.

It can be aggravated by certain physical or environmental triggers, so it may help to know what those are for the affected person.

 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication in severe cases are the advised treatments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depression Screener



Taking a depression-screening test is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of clinical depression. The depression-screening test on this site is completely anonymous and confidential.  TAKE THE TEST

 

 

How to Develop Trust through Self-Trust [self-trust]

What the heck is self-trust?

 

If you’re like most people, you’ve never heard of self-trust.

Because I’ve read hundreds of books on success, I’ve studied it some, but it’s not a common topic most authors or speakers cover.

 

I recently read Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust and shared the stage with him last week in Vegas at my company’s convention.

It’s amazing how little self-trust is talked about based on how powerful understanding it is for your success.

 

Let me ask you this . . . have you ever made a commitment to yourself and not followed through on it? 

New Year’s resolutions spring to mind or maybe a goal that you set but never followed through on for your business, health or finances. 

We’ve all done it. 

Imagine if that was a promise you made to someone else. 

Would you have tried harder to do what you said you were going to do?  Most would answer that with a resounding YES!

 

Breaking your word with yourself results in low self-trust

It’s just that you’ve been doing it for so long that you don’t realize the damage it can cause you.  Low trust is the very definition of a bad relationship. 

Are you in a bad relationship with yourself?

 

Why does this matter? 

Because you can’t build trust with others if you don’t first trust yourself! 

If you wanna know how to develop as a leader, then you must first understand how to re-gain your self-trust.

 

In Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he explains that self-trust is where you learn the foundational principle that allows you to build and sustain trust in all types of relationships. 

That principle is credibility. 

Ask yourself, “Am I credible?”, “Am I believable?”, “Am I someone people (including myself) can trust?” 

If the answer is no, don’t worry.

You can work on credibility and re-building it within yourself!

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Self-trust is the first secret to success . . . the essence of heroism.”

                                                                   – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

So there are 4 Cores of Credibility. 

Basically, these are what make you believeable! 

The first 2 deal with character; the second 2 are competence-related. 

All 4 are necessary!

 

The 4 Cores of Credibility (Building Blocks of Self-Trust)

 

Core 1: Integrity – Are You Congruent?

This isn’t the same as honesty. 

It’s much more than that. 

Integrity is having the courage to act in alignment with your values and beliefs. 

You’re actions are congruent with your values.

 

Core 2: Intent – What’s Your Agenda?

This has everything to do with your motives or agenda and the resulting behavior. 

Trust grows when our motives aren’t purely self-motivated. 

It grows when we serve and lead.

 

Core 3: Capabilities – Are You Relevant?

Simply put, these are the abilities you possess that inspire confidence. 

This could include our talents, strengths, skills, knowledge… 

It’s the means we use to produce results. 

These can come from training.

 

Core 4: Results – What’s Your Track Record?

Did you do what you said you would do? 

People pay attention to the promises or commitments you make and if you follow through on them. 

This affects self-trust when you continually miss the goals you set for yourself, just as it affects others when you have a poor track record with them.

 

To get a better understanding of how these 4 cores work together, check out the diagram of the tree. 

Credibility is a living, growing thing that should be nurtured. 

Integrity exists as the roots and Results at the top. 

Makes sense, right?

 

Look over these cores of credibility. 

Where do you need work? 

Where are you doing great and deserve a nice pat on the back? 

Identify the areas you need work and get to it. 

If self-trust is required to build trust with others and no relationship can exist without trust, shouldn’t this be a priority?

 

read more........................

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Could You Be Depressed? Here is a basic quiz indicator.

Like Picasso, everyone goes through a "blue period" from time to time.
But if you're depressed, you are experiencing more than just the occasional bad mood or terrible day.
Depression affects 20 million people in any given year and is a serious enough disorder to compromise one's ability to function normally day to day.
 
Find out if you're just blue or if you might be clinically depressed.
 



Extrovert-Me! - Get the most out of life

 

 

Many people handle what they feel is depress in different ways.  There is research on alternatives to medication and sitting at home.  Here are a video's to inspire you:

Click "right on top of the Video" to contact Justin for more information.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Feeling depressed, anxious or sad? Here are 7 tips to make yourself happy right now...

Feeling depressed, anxious or sad?

Here are 7 tips to make yourself happy right now... it's less than 5 minutes, but watch it only if you believe it can work (if you're skeptical or not in the mood, this will make you throw-up in your throat a little and we don't want that).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

What are your unique gifts to share with the world?

Do you feel that you have to buy a lotto ticket to win?

Do you agree that we have to find our self love to transform?

Do you want to be happy?  A dumb question huh, think about it.

What did you do today that made you happy?

What did you want to do today to be even more happy?

Do you agree that "other activities" are better than sitting on the couch watching TV?

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Emphasis on a Distraction from Depression

Chick on this link for multiple Videos...................

 

Animated Videos To End Panic Attacks and Anxiety

 

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional LINKS for more information on Depression

Listed below are links to more information on what is quickly labeled DEPRESSION.  You have to be aware of your own feelings.....no one else feels them.  Explore the WWW for answers and come up with some possible understanding of how you feel and why.  For further answers seek professional assistance.

 

NOW if you feel you are really feeling SAD, alone or other stuff, explore the links on self- love and discove your Trunp Card.  You are unique, you are important, you are perfect.

 

Let's explore some thoughts on Clinical Depression.

Dealing with and feeling Sad.

What can I do if I feel Lonely?

6 Ways to Ward Off Depression for Women....but Guy's check this out.

 

Your Trump Card: Self-Love.

How To Love Yourself In 17 Ways.

Keys to Self-Esteem and Self-Love.





SEARCH our Lirbary for ton's of additional information on change and being happier.

 

As you explored these links.......did you find an outstanding Web Site that you would like to share with others.  It is all about connection. Drop us a web email from the Contact Page.

 

Links from readers of this Web Site:

 

Dr. Phil.com - A great source for information.  Sent to post on site by Steve.