I Can’t Sleep. I’m Constantly on Edge
If you’re not getting the recommended amount of sleep (about eight hours a night), this single untreated condition can lead to every other depression symptom. Getting getting the appropriate amount of sleep can have just as striking benefits for well-being.
“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It is not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” – Byron Katie
The authors of the original mindfulness manual made three irrefutable observations about death. Death is certain. The time of death is uncertain. The only thing that can help us at the time of death is how we’ve trained our mind.
We think of our personality as our distinctive character. But the Latin root word, persona, means the mask through which an actor speaks. Like Halloween masks, our personality conceals who we really are. And we live in fear of being unmasked.
One Saturday afternoon I checked my texts and emails to find a message that couldn’t have been better engineered to evoke social anxiety!
“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.”–Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
A quote from anthropologist Helen Fisher got me thinking about how sex impacts our well-being and depression. “I don’t think, honestly, we’re an animal that was built to be happy; we are an animal that was built to reproduce. I think the happiness we find, we make.”
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s character Lysander says, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” How well we negotiate relationships can mean the difference between depression and well-being. Susan Piver’s new book The Four Noble Truths of Love helps us navigate that course.
It’s true that practicing strengthens our habits. But, like “the Force” in the Star Wars saga, what we practice has both a light and a dark side.
“There is no right or wrong, no good or bad, when it comes to values. What you value is what you value—end of story!” writes Russ Harris in The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT. But, living our values can lead us either to depression or to well-being.
Lizards and mice and monkeys, oh my. When our human thought and animal emotion are at odds, it’s easy to get depressed. But learning techniques to tame the animals in our head can help us achieve greater well-being.
Feelings of social anxiety are very real, but thanks to our ancestors, they’re not very reliable. Our feelings weren’t designed to depict reality accurately even in our ‘natural’ environment. The fact that we’re not living in a ‘natural’ environment makes our feelings even less reliable guides to reality.
If your depression seems resistant to the usual therapies, Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin may have a novel cure for you: bibliotherapy.
It’s hard to find a silver lining in the cloud of depression. But, learning to read our emotional compass can guide us to well-being.
“Here lies the body of William Jay,
Who died maintaining his right of way –
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong.”–Dale Carnegie
Best-Selling author John Green’s battle with OCD for autonomy and control.
Thinking about death can be far less anxiety producing than thinking about dying. But, surprisingly, contemplating end of life scenarios really tells us more about how we want to live.
Getting annoyed with others people’s opinions is one of the stresses of daily life that I’ve resolved to let go of as a New Year’s resolution. So far, I’m not doing so well. Here’s how I plan to do better.
When it comes to post traumatic stress, the brain’s ability to reinvent itself can be a double-edged sword.
Dad used to get embarrassed every Christmas.
I’m usually pretty good about not getting swept away by the stress of the holiday season. But, sometimes despite all my cautions, I find myself in deep water.