Take A Leap!

Take a leap!I thought we were doing well.  The conference was going well.  I thought the participants were happy.

But sometimes, you can tell by the expression. . . .

I saw her headed toward me, red-faced and determined.  I turned to face her, and with a big grin, asked, “How can I help you?”

She stuck her finger in my face and proclaimed, “YOU CAN GO TAKE A LEAP!”

With that, she turned and stormed out.

For a few moments, I was in shock, not quite sure what to do with that.

Then, I decided that maybe it was good advice.  I should take some leaps!  We should ALL take some leaps!  Take some risks,  push our comfort zones, grow, stretch.

Fear.

We think fear is our friend.  We listen to fear.  Whenever we feel fear, we are tempted to believe we should stop, retreat, and be safe.

Too often, we believe fear is an Avoidance Detector.  I believe it is an Importance Detector.

Fear points out when something is important.  Maybe we need to be careful and avoid it.  But maybe we need to pursue it, because it is important.

Whenever we feel fear, it is telling us something is important.  What we do with that is up to us.

Today, I explore how to make fear your Importance Detector.

 

How To Beat Depression

How to beat depression.Disclaimer: The information I provide in this blog and podcast are not to be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes, you should consult with your doctor.

This material is my opinion, based in research and experience. It may or may not apply to you.

This week, we continue the Dealing With Depression series.

In the first week, we looked at myths and truths about depression. I discussed the truth about the “chemical imbalance theory,” and gave some information on the effectiveness of medications.

The second week, we looked at defining what depression is. I noted that depression is a systemic issue, and looked at the symptoms of depression.

But during the third week, I raised the issue of whether it really is depression. There are a number of other physical and psychological issues that mimic depression, but are not. Trying to treat another syndrome as if it is depression can be useless an frustrating.

This week, we turn our attention to how to beat depression. What can you do, immediately and long-term, to beat the depression trap?

I offer 8 strategies that are “depression first-aid,” and 4 strategies for dealing with depression in the long term. All of these strategies can be used to augment current treatment for you or a loved one struggling with depression.

 

**Special Note: If you find Thriveology Podcasts helpful, please consider supporting the podcast with a contribution! We have a Patreon page set up just for that. Please visit HERE and consider supporting us, so we can support you and others! Thank you for considering!**

 

Is It REALLY Depression?

Is this really depression?  Conditions that look like depression.“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.”  Or so the saying goes.

With symptoms of depression, it is not quite so clear.

Years ago, I had a client in my office who had been working to resolve her depression for years.  Medicine after medicine, doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist, all tried to resolve her depression.

There was little to no improvement.  In fact, it just seemed to be getting worse.

I asked a simple question:  “Have you had your bloodwork done?”

I sent her back to her doctor, and had her request one specific blood test.   My guess was right.  Her thyroid was not working correctly.  Many mental health professionals were so fixated on her depression that they missed the fact that it was an easily treated medical condition.

In this week’s podcast, I cover 8 other issues, medical and psychological, that look like depression — but are not depression and do not need to be treated like depression.

Here is why this is important:  before you treat “depression,” you want to make sure it is depression.  Medicine and psychotherapy do no good, if you are aiming at the wrong target.

Listen in as I discuss some “look alikes” that appear to be depression, but are not.

Other Podcasts in the Dealing With Depression Series:
Truths and Myths About DepressionWhat IS Depression?

 

What IS Depression?

What IS depression?Disclaimer:  The information I provide in this blog and podcast are not to be construed as medical advice.  Before making any changes, you should consult with your doctor.

This material is my opinion, based in research and experience.  It may or may not apply to you.

In the last podcast, I discussed some myths and truths about depression.

But what IS depression?

This is a simple question.  But the answer is complex.

Part of the reason for the complexity is because we are still unclear on what causes depression, what defines depression, and how depressive symptoms can be a part of life.

This week, I want to provide a multidimensional view of depression.  It is not simply a medical condition.  Nor is it a “moral failing.”  Nor is it “all in your head.”

Depression does have a medical impact, does affect one’s thoughts, and has symptoms throughout the body and mind.

Before we take a look at how to address depression, we want to be clear on what we are addressing.  Listen below for my understanding of depression.

 

Truths and Myths About Depression

Truths and Myths about Depression.Disclaimer:  The information I provide in this blog and podcast are not to be construed as medical advice.  Before making any changes, you should consult with your doctor.

This material is my opinion, based in research and experience.  It may or may not apply to you.

Now that I have THAT out of the way, this week begins a short series on dealing with depression.  If you or a loved on suffers from depression, I hope you will find this information useful.  If you do, please share it with others.

Depression is a major health issue.  According to the World Health Organization, it affects over 120 million people.  In the United States alone, in a recent year, there were over 30 million people using a prescription antidepressant.

There is no doubt, depression is very real.

After that, the information becomes murky and confusing.  Is it a disease?  Is it a moral defect?  Is it a thought problem?  Is it a chemical imbalance?

The answer is not so easy.

Nor is the treatment.

In this week’s podcast, I examine some of the truths and myths about depression.  Please listen.

**Links to information as discussed in the podcast:

The Chemical Imbalance Myth

Do Anti Depressants Work or Don’t They?

Why Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos

 

5 Ways To Shift Your Day From Stressful To Restful

Shift from stressful to restful.I was at a workshop yesterday, and was struck with how many people said, “My life/job/relationship is stressful.”

That was a belief I once shared.  Now, I understand that stress is our internal reaction to an external event.

There is nothing inherently stressful to a life or job or situation, except as we experience it as stressful.

In other words, we may be having stressful thoughts about the situation.  But someone else may be experiencing the same thing, but feel free of stress — perhaps even exhilarated.

If, though, you are feeling stressed, and want to make some shifts, I have some ideas to share with you.  Here is the really good part:  nothing I suggest will add to your load.  Most are simple shifts you can make right now, today.  And all have been proven to help you.

These are some things you can do to make your life a bit less stressful — make your life a bit more smooth and restful.  And I promise you, none will require you to make any drastic changes.  No need to quit the job, move to a deserted island.

If you incorporate these simple ideas and strategies, I promise you will see a change in your stress load.  You will have more resources (emotional and energetic) to deal with those issues in your life.

Think of it like a glass of water.  If the water is almost filled up, it only takes a little more to overflow the cup (your life) and make a mess (stress you out).  But if you start the day with half a glass, you have more room for those issues and problems that will inevitably arise — and it won’t overflow your cup (your life) and make a mess (stress you out).

Learn how to keep the glass less full with my 5 simple suggestions to go from stressful to restful.

 

Stop Striving. Start Thriving.

Stop striving.  Start thriving.“Just a little bit further,” my brother kept telling me.  I was out of shape, trying to get to the top of the mountain.  Exhausted, I was just trudging along.

My brother, leading the way, kept reassuring me that it was just a few more switchbacks. . . and then, the summit!  It would be a beautiful view, he assured me.

Many promises of “just a little further” stacked up.  It was always “just a little further.”  I grumbled about understanding the Israelites as they followed Moses:  “Just a little longer in the desert, I promise!”

The trail was passing me by, but I was not noticing.  I just kept trudging along.  I missed the rhododendrons, the brook, the wildlife. . . pretty much everything along the way.  All to get to the summit.

We made it, but I missed the real treat:  the journey up.

Don’t we all do that?  We believe that life will start when we get to _________ (fill in the blank).  When we get our degree, when we get some money, when we get the promotion/job/career, when we have a child, when the kids are gone, when the house is paid off, etc., etc., etc.

The problem is, that point is usually just beyond where we are.  And in the process, we miss where we are.  We await the future and forget the present (“present” is my word for 2015).

STOP!

Stop striving.  Stop waiting for life to begin “when . . . .”

START!

Start thriving.  Start enjoying right now.  Start enjoying the process, on the way to what will be.

Join me in this week’s Thriveology Podcast, as I explore how to stop striving and how to start thriving.

(And here is the link to how to support the podcast.)

 

My Word for 2015: Present

This moment is all we have.  Be in it.Last week, I talked about my 1 word resolution.

This week, I want to tell you about my word.  See if it applies to you, too!

I often find myself impatient, caught in my thoughts, distracted by something else, or plagued by “What if?”, “If only. . .”, “Why?”, “When. . .”, or “I should. . . .”

Oh, I know better.  But I still fall into those traps.  I let those thoughts PULL me away from the present moment.

But I also know this:

This moment is all we have.  Be in it!

This moment passes.  Just like yesterday passed.  The next moment may or may not come.

Yet, we live much of our lives in thoughts of what happened, and fears of what might come.  Our thoughts of “what happened” are really our perceptions of what happened.  Our fears about what might come are not preparations — they are just fears.

We all exist in the present, between what was and what will be.  But we live in the only two time-frames of which we have no control.  We can’t change what happened, and we can’t know what will happen.

Which brings me to my word:  Present.

My task this year:  to be more present.  To be less distracted.  To live in the moment I am in. . . as much as possible.

When I fail?  That’s OK.  That moment passes, and I have a new opportunity to live in the present.

How about you?  Will you join me in the present?

Listen in as I admit my growing edge, and tell you how I will be more present.

 

Resolve!: Your 2015 Resolution in 1 Word

Goals 2015I always love New Years.  A fresh start!  New beginnings!

It is really the same reason I always liked the end of a semester at school.  While arbitrary, it felt like a fresh start, and a chance to do things differently.

So, I used to sit down and right out my New Years’ Resolutions.  I “limited” myself to 10.

If I were lucky, one of the 10 would still be going, come February.

One year, I thought, “This is not working!  I will only do 3 resolutions!”

That was minimally more effective.  Instead of a 10% success rate, I would be 33% successful.  Much better, but still not great.

And generally, the resolutions didn’t move me forward very far.

There had to be a better way. . . .

Eight years ago, my church decided to choose a word to live into.  That word was a word to stretch into, to grow into, to become.

THAT made the difference!

I became conscious about that word, focused myself on the word, and saw myself growing.

Since, my family has continued that tradition.  Each New Year’s Eve, we share our word with each other.

This year, my word is. . . . Well, you will have to wait.  It isn’t New Year’s Eve yet!

Want to know how to change your resolution into something that makes a difference?

Listen to my audio below.  Then if you want, please leave your word in the comments below!

 

Your Guide To A Guilt-Free NO: #49 Thriveology Podcast

"No" is a complete sentence.The favorite word of a two year-old:  “NO!”  That toddler says it freely, with meaning and conviction.

Many of us lose that capacity of “No” soon after.

Instead of having control over our lives, we turn it over to others.  We are asked to do something, and we say “yes,” whether we want to or not.

Guilt?

Shame?

There is some part of us that feels the need to say “yes” when asked. . . and in so doing, we lose control over our own lives.

“No” has power.  It helps you mark who you are and what you are about. . . but only if you use it.

In truth, there is no way to say “YES” unless we can say “NO.”

If we cannot say no, we cannot fully commit to the yeses of life.  Everything becomes a “Yes,” which means we are not truly making a choice.

But how do you say “No?”  How do you choose when to say “No”?

Join me on this week’s Thriveology Podcast, as we explore the power of “NO.”