Thursday, October 30, 2014


Pushing Aside Daily Mental Health Triggers is ToughAn outsider may not understand how difficult it is to avoid and ignore the angry mental health triggers surrounding you. Those outsiders, especially those without mental illness, may not even understand what a "trigger" really is. In truth, everyone struggles with triggers; the elements of daily life that bring forward intense emotions and can sometimes lead to unsafe behaviors. These are things that everyone experiences – not just those with mental illness.

The question is: how do you push aside the mental health triggers that haunt your every move? The answer is not simple and depends on everyone's personal struggles and coping skills. For those who struggle with eating disorders, triggers can grow from the mere sight of food or a pound on the scale. For those who self-harm, any sharp object can trigger the urge to self-injure.

Since triggers are imprinted into everyday life, there really is no true way to avoid them. However, if you can find ways to replace those triggers with a positive activity or diversion, there is a greater possibility of successfully moving forward. You can use music or writing or being surrounded by supportive people as positive replacements. When those replacements are actively used, the mental health triggers may not affect you as much.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pull the Covers Up Over My Head: A Depression Poem

A Depression Poem: Thoughts From a Depressed Mind
Suck it up, you say?
Get over it?
If only it were that easy.
I know it’s not rational. It doesn’t make any sense. But that doesn’t mean I can stop it.
A very small little part of my brain tells me I’m in a bad mood for no reason. But there feels like there should be a reason!
I just want to pull the covers up over my head.
I don’t want to try. I don’t want to get dressed or get going or put on my happy face for anyone.
I don’t want to say “fine” when someone asks how I am.
I want to hunker down.
I want to cry for no reason.
Is my depression upsetting you?
Me too.
Are you tired of hearing about it?
Me too.
I don’t like it. I didn’t ask for it.
I don’t understand it.
I do want to feel better. But it feels like a weight is holding me down. I can’t move. I can’t try. I want to. But it’s just so hard.
I wish it would rain healing energy on me right where I am and wash this away forever. I don’t want it anymore.
It is an invisible illness that people don’t understand. Heck, I deal with it every day and I don’t understand it.
I want to tell you how to help me.
I want you to tell me what I need.
I wish I could.


By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Clinical depression goes by many names -- depression, "the blues," biological depression, major depression. But it all refers to the same thing: feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end (not just a passing blue mood). This feeling is most often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling "weighed down"), and taking little or no pleasure in things that gave you joy in the past. A person who's depressed just "can't get moving" and feels completely unmotivated to do just about anything. Even simple things -- like getting dressed in the morning or eating -- become large obstacles in daily life.
Depressed? Take the Quiz Now We've compiled a library of depression resources for you to explore. We encourage you to take your time with these resources, print out things you'd like to read more carefully, and bring anything you have additional questions about to your family doctor or a mental health professional.
Depression is readily treated nowadays with modern antidepressant medications and short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy. Don't be put off by the number of things written about depression -- because it's so common, a lot has been written about it! Read what you need, and leave the rest for another day. Continue reading this introduction to depression...

What's Depression Feel Like?

Certainty that an acute episode [of depression] will last only a week, a month, even a year, would change everything. It would still be a ghastly ordeal, but the worst thing about it -- the incessant yearning for death, the compulsion toward suicide -- would drop away. But no, a limited depression, a depression with hope, is a contradiction. The experience of convulsive pain, along with the conviction that it will never end except in death -- that is the definition of a severe depression.
~ George Scialabba


Thursday, October 16, 2014

7 Ways to Say Strong When Life Inflict Pain



At some point, you will come to realize that living the good life involves some amount of necessary pain, and that there are more flavors of pain than ice cream and coffee combined…

There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step, walking out of a familiar, safe situation and into the excitement of the unknown.  There’s the giant, whirling pain of life upsetting all of your big plans and expectations.  There’s the little sharp pains of making a mistake, and the more obscure aches of success, when it doesn’t make you feel as good as you thought it would.  There are the vicious, backstabbing pains of betrayal.  The sweet little pains of finding others who are worthy of your time, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn.  There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend or lover and help them face their problems.

And on the best of days, there are the subtle, tingling pains you feel throughout your body when you realize that you’re standing in a moment of sweet perfection, an instant of great achievement, or happiness, or laughter, which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Everyone is down on pain, and when we experience it we usually say we’re having a bad day, because we forget something important about what were going through: Pain is for the living – for those of us who still have the chance of a lifetime.  Only the dead don’t feel it, because their time is already up.

So with this in mind, here are seven smart ways to stay strong when life inflicts pain:

1.  View every challenge as an educational assignment. – Ask yourself:  “What is this situation meant to teach me?”  Every situation in our lives has a lesson to teach us.  Some of these lessons include:  To become stronger.  To communicate more clearly.  To trust your instincts.  To express your love.  To forgive.  To know when to let go.  To try something new.

2.  Remind yourself that you are not alone. – To lose sleep worrying about a friend.  To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down.  To feel like less because someone didn’t love you enough to stay.  To be afraid to try something new for fear you’ll fail.  None of this means you’re dysfunctional or crazy.  It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to right yourself.  You are not alone.  No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie.

3.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. – You are who you are and you have what you have, right now.  And it can’t be that bad, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read this.  The important thing is simply to find one POSITIVE thought that inspires and helps you move forward.  Hold on to it strongly, and focus on it.  You may feel like you don’t have much, or anything at all, but you have your mind to inspire you.  And that’s really all you need to start moving forward again.

4.  Emotionally separate yourself from your problems. – You are a living, breathing human being who is infinitely more complex than all of your individual problems added up together.  And that means you're more powerful than them – you have the ability to change them, and to change the way you feel about them.

5.  Consciously nurture your inner hope. – A loss, a worry, an illness, a dream crushed – no matter how deep your hurt or how high your aspirations, do yourself a favor and pause at least once a day, place your hands over your heart and say aloud, "Hope lives here."

6.  Find a reason to laugh. – Laugh at yourself often.  Find the humor in whatever situation you’re in.  Optimism is a happiness magnet.  If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.

7.  Ask positive questions. – If you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers.  There are no positive answers to, “Why me?” “Why didn’t I?” “What if?” etc.  Would you allow someone else to ask you the demoralizing questions you sometimes ask yourself?  I doubt it.  So stop and swap them for questions that push you in a positive direction.  For instance, “What can I do right now to move forward?”

And again, if you're struggling with any of these points, remember that you are not alone.  We are all in this together.  Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track.  This is precisely why Marc and I wrote our book, “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.”  The book is filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that.  And believe it or not, Marc and I are always re-visiting and re-reading our own material, just to center our minds on these positive principles. I hope you are finding it helpful too.

And finally, I saved the BIG NEWS for last:

Marc and I are thrilled to announce that our first video course—Getting Back to Happy—is coming November 4th!

We developed this course to be the go-to resource for anyone serious about taking action to reclaim their happiness and realize their potential.

It is filled with our best advice - advice gathered from firsthand experience, nearly a decade of studying and writing about the psychology of happiness and success, and through coaching thousands of people just like you. From proven ways to foster stronger relationships, to actions engineered to help you let go of toxic behaviors, to scientifically proven methods of making progress on your personal and professional goals, the learning modules in this course will inspire and equip you to become your strongest, most effective self.

Join our early access list to be among the first to learn more about the course. Doing so guarantees you the VIP opportunity to enroll at the front of the line.

As a bonus, when you join our early access list, you'll receive:

- A free early sneak peek at three course video modules.
- A free 1-hour coaching session with Marc and I once you enroll in the course.
- High-value bonus content, including audio versions of all the Getting Back to Happy course videos once you enroll in the course.

And note that when you sign up for the early access list, you’re under no obligation to enroll when the course is ready. You’re merely reserving your spot at the front of the line. I hope you will.

Questions or comments?  Please don’t hesitate to email us or leave a comment on our blog.

And finally, please share this email with anyone else who could benefit from it.

Sincerely hoping your 2014 has been inspired thus far,

Angel Chernoff