Tag Archives: Mental Health

What Went Well – Three Blessings Exercise

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”).

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/02/18/martin-seligman-gratitude-visit-three-blessings/

Former Parole Officer Reflects On His Time Supervising ‘The Second Chance Club’

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation’s jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

I got the book after hearing this interview. It was quite good.
The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison
Jason Hardy
Amazon

How to Handle Coronavirus Isolation and Anxiety – WebMD

Take a break from news.
The 24-hour news cycle can make anxiety spike. Give yourself a limit. Stick with what you need to know and what’s happening in your community.

Change your mindset.
Avoid thinking too much about the future or worst-case scenarios. Forecasting can trigger anxiety. Instead of saying, “I’ll never recover,” tell yourself, “I’ll make it through this.”

https://www.webmd.com/lung/handle-isolation-and-anxiety#1

Talking about Depression – Fresh Air Interview with John Moe

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. For people prone to depression, especially if the depression is triggered by stress, this is probably a really difficult period. That’s one of the things I’m going to talk about with my guest John Moe, who you might know from his public radio podcast “The Hilarious World Of Depression,” which is also the name of his new book. He’s a humorist who’s dealt with clinical depression much of his life. On his podcast, he interviews people – mostly comics – who have depression. In his book, he writes about his own depression and the history of mental illness in his family. His older brother died by suicide. Throughout the book, Moe quotes relevant passages of his interviews with comics. In the preface, he writes that the book is about how he’s been tortured by depression but also found the absurd humor in it.

Fresh Air

Keeping Your Mental Health Up in Hard Times

“One of the keys to becoming more resilient is to practice compassion both toward ourselves as well as toward others,” Ms. Marston said. “One of the keys to doing so is to interrupt recurring cycles of negative inner dialogue.”

When we find ourselves cycling through negative thoughts that don’t go anywhere, it’s important to take a step back to disrupt the cycle of anxiety, Ms. Marston said. “This can include stopping and focusing on our breath rather than on our thoughts, changing our physical environment to help create distance from our initial mental space, or having a conversation with someone we trust to get a fresh perspective.

Dr. Sarah Kate McGowan, an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested coming up with coping statements to help you get through dark moments. This might be something like, “I can take this one day at a time” or “This is frightening, and I can handle it.” You can even write these statements on index cards to refer to when you find yourself back in the negativity loop, she said.”

Kristin Wong, NY TIMES
How to Stay Optimistic When Everything Seems Wrong

The Maze of Resentment

“We call this state “the Maze.” It’s called the Maze because the deeper you get into it, the harder it is to escape. The person who has “wronged” you becomes your obsession. It’s as if they’ve taken up residence in your head and you can’t get them out. You curse them, you argue with them, you plot revenge. In this state, the other person becomes your jailor, trapping you in a maze of your own repetitive thoughts.”

…”You may be justified in reacting the way you do—but it doesn’t matter. Once you’re in the Maze, you’re damaging yourself.”

Stutz, Phil. The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity, and Willpower–and Inspire You to Live Life in Forward Motion

47.2

A Dartmouth economist has pegged what he claims is the most miserable age: 47.2 years old. A new study by David Blanchflower, collecting data about well-being and age from 132 countries, suggests that for people in developed nations, the “happiness curve” reaches its perigee at precisely 47.2 years. Those are the doldrums of middle age.

For someone like me who feels plenty of middle-aged misery but is not yet 47.2, this statistic is daunting! I’m not gonna see an upswing for another 2.14 years? I decided to talk to some actual 47.2-year-olds to find out what it is about 47.2-hood that’s so miserable, and how I can escape their horrible fate.

Dan Kois, Slate

‘I never had stress’

“As far as I am concerned, stress is a manufactured thing,” Dr. Ellsworth Wareham told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2015 as part of a Vital Signs special on blue zones.

Wareham was 100 years old at the time and still mowed his front yard.

“I never had stress,” said Wareham, a life-long Seventh-day Adventist. “I have a philosophy: You do the best you can. And the things you can’t do anything about, don’t give any thought to them.”

A heart surgeon by trade, Wareham assisted in surgeries until he was 95 years old, and told Gupta that he would still be able to operate at the age of 100.

Sandee LaMotte, What this sunny, religious town in California teaches us about living longer

Thoughts and How You Feel

In fact, your thoughts often have much more to do with how you feel than what is actually happening in your life.

This isn’t a new idea. Nearly two thousand years ago the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, stated that people are disturbed “not by things, but by the views we take of them.” In the Book of Proverbs (23: 7) in the Old Testament you can find this passage: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” And even Shakespeare expressed a similar idea when he said: “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2).

Burns M.D., David D.. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy