Tag Archives: self improvement

Depression


The original slogan for my blog was “under-spoken topics at a glance” (or something very similar, my memory is hazy on the matter). I feel that depression is too often spoken about by people who know nothing about it. Which, in a way, means that it is always spoken about and yet never discussed.

There are people all over the world telling you the right way and the wrong way of dealing with depression and the right way and the wrong way of dealing with loved ones that are suffering from depression. It is a very difficult situation to be in for either party, and the last thing you want to be told is that you’re doing everything wrong. (Granted when you are doing something incorrectly, you do need to be made aware.)

This post is not for identifying whether or not you are depressed or suffer from depression. If you feel that you are, I urge you to seek help from family members as well as medical professionals.

Based on what I’ve come across in my lifetime, I’ve found that there are a few methods that assist in lessening the pain that bursts of depression can bring. These methods may or may not be popular, but they have worked in most cases that I’ve come across.

To assist someone who is depressed due to a seemingly random burst of depression:

  • Change gears with whatever is going on. You most likely don’t know what triggered the burst, but if you just entirely change whats going on around you and whomever is depressed, you are likely to avert a meltdown.
  • Maintain visual presence. To do this is somewhat difficult for both parties for different reasons. But it will be worth it in the long run. Sometimes it is helpful just to know that someone else is there. It assists in keeping the despair to a minimum.
  • Talk about irrelevant topics, this can help with keeping their mind occupied on mundane topics that aren’t likely to cause any stress, which in turn keeps their mind off of the X factor that caused the sudden depression.
  • If you’re a brave one and feel you know the person well, I suggest talking about problems they are having that you can help them resolve. (Please note, helping them resolve and resolving for them are two totally different things.)
  • Depending  on the person, suggesting an activity they enjoy could do the trick. Just make sure it isn’t something that has any negative attachments. (Ex: If the depressed person fears they overweight, you wouldn’t want to suggest baking a huge cake.)
  • Sometimes it helps to just listen. In my experience, people who are prone to explosive bursts of depression most likely keep the majority of their problems to themselves. This means they most likely don’t voice any of their problems and as a result may grow to feel that they should not. It can help the person greatly if you are just able to listen to them and make them recognize that their problems are important.

These are just a few things that have worked for me over the years when I have had to assist people with bursts of depression, but every person is different. My suggestion is to use this as more of a general guideline than a specific instruction.

Something to be aware of when assisting someone who is suffering from a bout of depression (this will obviously vary between people but is very common all the same): Be aware that, when dealing with someone with any level of depression, they are likely to create the most negative possible wording or understanding of anything you say. So, unless you are very good with your wording or are confident of your ability to assist someone, prolonged speech on your part is not suggested. Try to keep anything that you say to someone in a depressed state to a low word count. This will help you choose your words and have more impact.

And that’s all for today’s post! Hope everybody is having a great day.

Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.

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Love


So, it’s come to this. The time when we have “The Talk”. No, I kid. Sorry to set anyone back however many years to that time when their parent… Ah. Nevermind.

Today I want to talk to you about something that is in all of our lives, affects us all, and yet most of us actually know very little about. I want to talk to you about love. Love can be one of the most amazing feelings in the world with a plethora of good things that accompany the good feeling. Some of us may spend our entire lives looking for it, some of us spend our entire lives studying it, some of us live a life enjoying the love we have. No matter how you think about it, love has touched your life in some way. It feels good to be loved, it feels good to give love. Love is a very good thing.

Before you can love  though, you need to be able to love yourself. There are a wide variety of feelings that I might mention in another post later, but for now, I’ll just say a blanket statement. If you do not love yourself, any feeling that you will have for someone else will not be everything it can be.  Love is a very important thing. You can love yourself, you can love your family, friends, pets, world, country, town, and just about anything you can imagine. But you won’t be able to love anything fully or feel deserving of the love you receive if you can’t first love yourself.

Think of it this way: If you can’t love yourself, everything you do has been essentially cut down by a percent number. Lets say 25% for now. (That percent is based on nothing. It is only there for the sake of continuing discussion.) You love your (insert noun here) but there are always things you won’t be willing to do, conversations that won’t happen, fears you have, etc. It can be anything, and it can very simply be that you just aren’t giving your all. You are who you are, and before anyone or anything else can experience the full power of your love, you need to be able to love yourself. Accept who you are, respect who you are, love who you are, and then you can really give your love in its fullest potential where it is deserved.

Once you’ve fully accepted yourself for who you are and you genuinely love yourself, the second step would be to make sure that you can accept someone else’s love. It’s easier said than done, but a necessary step. If you were to simply love someone/something but you couldn’t ever accept that they love you the same way that you love them then there would inevitably be problems at some point. They might be small at first, but such things will always escalate if left untended. Letting someone else love you is a step that must be taken after you have first loved yourself. If you do not love yourself, you won’t be able to let someone love you. Your mind will just turn against you in some sort of fashion similar to, “I don’t love me, how can this person love me?” Don’t do that. You are who you are, you are unique in your own fashion and you are worthy of love. Everyone is worthy of love. So don’t let yourself or anyone else say otherwise.

The third part of this process is to give love. It can feel amazing when you give love. There are so many powerful emotions and they are all very focused.

“It CAN feel amazing.” What do you mean by that?

Well, I mean it can. As in, there is a good chance that it will feel amazing. But, if you give your love where it is not deserved then it will not feel as good. In fact, there are some situations out there where giving your love when it isn’t deserved can be dangerous to your health. A popular celebrity couple comes to mind on that matter, actually. Such good role models. With celebrities being kind enough to show us the dangerous side of what can happen when you give love where it isn’t deserved, the point is made rather clearly. Always make sure that when you are giving your love to someone it is to someone you respect who respects you in return. The ideal situation will be a mutually beneficial relationship. This doesn’t only mean between partners, but in general. For example:

You love nature, you water your plants and enjoy the smell and the sight of them. In return, you are given pleasing and relaxing scenery as well as scents. Maybe this is a weak example, but it makes the point. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.

In a relationship where one person/thing is harming the other, this is obviously unhealthy. This would be a situation where love is not deserved or just plainly shouldn’t be given.

I already know about avoiding bad relationships. What can you teach me about good relationships? About real love?

Well, here’s something that may surprise many of you.

Being in love and allowing love into your life can be very healthy for you, not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically as well!

Being in love can do so many things for you! I’ll just give you a short list to show you some of the wonderful things it can do.

  • People in love have been found to have higher life expectancy. (Source) 
  • They are happier. (Myself,and  Source )
  • The intense feeling of being in love has similar effects to heavy pain medications. You will actually feel less pain! (Cool Fact: The study of how love affects the brain has created a field in neuroscience  to try and create better pain relieving drugs.) (Source) 
  • Love makes you healthier overall. Various studies have taken into consideration the differences in eating habits and all other variables that happen from person to person. The overall consensus is that Love in its own right makes your body function better. (Source)
  • People who are in love are typically more successful in financial ventures.
Don’t let this small list fool you, though. The benefits that love give us are infinite. We have only just begun to study what love does to our body. Everything we are discovering about love and how it effects us has only been good. In life, there is almost always a negative side to everything. With love, this is only partially true. The negative side of love comes when there is a loss, but the emotional feeling of love itself  has no negative drawbacks. It can only make you happier and healthier.

But, like I mentioned a moment ago, things happen in life that we cannot control that cause us to no longer be in love, or we lose loved ones as they pass on. There are various reasons for why a loving relationship may end. There have been a number of studies done on what happens when people are not in love or when the object/person of their affection is no longer with them. The negative effects are fairly large in number and vary greatly. But I put together another list to highlight a few of the common problems.

  • Serious depression
  • Physical Pain (Source)
  • Loneliness (Source) 
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Interestingly enough, being in love causes the same chemical release as OCD hence why some people are literally obsessed with their partners [Source] )
  • Increased likeliness of heart attack and heart failures (This happens more so during a mourning period) (Source)
  • Clogged arteries
  • Overall lower life expectancy (Source) 

With all of this taken into consideration, it is an obviously good thing to be in love and to give your love. It’s important to love yourself, important to let others love you, and important to make sure you love those that deserve your love. Remember and remember well: You are who you are, you will love who and what you will. Love needs mutual respect, mutual kindness, love needs a mutually beneficial relationship to exist. When you have love, you will not need to ask what love is. You will not need to ask anyone what you feel, you will know. Be passionate. Be who you are. Live, love, and be happy.

Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.

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It’s Okay To Relax


Wiggle Room

Hey guys, if you’ve been following my posts so far then you realize that I really do want to help you help yourself. It’s having that in mind that pushes me forward today to elaborate on what “Leaping Wiggly Wednesday’s” post touched on lightly, but not enough to get the point across accurately.

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.

-Chinese Philosopher/Unknown

 (Whomever you are, thanks for lending us the quote today.)

While our quote’s author is unknown, the quote’s meaning is something I agree with. The meaning also happens to be an idea by which I live my life everyday. I mentioned this and spoke of it briefly in our last post, but I feel it’s a disservice to you as well a bad thing to say without following up. Like everything anyone says, unless there is a very clear explanation of what is being said, it can mean two entirely different things based on a few words that weren’t said. (Food for thought: Know what you’re saying as well as attempt to hear it as if you were someone else who is five years old. This won’t always clear up problems, sometimes you need to hear specific questions in order to be able to clear up other people’s misunderstandings of you, whereas other times there may be no understanding regardless. It’s always better to take steps to avoid that if possible, though.) Before I continue on about the ease of misunderstanding, I’ll get on with today’s post. That is why you are here after all. 🙂

Everywhere we’ve gone in life, and everywhere we’ll go, there are and there will be difficult times. That’s just a fact of life, plain and simple. Typically, our reaction is to deal with it or not deal with it at all. There are a variety of actions people choose to take, and we could go over them in great detail in a later post. So assuming your choices are simple as: to deal with it or not, you’re probably going to have a very stressful reaction either way. The stresses of not dealing with it might not be as obvious or easily connected with the fact that you’re not doing anything when you need to be, but they’re there. No question about that. 🙂

Those problems that you have chosen to deal with can be pretty taxing. You’re always busy. If you’re not dealing with the new ordeal (for lack of better term) then you’re probably dealing with everything else like cleaning, hunting for food in the wilderness, talking with your friends/other, daily exercise, playing with animals, or taking care of your children.

Buddy, I get it. I know my daily routines, I know I have plenty to do nearly all of the time without something coming up.

Alright, so now you’ve got this extra ordeal to deal with on top of the daily routine, you now have negative time. You will not have time to do something that you need to do. This has gone from stressful to the brink of too much to handle. Truly, the typical person who tries to keep up with this type of schedule does eventually end up failing courtesy of a burnout.

The solution is one that hardly anyone ever recognizes, and those that do tell themselves it’s not a solution, but a problem that only serves to assist the growing size of the ordeal. You just need to relax.

RELAX? Are you kidding?! I’ve got some words for you mister!

While I’m sure most people won’t react the way I chose to portray you, some of you might (maybe not so exaggerated). The moment I typed that word, I put my likability in peril. But it really works, and I’ll tell you why now.

Everyday of our lives we are busy and we just become more and more stressed each day. As the stress accumulates over time, we find ourselves becoming heavily irritated or overburdened. If you live in America, you live in a society that continuously teaches you not to relax. In some places, the term relax is practically a sin. It’s thought to be synonymous with laziness. Relaxation is not bad for you, though. It can become bad if you relax too much, just like everything and anything else in your life. We must all practice good moderation, and this includes our behaviors. Relaxation, when practiced properly (meaning that you have a good ratio of activity to inactivity), can be very beneficial as proven by many studies and soon to be more as there are many more studies being done currently.

So, now that I’ve linked you to two other outside sources that advise relaxing, I’d like to tell you why I, personally, believe it is important for you, as well as good for everyone around you.

Simmer down friend

It’s difficult – and I know it is – to take a look at your life and tell yourself that you need to relax. It’s even harder when you’ve got so much going on that it makes you feel like relaxing is a bad thing.

I can promise you, that you’ll be able to come up with three reasons, if not more, for why you shouldn’t relax every single time you’d like to. The difficult part comes in with:

  1. Knowing when you need to
  2. Knowing that it’s more important to take an hour to yourself than it is to work yourself into the ground
  3. Knowing when to stop relaxing without ruining your relaxation time.

Once you’ve started taking time to relax, and once you’re able to tell yourself that you not only need to, but that it’s really okay to relax, you’ll become much happier and (surprise!) more productive.

Imagine yourself if you were, say, a laptop. Your laptop will be far more productive, as well as healthier if you turn it off when you’re done using it. It will be healthier if you give it breaks in between times of excessive use so as to allow the computer time to cool down. When you don’t allow these times for the laptop to have its own relaxation, you dramatically lower the life of the laptop, both in the long and short run. In the short run, the laptop has an equivalent to our burnout. (This is why I chose to use a laptop as opposed to a desktop for the example.) The laptop will, with very little (if any) warning at all, suddenly cease all operations and SHUT OFF. You? Me? Every other human in the world? None of us are any different when we are overworked for too long, with no breaks, and no time to relax for a bit. We will shut down, and there is typically no obvious warning for anyone other than you just moments before the whole crash. (See burnout for warnings for you/loved ones.)

Understood. Our daily stresses can be very dangerous to us. But I don’t have time to relax.

I really cannot stress this to you enough: It is important to make time.

You need to have wiggle room in life. If you’ve allowed your life to get so packed full of things that you’re not allowed time for mistakes, not allowed time to randomly jump into a lake and go for an unplanned swim, and generally not allowed to enjoy your life, it’s time to make making time a priority. Being able to wiggle is an amazing feeling. It’s the equivalent to breathing for me. You can either take healthy breaths and live well and happy, or you can continue as so many American’s do today, by taking short, quick breaths and hoping that it’s enough to keep you going a few more minutes.

Relaxing is important. Enjoy your life. This is the only time you’ll ever have this life no matter what you believe. Enjoy it, and be happy.

Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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