by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Could you imagine being discriminated against because you had a broken arm? Or a diagnosis of cancer? Or suffered from a concussion (like hundreds of pro sports players do every year) and were denied rights everyone else enjoys?
What if you suffered from clinical depression and have been, at past times in your life, severely depressed? Should the government be allowed to discriminate against you because of a mental health diagnosis?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s agency of Customs and Border Protection apparently thinks that maybe sometimes the answer should be “yes.”
You’d think I was making this up. Sadly, I’m not.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Many of us move about our days like robots. So when we want to make positive changes in our lives, things can get tricky. That’s because our self-awareness may be slim.
According to therapist Andrew Peterson, EdD, in his book The Next Ten Minutes: 51 Absurdly Simple Ways to Seize the Moment, “Big changes in our lives start with small shifts in our state of mind.” They also start within the routines of our daily lives.
When we engage in the most mundane activities mindfully, we’re actually able to effect change. It’s as though we open a different door, another option we didn’t realize had existed.
We use our senses fully. We become more aware of the decisions we’re making. We may get some clarity. Things that looked the same may have a different hue.
Here are three simple — even seemingly silly — activities from The Next Ten Minutes that’ll help you shake out of autopilot and plant the seeds of change.
by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
The days following Thanksgiving can be tough. A holiday can be relaxing, but it can also be filled with remorse. It can be a reminder of what was and a trigger for what you wish things could be. From overindulging (food, alcohol, shopping) to spending too much time with toxic people, it’s the time of year when we need the most help.
In an effort to cope, we draw on what’s worked in the past. Sometimes we’re able to rely on things like exercise, meditation and talking with good friends. Other times we need more help.
This week our bloggers are doling out simple tools to get you back on track. Whether you’re struggling to maintain healthy boundaries with unhealthy relatives or dealing with anxiety, you’ll relearn old skills and rediscover new ways to cope.
by Therese J. Borchard
Awhile back I gave you 10 quotes on following your dreams from a little book called 2500 Years of Wisdom: Sayings of the Great Masters.
I wanted to share 14 more on the topic of adversity, because I found them very inspiring — exactly what I needed to propel me forward despite the difficulties I face.
I thought you would appreciate them too.
He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.
~ Herman Melville
Adversity introduces a man to himself.
~ Albert Einstein
by Jim Afremow, PhD
You’re watching Rafael Nadal dominate at the French Open. He’s tired, he’s stressed, he might even be injured, and you think to yourself, “How can I be that mentally tough when it matters most?”
You follow LeBron James all season long and marvel at how he manages to ratchet up his play, game after game, and you think, “I would love to be that driven and dedicated.”
We might not all have the physical gifts of Nadal or James but we can learn to think as they do to maximize the physical abilities we do possess and to conquer our goals.
by Suzanne Handler, MEd
The brave new world of technology has spawned a monster: the cyberbully. According to the website stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is bullying that uses electronic methods such as cell phones and computers. It can include hurtful text messages and photos, among others. Most children are aware of cyberbullying. Thanks to the efforts of many school districts in America, most parents are as well.
In just one example of the pain it can cause, a 12-year-old girl in Florida leapt to her death in September 2013 after having been cyberbullied by two girls, one 12 and the other 14.
Despite the conveniences of modern technology, it seems also to have a sinister side. The statistics on cyberbullying are increasingly alarming.
by YourTango Experts
Infertility and pregnancy loss are dreaded experiences for any adult hoping to start or expand a family. The emotional consequences can be brutal. The pain seems like it will last forever.
But what often goes unrecognized is the toll that these experiences can take on one’s marriage.
In many instances, spouses grieve the loss differently, creating a sense of distance from one another. One spouse might want to talk openly about the loss, whereas the other spouse wants to avoid all reminders of it. One spouse might want to do something to commemorate the unborn child, while their partner just wants to move on.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
In 2011 writer and artist Anne O. Kubitsky printed out 500 invitation cards asking people to share what they’re grateful for in a postcard (and mail it back to her). She left these cards in various places, everywhere from post offices to parks to college cafeterias to libraries.
Within three weeks she received handmade postcards from all over the world – from Oregon to Alaska to Australia to Germany. Today, she’s received thousands of responses in many different forms: letters, emails and even phone calls.
People also have submitted postcards made from leather and clay. One person submitted a 12-year Alcoholics Anonymous sobriety medallion.
by Graeme Cowan
When we suffer from depression, including bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, we may feel responsible for the depressive feelings. Like somehow it’s our fault.
We may also feel alone in battling the illness and lack support or inspiration from others.
Sometimes this may cause us to give up hope and feel like there’s no end to how low we’re feeling; after all, if there’s nothing we can do and nobody we can turn to for help, there’s no point in trying to get better.
by Lauren Suval
“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.”
~ Lena Horne
Think of a painful injury such as a wound — one that’s fresh and open, bleeding. You attempt to secure a bandage and some protection.
You move onward. As time goes by, the wound starts to heal, but you’re left with a scar — a physical reminder and mark of what occurred.
In similar fashion, that’s how I view certain emotional wounds. They’re scars that will always be a part of us, regardless of time and longevity. But that’s okay, because it’s all about how you choose to carry your load, your past.
by Therese J. Borchard
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can change your brain.
According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain.
In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, they write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
by Terri Orbuch, PhD
Your mother-in-law takes over the kitchen at holiday time. So what? Your father-in-law drinks too much and sulks in the corner. Big deal!
Don’t let in-laws ruin your family holiday, multiply your stress, and leave you feeling defeated or angry. There are some simple strategies you can use to get along with difficult in-laws this holiday season.
Doing so will make your holiday get-together more pleasant. But there’s an even better reason to make peace with in-laws.