by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
It’s easy to cross over from stressed to overwhelmed especially if you’ve been recently diagnosed with an illness. What once may have caused you worry, now seems superficial.
Welcome to the club! While it can seem like a scary process to navigate where you were to where you are now, you are not alone. It’s what many of our bloggers deal with every day. Although it’s difficult to deal with the unknown and grasp the idea of being different or not “normal,” there is a silver lining. Many people who have been diagnosed with mental illness have happy lives. Also, they are often more compassionate, resilient, and grateful for the life they have. The key is to find like-minded individuals, be kind to yourself and focus on the areas of your life that’s working.
As you’ll read this week, there are positives to being different. We hope you don’t just accept it, but celebrate it. Need help embracing your uniqueness? Scroll down below. You’ll find more reasons to celebrate here.
by Christy Matta, MA
When we’re stressed, if often feels like everything begins to fall apart. It’s during stressful times that we misplace our keys, forget important events on our calendars, fail to call our mothers on their birthdays and leave important work documents at home.
Now, in addition to your original stressor, you’re under more pressure because you’re scrambling to find lost keys, dealing with hurt feelings or frantically reconstructing forgotten projects.
And on top of that, when stressed, our emotions are running rampant. That scramble for the keys is anything but calm and a remark from your mother about that missed phone call can send you deep into guilt.
by Lisa A. Miles
What are you going to do for yourself in this season of spring?
Begin to think about some new channels of growth for yourself, as the time of year for sprouts and buds and new green shoots has begun here in the northern hemisphere.
Seedlings and fresh growth are just busting out now, reaching for the sun’s light and warmth. The approach we take to our challenges, to what has been negatively buried or merely incubating, should be the same. Especially in this time of tremendous new growth, it is good to reflect on our own striving for warmth, insight, nourishment and potential to expand.
So what kinds of questions could you ask yourself to help nurture this growth?
by Merrily Sadlovsky, MSW, LCSW
It seems like there is a growing segment of the population who makes a weekly date (or, in some cases, multiple weekly dates, depending on how many versions they follow) with their DVR or with groups of friends to watch the “Real Housewives” television show phenomenon.
I have seen enough episodes to ask the question, “Why?”
What draws people to watch faithfully every week or watch every series every week? What satisfaction is had by watching women backstab each other, trash-talk each other behind each other’s backs, steal each other’s men, lie and manipulate others for attention, and flaunt their excessive lifestyles?
In short, what is to be gained by watching women treat each other so poorly?
by Gretchen Rubin
A recent post of mine, Beware of ‘decoy habits’, spurred a lot of conversation, and it’s clear to me that the subject is much more complex and interesting than I initially realized.
Readers made many thought-provoking comments. One reader pointed to research that suggests that talking about a goal can lead to the false feeling of already having achieved that goal. I’ve seen that research — and I’ve also seen research suggesting that talking about a goal can help you stick to that goal, by making you feel more committed, and also more accountable to the people you’ve told. So it seems to go both ways.
From my own experience — a statistically insignificant yet often helpful data point — this is a point on which people differ. Some do better if they don’t talk it up too much; some do better if they tell others what they want to do.
by Therese J. Borchard
In his book The Art of Uncertainty, Dennis Merritt Jones writes:
“Between a shaky world economy, increasing unemployment, and related issues, many today are being forced to come to the edge of uncertainty. Just like the baby sparrows, they find themselves leaning into the mystery that change brings, because they have no choice: It’s fly or die.”
For persons struggling with depression and anxiety — and for those of us who are highly sensitive — uncertainty is especially difficult. Forget about learning to fly. The uncertainty itself feels like death and can cripple our efforts to do anything during a time of transition.
I have been living in uncertainty, like many people, ever since December of 2008 when the economy plummeted and the creative fields — like architecture and publishing — took a hard blow, making it extremely difficult to feed a family. In that time, I think I have worked a total of 10 jobs — becoming everything from a defense contractor to a depression “expert.” I even thought about teaching high school morality. Now that’s desperate.
I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable with uncertainty, but having lived in that terrain for almost five years now, I’m qualified to offer a few tips of how not to lose it when things are constantly changing.
by Lisa A. Miles
Take the toughest challenges you have to tackle at work, at home or with extended family and friends:
– Bosses who seem clueless to your job requirements; colleagues who can’t relate to you (or vice versa); the stress of deadlines and dissatisfaction of being in a job you are not even sure you belong in.
- Family members who throw plans into disarray, disregard you and have you questioning your commitment (as well as your sanity). Perhaps adult siblings who ask for money or come to you for advice, only for you to soon find yourself involved in maddening family triangles, or aunts and uncles who pull you into long-entrenched but silly feuds.
- Then of course there are friends who you would like to shake to knock some sense or self-reflection into.
Get the picture?
How do you cope with the trials and tribulations of being human and having to live and work among others? Laugh it off? (That’s a good element, actually.)
by Lisa Knudson, LCSW
When will we become lovable? When will we feel safe? When will we get all the protection, nurturing, and love we so richly deserve? We will get it when we begin giving it to ourselves.
~ Melody Beattie,
As a psychotherapist, I can’t count how many times I have seen individuals and couples struggle with building healthy connections in their relationships.
The most common complaint has been that they feel unfulfilled, devalued or unappreciated in relationships with others. It is my professional experience that when we get caught up in what others can do to make us feel good about ourselves, we are likely to become angry and resentful.
So how do you avoid the resentment trap in your relationship?
by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
It remains a topic few health professionals want to discuss openly with their patients. It remains a topic avoided even by many mental health professionals. Policy makers see it as a black hole without an obvious solution.
And now grim new statistics confirm a disturbing trend — more people are taking their own lives than ever before in the U.S.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics yesterday showing that 33,687 people died in motor vehicle accidents, while nearly 5,000 more — 38,364 — died by suicide. Middle-aged Americans are making up the biggest leap in the suicide rate.
It’s data that should make us sit up and think.
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Research tends to overlook young adults who lose their moms, according to Taranjit (Tara) K. Bhatia, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships, including mother-daughter bonds. Because they’re already adults, people assume these daughters don’t need maternal guidance.
However, losing a mom has a powerful effect on young adult daughters. In her research, Bhatia found that a daughter’s sense of identity is especially shaken. “They don’t know what being a woman is all about.”
Daughters also doubt their own role as mothers. “Most motherless daughters are very insecure about how well they could mother without their mothers’ advice, support and reassurance.”
by YourTango Experts
This guest article from YourTango was written by Kim Olver.
According to LiveScience, the CDC reports that more and more couples are co-habiting.
About 30 percent of these living arrangements will result in marriage, 27 percent of couples will break up and 32 percent will stay living together. This tells me that some couples are using it as a test run for marriage, while others are not necessarily “practicing” marriage, but are thinking about marriage as a possibility.
So how do you know if it’s the right decision for you? Here are a few things to consider.
1. It’s cheaper, and young adults are taking longer to obtain financial independence.
One of the best reasons I know for cohabiting, particularly in our present financial environment, is that one household is less expensive to maintain than two. If you want to live independently from your parents and can’t afford it, get a roommate. Often this roommate turns out to be your romantic partner. Saving money on bills is one thing, but please consider your exit strategy so it doesn’t end up costing you more in the long run.
Also, more and more young adults are living with their parents and even those who live on their own are still financially dependent on their parents. Therefore, young people are less likely to commit to marriage until they are somewhat sure of their financial …
by Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
You have a good head on your shoulders. You’re attractive. You’re personable. You’re smart.
And yet, for some inexplicable reason, you’re drawn to bad boys.
What is it with this attraction? You can’t explain it. You just know you find a certain kind of guy alluring — even when you know (from experience) that the relationship will end badly.
Friends tell you that your new “great guy” is cocky, brash, foolhardy. But you have a different take on it. You view him as sooo masculine, exciting, unconventional — in a good way. He’s such a turn-on. No comparison to other guys. Yes, those other guys are nice, but oh, so boring. Why even be with a guy if the adrenaline isn’t pumping?
So what is the draw of the bad boy?