As children, we encounter every new experience with bravery. We run directly into cold water & touch hot surfaces. We light up when we see other kids; without an ounce of self-doubt we ask them, “Wanna be my friend?”

As we grow up we become less vulnerable physically, but more sensitive emotionally. It’s easy to lose ourselves in the fear of being hurt. We may react to the accumulated sores on our heart by retracting inward, attacking others at the slightest offense. Logically, we know that preventing pain is futile. Yet, the memory of being hurt can be so debilitating that it forces us to attack and defend rather than open up to heal what ails us most. We may not even be aware of how fearful we are until we bump against a potential transgression and can’t seem to let it go.

I had an experience recently that exemplifies that. A woman was gesturing to let me walk ahead of her, but I was occupied with my own thoughts and didn’t see her. When I finally looked up, she had a scowl on her face and her body was tense and angry. Although she didn’t speak a word, I could feel her impatience. Instead of shrugging it off to a bad day, I took on her anger. I kept replaying the event in my mind asking: “Why was she angry when I didn’t even see her? What kind of person would get upset at something like that?” It went on like this for several minutes before I paused, took a deep breath, and proceeded to laughed at my own inability to let go. I didn’t know this woman; I didn’t know her life or what she was really thinking. What ailed her was none of my business. My business was how I dealt with it.

In that moment, I realized that you have the power to make different choices in your life. Sometimes you just need help, support, and hope to help you cope. These blogs will guide you on that path; from helping you find hope to posts on how to let go, it’s all in this weekly wrap-up of “good for you” posts.

Does Gluten Cause Mental Illness?
(Therapy Soup) – There are oodles of factors involved in mental illness. Diet is one of them. Could gluten be the link to your own struggle with mental illness? Read this to find out.

Hope and Coping on World Suicide Prevention Day
(Channel N) – If you know someone who has contemplated suicide, you will be touched by this video. Offering a ray of hope and compassion for those who suffer, this moving documentary shines light on a difficult subject through the lives of people who found support and help.

Open Your Hand to Open Your Mind
(360 of Mindful Living) – Having trouble letting go of a troubling situation? Try this mini exercise to release tension and help you cope.

Stop Worrying About What Others Think
(The Gentle Self) – How do you not let the mean things people say get to you? Read this. It’ll stop the wave of self-doubt by giving you a whole new perspective on negativity.

3 Ways to Impress Your Therapist
(A Counselor’s Observations) – Therapy definitely isn’t easy. But you can make the process easier for your therapist and yourself by doing the three things listed here.