Self-Coaching Blog

A SELF-COACHING LAW

A SELF-COACHING LAW

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She made so angry!” “He got me upset!” No one can make you mad, upset, or angry…you have to allow them.

#anxiety #depression

Emotional struggle: it’s all about feeling out of control

Emotional struggle: it’s all about feeling out of control

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From a Self-Coaching perspective, emotional struggle—especially anxiety and depression—are the end result of a significant and chronic loss of control caused by one or more of the following:

● Adverse shaping influences (especially during your developmental years) that have molded your personality
● Excessive stress generated by trying to chronically over-control life
● Life challenges that overwhelm your controlling strategies
● Your general state of psychological and physiological resiliency

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Is Polarized Thinking sabotaging your weight loss?

Is Polarized Thinking sabotaging your weight loss?

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All-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking is a particularly dangerous fiction to employ. Essentially, it’s designed to protect you from the stress of dieting. When you use polarizing words like “always,” “never,” “can’t,” “too hard,” “no way,” and so forth, you’re actually giving yourself an out. Once you declare, “This diet is too hard. I can’t do it!”) and your thinking becomes polarized, you’re actually giving yourself permission to quit trying. If you stop trying, you will end your ambivalent struggle, but the sad fact remains: You will begin your regrets.

#diet #weightloss #permanentweightloss

Why do we torture ourselves? Time to Fight Back!

Why do we torture ourselves? Time to Fight Back!

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There’s an inner struggle we all experience, it’s when you know it’s a bad thing to worry, stress, or ruminate about things going wrong, but we do it anyway! Again, and again. Why do we go on torturing ourselves with endless doubt, fear, and negativity?

From a Self-Coaching perspective, insecurity sets us up to worry in a misguided attempt to find a way to feel more in control. Ironically, the opposite is true, worry only leads to further loss of control. Once you begin to slide down insecurity’s slippery slope, you become stuck in a habit that seems to have a life of its own. Once you realize that thoughts can NOT exist without your cooperation (be it active or passive cooperation), you’re in a position of taking your life back, one thought at a time.

Bottom line: just because you’ve become part of a habit of insecurity-driven thinking doesn’t mean you have to sit back and “become” your insecurity! Fight back! Stop being corrupted by emotional fictions of powerlessness or hopelessness. You’re not Powerless and there is ALWAYS hope! And that’s a fact!

#anxiety #depression

How to stop procrastinating

How to stop procrastinating

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Here’s a way to practice building your self-discipline muscle while eliminating your tendency to procrastinate. Starting today, look for examples where you may be procrastinating, postponing, or avoiding a task. For example, “I’ll do it later” (i.e., pay the bills, make that call, wash the dishes, floss, start a diet, and so on) For the sake of self-discipline muscle building, see these as opportunities.

The only way for you to learn that you are not powerless is to prove it. For this experiment, you will not accept any excuses. You must make it happen. Repeat, MUST! Keep in mind that procrastination is merely an indulgence that requires you to surrender. By injecting conscious intention you empower yourself.

Start off with easy physical challenges such as routine chores. As you gain confidence, use the same technique to make yourself choose to stop the more stubborn, knee-jerk, avoidant habits. Once you begin to recognize that you, not your habits of avoidance and procrastination are calling the shots, you’ll be in a position to understand a bigger truth–in all matters there is always a choice. You just have to get used to choosing to exert and assert your will. And while you’re at it, keep in mind, procrastination is an acquired habit. Start un-acquiring!

#anxiety #depression #procrastination

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

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Most people experience social fears and anxieties from time to time. And for most people these fears are mild and short-lived. But for someone suffering from a Social Anxiety Disorder, the fears and anxiety are anything but mild or transient. Simple things like eating or drinking in public, making eye contact while talking, or using a public bathroom can all become insurmountable challenges.

From a Self-Coaching perspective, a habit-loop of insecurity has created a profound state of self-distrust and loss of confidence. This distrust is so pervasive that one is forced to constantly monitor every action, always trying to access the social dangers of the moment. Everyday life can become a living hell as someone with social anxieties tries to navigate in a world where they feel constantly in the spotlight, where every act is scrutinized and judged by others.

Typical symptoms associated with Social Anxiety Disorder are:

● Anxiety about being exposed to possible scrutiny or judgment by others
● Anxiety that you will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing
● Anxiety in most social situations
● Attempting to avoid social situations, but if endured, creating intense stress and anxiety
● Persistence of social fears, avoidance, and anxiety

#socialanxietydisorder #socialanxiety #anxiety

Every challenge is an opportunity

Every challenge is an opportunity

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Every challenge, no matter how small, is an opportunity to grow in self respect, confidence, and self-trust. Every setback, no matter how significant, is an opportunity to grow in self-respect, confidence and self-trust. In the grand scheme life, there should be no regrets, only appreciation for the opportunities to grow toward your full potential.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Why do we dream at night?

Why do we dream at night?

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Did you know that everyone dreams, every night? This is a biological fact. We know from dream research that during the course of the night there are periods of rapid eye movement (REM sleep) that occur when the sleeper is vividly dreaming. The only reason someone will tell you they don’t dream is because they don’t recall their dreams. Although there is much controversy as to the effects of dreaming on our waking lives, there does seem to be ample evidence that dreaming is involved in psychological “maintenance,” and emotional stability.

#dreams #anxiety #depression

Struggling with emotions? Try “de-focusing.”

Struggling with emotions? Try “de-focusing.”

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The reason why an anxious person gets caught up negative, ruminative, worrisome thinking is simply because they’re trying too hard to “figure out” how to handle the endless doubts, fears, and negative anticipations. I call this “over-thinking.” Over-thinking is a manifestation of insecurity and only fuels the problem, making you more and more anxious. The key isn’t trying harder; it’s learning not to try!

Try this experiment. Begin by “de-focusing” your thoughts and re-focusing on your unfolding moment–whatever you’re doing–listen, feel, see, breath, but DON’T think or judge, simply participate with full attention.

Pretend that you’re a video camera, simply recording every external nuance and detail in your environment. This simple exercise will help you begin to detach from (and break the cycle of) ruminative anxiety (a.k.a., over-thinking). Do this and you’ll be teaching yourself something very important, i.e., anxiety -over-thinking is worrying about future events, liberation and solace is learning to be “present.”

#anxiety #depression #overthinking

Applying your will power

Applying your will power

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It’s been said that the difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength or knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” From a Self-Coaching perspective no one actually lacks “will,” it’s a matter of whether you apply it or abandon it.

#anxiety #depression #willpower

Worrying: turning molehills into mountains

Worrying: turning molehills into mountains

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Ever notice how silly someone else’s worry seems to you? How many times have you told someone to stop making mountains out of molehills? Unfortunately, if worry has become your knee-jerk reflexive response to life challenges, then mountain-making is what you do best. And when you’re making mountains out of molehills, the strangest things can seem very real. Insecurity, aside from making fictions seem like facts is opportunistic. Give it an opening and it will take you for a ride.

Starting today, remind yourself of the countless problems and worries that have come and gone in your life. How many problems have you solved to date? One thousand? Fifty thousand? Somehow, you’ve managed to survive, to figure out, solve, get around, under or over every obstacle, right? Every crisis eventually becomes history and you move on. What makes you think that today’s worries will be any different? Next time you come across a molehill, insist on a bit of Self-Coaching and stop calling it a mountain!

#anxiety #depression #worrying

How to dismiss discomfort in your life

How to dismiss discomfort in your life

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The thermometer read nineteen degrees this morning, which got me reminiscing. I was recalling how playing in the snow with snowball-soaked gloves, numb fingers, and frozen toes were no obstacle to building snow forts and igloos. How was it that the cold of winter never interfered with those unforgettable times? Simple answer: it all has to do with focus.

If you are passionately focused on what you’re doing, any discomfort becomes…well, irrelevant. Sure, the discomfort is there, but if you’re not paying attention to it, the discomfort becomes neutralized. Whether it’s anxiety or depression, begin to recognize that focusing on your “discomfort” does one thing, it accentuates your suffering as you get caught in an endless loop of self-flagellation.

Starting today, give yourself a Self-Coaching break. Rather than clinging to ruminative doubts, fears, and negative thoughts, practice ignoring them. Once you begin to break the neurotic loop, then, like my numb fingers and toes, nothing’s going to stop you from getting out there and throwing a few snowballs.

#anxiety #depression

Stop whining about not having enough time?

Stop whining about not having enough time?

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Ever hear yourself saying, “I just don’t have time to relax (exercise, eat properly, etc.)? After all, it’s not your fault you don’t have enough time to take better care of yourself. Right? Wrong! Think again, lack of time isn’t the problem, it’s an excuse! The Self-coaching truth is, it’s rarely about never having time, it’s always about priorities! Change your priorities and watch the magic.

#anxiety #depression

Here’s a Prescription for Having a Great Day

Here’s a Prescription for Having a Great Day

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See if you can resist the temptation of over-thinking your life today and instead, allow the day unfold, naturally and spontaneously. Be reactive rather than proactive. You might be surprised how effortless life can become. The late mythologist Joseph Campbell once said that we must be willing to relinquish the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. Lose the self-doubt, be courageous to let go of your chronic fears, and by all means recognize that negativity is a habit that you don’t have to indulge…do this and you’ll find the life that’s waiting for you.

#anxiety #depression

Are your life goals misguided?

Are your life goals misguided?

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Life goals can become problems rather than solutions when driven by insecurity. Insecurity-driven goals are misguided goals that give meaning to the saying: be careful what you wish for, because it might come true.

Simply put, any goal that is driven by insecurity is all about trying to control or compensate some aspect of your life. And controlling life will never give you the ultimate fulfillment you seek.

Although there can be an extensive array of misguided goals, I’ve come to recognize three major culprits:

1. Money–the accumulation of money, which is equated with security and happiness

2. Power–the quest for power and potency, which is equated with invulnerability

3. Status–the compulsion for status, which is equated with intimacy, being loved, admired and respected

The quests for money, power, and status can all be expressed directly through your behavior. When, for example, insecurity drives your desire to own a Rolls-Royce, this behavior (owning a Rolls) can be an expression of what money can buy, a feeling of power, a status symbol, or a combination of all three.

Starting today, ask yourself, what are my goals. Then take it a step further and ask, Why?

What is insecurity and why should you care?

What is insecurity and why should you care?

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Insecurity attempts to prepare you for anticipated chaos. This is what we commonly refer to as worrying. After all, you don’t worry about things going right! As Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life. Most of them never happened.” A friend of mine told me about his mother’s even more poignant, but opposite, spin on this notion, “Don’t tell me worrying doesn’t work, most of the things I worry about never happen.” A person with adequate self-trust lives in the here-and-now moment with the confidence to believe that they can handle life as it unfolds. An insecure, untrusting person is either mired in past regrets or in anticipation of future chaos.

#insecurity #anxiety #depression

Want a more fulfilling life? Try living more responsively.

Want a more fulfilling life? Try living more responsively.

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Starting today, apply a bit of Self-coaching and see if you can be more “responsive.” It can be simple things. For example, not rehearsing how you’ll tell your neighbor that his dog is using your yard as a toilet, or not worrying what “might” happen if you were to get a notice from the IRS. Instead, do nothing!

Risk letting these and other situations come to you rather than you abstractly going to them mentally. Let life present itself to you and begin to find out that you won’t let yourself down. I know it will feel risky, which is why I suggest you start with simple things, low impact challenges that begin to demonstrate that, lo and behold, you really can handle life on the fly. Bottom line: responsive living is a willingness to believe in yourself and your resourcefulness to handle life’s challenges, not in anticipation of them, but as they occur.

#anxiety #depression #happiness

Happiness: go for it!

Happiness: go for it!

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There’s a saying that goes: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” The longer you do nothing about what you want out of life, the longer you will live with empty dreams. Wishful thinking can never replace purpose-driven action. A successful life doesn’t come looking for you; it must be sought, pursued and embraced. Starting today, aim at something, then pull the trigger of action.

#happiness #anxiety #depression

The danger of multi-tasking

The danger of multi-tasking

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Our hectic high-pressure world seems to reward multi-taskers. There is, however, a down side to squeezing more and more into your day-to-day life. Multi-taskers are prone to inheriting a fractured, stressful, life.

Today, rather than doing your usual juggling, try doing less. Just keep in mind that whatever you do, do it with full attention, complete awareness, and a focused heart. You, may not accomplish every task, but you will have lived a less stressful, more fulfilling day. Sometimes, when it comes to happiness, less is more.

#anxiety #depression #multitasking

Regarding your goals, why wait?

Regarding your goals, why wait?

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A patient told me she didn’t want to waste six months trying to lose weight. Since that session six months have passed. Arguably, she may or may not have wasted her six months, but one thing she did achieve was to gain ten additional pounds!

What about you? Whatever your challenge, six months from now you may wish you started today. Procrastination is only an excuse and when it comes to a more happy, successful, fulfilling life, you’re not excused! Starting today, put some carpe in your diem.

#Permanentweightloss #depression #anxiety

Winter’s optimism and hope

Winter’s optimism and hope

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As we progress though the cold dark days of winter, I noticed something different this morning as I looked out over the crystal-glazed, frigid lawn, everything was…well, different. Different in that everything was brighter, less blue-tinted with more color and vibrancy. Was it my imagination and anticipation of warmer weather to come? Then it dawned on me, the sun was now perched about ten degrees higher in the sky then it was a month ago. This new angle was indeed painting everything in a different light…a more hospitable light of all things warm to come.

If you struggle emotionally, it may be time to elevate, not the sun, but your level of optimism and hope. Optimism and hope will change your entire perception and outlook on life. Even a few “degrees” of elevation can make all the difference between hopeless, blue-tinted depression, and the warmer tones of personal empowerment and encouragement.
Like my backyard, the yard itself isn’t changed by the different illumination, just as your circumstances may not change with an elevation of optimism, however, the difference in your outlook can be staggering.

FYI: optimism and hope are choices, go for it!

#anxiety #depression #hope #optimism

Trying to lose weight? Beware of False Hunger

Trying to lose weight? Beware of False Hunger

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Normal, healthy eating is instigated primarily by your experience of stomach contractions and the release of hunger hormones signaling to your brain that you’re hungry. Most importantly, these feelings are independent of any compelling emotional influences (stress, boredom, depression, etc.) or mindless behavioral habits. In order to stop sabotaging weight loss, you need to neutralize the faulty hunger perceptions caused by these influences. To accomplish this, you must learn to differentiate between hunger that is driven out of true, physiological need versus hunger that is driven by your enemies (circumstances, emotions, or habits). More than likely, you already know the difference, but you haven’t been paying much attention to these cues. That’s why it’s important for you to ask the question before any meal or snack, “Who am I feeding right now? My body or my mind? This simple distinction may not stop a compulsive urge, but at least you wouldn’t be deluding yourself into thinking that destructive eating is hunger-driven. In time mindful awareness will become your foundation for the self-discipline that will follow.

#weightloss #anxiety #depression

How to get out of a depressed mood

How to get out of a depressed mood

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When caught in a depressed mood, it’s tempting to feel that life is too hard, that you can’t go on. It’s this type of thinking that winds up feeding and sustaining the mood. Consider a seemingly paradoxical Self-coaching technique: do nothing!

All too often we go to battle with our negative, spiraling thoughts. We beat ourselves up, which only adds fuel to the dark mood. Instead, next time you’re in a slump of negativity, don’t engage in debate, guilt, or self recrimination–in essence, don’t resist, simply yield. Just allow yourself to ride out the mood with the understanding and conviction that, ‘this too shall pass.’ The key is not to get caught up in a dance with your depressed thoughts. The more you ruminate, worry, or antagonize yourself, the more you feed the mood instead of starving it. By letting it go, turning away, distracting yourself and not engaging a mood with persistent doubts, fears, or negatives, the more you allow yourself to reduce psychological friction while ensuring that you don’t become a victim of your mood.

#anxiety #depression #depressedmood

Taking action to eliminate anxiety and depression

Taking action to eliminate anxiety and depression

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In the physical world in order to achieve desired results, you must take action. Same is true for your emotions, you may feel victimized by anxiety or depression, but unless you actively challenge the emotional fictions of insecurity that spin in your mind, your desired serenity will never occur. What are emotional fictions? Typically, they’re the doubts, fears, and negatives that we passively allow to go unchallenged. Start challenging!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Are you over-steering your life?

Are you over-steering your life?

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Mythologist, Joseph Campbell wrote: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” All too often we tend to “over-steer” our lives, worrying, anticipating, micro-managing, trying desperately to control what’s ahead. If you really want to find solace, happiness, and psychological well-being, try loosening your grip on life’s steering wheel and let things unfold, naturally, spontaneously. As the AA adage goes, “Let go, let god.” Pretty good Self Coaching advice.

Want to lose weight? Stop eating like a child.

Want to lose weight? Stop eating like a child.

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Be honest with yourself. When you “cheat,” overindulge, or binge, aren’t you making the same kind of choices a six-year-old would make? Aren’t you allowing impulse to rule you, sabotaging weight loss? After all, when you were a kid, you were all about sweets, snacks, and treats. There was no nagging conscience, no hesitations—only an opportunistic desire to indulge. And why not? You knew that at some point your parent would intervene: You’ve had enough. Save the rest for tomorrow’s snack. You didn’t have to monitor yourself at six years old; you just ate. And today, when you eat like a six-year-old, you, once again, aren’t taking any responsibility to monitor yourself. And what’s worse, there’s no one around—except you—who can say you’ve had enough. This is one reason why we tend to feel shame after bingeing; we know we’ve been acting (and eating) like a child.

#anxiety #depression #weightloss

What stops you from achieving your goals?

What stops you from achieving your goals?

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What exactly is the resistance that keeps us from taking charge of our lives and realizing our intentions? As complex and multifaceted as the answer to this query may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline. And from a Self-Coaching perspective, what’s self-discipline? It’s the ability to willfully endure the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline, it’s acquired. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time.

#selfdiscipline #depression #anxiety

Poor self-concept? Always putting yourself down?

Poor self-concept? Always putting yourself down?

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You can begin some Self-coaching right now to restore and replenish a healthy self-esteem. It all begins with a simple truth: there’s nothing wrong with you! Never was! You may reflexively balk at this statement especially if insecurity has been calling the shots, but it happens to be irrefutable.

Beyond current dissatisfactions and superficial perceptions, there is a you who happens to be inviolate. The word inviolate, from the Latin, inviolatus, describes something so sacred or pure that it must not be violated.

When you put yourself down, diminish your self-worth or adhere to pessimism, you violate you! Stop doing it! Granted, at this point you may not be able to flip from black to white and gush with self-love (although that would be nice), but at the very least, you can start to neutralize your negativity.

#depression #anxiety #selfesteem

Want to get the most out of your life?

Want to get the most out of your life?

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Whether it’s eating healthfully, staying focused at work, watching the kids, exercising, or striving toward a goal, if part of you is living with one foot in the present experience and the other foot out, distracted with past or future concerns (especially worrisome doubts, fears or negatives), then the truth is, your life is being fractured.

Starting today, try some Self-coaching and work to be more “present” in whatever you do. You’ll need to step apart from congested thinking and focus on the world in front of you. This may take some practice, but if you work at it, you’ll be rewarded with a life of connectedness and purpose.

#anxiety #depression

Optimism: high octane, psychological fuel for 2020

Optimism: high octane, psychological fuel for 2020

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Optimism and success are intimately related. The advantage of believing in positive outcomes is motivating, sustaining, and empowering. The advantage in seeing negative outcomes is, well,…truth is there is no advantage to pessimism! Believe that you will, and you give yourself an advantage–it’s half the battle.

Happy New year and beyond.

#optimism #anxiety #depression

WHY 80 PERCENT OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL

WHY 80 PERCENT OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL

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Why is it that with such good intentions, getting fit, losing weight and improving our lives seems so elusive?

By Dr. Joseph Luciani, Contributor U.S. News & World Report

EVER HEAR OF holiday remorse? It’s the guilt driven-response you have to holiday excess that becomes the catalyst for those New Year’s resolutions and intentions. What happens is that we go through the holidays abandoning most – if not all – restraint, while indulging our bacchanalian impulses. Bellies full, we manage to sleep well at night clinging to the rationalization that, come the new year, we’re going to lose the weight and get in shape. Yes, and I can show you a holiday road to hell paved with New Year’s intentions.

Come the first of January, the hoards of enthusiastic resolutions-ers account for the swelling number of gym, yoga and Pilates memberships as the diet books fly off the book store shelves. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment. Why is it that with such good intentions, getting fit, losing weight and improving our lives seems so elusive?

To answer this question, it’s important to recognize that outside-in solutions such as dieting, joining gyms and so on are doomed to fail if, other than your well-intentioned resolve to change, you’ve done nothing to enhance your capacity to either sustain motivation or handle the inevitable stress and discomfort involved in change. Saying this differently: Unless you first change your mind, don’t expect your health goals to materialize. As the saying goes, it’s not the horse that draws the cart, it’s the oats. It’s not the gym, Pilates class or diet that will change you – it’s your mind.

The unfortunate truth is that change, all change, entails some degree of emotional friction, which in turn generates a “heated state” we call stress. Whether you’re feeling anxious, depressed, frustrated, fatigued, weak and out of control, or simply bored, emotional friction (stress) becomes the high-octane fuel of failure. When it comes to handling the stress involved in change, many well-adjusted, happy, overweight, out-of-shape people share the fundamental problem of self-sabotage.

What exactly is the resistance that sabotages our lives and our intentions? As complex and multifaceted as the answer to this query may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline. Essentially, you build self-discipline by willfully enduring the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline; you acquire it. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time. Starting today, instead of reflexively feeling a need to minimize or escape the friction involved in change, recognize instead the need to endure it. Bottom line: Don’t bail!

So before you focus on your biceps or belly fat, focus on training your brain with these five tips – and next year, you won’t have to make a resolution:

  1. Think small. Begin with small successes. Take a look at the habits that are holding you back in life. Find one that’s simple, like, “When I finish this meal, I’m going to wash my dish.” Make a contract with yourself that that dish must be washed. No ifs, ands or buts! Throughout the day, find simple challenges that you make happen.
  2. Build self-trust. Once you get used to making small things happen, begin to recognize and embrace the truth: What I say to myself is what I do. Remember, to cultivate a capacity for self-trust, you must succeed. In order to guarantee success, don’t challenge yourself with a pledge that you’re not sure you can handle. If, for example, you’re not sure you’ll stick with going to the gym five times a week, then don’t promise yourself. Better to do the best you can than to fall short and wind up jeopardizing your growing capacity for believing in yourself. When it comes to building trust, it’s better to lose the battle than the war.
  3. Invent challenges. Invent various challenges throughout the day to strengthen your ability to believe and to do. Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate; make yourself finish your paperwork before turning on the TV; decide not to spend too much at the mall. These are all trust-muscle builders, and you should view them as you would an actual muscle. Just as you would do repetitions at the gym to develop a muscle, so too must you get your reps in each day. Like a muscle, the more you workout, the more your capacity for personal success will grow.

#newyearsresolutions #anxiety #depression

Want permanent weight loss? Here’s why you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Want permanent weight loss? Here’s why you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

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As anyone who has ever turned away from a Venetian dessert cart knows, discomfort is learning to live with the word no. Maybe you’ve been convinced by some slick advertising campaign insisting that mature, moderate, healthy eating can be accomplished effortlessly without ever having to say “no” to the foods you love. Not true! Although this ruse sells diet programs, eventually, as the saying goes, you (really) can’t have your cake and eat it, too—at least not on any regular basis! This is especially true with addictive, “trigger” foods that will reawaken and sustain old, destructive habits. If you’re still insisting that such-and-such diet guarantees that you can eat all the “cake” you want and still lose weight, then fasten your seat belt, you’ve got some traveling to do as you go down that yo-yo highway.

Stop thinking and start doing

Stop thinking and start doing

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Thinking and doing. Two words as far apart as lightning and a lightning bug. How many times have you “thought” about getting in shape or losing weight, only to go on incessantly thinking without doing? In order to transpose thoughts into actions, you have to find your “action-trigger.” An action-trigger is simply doing something—anything–that moves you from passively thinking about your intentions to actively doing something about them. The good people at Nike would never have had success with a slogan of, “Just think about doing it!” Start out with a bit of Self-Coaching –Yes you can!

#anxiety #depression
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Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

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“Who exactly am I?” From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s not possible to answer this question. Not because it’s illusive or complicated, but because who you are isn’t a stationary concept like a snapshot or a portrait painting. Instead of trying to pin down the “who” you are, think instead of “what” you’re becoming. Every second of every day you, your persona, is evolving, changing, adapting. The real question is what is the direction of this change? Not sure what direction your life is headed? Simply begin by taking a closer look at your here-and-now actions and the choices you make. And if you don’t like what you see, then start making better choices! One choice at a time.

#anxiety #depression

Why you need to stop wasting time

Why you need to stop wasting time

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In your lifetime you can expect your heart to beat 2.5 billion times, take six hundred million breaths and witness twenty-seven thousand sunrises. Yet no matter how wealthy or powerful you become, you’ll never be able to buy one extra heartbeat, one extra breath, or see one extra sunrise. The most important thing in life is time—treasure your day. If you’re looking for ways to manage depression, this is a great place to start.

Don’t let setbacks set you back

Don’t let setbacks set you back

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Never underestimate the value of a setback. Keep in mind the following: 1.) in life, setbacks are inevitable, 2.) setbacks allow you to make the necessary adjustments for success, and 3.) with the proper perspective, setbacks don’t ever have to set you back! Thomas Edison said it best, “I’ve failed my way to success.”

#anxiety #depression

Want a more fulfilling Start living responsively

Want a more fulfilling Start living responsively

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Starting today, see if you can be more “responsive.” It can be simple things. For example, not rehearsing how you’ll tell your neighbor that his dog is using your yard as a toilet, or not worrying what “might” happen if you were to get a notice from the IRS. Instead, do nothing! Risk letting these and other situations come to you rather than you abstractly going to them mentally. Let life present itself to you and begin to find out that you won’t let yourself down. I know it will feel risky, which is why I suggest you start with simple things, low impact challenges that begin to demonstrate that, lo and behold, you really can handle life on the fly. Bottom line: self-trust and Responsive Living all comes down to a willingness to believe.

#anxiety #depression #happiness

Are you avoiding life?

Are you avoiding life?

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In my book, I refer to people who try to side-step or avoid life, as Turtles. When life becomes threatening, turtles pull themselves into their protective shells. What about you? Are you building shells right now?
In order for any behavior to be considered “turtle-avoidant,” it must be an attempt to avoid some aspect of life in order to feel more in control.

As a general rule, any excessive/compulsive behavior should be questioned as a possible deflection or avoidance of life. Here are a few common examples: emotional withdrawal; social isolation; shyness; Internet overuse; compulsive eating; use of alcohol and other drugs; gambling; overworking; excessive or compulsive pursuit of a hobby; excessive TV watching, listening to music, or reading; hypochondria (illness-focused withdrawal)

#anxiety #depression

Are you too compulsive?

Are you too compulsive?

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Whether it’s your bedtime ritual each night, your shower in the morning, or brushing your teeth, we all have repetitive habits that we might loosely call “compulsive.” These habits simply make our world feel more in sync—in control. Just try to skip taking that shower or not brushing your teeth and see if you find yourself fidgeting a bit. We are, after all, creatures of habit. Unfortunately, our inherent nature to form habits is indiscriminate, habits can be positive contributors to our lives or they can be the fuel for anxiety or depression.

For our purpose of Self-Coaching, what’s important is to differentiate normal from neurotic compulsive behavior. You do this by asking what’s driving your behavior. When your bedtime ritual, shower, jog, or brushing your teeth are driven by positive desire and a sense of well-being, that’s healthy, and that’s normal. But when compulsivity is driven by insecurity, then the driving force isn’t positive, it’s destructive. Insecurity, that which leaves us feeling vulnerable and helpless, looks to gain control by ritualistically repeating any behavior that quells the gnawing discomfort within. Many addictions and destructive habits fall into this category, however, there is a lot of gray. At the very least, try to differentiate the “have-tos” in your life from the “want-tos.”

#anxiety #depression #compulsive

Why do we seem to delve into our worst fears at night?

Why do we seem to delve into our worst fears at night?

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Patients complain about swirling, ruminative, worry-thoughts that haunt them preventing restful sleep and causing anxiety. Chet Raymo, one of my favorite authors, writes: “The night is the beginning of terror, as every child knows. Who is not afraid of the dark? The gods are creatures of daylight. The gods work nine to five. At night we are on our own.”

Perhaps this is the answer. At night, “we are on our own,” meaning that at night we are without our daytime world of distractions. When everything quiets down in the external, world and we are left with what’s underneath, that which is unsettled and frightening. These are the unresolved doubts, fears, and negatives that percolate up at night.

These are the things that make us feel out of control. Relationship discord, a medical issue, or fear of losing a job, these are the demons of the night. Perhaps the best we can do, as the dawn arrives, is to recognize that these issues need to be addressed and not left buried for tomorrow night’s anxieties.

#anxiety #depression #nightmares

Today is the “hump” solstice. It’s time to get through dark struggles.

Today is the “hump” solstice. It’s time to get through dark struggles.

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At 11:19 PM Eastern Time today, it will be the winter solstice—the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year! From this point forward, we will be gaining almost an extra minute of sunlight each day. For this reason, I call it the “hump” solstice, because we are over the hump; the darkness begins to yield to the light.

In life, it’s critical to persevere through our dark struggles. It’s this perseverance that anticipates the light— the relief from darker emotions. Starting today, just as the dark nights slowly begin to yield to the ever brightening and lengthening days, begin to reverse your slide of anxiety, depression, and emotional struggle. Rather than passively accepting the status quo, actively begin to fight off that which holds you down. How? Thought by thought as you begin to replace pessimism with optimistic, hopelessness with hope, and powerlessness with empowerment. Do this, and today will become your solstice.

#anxiety #depression

How to ignore emotional discomfort

How to ignore emotional discomfort

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The thermometer read twenty-three degrees this morning, which got me reminiscing. I was recalling how playing in the snow with snowball-soaked gloves, numb fingers, and frozen toes were no obstacle to building snow forts and igloos. How was it that the cold of winter never interfered with those unforgettable times? Simple answer: it all has to do with focus.

If you are passionately focused on what you’re doing, any discomfort becomes…well, irrelevant. Sure, the discomfort is there, but if you’re not paying attention to it, the discomfort becomes neutralized. Whether it’s anxiety or depression, begin to recognize that focusing on your “discomfort” does one thing, it accentuates your suffering as you get caught in an endless loop of self-flagellation.

Starting today, give yourself a break. Rather than clinging to ruminative doubts, fears, and negative thoughts, practice ignoring them. Once you begin to break the neurotic loop, then, like my numb fingers and toes, nothing’s going to stop you from getting out there and throwing a few snowballs.

#anxiety #depression

Learning to turn a deaf ear to neurotic thinking

Learning to turn a deaf ear to neurotic thinking

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Frogs are pessimists. It’s a fact. There was once a race to find the fastest frog in the swamp. Five formidable frogs lined up, along with one rather sickly frog called Ribbit. The gun went off, immediately the pessimistic crowd began yelling, “Stop, stop it’s too hard, you’re going to hurt yourselves…” One by one the frogs dropped out of the race, all except for sickly Ribbit who finished the race. How? Ribbit, you see, was deaf!

You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish when you turn a deaf ear to your own pessimistic “frog-thinking.”

#anxiety #depression

Are anxiety and depression inherited?

Are anxiety and depression inherited?

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We know, for example, that children of parents with panic disorder are seven times more likely to be anxious themselves. . Similarly, children of parents that have suffered from a major depressive episode are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to develop depression.

But you don’t need to be predisposed to anxiety or depression to develop anxiety or depression. Stressful life circumstances, especially loss, chronic pain, or ongoing struggle can initiate the same reaction. Anyone, given enough stress and insecurity, is susceptible to developing problems.

Regardless of their origins, anxiety and depression can be stopped where they begin, in the insecure, stressful thoughts (doubts, fears, and negatives) that you allow to float unchecked in your mind. Thoughts that generate stress which eventually depletes the brain chemicals responsible for emotional balance.

Keep in mind that adversity, loss, even a psychological disposition, aren’t necessarily life sentences, they’re ONLY tendencies toward anxiety or depression.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a biological predisposition, a learned pattern of reflexive insecurity-driven thinking or unwieldy life circumstances, there’s always choice.

Whether it’s alcoholism, obesity, or any other predispositions, it’s not the tendency you have to worry about, it’s whether you feed that tendency or starve it. Always keep in mind that you are not a victim and you’re NOT powerless.

#depression #anxiety

Does this sound like you?

Does this sound like you?

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“Today’s not a good day”? “I have to go to work.” I have to do the bills.” Before you resign yourself to just “getting through” another day, recognize what you’re doing. For starters, you’re conceding that today won’t be an opportunity for anything worthwhile. We call this a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e., what you tell yourself and what you believe, is what you and your life become.

Stop prejudicing yourself with a short-sighted, pessimistic attitude. Instead, open yourself up to the awareness that every day–in spite of your whining–is an opportunity, an adventure, and the truth is, you don’t know what may be around the next corner. As the saying goes, when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.”

#anxiety #depression

Be careful what you call a “weed”

Be careful what you call a “weed”

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Being a gardener, I’ll admit, when I see a dandelion’s bright, yellow flower in my lawn, I can’t wait to pluck the offending weed. And yet, what exactly is the difference between a weed and a flower? The difference is our perception. All things in life depend on our interpretation. Struggle, for example, can be seen as a curse or a cause to evolve. If stumbling teaches you to pay more attention to your path, can we say that stumbling was a bad thing? Embrace life, all life!

#anxiety #depression

Can’t stop those negative thoughts? Listen to my grandmother

Can’t stop those negative thoughts? Listen to my grandmother

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My grandmother used to say, “You can’t stop a bird from flying into your hair, but you don’t have to help it build a nest.” When it comes to doubts, fears, or negatives, you may not be able to stop the first thought from percolating up into your mind, but you sure as hell can stop yourself from dancing with a second, third, or fourth thought. Stay mentally disciplined–you won’t regret it!

#anxiety #depression #worrying

Why you don’t have to feel guilty

Why you don’t have to feel guilty

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Patients are always telling me how “guilty” they feel about letting someone down, not returning a phone call, or simply not getting to the gym. What is this thing we call guilt?
From a Self-Coaching perspective, I define guilt as a feeling that you’ve done something wrong. Not getting to the gym, for example, is clearly not doing something wrong, but may leave you feeling guilty and distressed the whole day. So, why do we feel guilty?

The simple answer is that insecurity has introduced an element of self-distrust. This usually takes the form of a “should” statement. I “should” have gone to the gym, I should have made that phone call, and so on. But who says you “should?” If insecurity is insisting on you being a perfect person who does everything you’re “supposed to” do, then it’s inevitable that you will fail (i.e., feel guilty). Or go crazy trying to be perfect.

Next time you feel guilty, ask yourself an important question: “did I do anything wrong?” Be careful with your answer, because, for example, not calling your mother for a day may “feel” wrong, but that isn’t necessarily the objective truth. It’s up to you to separate yourself from your neurotic “shoulds” and “have tos” and insist on being more objective. Not calling your mother may be a result of being too busy, distracted, or preoccupied, but it is not wrong!

All too often guilt is a cheap shot perpetrated by insecurity. It’s a good thing to be responsible, but it’s a neurotic thing not to have a choice.

#anxiety #depression #guilt

Insecurity will ruin your life–if you let it

Insecurity will ruin your life–if you let it

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No one grows up in a perfect world, everyone suffers loss, illness, separations, and so on—to some degree, insecurity is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle.

Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist on trying to over-control life, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk trusting—self and life.

#anxiety #depression

Smackdown Technique for Handling Food Cravings

Smackdown Technique for Handling Food Cravings

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In order to help you handle the twisted, distorted thinking involved in fighting off a compulsive urge to binge, here’s a simple technique that can save your dietary life: Take a business card and on the back write down a few clear, objective reasons why you want to resist cravings and temptations. When you find yourself buckling under with impulsive, mindless desires, simply take the card out of your purse or wallet and read the list.

For instance:
1. I’m tired of feeling weak and out of control.
2. I want to look good for the wedding.
3. I will not let food rule my life.
4. Be strong! Stay strong! I am strong!

It helps to keep reading the list, mantra-like, over and over
until either the urge passes or your thinking once again becomes focused and rational.

#anxiety #depression #weightloss

What stops you from achieving your goals?

What stops you from achieving your goals?

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What exactly is the resistance that keeps us from taking charge of our lives and realizing our intentions? As complex and multifaceted as the answer to this query may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline. And from a Self-Coaching perspective, what’s self-discipline? It’s the ability to willfully endure the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline, it’s acquired. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time.

#anxiety #depression #selfdiscipline

Want to be happy? Try the 15-15 technique.

Want to be happy? Try the 15-15 technique.

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One thing I’ve learned from my studies in neuroplasticity (i.e., how learning changes the anatomy of the brain) is that in order to change a brain-habit you must practice the new behavior (for example, being happy). And if you don’t know how to be happy, simply act “as-if” you’re happy. Do this for 15 minutes a day for 15 days. Give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose, except your unhappiness.

#anxiety #depression #happiness

Anxious? Depressed? stop feeding the pigeons.

Anxious? Depressed? stop feeding the pigeons.

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Imagine that you’re on your patio trying to relax. You notice a cute little pigeon milling about, pecking and minding its own business. Innocently, you toss it a few crumbs from a leftover sandwich you’d been eating. The next day you go out to your patio and within minutes your little pigeon buddy reappears with a companion. Enthusiastically, you throw out a few more crumbs. By the end of the week you’re inundated with hundreds of pigeons leaving your once pristine patio a shamble of feathers, droppings, and a cacophony of cooing. You ask, “What should I do?” And to anyone witnessing your problem the answer is simple, “Stop feeding the pigeons!”

If you allow reflexive, knee-jerk, insecure thinking to flock into your life with needless worry, fear, or negativity, then you’re feeding the pigeons of insecurity. And if you insist on feeding your insecurity, the distasteful truth is that you will suffer. From now on, keep the image of the pigeons in mind every time you find yourself spinning with insecurity-driven thinking, then remind yourself to, “Stop feeding the pigeons!”\

#anxiety #depression

What’s wrong with wanting to be perfect?

What’s wrong with wanting to be perfect?

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Philosophically speaking, why would striving for such a noble and exalted goal as perfection be a problem? Simple answer: Nature abhors perfection, at least as the perfectionist defines it.
Although perfectionists like to believe they’re pursuing a lofty, aesthetic ideal, in reality, they’re only looking for a tool with one mundane application–control. Neurotic control! No doubt it’s the exalted illusion of complete and perfect control that gets so many people hooked (I’ve often said that perfectionists don’t want to be perfect, they NEED to be perfect in order to avoid screwing up, criticism, or rejection!).
Bettering yourself, improving, learning, moving forward–all can be seen as constructive and worthwhile ambitions. It’s okay to move toward an ideal of perfecting yourself, as long as you see this as an ideal and not a reality. When you insist on being perfect, you move from a constructive desire to improve your life to a destructive desire to control it.

#anxiety #depression #ocd

Do you fear getting older?

Do you fear getting older?

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Depending on your age you might, as I did in my youth, see getting older as a curse. Whatever your age, you should know that age doesn’t change you, not really. Of course, the body reacts differently to gravity as physical challenges become more common, but that’s to be expected, the mind, however, becomes more capable than ever before of soaring to new heights as we continue to consolidate and thrive from the many life lessons we’ve learned along the way—carpe vitae

#anxiety #depression

Are you victimized by life’s pressures?

Are you victimized by life’s pressures?

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We all have a tendency to lose perspective in our lives. We allow ourselves to become victimized by pressures and incessant demands. Days come and days go, as we keep saying, “tomorrow I’ll relax.” Life is too precious to rationalize away with mindless compulsive striving. If you’ve never read the poem, Dust If You Must, than please take a minute to read it. Then after you’re done, take another minute and decide how you want to spend your day.

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time.
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come ’round again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not always kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Author unknown

#anxiety #depression

Why you need to become an “active” thinker

Why you need to become an “active” thinker

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Although one thought isn’t going to make a difference in your mental well-being, ruminative, negative thinking has a cumulative, mind-body effect (depleting you both emotionally as well as chemically) eventually contributing to anxiety or depression.

You need to know that thoughts matter and there’s an emotional and physical price to pay for needless shabby thinking. Recognize that “shabby” negative thinking is a choice of passivity (i.e., you sit back and allow your habits of insecurity to go on and on unimpeded). Instead, start to become a more active thinker, especially when you’re feeling stressed and challenged.

Choose to reject insecurity-driven thinking. Starting today, take responsibility–one thought at a time—STOP dancing with negativity.

#anxiety #depression

December opportunities (a note from my wellness teacher daughter, Lauren)

December opportunities (a note from my wellness teacher daughter, Lauren)

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The month of December brings with it the beginning of chilly days, early sunsets, and the chance of snow. This winter season, let’s try and find the magic that is hidden in the delicate snowflakes, the cozy warmth of a fire, and the wisdom of nature. As the seasons begin to change, let us set an intention to greet the cold winter with a warm welcome. May we bring our own light into the darkness. Happy December!

I’m a worrier, do I have an anxiety disorder?

I’m a worrier, do I have an anxiety disorder?

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There are several differences between general anxiety disorder (GAD) and what we might call “normal” worry-anxiety. First, those with GAD suffer from excessive worrying that typically interferes with everyday life functioning, while those dealing with normal worry-anxiety would not classify their anxieties as “excessive,” and might even perceive their worries as manageable since they are able to step apart from these worries when required to function with day-to-day demands.

Second, the worrying of those with GAD can occur without precipitant (i.e., a stressful, challenging circumstance), the quality of the worrying is more ruminative and distressing and will persist for a longer duration than normal worry-anxiety, and the range of worry-thoughts is less connected to a given circumstance and more diffuse in nature (finances, health, terrorism, etc.)

Third, those with GAD are more likely to report physical symptoms resulting from their constant worrying and related difficulties with their jobs, relationships, and other significant life demands.

General anxiety disorder is characterized by the following symptoms:

● Excessive worry and anxiety
● Fatigue
● Feeling irritable, testy, or grouchy much of the time
● Feeling restless, keyed up, or edgy
● Difficulty concentrating or forgetting
● Muscle tension
● Sleep difficulties (difficulty falling or staying asleep, restless, non-restorative sleep)

Worrying is a form of psychological friction

Worrying is a form of psychological friction

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Worry is an anticipation that things are going to go wrong (we don’t worry about things going right). Whether you try to control your life by worrying, over-thinking, ruminating, being too cautious, fearful, or doubtful, worry isn’t the answer. If you’re stumbling emotionally in life, then incessant worrying may well be the root of your problem.

Rather than worrying about an uncertain or chaotic future, stay focused on the here-and-now facts of your life. If, for example, you have high cholesterol (which would be a fact), rather than worrying about having a heart attack, address the facts by eating more healthfully, getting more exercise, medication, and so on. Dealing with facts keeps you effectively in the present with a bonus of eliminating the anxiety associated with anticipating doom and gloom.

Mind games: who are you really fooling?

Mind games: who are you really fooling?

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Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life? If so, then it’s time to develop a bit of critical awareness to see how you become compromised by mind games, which are so typical of destructive, reflexive thinking. The best way to illustrate a mind game would be for you to sit down at a checker board and begin to play against yourself. If, for whatever reason, you want red to win, you’ll have to arrange for black to lose. You (red) will win, but have you really won or have you simply deluded yourself?

Whether you’re wrestling directly with self-sabotaging, should-I, shouldn’t-I thoughts or subtler, less obvious ploys like telling yourself, “I’ll just put that off until tomorrow” or, “She will never know I took that.” It’s important for you to become aware of how you delude yourself. You do this with excuses, rationalizations, and self-deception, all of which can become repetitive patterns. So, what’s the best way to insulate yourself from these patterns? Every time you wind up with regrets, guilts, or misgivings, look back to how you managed to “delude” yourself. Consciousness is critical if you want to truly live your intentions.

#anxiety #depression

Are you considering taking medication for anxiety or depression?

Are you considering taking medication for anxiety or depression?

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It’s important to understand that certain antidepressants work better for some people and not others. It’s also not uncommon to try different medications during treatment. Some people may also require more than one medication to achieve optimal results. Working with your doctor, you can discuss the risks as well as benefits of antidepressant medication in order to optimize your treatment.

It’s important to keep in mind that taking medication isn’t an exact science where one-size-fits-all. Although the prescribing of these medications is far from being haphazard, it is essentially a trial-and-error process to assess your unique requirements.

With moderate to severe intransigent depression, medication is often an essential adjunct to therapy, which is why I call medication a therapy facilitator. Studies have shown that with moderate to severe depression, therapy or medication alone are not as effective as the combining the two.

#anxiety #depression

Be Thankful for life’s “stars”

Be Thankful for life’s “stars”

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As a child I believed that stars appeared every night and disappeared each day. Now I know that stars don’t disappear, they’re merely obscured each day by the light of day. Your potential for happiness and fulfillment, like the stars in the firmament, is an ever-present possibility, but sometimes obscured, not by daylight, but by misdirected goals, insecurity and self-doubt. Your potential for happiness, like the stars, is always there. Even when obscured, if you look hard enough you’ll see life’s twinkling stars.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

#anxiety #depression #Thankful

This Thanksgiving, be thankful for your “dash” years

This Thanksgiving, be thankful for your “dash” years

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I saw a tombstone the other day. On the stone was inscribed the years: 1920 – 1999. To me neither the birth (1920) nor the death (1999) mattered much. What mattered was the dash inscribed between these dates. You see, it’s the dash that represents the life that was once lived.

It’s not important when you were born or when you die—what is important this Thanksgiving, is to be thankful for all the opportunities and possibilities available to you in your dash years.

#anxiety #depression #thanksgiving

Shorter days bumming you out?

Shorter days bumming you out?

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As we approach the winter solstice the darkest day of the year, all I hear from patients, friends, and family, is a collective, “I hate how the days are getting shorter and shorter.
If you’re one of these “complainers,” please read on.

I’m not a “complainer,” for me, shorter days are a blessing not a curse. Why? Because I love astronomy—shorter days gives me more time to view the stars. Think about it, life doesn’t dictate our mood, how we react and interpret life’s circumstances does.

Bottom line: NEVER let yourself feel victimized by your circumstances, work to change your perspective and even a dark, nighttime sky can become a blessing.

#anxiety #depression

Want to feel better about yourself?

Want to feel better about yourself?

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Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice allowing yourself to imagine that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion “AS-IF” it’s true.

No doubt you’ll struggle with your traditional doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, remember to accept this concept as-if it’s true. The important thing in this drill is that you’ll begin to get a taste of what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. As many of my patients have found, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life.

#anxiety #depression #selfconfidence

Don’t become a victim of anxiety or t depression

Don’t become a victim of anxiety or t depression

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In the physical world in order to achieve desired results, you must take action. Same is true for your emotions. You may feel victimized by anxiety or depression, but unless you actively challenge the emotional fictions of insecurity that spin in your mind, your desired serenity will never occur. What are emotional fictions? Typically, they’re the doubts, fears, and negatives that we allow to go unchallenged. Start challenging!

#anxiety #depression

Are you Determined to Succeed? To be Happy?

Are you Determined to Succeed? To be Happy?

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Doing something once, like going to the gym, passing up a piece of cake, or stopping negativity is great, but doing it twice, three times or for life requires determination. What is determination? It’s the ability to do what feels unnatural until it becomes the NEW natural.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Is your life stagnating?

Is your life stagnating?

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Motivation is a curious thing; it’s not always driven by desire. According to Anais Nin, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This quote suggests to me that sometimes the motivation to change comes, not from grandiose plans for personal expansion, but from the pain of stagnation. Personal dissatisfaction can be transformative. Why not risk blossoming?

Doing your best

Doing your best

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Whether you’re a perfectionist or simply too hard on yourself, no matter what you say or think, you can never give more than your best effort (How can you possibly do better than your best?). Therefore, if you happen to be too tunnel visioned about your goals, beware! The key to genuine happiness is learning NOT to embrace the best outcome, but to embrace your best effort.

#anxiety #depression

The key to a purposeful life

The key to a purposeful life

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Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, “What would you do if you were suddenly learn that you were going to die at sunset today? He replied, “I would finish hoeing my garden.”

Rather than anticipating or worrying about what’s ahead, invest yourself totally in all that you do. Do this, and you will be living a purposeful, rich life. The key is being present and connecting to the life in front of you rather than disconnecting from it as you anticipate tomorrow’s life and struggles.

#anxiety #depression

FACT: in the long run, diets don’t work—people do!

FACT: in the long run, diets don’t work—people do!

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Real, lifelong weight mastery isn’t a secret you’ll find buried in a diet book; it’s to be found in the systematic, practical application of learning to flex your self-discipline muscle and living your intentions. If, in fact, your self-discipline muscle has atrophied, then like any muscle, you need to begin getting some rehab, for example, saying “no” to that second helping, handling the transient discomfort of an urge or compulsion, and so on. Work at building your self-discipline muscle you’ll begin to realize that the outcome—weight mastery—is choice, not chance.

#dieting #anxiety #depression

Choosing happiness

Choosing happiness

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True happiness is an incorruptible attitude that exists independent of life’s circumstances. Living a fulfilled, happy life isn’t something you wish for–it’s something you choose! Starting today, regardless of what goes on around you, recognize that you and you alone make the decision as to what kind of day it will be. You’re in charge, BE in charge!

#anxiety #depression

Facing your challenges

Facing your challenges

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According to Buddha, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” When it comes to life challenges, if you’re prone to excuses or rationalizations, the truth will eventually catch up to you. Why wait for regrets? Steel yourself, face your challenges, and you’ll never have to look back and wonder, “How did I let that happen?”

#anxiety #depression

Opportunities to grow

Opportunities to grow

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Every challenge, no matter how small, is an opportunity to grow in self respect, confidence and self-trust. Every setback, no matter how significant, is an opportunity to grow in self-respect, confidence and self-trust. In the grand scheme life, there should be no regrets, only appreciation for the opportunities to grow toward our full potential.

#anxiety #depression

What world do you live in?

What world do you live in?

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Question: what’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist?
Answer: happiness!

Neither the optimist nor the pessimist knows what tomorrow will bring, but the optimist, by embracing positive expectations, lives in a passionate world of unending possibilities while the pessimist lives in a world of unending anticipation of chaos. What world do you live in?

#anxiety #depression #optimism

Choosing empowerment

Choosing empowerment

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Who you are, what you are, and where you’re going in life are all choices. If you don’t already know this, then you’re probably feeling victimized by life. Next time you’re feeling trapped or stuck, choose patience, choose perseverance, but most importantly, choose not to be powerless.

#anxiety #depression

How would you define success?

How would you define success?

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From a Self-Coaching perspective success is measured by the degree to which your intentions and aspirations are given life. You can begin the process right now by visualizing your success. Visualizations are energy triggers. Next, grab hold of this energy and bring it into your world in the form of action. Thoughts into action–that’s the secret for success!

#anxiety #depression

Growing old

Growing old

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You don’t stop exercising because you grow old. You grow old because you stop exercising.

www.selfcoaching.net

One thing you’ll never be able to buy

One thing you’ll never be able to buy

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In your lifetime you can expect your heart to beat 2.5 billion times, take six hundred million breaths and witness twenty-seven thousand sunrises. Yet no matter how wealthy or powerful you become, you’ll never be able to buy one extra heartbeat, one extra breath, or see one extra sunrise. The most important thing in life is time—treasure your day.

#anxiety #depression

Having hope

Having hope

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“I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” Thus, speaks the voice of insecurity, which is the voice of despair and defeat. When everything in you is telling you to give up and quit, you have only one ally—hope.

From a Self-Coaching perspective, hope is the expectation of relief and/or resolution. Granted, when you’re feeling hopeless, it seems impossible to reverse the tide of pessimism, but just because it seems impossible, doesn’t mean it is. Hope is nothing more than a leap of faith. Regardless of your circumstances, if you take the leap, at the very least your struggles will no longer own you.

#anxiety #depression

The value of mental discipline when it comes to worrying

The value of mental discipline when it comes to worrying

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My grandmother used to say, “You can’t stop a bird from flying into your hair, but you don’t have to help it build a nest.” When it comes to doubts, fears, or negatives, you may not be able to stop the first thought from percolating up into your mind, but you sure as hell can stop yourself from dancing with a second, third, or fourth thought. Stay mentally disciplined–you won’t regret it!

#anxiety #depression

Are you living correctly?

Are you living correctly?

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Alas, I know that the spectacular fall color of my ginkgo tree outside my window won’t last, it will shed its brilliant yellow leaves and soon winter will prevail. If I anticipate a bare ginkgo tree with denuded, frozen branches, I grow sad.

No doubt winter will come, but If I stay in this glorious October moment, where there is no winter, only my brilliant yellow ginkgo tree, then I am living correctly. The past and the future are mental abstractions, there is only now. Today, go find your ginkgo.

#anxiety #depression

Feeling insecure? You’re not alone.

Feeling insecure? You’re not alone.

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No one grows up in a perfect world, everyone suffers loss, illness, separations, and so on—to some degree, insecurity is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle.

Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist on trying to over-control life, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk trusting—self and life.
#Anxiety #depression

Ever feel like you’re a failure?

Ever feel like you’re a failure?

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If you strive toward a goal and don’t make it, are you a failure? NO! Failure is a term reserved for those apathetic souls who never try or try and quit. As long as you’re trying, you can never be a failure. I always tell my patients, in life, if you can’t get in the front door, try the side door, or the back door, or a window…” There’s always a way for those who insist! And even if you do fail to reach a specific goal, “YOU” are not a failure, your effort was.

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

The danger of living your life like a weather forecast

The danger of living your life like a weather forecast

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Weather forecasting is a metaphor for our current lives. When I was growing up, you rolled out of bed only to be surprised by a rainy or sunny day, now, at least as far as our ten-day weather forecasting is concerned, there are few surprises.

Like the weather forecast, we’ve come to abhor surprises. We tell ourselves that being prepared (a.k.a., worrying) is essential and that not worrying (god forbid) is a much too risky.

Okay, I can see where knowing what’s coming before it comes can sound appealing, but there is a trade-off, it’s called spontaneity.

Living your life in the future—regardless of the accuracy of your predictions—is, and will always be, at the expense of living your life in the moment—spontaneously. And when it comes happiness, serenity, and well-being, where do you think you have a better chance—living your life today or ten days from now?

#anxiety #depression

Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life?

Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life?

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If you’re serious about eliminating regrets then it’s time to develop a bit of critical awareness to see how you become compromised by “mind games,” which are so typical of destructive, reflexive thinking. The best way to illustrate a mind game would be for you to sit down at a checker board and begin to play against yourself. If, for whatever reason, you want red to win, you’ll have to arrange for black to lose. You (red) will win, but have you really won or have you simply deluded yourself?

Whether you’re wrestling directly with self-sabotaging should-I, shouldn’t-I thoughts or subtler, less obvious ploys like telling yourself, “I’ll just put that off until tomorrow” or, “She will never know I took that.” It’s important for you to become aware of how you delude yourself. You do this with excuses, rationalizations, and self-deception, all of which can become repetitive patterns. So, what’s the best way to insulate yourself from these patterns? Every time you wind up with regrets, guilts, or misgivings, look back to how you managed to “delude” yourself. Consciousness is critical if you want to truly live your intentions.

#anxiety #depression

The best way to handle life struggles

The best way to handle life struggles

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When struggling with a life challenge there’s a simple three-step, Self-Coaching strategy that will help:

1.) do the best you can

2.) never, ever, criticize your efforts

3.) learn to celebrate your efforts rather than your successes

Do this and you’ll be guaranteeing ongoing, sustained motivation that will see you through whatever life throws at you. Motivation is happiness’s fuel

#anxiety #depression

Why do we celebrate scary things on Halloween?

Why do we celebrate scary things on Halloween?

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Today is Halloween, no matter where you go there are ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and witches. Why? From a psychological perspective I suspect it has to do with our primal fear of all things related to death (i.e., things we can’t control).

Halloween is a day when we choose to deny our fears and mock the scary things in life. The Self-Coaching lesson is that everything that scares and frightens us, isn’t so terrifying if we choose to face them head on. Whatever your fears or insecurities, real or imagined, recognize that being frightened is a choice. And sometimes it helps to even laugh at what spooks us. Boo!

#anxiety #depression

How to bring more happiness into your life

How to bring more happiness into your life

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Human beings hate being out of control. That’s why getting the bills done, getting some exercise, losing weight, resolving conflicts, etc., makes us feel great. The opposite is also true, postponing our chores, harboring resentments, gaining weight, and feeling unhealthy makes us feel out of control, often contributing to ongoing stress, anxiety and even depression. Becoming more proactive with our lives doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it sure helps!

Letting go of congested thinking

Letting go of congested thinking

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If you’ve followed my Self-Coaching blogs, you’ll often hear me quote adage borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), “Let go, let god.” It doesn’t matter if you interpret this in a spiritual or secular way, letting go of congested, insecurity-driven thinking (doubts, fears, negatives) is the first step. Letting life unfold without obsessively trying to control outcomes is the second step. No one said it better than the late mythologist, Joseph Campbell, “We must be willing to relinquish the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

#anxiety #depression

Wish you were more secure?

Wish you were more secure?

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No one grows up in a perfect world, everyone suffers loss, illness, separations, and so on—to some degree, insecurity is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle.

Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist on trying to over-control life, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk trusting—self and life.

#anxiety #depression #insecurity

How to get out of a depressed mood

How to get out of a depressed mood

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When caught in a depressed mood, it’s tempting to feel that life is too hard, that you can’t go on. It’s this type of thinking that winds up feeding and sustaining the mood. Consider trying this: do nothing!

All too often we go to battle with our negative, spiraling thoughts. We beat ourselves up, which only adds fuel to the dark mood. Instead, next time you’re in a slump of negativity, don’t engage in debate, guilt, or self recrimination–in essence, don’t resist, simply yield.

Just allow yourself to ride out the mood with the understanding and conviction that, ‘this too shall pass.’ The key is not to get caught up in a dance with your depressed thoughts. The more you ruminate, worry, or antagonize yourself, the more you feed the mood instead of starving it.

By letting it go, turning away, distracting yourself and not engaging a mood with persistent doubts, fears, or negatives, the more you allow yourself to reduce psychological friction while ensuring that you don’t become a victim of your mood.

#anxiety #depression #mood

Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

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From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s not possible to answer this question. Not because it’s illusive or complicated, but because who you are isn’t a stationary concept like a snapshot or a portrait painting. Instead of trying to pin down the “who” you are, think instead of “what” you’re becoming. Every second of every day you, your persona, is evolving, changing, adapting. The real question is what is the direction of this change? Not sure what direction your life is headed? Simply begin by taking a closer look at your here-and-now actions and the choices you make. And if you don’t like what you see, then start making better choices! One choice at a time.

#anxiety #depression

Want positive change in your life? Try this Self-Coaching technique

Want positive change in your life? Try this Self-Coaching technique

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Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—even if it’s only for a few seconds at first.

Don’t allow yourself to fight it. You can expect a struggle from your traditional doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, accept it AS-IF it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Later, as you progress with this SelfCoaching exercise, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life.

#anxiety #depression

What happened to life’s wonder and magic?

What happened to life’s wonder and magic?

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Remember when you were a child and everything seemed possible? Why do we grow up and become sober to life’s wonder and magic? If not cynical? The answer is rather straight forward: The child knows how to ‘be’ while the adult winds up ‘thinking’ about being.

Is it possible to experience life’s wonder and magic again? Yes, once you realize the extraordinary power of simply being in the moment rather than mindlessly allowing yourself to become hijacked by excessive contemplation, rumination, or worry.

Starting today, with awareness, begin to liberate yourself– especially from insecurity-driven thinking (i.e., doubt, fear, and negativity)—giving yourself a chance to once again experience a bit of life’s magic? Bottom line: think less, be more.

#anxiety #depression

What’s holding you back?

What’s holding you back?

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Bumble bees are not supposed to fly. Their body weighs too much and their wingspan is too short. Thank goodness the bumble bee doesn’t know these facts. What are the supposed “facts” that are holding you back?

Replacing your faulty mental “switches”

Replacing your faulty mental “switches”

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A few years ago, I installed a light switch incorrectly. So, instead of flipping the switch up to turn on the light, you had to flip it down. Rather than changing the switch I told myself that I would eventually remember that for this one switch, down, in a sense, was up. That was three years ago and I still keep forgetting!

The problem was that my new switch went against all the other switches in my house and therefore my brain was constantly being reinforced by the old, established habit of switch up, light on.

If your brain is constantly being fed information that supports the insecurity-driven thinking of emotional struggle (doubts, fears, and negativity), then isolated attempts to be more hopeful or optimistic just can’t compete. Not unless you engage in a systematic process of extinguishing all the faulty thinking “switches” that reinforce and anxiety and depression.

#anxiety #depression

Worry begets worry. Time to get off the treadmill

Worry begets worry. Time to get off the treadmill

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Okay, so maybe you’re prone to worrying or maybe you might even call yourself a worrywart, and maybe preparing for the worst doesn’t sound so terrible to you. You may even think it’s prudent, if not smart. And I wouldn’t disagree if it weren’t for the compulsive, unrelenting loop of worry that gets generated.

If there’s one thing certain about worrying, it’s the fact that worry begets worry. So, as you can see, worrying isn’t innocently involved with wanting to batten down the hatches and prepare for a potential storm, it’s more of a primitive, child-like need to escape life’s challenges altogether.

When, because of insecurity and lack of self-trust, you feel you can’t handle some aspect of life, then worry becomes an attempt to figure out how dodge the bullet. Saying this differently, worry is often an attempt to somehow—if not magically—find a way to figure out how to feel less vulnerable.

www.selfcoaching.net

If you’re considering taking medication for anxiety or depression

If you’re considering taking medication for anxiety or depression

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It’s important to understand that certain antidepressants work better for some people and not others. It’s also not uncommon to try different medications during treatment. Some people may also require more than one medication to achieve optimal results.

Working with your doctor, you can discuss the risks as well as benefits of antidepressant medication in order to optimize your treatment. It’s important to keep in mind that taking medication isn’t an exact science where one-size-fits-all. Although the prescribing of these medications is far from being haphazard, it is essentially a trial-and-error process to assess your unique requirements.

With moderate to severe intransigent depression, medication is often an essential adjunct to therapy, which is why I call medication a therapy facilitator. Studies have shown that with moderate to severe depression, therapy or medication alone are not as effective as the combining the two

#anxiety #depression

A good reason to look forward to winter

A good reason to look forward to winter

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I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to winter for one reason—solace! Interpretation: no more leaf blowers!

When I was a kid there wasn’t the deafening sound of leaf blowers or gas lawn mowers. Only the occasional sound of a scratching rake or the spinning blades of a push mower. Yeah, I was spoiled. I wonder if today’s youth are as sensitive to noise pollution?

I was driving through the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York this summer and noticed a sign that read, “Town Ordinance: No gas-powered equipment until after Labor Day.” Now, that’s my kind of town!

Say what you will about the cold or low light of winter, but do take a moment to rejoice in the serenity of quiet. You know, the way the world is supposed to sound.

You don’t have to be fearless in order to be courageous

You don’t have to be fearless in order to be courageous

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It’s a mistake to think that being courageous means you’re fearless.The courageous person doesn’t eliminate fear, he/she manages it.

Sometimes it pays to listen to frogs

Sometimes it pays to listen to frogs

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It’s not life struggle that brings us to our knees, it’s our interpretation that does.

How to feel more empowered and less victimized by life

How to feel more empowered and less victimized by life

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Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during the day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—even if it’s only for a few seconds at first.

Don’t allow yourself to fight it. You can expect a struggle from your traditional doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, accept it “as-if” it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Later, as you progress with this exercise, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life.

The real reason you’re not more successful

The real reason you’re not more successful

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You don’t quit because it’s too hard, too frustrating, or too complicated. You quit because you allow yourself to believe it’s too hard, frustrating, or complicated. The person who refuses to accept negativity is the person who will always triumph.

What keeps you from your happiness goals

What keeps you from your happiness goals

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It’s been said that the distance between success and failure can only be measured by one’s desire. And yet desire alone, if not coupled with action will remain simply a yearning. Are you yearning for what you want? Or are you moving toward what you want?

#anxiety #depression

How do you know when your life is sputtering?

How do you know when your life is sputtering?

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When regrets begin to replace dreams, it’s time to take a look. Are you moving forward, aspiring toward self-improvement, or are you frozen with regrets? Starting today, let go of yesterday’s regrets, ignite your life by allowing yourself to believe—and dream about the happiness that awaits you.

#anxiety #depression

Time to be honest with yourself

Time to be honest with yourself

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Ever notice how many reasons you come up with for why you “can’t?” Not enough time…too hard…too busy…too tired. And yet, in order to figure out why you can, all you have to do is recognize that the reasons why you “couldn’t” weren’t reasons at all—just excuses!

#anxiety #depression

Avoiding mental friction

Avoiding mental friction

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Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle.

Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity).

Rather than allowing insecurity to insist that you must over-control life by anticipating and worrying, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk letting life unfold naturally, in the moment. To do this you’ll need to also risk trusting—self and life.

A simple Self-Coaching exercise that can change your life

A simple Self-Coaching exercise that can change your life

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Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—even if it’s only for a few seconds at first.

Don’t allow yourself to fight it. You can expect a struggle from your traditional doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, accept it as-if it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Later, as you progress with this SelfCoaching exercise, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life.

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

The Key to success

The Key to success

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In our pursuit of our goals, we sometimes find ourselves feeling intimidated or worse, overwhelmed. And sometimes this is because we grow impatient and leave the path of moderation, leaping too far forward. The key to success is to deconstruct every goal into reasonable, moderate and manageable steps. Nothing is impossible, even the word impossible when broken down, becomes: I’m possible.

How to make a difference in your life today

How to make a difference in your life today

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How many chores will you get done today? Five? Ten? Twenty? Of those chores, how many will make a difference in your life? More precisely, how many of those chores fall into the category of mindless compulsivity?

Ask yourself one question today, “What will make a difference?” Just asking this question begins to help orient you toward a less driven, compulsive lifestyle. Simply put, happiness is figuring out how to have more “want-tos” and less “have-tos” in your day-to-day life.

Are you avoiding life?

Are you avoiding life?

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Overeating, inactivity, procrastination, laziness, ever wonder why you try to anesthetize yourself from life as if you’re trying to avoid something painful? Never doubt that the greatest pain is the realization of a life half-lived.

Defining successful living

Defining successful living

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Without question success is a wonderful thing, but let’s not forget that success is a relative term. As anyone who has ever reached a desired goal in life knows that success is transient. You celebrate a victory today and tomorrow invariably presents new challenges. If you’re looking for something more enduring, realize that simply reaching your goals is only part of the picture. Appreciating your ongoing efforts and intentions, fighting the good fight, staying involved in your own evolution, now that’s successful living! Let’s redefine success, not only as reaching goals, but by learning to live in harmony with your intentions Do this and every day becomes a blue-ribbon day!

Thinking less, doing more

Thinking less, doing more

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Do you waste much time thinking about what you should have done, might have done, or are going to do? If so, imagine how much time you’d have if you learn to think less and do more.

#anxiety #depression

Life got you down? Take a lesson from the caterpillar.

Life got you down? Take a lesson from the caterpillar.

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If only a caterpillar could know its butterfly potential, how easy it would be to endure its dreary caterpillar existence. You may not know what’s ahead, but you’ve got nothing to lose by acting as if one day you will fly.

#depression #anxiety #hope

A happy life starts with perspective–a wide angle perspective!

A happy life starts with perspective–a wide angle perspective!

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When you become victimized by anxious thoughts or depressed moods, your perspective narrows. We call this loss of perspective tunnel vision–the inability to see the bigger picture. Next time you find yourself in a tunnel vision world, recognize that there’s always an expansive, optimistic view at the end of the tunnel. Whatever it takes, you need to drive toward the light. Just because you don’t see it (yet) doesn’t mean the wide-angle perspective isn’t there.

#depression #anxiety #happiness

Are you plodding or flowing through life?

Are you plodding or flowing through life?

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Life is like a stream with a swift current running through it. With pessimism we plod against the force of the current, feeling the endless resistance of the water pushing against us. With optimism, we flow with the current, feeling the endless energy and buoyancy of the water. Why would anyone choose to go against the current? Why indeed!

#anxiety #depression #happiness

What if you were to treat anxiety and depression as habits?

What if you were to treat anxiety and depression as habits?

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If you think of anxiety and depression as habits that are driven by insecurity, then the question you need to ask yourself is, “am I feeding or starving my habit?” How do you feed a habit of anxiety or depression? With crumbs called doubt, fear, and negativity.

Life, what really matters

Life, what really matters

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In our fast paced, multi-tasking, stressful lives we often lose sight of the essential need to stay focused and connected to what we do. Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked what would he do it if he were suddenly to learn that he was to die at sunset? He replied, “I would finish hoeing my garden.” It’s not what you do in life that makes you feel significant, it’s the significance you invest in life that does. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Nothing else matters.

Stop trying to be perfect

Stop trying to be perfect

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If you insist on perfection, you will fail. Why? Because perfection is a myth–no one is, or can ever be, without flaw. The key to success is to be on a path that merely points towards “perfecting” yourself. You’ll never become perfect, but you’ll always be bettering yourself. And if it were possible to become perfect, just realize how impossible the maintenance would be to remain perfect!

#anxiety #OCD #compulsive

The secret to future happiness

The secret to future happiness

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No one can predict the future. This is true. However, you may be able to find solace in the laws of probability. If you courageously live each day according to your intentions–rather than against them (procrastination, avoidance, impulsivity, etc.) –you can bask in the knowledge that your success in life becomes a probability. We might even say, a certainty!

#anxiety #depression #happiness

The value of appreciating your “pearls”

The value of appreciating your “pearls”

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Like pearls strung together on a necklace, life is ultimately the accumulation of many actions joined together by a common thread—you are that thread. Every action, every effort, every attempt toward self-improvement needs to be valued—these are your pearls.

Procrastination—the enemy of a happy life

Procrastination—the enemy of a happy life

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Blink an eye, a month slips by. Blink again, a year. Procrastination is an enemy of the soul. If you are frozen with putting-off-until-tomorrow thinking, then embrace the words of Frederick Douglass, “It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” Do it today!

Why you should embrace setbacks

Why you should embrace setbacks

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According to an old proverb, “The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.” When it comes to past setbacks and failures, history will repeat itself if nothing changes. Rather than feeling guilt or shame over a failure, be thankful! Thankful for the opportunity to know what NOT to do next time.

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

When you were born or when you die don’t matter

When you were born or when you die don’t matter

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I saw a tombstone the other day inscribed with the years, 1920 – 1999. To me neither the birth date (1920) nor the death date (1999) mattered much. What mattered was the dash inscribed between these dates. It’s the dash that represents the life that was once lived. When you were born or when you die aren’t nearly as important as what you’re doing with your dash-years!

#anxiety #depression #happiness

There’s always a way

There’s always a way

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“We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Pogo, 1970)

Life doesn’t stop us from reaching our goals, we stop us. Self-distrust, pessimism, negativity, fear–whatever the circumstances that frustrate you, there’s a way. If not through the front door, then the side door, the back door –there’s always a way!

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

The Self-Coaching secret to eliminating anxiety

The Self-Coaching secret to eliminating anxiety

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The “secret” is rather simple, “Be where you are.” That’s it!
With anxiety you’re anywhere but where you are. You may, for example imagine yourself in the dentist’s chair or confronting your boss for a raise, in which case you’ve transported yourself to an anxious future. You need to simply accept where you are at any given moment—sitting on a chair in your living room, washing a dish, etc. Do this and you will be minimizing, if not eliminating, anxiety. Why? Because insecurity-driven, anxious thinking takes place, not where you are, but where you “might” be in the future.

It’s a good idea to periodically check out where you mind is and, more importantly, where you are in time and space.This will take some practice especially if you’re prone to worry, but once you return to where you are, you’ll notice a calmer feeling as you let go of things that may never ever happen.

#anxiety #depression #worrying #selfhelp

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

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Coming this Fall

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

(Now available on Amazon.com as a pre-order)

Is self-doubt ruining your life?

Is self-doubt ruining your life?

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“I’m not sure I can handle that.” “I don’t think I’m good enough.” Self-doubt is a form of control intended to protect you from…life! Self-doubt can easily become a psychological cancer that erodes both confidence and motivation. It’s living life with one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake—frozen with insecurities. The solution is simple: a willingness to risk believing in yourself.

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

Positive thinking is okay, but…

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Positive thinking and positive affirmations alone are only 50% of the battle. The other 50% is positively believing. Unless you believe what you tell yourself, nothing will change.

#positivethinking #selfhelp #depression

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Is life is holding you back?

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You can waste a lot of time feeling trapped, victimized and held back from the life you want. The question should never about who or what is going to allow you to have the life you want. The answer should always be the same: you don’t need permission!

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

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Why do rainy days get such a bad rap?

Why do rainy days get such a bad rap?

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The only difference between a rainy day and a sunny day is that one is wet, the other isn’t. The point is that everything in life just “is.” Nature, life, sunny days and rainy days are neither good nor bad–they just are! It’s we humans that determine good, bad, positive or negative. It’s called perspective. It’s never life that brings you to your knees, it’s how you interpret life that does.

#depression #anxiety #selfhelp

When it’s okay to be selfish

When it’s okay to be selfish

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When it comes to putting our needs ahead of others, we often wind up feeling that we’re being selfish. If doing something restorative, like going for a walk, taking a yoga class or simply taking a time out, leaves you with a case of the “guilts,” then it’s time to realize that there needs to be a new word to describe healthy, restorative care of ourselves. The word selfish is typically used to describe egocentric, narcissistic striving, but what’s a word for healthy selfishness? The best word I can come up with is self-respect.

#anxiety #depression #selfworth

Adjusting your emotions

Adjusting your emotions

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As the saying goes, “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” When challenged by the winds of adversity it makes no sense to waste time lamenting life’s difficult circumstances. Next time you’re frustrated by problems or setbacks, stop whining, make a few adjustments and then use that same wind to propel and motivate you to go forward.

#anxietydepressionselfcoaching

How to live a fulfilled life

How to live a fulfilled life

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The truth is that if it weren’t for sickness you wouldn’t value health. If it weren’t for evil you wouldn’t understand the value of what is good. If you never worked, do you think your free time would be as valuable? And if it weren’t for cloudy, stormy days, would not the sunshine be taken for granted? To live a full life of appreciation and perspective, you must embrace all of life.

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The diagnosis of clinical anxiety or depressive disorders requires a physician or other qualified mental health professional. The information provided is intended for informational purposes only. Please understand that the opinions shared with you are meant to be general reference information, and are not intended as a diagnosis or substitute for counseling with your physician or other qualified mental health professional. Self-Coaching.net provides access to resources and other information as a public service. Although reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all electronic information made available is current, complete and accurate, Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D. (Dr. Joe) does not warrant or represent that this information is current, complete and accurate. All information is subject to change on a regular basis, without notice.Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D., assumes no responsibility for any errors in the information provided, nor assumes any liability for any damages incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of the Self-Coaching.net Website.Any electronic information or inquiries that Self-Coaching.net receives from visitors shall not be considered as or treated as, confidential. The inclusion of, or linking to, other Website URLs does not imply my endorsement of, nor responsibility for, those Websites, but has been done as a convenience to my website visitors.