Monthly Archive: December 2016

How to deal with a crush.

Sadness and mixed emotions often come from harboring a crush on people. I am writing about this now as New Year’s Eve weekend is upon us. If you’re single, this can be a depressing time for you- although it doesn’t have to be. If you are single with a crush on a special person, this time can be even more trivial. Think about it, you’re trying to enjoy your life- remain happy and confident, even think about the possibilities of things working out with your crush when- WHAM, you notice your crush has a new fling or discover that he or she isn’t interested in being in a relationship…. now what!

 

The biggest piece of advice I can offer you right now is to keep things in perspective. This is hard to do when you’re crushing on someone, but in order to tame your emotions and remain realistic about the pressures of New Year’s Eve, you have to admit to yourself that you think someone is special but that someone special may not have the same feelings about you. This doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or that you are not good enough for the other person, it simply means the DNA and emotional feelings they have are not on the same level as yours  – and this is ok, too!

 

To gage if you have a crush or if there is a real attraction, try talking to the other person. Don’t oodle and find common ground about light subject matter. Sometimes we also discover who we made our crush into via our mind isn’t always who that person truly is and our values, etc. may be all-together different. Therefore, try to strike up a conversation. If you do, and nothing works out, don[‘t beat yourself up. Know that you tried and the effort failed but then move on. Feelings are subjective and having a healthy attitude about this will help you go into the 2017 year with a better perspective if you keep thing information in mind.

 

If you do have to deal with rejection, it is important to keep yourself busy.  Find different public New Year’s Eve parties online or ask a friend if you can come over and watch the Ball drop on TV with him or her. BE honest and explain why.  Find healthy ways to keep yourself both positive and busy. Working out, cooking, planning your own NYE party are all great ways to deal with having a crush who is unaware or not for you this New Year’s Eve.

 

Having a healthy perspective on things, such as a crush, will help you live a more joyful life in 2017. Take the good with the bad but focus on the positives and find ways to cope  with the negatives. Fitness and friends are always great ways to distract yourself from the bad and cope in a happy, positive way!

Every Day Meaning

I watched a friend making herself crazy yesterday by piling up more than she could ever deal with and insisting it all had to be done before Dec 31.  Why? So she could begin the new year free of old to-do’s. She does this every year: starting mind-November, she begins to make lists; then a week before Christmas, she works from 6am until midnight trying to take care of everything on that list.  She never makes it, because before Dec 31, she ends up burning out, exhausted in body and mind, disappointed in herself.  Feeling like a failure on the first day of the New Year.

She sets herself up like this every year, and we her friends watch her burn out.

This happens to a lot of us. It doesn’t have to be Christmas; it can be the week before vacation, or before a family visit.  It doesn’t matter, even if we don’t go to the extremes my friend does, most of us “prepare” for a meaningful event in our lives by rushing around. It may be that the things on our list should have been done – and would have had we not procrastinated; but our panic reaction only adds to the bad vibes instead of reducing them.

Sometimes getting busy is a way of avoiding what we know we need to do. Hard as it may feel, we’ll feel better about the New Year  if we focus on what is meaningful about it and how we can add to that meaning in preparation. What is it we want for our lives? And what can we do today that will feed that desire and help manifest it?

Viktor Frankl wrote a lot about meaning. He felt that having and maintaining meaning in our every day lives is essential for life.  He had the misfortune of spending much of WW II in Auschwitz, and he survived largely through maintaining this attitude with every thing that happened.

Frankl called this desire we have our “mental child”, and if we nourish it, it grows and thrives, filling our lives with joy. In the face of such joy, even suffering changes into something worthwhile – if it’s in service to our “mental child”.

So this Holiday Season, as you prepare for the New Year, ask yourself what you desire for 2017, and what you need to focus on to manifest it.  Then drop all else and do only what feeds that child.

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning

Says our drive, ambition is a good thing, because it is what gives our lives meaning. For 3 reasons:

  1. It gives us something to look forward to, to focus on, like a “mental child” we nurture and care for
  2. It teaches us to focus on those experiences that bring us joy
  3. It changes our attitude towards suffering – if we are suffering for something that brings meaning into our lives, then that suffering has meaning.
Pema Chödrön: This Lousy World

Quote of the Day

Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.
-Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Announcements

At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  As a registered psychotherapist and stress coach, I offer individual one-on-one consultations. For more information, visit my websitewww.thejoyofliving.co/programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co

The ‘Why’ Behind Holiday Depression

Depression is complex and we often don’t know, or sometimes have a reason (outside of DNA and biology) behind it. But, there are some common reasons for holiday depression. If you tend to suffer from the blues around this time of year, know that you are not alone.  Holiday depression  is a condition that may affect a person only for the duration of the season, or it may simply be a trigger for depression that could extend beyond the winter or the holidays. In addition to or separate from this condition, some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a seasonal type of depression connected to changes in the weather.

Here are a few reasons for the ‘why’ behind holiday depression;

Family Issues: Spending time with parents, siblings and other relatives can cause tension in some families. This tension can cause and trigger seasonal depression.

Loneliness: While many people get overly excited about the holidays, when reality of the events set in, they may find themselves disappointed and then isolating. There is no perfect holiday and there will be ups and downs during the season as life doesn’t stop for the holidays. If you go into the season with realistic expectations, it makes it harder for depression to be triggered.

Reduced Sunlight: The lack of sunlight during the winter months can be one of the triggers for depression, especially since the chemical balances within the body along with longer periods of darkness can make a person less likely to want to go outside, exercise or spend time with others.

If you’re feeling extra blue, try to take a deep breath and talk with someone (a friend or a professional) about what you’re feeling. Often, sharing concerns and feelings help to start a conversation and you will discover that you’re not alone. People may be all smiles at this time of year, but many people are also stressed and upset on the inside.

“Experts” Only Great at Marketing…

Are you aware of your potential? There is an inherit need for us, as humans, to want to rely upon experts. We all want to be the best at our craft, or with our health, so we entrust “experts” to help guide us to where we would like to be. The problem I have seen, however, is diving into trusting these “experts” so easily. First, we have to ask ourselves how we define expert. A lot of online courses are deeming people experts in the medical and business field without vetting experience or approach. You buy into the program, you get a certificate, and then you go find business. Sounds simple enough, until there are too many unqualified experts running around competing for your trust.

As a therapist, I see the above scenario a lot. It has to do with both wishful thinking, a need for someone else to validate what we’re trying to achieve in life, and from a place of trusting too much. No one wants to think or feel like they were led astray, so we buy into services that are more marketing platforms. Think about the term “health coach”. I am sure there are great health coaches out there, but the majority of them took an online certificate program and are now leading the decision making process for clients with serious health issues when the coach themselves doesn’t understand the health issues from the get go, yet they are using the term “expert” to sell their services.

We , as a society, buy into things.

Want to know the rest? Let’s connect.  Contact me or subscribe to my email list and I’ll send you the full piece. 

In the meantime, check out yet another reason anyone can be an expert, but also why you shouldn’t listen to anyone. http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/11/23/enlighten-us-timeline-orig.cnn

The Best Anti-Depressant – Self-Love

Depression is increasing in our society, to the extent that it is expected to become the second largest cause of disability by 2020. So often these days, depression is treated with anti-depressant drugs, either on their own or combined with psychotherapy.

In a recent study, published in 2016, researchers from the University Medical Centre in Amsterdam studied the results on patients with depression using antidepressants of varying kinds. They compared the results of using these drugs without additional psychotherapy, against using them with psychotherapy, and also compared the results of using psychotherapy without drugs.   Their analysis included 23 studies with a total of 2164 patients.

The results were: that in the short term (up to 6 months), using a combination of drugs and therapy was beneficial; using drugs alone was not beneficial.  However, longer than 6 months, using psychotherapy alone was more beneficial for the patients in these studies than either of the other two alternatives.
In other words, Anti-depressants, long-term, provide no added value. Psychotherapy does provide added value.

Depression is defined as a mood disorder or illness, and one that is characterized by sadness and a feeling of hopelessness.  It’s something that lasts for a long time and doesn’t go away after a few hours. When we’re depressed, we may “know” logically that this feeling won’t last, but still feel emotionally that it will last forever; we are listless, lack motivation, and isolate – all which deepen the depression.

If you’re mildly depressed, then there are things you can do for yourself, the primary one being to move: go for a walk or a swim, do the dishes or make your bed.  Any kind of movement will lift depression to some extent.  The other major thing you can do is connect – with a friend, a pet, or even with Nature – countering the impact of isolation.

If you’re deeply depressed, these two things will help, but you’ll need the extra help of a therapist that you trust and can work with. Here are some suggestions:

  • Find two or three therapists. Take the time and effort to find two or three therapists in your area; or if you’d rather meet online, then find two or three therapists who can meet with you online. Check out their credentials – in Ontario a person can’t call themselves a psychotherapist unless they are registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, or CRPO, in which case they will have an “RP” beside their name.  This ensures they have the appropriate training and minimum number of hours to be of service.  There are other equivalent designations as well as Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario and elsewhere; you may need to do some searching to discover what these are.
  • Set up phone interviews with each of these therapists. During your interview, you will want to find out what kind of person they are and if you will be able to trust them and work with them.  Assuming they have good credentials, this is more important than specific credentials, because it’s the interconnection you make with this other person that will be the foundation of your road towards health and happiness and out of depression. Have a list of questions ready to ask. These might include the following:
    • What is your experience in working with people with depression?You will want someone who has some experience working in the field of depression, or in related fields such as anxiety or stress.
    • What is your approach? How are you and I going to work together?  You will need to be comfortable with their particular approach, having some idea of what you will get out of a given session.  A therapist will not be able to tell you how long it will take be rid yourself of depression because every person and situation is different, but they will be able to tell you about how they will work with you.
    • What do you expect from me? This is a critical question: a therapist isn’t there to make you better, but to help you make yourself better. Their expertise is in facilitating change, but it’s still your commitment to this process of change that will make the difference.  If in your interview the therapist claims they can make you better, chose a different therapist.
    • What goals will be set; how will you assess how I’m doing?   Their answer has a log to do with their style, which you will need to comfortable with.
    • What is your gut feeling about this therapist? The most important question of all – because in the end you need to feel good about working with this person.
  • Chose a therapist and set up your first appointment. You will not be able to tell for sure if this therapist is the right one for you until you’ve been with them for a few sessions.  Forget about the cost – most good therapists charge about the same amount, and you can also discover from google what the going rate is in your area. If this therapist doesn’t work out, then thank them for their time, and move to the next one on your list.  It won’t be long until you find the right one for you. None of the sessions are a waste – you’ve discovered something about yourself in terms of what works, and you’ve done it in a considered way.

Self-love means taking care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves can sometimes mean getting professional help. If we’re caring and considerate, then it can’t help but lead us into a better space: by taking action on our own behalf, we are acting from the place of empowerment, and in doing so, have already taken our first step on the road to health and happiness.

Dwayne Johnson on Depression


Quote of the Day

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Announcements

At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  As a registered psychotherapist and stress coach, I offer individual one-on-one consultations.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co