Get Help and Overcome Depression

It seems that a lot of people, including Christians, think that all emotional problems and psychological problems are basically in the “disease” or “spiritual problem” categories. Many mood and personality problems are actually the result of chemical imbalances in the body.

Some people just do not produce much seratonin, for instance. A lack of seratonin causes depression. People with this problem are not diagnosed or spiritually oppressed. They have a chemical imbalance problem!

Sugar causes certain physiological things in almost all humans. So does caffeine. Alcohol certainly causes physiological changes in people.

We were designed to function normally based upon a certain chemical balance designed by our Creator from the beginning. But, genetic factors cause some people to be less well balanced chemically, than others.

Not everyone who eats sugar gets fat. Not everyone who eats chocolate gets acne! And, not everyone has the right balance of seratonin in their bodies. It is much more genetic than any other factor, but it certainly is not a spiritual problem nor a disease!

So, I'm out with it. Yes sir! I'm a minister who does not believe that all physical problems must be put before God for miraculous healing. I have not heard too many Christian ministers pray for their own weight problems. When they get sick of being overweight, they diet! hmmm

I take Wellbutrin. Daily. It changed my life. No one can ever convince me that hanging upon a chemical such as Wellbutrin to bring one up to normalcy is missing in faith, or anything else. It just is not so! Just like we must eat food to have energy and stay alive, I must have Wellbutrin in order to stay above a life of depression. 10 years of depression were 10 years too long.

Do I ever get depressed now? Sure! But, I bounce back so fast. I know if I just hang on for 24 hours, my perspective will change! I will see the Son above the clouds again quickly.

Oh, yes, there are many other things I do for the problem: more focused on the Lord, positive influences intentally chosen, exercise, eat right, etc.

Life is different these days. There is always always, even when it gets a bit dark.

But, I just wanted somebody to know – whoever you may be – that there may be a medical answer to assist you with depression, mood swings, anger, etc. It could be that this kind of help will make it possible for you to then do the additional things needed to overcome lifelong problems of attitudes and broken relationships, etc. I know .. been there, done that .. much happier now.

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Chemical Balance: The Greatest Need On Earth!

As the planet progresses in age, there is a huge inclining towards artificial things. Our bodies can be at their best when they are in equilibrium with a balanced environment. As time progresses, our environmental balance gets more and more lopsided. Electron deficiency has been adding to the imbalance. Right from the air we breathe and the foods we consume to the clothes we wear and the cosmetics we use, the natural factor is becoming less and the artificial factor is rising. The imbalance is on the increase. Our lifestyle can be the major contributor to our health or ill health.

Acidemia is a condition when the blood becomes acidic. When the body's acid-base balance is disrupted due to factors such as environmental toxins and other factors, acidemia is the result. Although we do not selectively create conditions that lead to acidemia, we typically allow them to invade our lives and our bodies, extremely leading to a host of degenerative disorders that seem to show up from now.

Environmental Abuse

We face the abuse from environmental toxins and organic solvents on a daily basis.Most of the time, we favor conditions that lead to acidemia. The conditions include exposure to environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides and organic solvents. Lack of natural foods and the consumption of artificial foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, red meat and the wrong fat products lead to conditions conducive to acidemia. Most people think pasteurized or homogenized milk is the best, but research has shown that despite pasteurization kills germs, it changes the structure of milk proteins making it less healthy and difficult to digest. Moreover, it destroys beneficial bacteria, enzymes and vitamins. Lack of exercise or over exercising can also lead to acidemia.

Conditions such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, urinary stones, muscle atrophy, obesity and cancer may be indicators of acidemia. Clinical indicators such as a pH pH below 7.4 may hint at acidemia. At the same time a low salivary and urine pH may also show acidemia. Other indicators such as calcium oxalate stones, low phosphorus and albumin levels could also be pointing towards acidemia.

Electron Deficiency And Free Radicals

Acidemia is the result of electron deficiency. Our body cells are composed of molecules. These molecules are made up of atoms of the same or different elements that are joined together by chemical bonds. An atom consists of positively charged protons inside the nucleus and equal number of negatively charged electrons revolving around the nucleus in discrete orbits or shells. Each orbit or shell requires a fixed number of electrons in order to be stable.

When this outer shell is complete, the atom is stable and does not react or interfere with other atoms. When the outer orbit or the valence shell is incomplete, atoms try to fill this place by gaining, losing or sharing electrons with other atoms or molecules. Electron deficient atoms “steal” electrons from other atoms. When chemical bonds holding two atoms break, the atoms that separate, may become electron-deficient. They are called free radicals.

These free radicals are very unstable and react quickly with other compounds in order to gain the required electrons. They “steal” electrons from vulnerable molecules. These molecules that have been attacked, now become electron-deficient and they become free radicals themselves. These molecules now begin to “steal” electrons from other molecules. This is a chain reaction that produces innumerable 'bad' molecules or free radicals. These free radicals end up destroying the cells of the body, leading to diseases. This is where the “good” molecules or antioxidants come into the picture. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals by donating their own electrons and ending the electron “stealing” spree. The antioxidants do not become free radicals because they are stable in either form.

pH and Electron Deficiency

Electron deficiency denotes acidity and leads to acidemia. pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of a solution. A solution with a pH of 7.0 is either acidic nor alkaline. When the solution is electron-deficient, the solution is acidic and the pH is less than 7.0. When the solution is electron-rich, the solution is alkaline and the pH is more than 7.0. Acidemia is a condition when tissue fluids are acidic or electron-deficient.

The Chemical Imbalance

If all atoms had a stable outer orbit they would be happy and the world would be a place with all elements in perfect harmony. The energy produced by the movement of electrons is either used for vital functions or given out by our bodies. This means that all life processes are dependent upon the activity of electrons. The inclining of the modern age towards artificial products has produced an electron-deficient environment. Simply put, all artificial material we see and feel and breathe and eat and apply on our skin are electron-deficient. This electron-deficiency causes an imbalance in our modern day lives and permeates the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat, resulting in acidemia. When the body continues to be in need of electrons that produce energy, it gets tired, and its ability to fight diseases decreases.

Free Calcium

The vicious circle that results from the action of free radicals can not be underestimated. In order to counter acidemia caused by free radicals, the body extracts phosphate buffers from the bones. These results in free calcium being released by the bones, leading to osteoporosis, osteopenia and various other bone diseases. Free calcium plays havoc in the body. It gets excreted into the urinary causing urinary stones. Free calcium deposits itself in tissues causing arteriosclerosis, leading to heart attacks, angina and stroke. Moreover, free calcium also causes connective tissue breakdown. Since connective tissue holds the body together, its breakdown leads to degenerative diseases.

Getting Your Act Together

In an age when we can not control external environmental factors, we must hold ourselves accountable for eating the right types of food, limiting exposure to environmental toxins and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We must avoid the consumption of oxidized foods such as powdered milk, fried foods and hydrogenated oils and other processed foods, as they are devoid of antioxidants and lead to acidemia. 5 to 8 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin E, A, carotenoids, Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, lycopene, selenium and flavonoids should be eaten daily.

Eating natural whole foods, drinking filtered water, avoiding amalgam fillings and avoiding the use of pesticides in our homes and backyards, are small steps that go a long way in preventing acidemia and maintaining the balance of the world we live in.

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Depression – Can Pets Help Treat It?

People who are suffering from temporary or permanent depression may find solace in their pets. For centuries, some animals, mainly dogs, have been mankind's best friends. Therefore, psychiatrists and psychologists suggest getting a pet to help relieve mental stress and reduce depression symptoms.

Whether it's their sixth sense or the unconditional love they offer, pets can offer a great way to improve our mental well-being and avoid depression-like thoughts.

What Does Research Say?
There is significant scientific data to suggest that having a pet ensures that we remain compassionate and show empathy towards the needs of animals and, therefore, have a similar outlook on life. The healing power of our pets, guarantees that people who may not have strong social support can find an easy way to keep their emotions stable.

Research findings suggest that senior adults who had pets as their companions showed minimal or no signs of depressions versus adults who lived alone. Studies also suggest that seniors with pets required minimal medical services and remain satisfied and positive through most part of their later years.

Pets gives a feeling of unconditional acceptance, affection, love and constant companionship. These emotions help develop a better sense of self and a reduction in negative emotions such as anxiety or depression.

Touching / petting your pet, taking care of its needs and interacting frequently with it also play a crucial role to boosting the oxytocin levels in the brain. According to a survey, roughly 74% of pet owners observed noticeable mental health improvements after acquiring a pet. Therapy animals and pets are great ways to tackle social isolation, loneliness and feelings of unworthiness.

Different Pets Have the Same Calming Effect
When looking for the best pet to help you overcome stress and depression, you can either choose a dog or a cat. Fish and birds work too since some people like to take care of a bird or a fish, depending on their lifestyle and emotional needs.

While dogs help you to stay socially active, cats are also ideal for reducing depression with their playfulness. Regardless of the animal you choose, the connection between you and your pet aids in reducing depression levels and helps allow you to live a normal life.

Owning a dog helps you interact with other dog owners. You also get a reason to step out of the house when you take your dog for a walk. This lets you be socially active and less withdrawn. The more you connect to the outside world, the less depressed you feel.

Moreover, petting your pet has the same calming effect as listening to soothing music or indulging in aromatherapy. Most people report that the softness of their cat's fur results in a sudden drop of depression levels and has a dramatic effect on calming down the nerves.

All these emotions lead to better mental health and also help regulate good blood pressure levels and a well-maintained heart rate. Not only can you experience happiness in the presence of pets, you can also feel accountable and responsible which will help make your life feel more fulfilling.

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Take Care of Your Emotions With Aromatherapy

In today's fast paced world, the daily rigors of work and life leaves less time for people to relax. Here, taking care of physical and more importantly emotional health is often ignored. The resultant nervous breakdown, high blood pressure and heart ailments burn a hole in your time and pockets. Here, it is vital to take care of your emotional health along with your physical one and aromatherapy is one the best ways to do it. It involves administration of aromatic smells derived from essential oils.

Emotions and corresponding essential oils:

1. Confidence

Confidence is one of the primary assets to lead a successful life. It can open new horizons in your social life, get you to a great career and make you prepared to handle any situation. However, there are times when you may feel a little low. At these times, you can take help of essential oils like cypress and grapefruit to enhance your self-confidence levels. You can search for online aromatherapy products that have these ingredients. You can also find premixed essential blends that work on boosting your confidence and calming you.

2. Anger

There is a well-known proverb that 'anger makes us blind'. When you get angry, your blood pressure spikes up and soon you may be ridden with heart ailments. The best way to calm yourself and combat anger is to undertake aromatherapy with jasmine, patchouli, rose and other relaxing fragrances that help you unwind. You can also take the help of emotional balancing tools like navrasa chakra balancing tools to relax yourself. These tools are available at leading organic lifestyle retailers online.

3. Depression

Depression is one of the most common ailments affecting individuals especially youngs. People do not seek professional help for the fear of social stigma. Here, they get addicted to over the counter medication that comes with many side effects. Therefore, if you are suffering from depression, you should opt for aromatherapy, as it involves using essential oils, such as bergamot, lavender, sandalwood that help you uplift your mood and brighten up your day. Please do note that depression requires medical help.

4. Fear

Fear is what stops you from getting to your desired goals. It may be fear of something or someone. You should strive to get rid of your fear by building the inner strength to face them. You can do so with cedarwood, lemon and vetiver fragrances. These stimulate your senses and fill your body with energy. Browse through reputed online lifestyle retailer's stores and check out products that have these ingredients.

The above four emotional factors are some of the most fundamental ones for humans. By taking help of aromatherapy to regulate them, you can transform yourself into a happy and contented individual. Spread positive energy in your surroundings with the help of aromatic emotion balancing tools .

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Tips for Suggesting A Christian Counselor

When you decide that you want to undergo Christian counseling, the first step will be to select a counselor. The key factor that should be considered in this decision should involve the faith of the counselor, as well as their faith.

It is important to keep in mind that just because a person decides to refer to themselves as a counselor, it does not mean that they have the proper training or experience. You should ensure that the counselor that you choose is licensed in the state where they practice. Additionally, if you expect any type of marriage issue, then you may want to seek out a Christian counselor that has specific training in the dynamics of relationships. Another factor is to find someone that has particular experience in working with couples that are in crisis.

When you meet with a Christian counselor you should ask specific questions in order to determine whether or not they will be a good fit for your particular needs. Some questions to consider asking include:

· What type of license does the counselor hold? The most common that you will likely hear include an LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor, LMFT or a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an MD, Psychiatrist.

· Which state their license was earned in. It is important to take note that their license needs to be issued from an actual state licensing board, rather than just a national or professional counseling association. Additionally, the license should have been issued from where the counselor is actually practicing, not just any random state.

· Did they earn their degree from an actual accredited school?

· Do they have any other professional credentials, such as memberships or awards in the field?

· Are they experienced in working with couples that are in a crisis situation? What are the previous types of situations that they have worked with?

· Are they an active participant in their Christian faith?

Just because a person is referring to themselves as a Christian counselor does not mean that they are actually active in their practices and beliefs. Some questions that will help you determine this include:

· Are the recognized and also recommended by the church community locally?

· Are they regularly attending church and involved in any additional activities with the church?

· Who is their pastor or minister? Are they comfortable with you discussing them with their pastor?

· Do they have a personal statement of faith and do their beliefs conflict with your beliefs?

· What are their views on divorce and marriage?

· Is Scripture or prayer used during counseling sessions?

If you notice that the counselor is uncomfortable or reluctant in any of these questions, you should seek other Christian counseling services to find a person that meshes well with your beliefs and what you want to get out of the counseling sessions.

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7 Things Lawyers Can Do To Break the Bonds of Depression

Helplessness and hopelessness.

Two Pillars of Depression. And they're tough to topple.

Helplessness

Lawyers, when in the vise-like grip of depression, feel helpless. Despite their best efforts to pull out of it, they still feel depressed and all endures the consequences that flow from their chronic melancholy: a lack of productivity, chronic fatigue, falling behind on work projects because of procrastination and a pervasive sadness or feeling dead inside .

Hopelessness

This sense of helplessness, if not addressed, often leads to a profound sense of hopelessness about the future. Sufferers' conclude that they doomed to feel depressed for the rest of their lives. They just can not envision good things happening to them in the future. They have a type of tunnel vision: they only see a crummy future ahead of them and on-again, off-again skirmishes or battles with depression.

Lawyers breaking the bonds of depression

But many lawyers not only survive depression; they pull themselves out of it. They break the bonds of the depression that have shackled them to a life sucked dry of joy, wonder and vitality. If you're a lawyer who struggles with depression and can not see any light down the road ahead of you, remember that you too can not only survive it – you come out the other side, thrive and grow.

To do so, you'll have to leave some negative things behind and grab onto some positive ones. Here are some kernels of wisdom that I've learned over my decade-long journey of helping depressed advocates recover:

1. Learn to let go. Depressed lawyers tend to nurture wounds inflicted by clients, judges and other lawyers. The wounds can be the result of an opponent's downright nasty behavior, a cold and unsympathetic judge or a badgering client. Lawyers take all of this too seriously and personally by magnifying these changes. They churn infractions and insults over and over in their head. This type of ruminative thinking not only wears them out, but feeds their depression. The truth is that a lot of the bad behavior we see in the law really is not really about you. It's usually the product of the ignorance and unconsciousness of others. Remember this. AND LET IT GO.

2. Let go of hanging around other negative lawyers. It's easy to gravitate to other attorneys who, while that may not be clinically depressed, are extremely negative about law and life. Hanging around these folks will only feed your negative view of your law practice and life. It fosters a corrosive and cynical view of the world. You have a choice to make. LEAVE THESE PEOPLE BEHIND.

3. Let go of surfing the net. I know many lawyers that are on the web for big chunks of time during their workday. It's a maladaptive stress, anxiety or depression management behavior and, in the short or long term, destructive. They surf for everything under the sun during work: music, porn, Facebook, YouTube, etcetera. Deep down, they feel like they “deserve” these breaks because law takes so much out of them. In their minds, these surfs are something pleasurable they crave because it distracts them from the pain of too much stress, unhappiness or depression. But it comes at a cost. They waste precious time, procrastinate and then beat themselves up for it for being unproductive. Beating one's self up only leads to low self-esteem, which chips away at self-worth. They do not make positive changes. They just do not think we're worth it. But, you are worth it and you need to start acting as if you are. LET GO OF THIS TIME WASTER.

4. Embrace a sense of hanging around more positive lawyers. Yes, they are out there! And there are more of them than you think. I know because I've met and developed friendships with them. Finding others, who are doing more than just complaining about the law and are trying to do something constructive about it, will help you gain some sense of hope about the future and a more positive direction. IT'S IMPORTANT TO LET NEGATIVE PEOPLE GO.

5. Find silence wherever you can. There's something basically healing about silence, where you may find it. The practice of mindfulness meditation to cope with the stresses and strains of modern life has become widely popular. It has found a powerful foothold in the law. Mindfulness has been studied and found to be a powerful antidote to everyday unhappiness, too much stress, anxiety and depression. What makes it so powerful? The practice of unhitching our wagons from the constant stream destructive thoughts and feelings that batters our brains that are accomplished by following one's breath and not buying into troublesome thoughts or emotions. Basically, we get “out of our heads” and drop back down into our bodies and short-circuit the negative rumination that fuels depression. An excellent book on this topic is The Mindful Way Through Depression. If mindfulness mediation is not your cup of tea, I know many who find solace in their local church or synagogue. There's lots of research to support the theory that people who have a regular spiritual practice cope better with their anxiety and depression than those who do not. FIND SOMEPLACE TO DRINK IN SILENCE.

6. Find a way to be more organized. Researchers have found that chronic stress is a powerful trigger for depression. Realistically, there are some things we'll never be able to change about the demanding nature of the legal profession. But, it's equally true that there are many steps we can do that significantly lower our stress load. One of the most powerful things you can do to help yourself is to be better organized. If you have trouble with this issue, and most depressed lawyers that I know do, delegate it to someone else to help you with this. It may be your secretary or even an outside consultant who are pros.

7. If you can not go to the gym, walk. I've resolved so many times to go to the gym, but often do not. I have come to accept that sometimes I will and sometimes I will not. Even when I know it would really help my mood. Sometimes it's because my day is full of too many commitments, I'm feeling lazy or I'm unable to find the one-hour block of time to do it.

You can break those bonds. One link at a time. And be free.

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Exercise Can Reduce Insulin Resistance, Health Risks and Depression

It's common knowledge that exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol problems, cancer, and more. Underlying those diseases is insulin resistance. Exercise reduces health risks by making skeletal muscle more sensitive to insulin, effectively reducing the resistance.

Insulin is a hormone that's produced by the pancreas and allows glucose to enter cells for metabolism. It also has several other functions.

Under certain circumstances, someone might become insulin resistant, and the cells no longer respond to insulin's cues. To get the job done, the body's first line of defense is to produce more insulin. This may work, and can continue to work until the production of insulin no longer outpaces the degree of resistance. (That's an extremely oversimplified description of the onset of type 2 diabetes.)

Along the way, the high levels of insulin are likely to cause a variety of health issues. So it's not insulin resistance per se that causes disease, but the extra insulin that's released to compensate. This is associated with Series 2 prostaglandins and inflammation.

What we typically learn about insulin resistance (IR) is that it's a result of overweight. That's a true enough statement, but not the whole picture. For example, IR can be caused by genetic factors. Over 40 genetic mutations can result in someone's being born with insulin resistance or with a predisposition to it.

IR can also be the result of lifestyle factors. Lack of exercise is one obvious cause, along with diet. A high-fat diet can cause resistance to insulin through a specific mechanism, a high-sugar, high-carb diet through a different mechanism, and a high-fructose diet through yet another.

Insulin resistance is not always a result of overweight / obesity. It can also be a cause. Cells differ in their sensitivity to insulin. The primary site of IR is skeletal muscle. How does insulin-resistant skeletal muscle behave? It does not allow glucose to enter the cell. The glucose ends up being transported to fat cells.

Another important site is the liver. How does an insulin-resistant liver behave? It does not respond to the feedback loop that tells it to stop releasing glucose, so glucose levels remain high. That glucose, too, can be transported to fat cells.

An interesting connection with depression exists, as well.

You may recall from 7th grade biology that amino acids are “the building blocks of protein.” One of insulin's functions is to transport amino acids to skeletal muscle, where they can be used for a variety of functions. These functions include immune support, formation of hormones and enzymes, insulin receptor site turnover, pH and fluid balances, wound healing, tissue growth and repair, blood protein formation, energy use, and more.

The most important function is the formation of specific brain chemicals from specific amino acids. One amino acid, tryptophan, is the precursor of serotonin. The brain chemical serotonin has become well known, due to the anti-depressant medicines that have been on the market for years.

Insulin resistance interferes with the transport of tryptophan to the brain and can there before contribute to depression.

To the degree that exercise can help reduce the incidence of insulin resistance, it can be said to help reduce the incidence of depression. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In the research for my dissertation, participants completed tests for depression and anxiety, both before and after they had gone through the 8-week study. Consistently, the participants who were exercising regularly had lower scores for depression and anxiety.

I hope you've made exercise a regular part of your life. What I really hope is that you enjoy it. It's kinda cool to realize that what we love to do helps us reduce our risk for health problems – along with our risk for mood issues.

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Depressed Mood – Does Spiritual Awareness Help?

Your pet can not tell you when it feels depressed – at least not in so many words. Perhaps there is a clue in the noises it makes and what it does. More and more vets are prescribing tablets because of behavioral problems; and so huge numbers of dogs in America for example are on antidepressants.

Surely, animals in their natural habitat do not need drugs. Maybe it's because the pets are cooped up in homes while their owners are at work, or exposed to noisy traffic and neighbors or subjected to constant television. Enough to make anyone depressed I would have thought.

Depressed humans
As someone who was a therapist working with depressed patients for over thirty years, what is even more shocking for me is the way that human beings take the same medication in even larger numbers. Antidepressants are now the most frequently used tablets among Americans between the ages of 18 and 44. Severe depression can be an indescribable emotional pain. But whatever one's severity of depression, I would like to suggest that like the animals, we humans also need to get back in touch with the ebb and flow of life of the natural world.

Low risk of depressed mood
It certainly is no accident that horticultural workers usually come near the top on occupational surveys of subjective happiness. Are they not all enjoying fresh air, getting regular physical activity? Perhaps it is something to do with hearing the birds that sing, or touching the earth, or smelling flowers that give off their wonderful fragrance.

Reducing depressed mood
I would suggest that sometimes when we feel depressed it is because we are lonely, bored, or licking our wounds after some loss and then in some way are less connected with the usual inflow of positive energy and warmth that can enliven the day. One common remedy is getting out for a walk and reflecting on something different from our own negative thoughts and feelings.

“I've treated my own depression for many years with exercise and meditation, and I've found that to be a tremendous help.” (Judy Collins, singer and social activist)

This makes sense to me because physical activity out of doors as well as meditating on nature often means being more in touch with what I see as the creative force behind life itself. Meeting up with nature gets us away from the depressing world of people with their self-orientated and materialistic concerns and at times their crime and corruption.

“The culture is going into a psychological depression. We are concerned about our place in the world, about being competitive: Will my children have as much as I have? Will I ever own my own home? “Are immigrants taking away my white world?” (James Hillman, Jungian psychologist)

How the natural environment reduces depressed mood
Look around what nature has to offer and you can easily see beauty or grandeur, and, if you are lucky, the wonders of an unspoilt environment. You are more likely to notice the rain-clouds in the sky and thus be reminded of the life-sustaining water they provide. Or the hills and mountains that can be said to mirror peak experiences of illumination and inspiration that capture for a short while the potential summit of one's life's journey. Or maybe consider the trees in the woodland and forests with their endurance and strength. Do these not reflect the reality of personal growth over many years? Useful ideas can take root, blossom into action and produce fruits of our labor.

“Time spent in nature is the most cost-effective and powerful way to counteract the burnout and sort of depression that we feel when we sit in front of a computer all day.” (Richard Louv, nonfiction writer & journalist)

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. You can choose to open your eyes to the wider horizon of the soul or you can remain fixed in the narrow concerns of ego: be moved by the inspiration of something beyond the self, or suffer from the negativity of your frustrated ambition: be uplifted by the evidence of a creative life force all around or be depressed by the separate little world of individual self-hood.

“You can walk around the busy streets of a city and feel like you are completely isolated from the people hurrying along. the face, and see hope of new things in the green shoots in the park. (Helen Newton and Becky Jarratt, spiritual writers).

Choosing between spirit and ego
Having a choice between a spiritual or egoistic way of seeing, does not mean that we are free all of a sudden to directly swap depressive feelings for happy ones. However, I would suggest that we do have some inner freedom to turn towards or turn our backs on what is revealed to us in the world of nature. Therapists for depressed people know that insofar as we have some insight into our own positive and negative states and ways of automatic thinking, then we do have some freedom to choose which to identify with.

Sometimes it might be difficult to move towards the change that is needed. It may help to visualize this freedom in terms of tuning the dial on a radio. We can listen in, either, on the one hand, to material that is uplifting and inspiring, or on the other hand, listen to what reinforces our sense of grievance, intolerance, and complaint.

The challenge of a depressed mood
Let no one minimize the challenge of trying to get grips with depressed mood. There are no simple answers. But I do believe one useful strand is a clearer appreciation of the Divine source of life as an uplifting and healing force for the mind.

“Inmost angels perceive how much comes from the Lord and how much from themselves, but that in so far as it comes from the Lord they know happiness and insofar as it comes from themselves they do not.” (Emanuel Swedenborg, spiritual philosopher)

Copyright 2014 Stephen Russell-Lacy

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Guilt – Why Won’t It Go Away?

Who has not done something that they believe they should not have done? Kicked the cat? Stolen stationary from the office? Disclosed what a friend confused? Or whatever? Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, and do something wrong. And so from time to time you are likely to experience a feeling of guilt.

It may not have been such a terrible thing you did. But what if you feel bad and it keeps playing on your conscience? Why will not the feeling of guilt go away?

As a child Catherine got ticked off a lot by strict parents. And as an adult she tended to dwell on the judgments about her of others. Sadly, she became one of those people who are quick to feel guilty over the small thing that they do wrong if it goes against the expectations of other people. A sensitive conscience can easily become overburdened at times. What I call phony guilty seems to come about from the assumption that what you feel must be true: so if you feel guilty, then you must be guilty!

“True guilt is guilty at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilty felt at not being what other people feel oneought to be.” (RD Laing)

I would distinguish Catherine's false guilt with a true guilt arising from a healthy conscience of someone whose guilt feelings come from an awareness of having acted against their own principals. Much beneficial counseling has been associated with the Catherine's of this world, helping such clients to stop taking to heart unfair criticism. But what use is that approach with those of us who are facing reasonable censure and who can easily distinguish successfully between merit and inappropriate guilt? What if you have actually done something wrong and can not forget it because you know in your heart you have gone against your own rules?

I would like to suggest a few reasons why you might not be able to rid yourself of realistic guilt.

Making a glib acknowledgment of guilt

You may come to realize that there are some people you do not respect and some close relationships you have not cherished. Perhaps you were rude or neglectful on one or two occasions. Apologising for mistakes like this can easily trip off the tongue.

You may have felt badly at the time, but if you have not accepted in your heart the need to change, it is only too easy to forget you had previously glibly acknowledged the error. But then something or someone later will likely remind you of your fault.

Using escapism from guilty

If you have done something seriously wrong, and do not deal with this then to escape from emotional pain you may have fallen into some kind of addiction, escapism or other risk taking behavior. Unfortunately, such action can cause you more guilty feelings if as a result you do harm to others for example hurting your loved ones by excessive alcohol consumption or obliging them to rescue you from difficult circumstances you have created for yourself.

Using excuses for guilt

It is comfortable to rely on such excuses as `I did not mean it ',' It was an accident ',' I could not help it ', and' I followed an irresistible impulse. '

For one kind of person a temptation way to respond to guilt is to blame the victim. “She caused my sexual aggression by making herself too attractive.” “Of course I'm going to nick his things if he can not be bothered to lock them up properly.” Naturally, this does not work either, as sooner or latter, the wrong-doer will be reminded of the misdeed when common sense prevails.

Confessing guilty to an unsympathetic person

Many alcoholics can only confess the mess they are in to fellow problem drinkers: such people will be in the same boat and can be expected to be sympathetic. People with emotional problems find it easier to confess weaknesses and failures to a counselor than they feel is showing unconventional warmth.

On the contrary, try talking about things you feel guilty about to someone who is unsympathetic and you will not get very far. And even if you do persevere you are likely to take on board their judgmental attitude towards yourself.

Sometimes people yearn for God's forgiveness but can not experience this because they believe in a judgmental God. Without your idea of ​​God is one of love and compassion, I believe you are not going to feel any sense of forgiveness if you were to risk confessional prayer. In fact, if you pray to a harsh idea of ​​God you may even end up beating yourself up even more as a “sinner who describes punishment.”

Conclusion

“Hard though it may be to accept, remember that guilt is sometimes a friendly internal voice reminding you that you're messing up.” (Marge Kennedy)

The way I see it is the emotional discomfort of guilt is like the physical pain of a flame. The pain will soon go away after you remove your hand from the flame. Guilt likewise serves to teach us where we are going wrong. I do not think guilty is mean to last. Once it has served its friendly purpose it is no longer needed.

Surely, those religious people are mistaken who happen to believe that you just need to ask for forgiveness and you are forgiven? No, something more is needed. Only, when you have a genuine remorse for your misdeed, a desire not to repeat it, and an interest in making amends, only then do I believe that it is possible for your guess to set aside by a compassionate God.

Copyright 2014 Stephen Russell-Lacy

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Complications Associated With Depression Treatment

These days, the medications used to treat depression are actually remarkably good.

Not only are they effective, but they have proven to be safe, and are even not addictive. Most people have little or no side effects from the medication at all, and if they do experience mild side effects, those effects usually pass rather quickly.

The complications associated with depression treatment do not actually refer to the medication used at all – but there are some complications indeed. You see, usually when people experience major depression there is an exceptionally legitimate chance that depression will reoccur later.

In fact, research shows that of everyone who seeks treatment for depression and are able to get past the depression and discontinue the medication – with the approval of their doctor – one-third of those people will experience depression again, often within a year . Furthermore, of those people, approximately half will experience depression again within their lifetime.

Depression also has other effects. There is, of course, a 15% chance of suicide. People who suffer from depression , typically are not as healthy as those who do not, from a physical standpoint. Furthermore, those who suffer from depression are less likely to live through a heart attack or stroke.

This does not mean that you are doomed if you suffer from depression . It is crucial to seek treatment and work closely with your doctor. Counseling should be thought, and should continue even after the depressive episode has passed. Your doctor will work with you, to adjust medication appropriately – and to discontinue the medication when it is not needed. He or she will also help you to be more aware of depression as it starts creeping in.

Studies have shown that the earlier the depression is treated, the sooner it is likely to pass. Therefore, it is vital that you and your doctor stay up to date with your mental and physical state .
Dealing with psychological problems , such as anxiety and depression , is a daily challenge for sufferers.

If you think you or someone you love may be coping with one of these ailments, you probably have many questions, including, ” What are signs that someone is depressed ?” or ” What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder ?”

If you or your loved one is really struggling, it is important to remember that professional treatment should be bought. The facts you see here are merely meant to guide you through the process of understanding these disorders ; they are not designed to replace actual counseling and therapy .

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Natural Depression Cures – Natural Food To Cure Depression

Natural Depression Cures

Many people suffering from depression prefer a natural treatment rather than taking anti-depressants to deal with depression. If you, like many, would love to find out what kind of natural food you can buy from a health food store to help you deal with depression, then read on.

Amino acids can go a long way in helping to treat depression while promoting overall general wellness. The following amino acids can be used as a natural antidepressant:

St John's Wort

St John's Wort is one of the most commonly known and prescribed remedies across the world for depression. In fact, it is known to be the most commonly used anti-depressant across the world. Although this herb helps to provide a gentle lift, nausea may be experienced as a side effect. Suffers who are suffering from bipolar depression should not take this herb.

SAM-e

SAM-e is a substance that our body makes using an amino acid called L-methionine along with other nutrients. It can be found in all cells of our body. It is a natural antidepressant that has additional value of protecting the liver and cardiovascular system, a synthesis of natural melatonin that helps the person to sleep well. SAM-e is also effective because it can help stimulate the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine that lies in the brain which extremely helps to improve the mood of a person.

SAM-e will be more effective when consumed with an empty stomach in between meals. A dose of 400 milligrams a day should be do the trick. Similar to St John's Wort, sufferers who are suffering from bipolar depression should not take this herb.

Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine functions just like SAM-e by stimulating the neurotransmitter. Phenylalanine is found naturally in the breast milk of mammal but can be easily obtained by purchasing the capsule pills from a health food store.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid that helps to reduce anxiety caused by depression naturally. It is effective and is not addictive, making this an excellent way to deal with depression.

L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is also another effective amino acid that naturally relives depression and help to stimulate the brain, thereby increasing alertness.

Other Alternative

An alternative treatment for moderate depression is Gingo Biloba. It can be used as treatment for older people who are suffering from moderate depression.

Valerian root, passionflower and black cohosh are other examples of herbs and herbal compounds that can help to combat against moderate depression effectively and naturally.

What you have just learnt is the types of natural food you can purchase at a health food store to help you deal with depression.

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The Perspective That Helps Refocus Anxiety

Something I learned again just now,
How my busyness engenders,
Anxiety somehow.
Then I begin to,
Get in a panic,
And then the world's,
Against me,
And I become manic.
But when I put a stop,
To all that noise,
Even for a moment,
God gives me poise.
“Look at the world,”
He says, with a smile,
“Do not forget I've overcome it,
So refocus on what's worthwhile. ”

People are not so much against us when we struggle to keep up. The mind plays tricks and anxiety in the body-and-soul's response to the mind's confusion. Be gentle with your heart. Get space. Divert your attention. Attend to what is good. Enjoy God.
But, what does all this mean?

***

We can see with all these measures, above, and then some, that the whole idea of ​​life in the context of anxiety is to gain perspective and refocus on those logical things – as can be readily seen by an impartial observer.

The whole theory of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is based upon realigning our false perceptions that affect our behaviors with truthful information and techniques that may resolve our anxiety, among other mental ills. Almost one hundred percent of the time those things we are about about can be informed with logic and reason that would otherwise settle us. This is how God gives us a portion of momentary poise.

Anxiety tends to be a build-up of matters. As we circle around and around a particular worry, a relationship going wrong, or a matter out of our control, our mind is confused and overwhelmed with what looks irreconcilable. But if we analyze what we are thinking, and get enough room above or away from the problem, we will unduly receive what we need in terms of perspective. Then we have a choice wherever we refocus or not. To know a better perspective, and yet to not refocus would not seem wise.

If we can do better why do not we do better?

So the challenge remains. Will we take what we know – especially the ugly bits – and we will put it all through the sieve of logic and reason; as anyone else might see it who is not so actively and emotionally engaged in this tussle?

***

Anxiety can be alleviated through the attaining of perspective and the activity of refocusing. It buys a moment's peace. We refocus on something more worthwhile.

When we comprehend that God has the world – that we have the tools to experience peace – we are quickened to act.

One thing we must do to have this work, is make it a habit – to continuously seek perspective and, through the confused pain of anxiety, even still, refocus on what is beautiful about the world.

© 2014 SJ Wickham.

Postscript: This is not to make light of the inherent problems interwoven in and through anxiety, where many people suffer every time effort made to resolve it.

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How You Can Become Instrumental In Your Own State of Loneliness

Examining how you might be contributing to your own state of loneliness is a very important exercise. It's important because it will give you an insight into what you might need to change in order to help yourself overcome your feelings of loneliness plus all the negative feelings that accompany your loneliness.

I know it may feel inconceivable that you might be making your own loneliness worse, but it might just be the case, so please read on.

Here is a questionnaire for you. Think about the answers very carefully and write your answers down.

Do you find yourself doing any of the following?

· Distancing yourself from social situations because it's too painful?

· Enjoy many social events where you live

· Disconnecting from people around you?

· Make new connections all the time

· Not answer the phone or reply to emails because you feel too down?

· Switch your mobile off

· Always talk to friends and family, always email everyone

· Socialize a lot

· Feel as though you are looking on at life around you as a spectator, and outsider

· Feel you embrace all of life whenever you can

· Believe it is your destiny to be alone and lonely for the rest of your life

· Believe we are all responsible for having the life we ​​want

· Feel very bad most of the time because of feeling so lonely

· Depressed because you are so lonely

· Envy others who have good social connections

· Feel it is beyond your reach to have social connections

· Do not know what to do to change your situation

· Do little to change your situation

· Always do everything in your power to change situations that do not work and that cause you misery

· Examine your thought processes in relation to the way you handle your loneliness

· Get ​​thought up in negative thought processes and emotions

· Think you probably need to change the way you think about your problem but do not know where to begin

· Contribute to your own misery with your negative thoughts and feelings

· Think that the way you think only makes you feel worse

· Wish you could change the way you think

· Wish you could change the way you feel

· Wish you could change the way you go about you're your life

If the answer to the last three statements is yes, you are in luck because you can achieve change.

When answering the questions and statements what did it teach you about your own part in your loneliness?

Did you learn that you are too passive in changing things for your self?

Did you think loneliness was something that happened TO you that you had and have no control over?

Did you think that only something outside of yourself such as another person, a therapist or a book can give you the answer you are looking for?

Do you now think it is possible that through your own negative thinking and your own behavior that you might actually be contributing significantly to your own state of loneliness?

If the answer was yes to all four questions then hopefully this little book will help you to see the many ways you can learn to take control of your life for yourself and get to grips with your loneliness.

For all of us there are the external things in life we ​​have no control over like the weather, the stock market, greedy bankers, wars, losing a job when a company goes bankrupt, what other people do in relation to us, how people behave in relation to us … the list is too long, never ending actually. There are simply many things in life we ​​have NO control over whatsoever. This is a fact of life no one can argument with.

We can be at the mercy of any of the above situations knowing they are completely out of our control.

How we respond to them however is entirely within our control. The same is true of loneliness. The way we respond to it will dictate our mood and state of mind. It's up to us how we feel, we decide wherever to allow our feelings of loneliness overtake and overwhelm us or not. We decide. We decide whether to do something about it or not. We decide. It's up to us completely.

I repeat the mantra's often in order to reinforce to you the possibilities for change. Change will happen if you make it happen.

Take a look at the following to get an idea of ​​how you go about your day and ask yourself whether you see that you are actually contributing to your own state?

How do you spend your day?

If you are feeling very lonely it's a good idea to look at what factors are involved that make you feel as you do? There are some useful questions you can ask yourself that will help you define exactly what loneliness means to you, and if there are changes that you think you can make that would change your situation.

It's also a good idea to examine what you do with your days and evenings, whenever you have sunken into a helpless state of loneliness or if you actively go about changing your situation.

How much effort do you put into changing your mental state?
How much effort do you put into changing your physical / environmental state?
Do you kindly connect or disconnect with people?
Do you kindly distance yourself from people?
Do you distance yourself or stay away from situations that are painful?
What do you do and what do not you do?

As you can see, it is very important to know whether or not you contribute to your own state of loneliness.

There is little doubt that loneliness is a state difficult to bear. It contributes to low mood and depression just like depression is instrumental in bringing about a state of loneliness. When you shut yourself off from the world, you might experience it as a very lonely place to be. What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Understanding that loneliness is a state you can change is a beginning. It means you understand you can have control over your state, but it is a process of change. Until now the articles have explained that by changing your state of mind, changing how you perceive your state, and you can slowly gain control. This is the first part of the exercise.

The second part is how you actually go about physical change once you have mastered all the internal requirements.

Answer the questions and think very seriously about what you might be doing that makes your loneliness worse. Once you know and once you are mentally in a better place, you can set about change.

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Loneliness and Depression

A man once came to see me. He was very depressed indeed. He then told me his story. He had suddenly been made redundant from a very good and well paid job in a famous publishing house he had been working in for many years. At the same time his relationship was not functioning well. Between him and his partner they had four small children. They were not married but lived in a beautiful country house he had bought from the earnings in his job. His partner did not work, so he was sole earner. One day she had enough of him and ended their twelve year relationship and told him to leave his house. According to the law he had to as she had the children and they had to have a roof over their heads. She thread him out. He now had no job, no home and had been forced to move into the cheapest accommodation he could find. It was a bedroom in a house. From a four bed country home, family and highly esteemed and paid job, he was reduced to no job, no money, no family around him and no home, all within one year. Their friends sided with her, his family were not close to him and he had no job to go to. That's just how the dice of life fell for him.

When he came to see me he said he could not understand how he had arrived at the place he found himself in after years of building career, family and home of which he had lost all. He described his loneliness to me which sums it all up very well and it was this: He told me he felt totally alone in the world now with no-one and now to turn to. He had no one to talk to, cry to about all the loss he had experienced and no one with who he could express his feelings of utter destruction. He said when he walked in the streets he felt furiously alone. He would see everyone else going about their life, getting on with the usual daily stuff, work, going out, children, friends, going to the pub with friends, going and going home to their families. These were all the normal things he was so unfortunately missing. He said there was an empty hole inside him now. He said he had no way of sharing all he was experiencing and had to deal with every bit of it alone. He said it was the loneliest place in the world anyone could be in wandering this planet alone and becoming more isolated and excluded from the world with every passing day. Each day's experience confirming more and more how alone in this world he was. This, in turn made him feel even more alone and more depressed and so the cycle continued until he did not want to go out and face a world that was too painful to see. At home in his little room he felt safe and in different pain, but that pain was better than the pain of feeling so alone when he was out. He was grieving badly for all the loss and grieving alone, with no one to share it with and no one to comfort him. He wanted his old life back, but it was gone. He said he felt he had been deserted by the world in a cruel way and was left to cope alone with all his terrible feelings of pain, loss, humiliation, shame, depression and his utter loneliness. He said to me he did not have one person in the world to talk to. He described how, during the day he went through the motions of looking for work, but was feeling so alone and so depressed that it was very difficult to get motivated. He felt no one cared in the world and he could not cope with it all alone.

He described wondering the streets during the day obsessively people watching, which caused him immense pain. He described going back to his small room, alone where he felt no one knew or cared about his terrible situation. He told me his loneliness at this low point was so unbearable he got a referral from his doctor to see me. He then came into therapy. Slowly he deal with coming to terms with his experience. He started to build a life again and eventually trained as a teacher. Occasionally he met a woman he related to, and slowly began a new life. He saw his children and learned to live with the situation of not living with them. All of this only after his depression was better and he was able to start functioning again. Life is far from perfect. He had learned a great deal from his experience, a great deal, It was a heavy price to pay, but mainly he learned he had courage and strength to take the steps to help himself. He overcame a huge and traumatic experience and used it always as a humbling learning curve of life, because there was a great deal to learn from the experience. One thing to learn is that it is not the experience itself that matters as much as the way that experience is handled. I think that is true of any experience.

I have told this story because it represents much that generally surrounds loneliness and depression. It is a good example of what we will address here. I am certain there are many variations on this story, but this touched my heart at the time and seems to be quite appropriate now.

There is no doubt that for many people, the experience of loneliness is an intensely painful experience that they live with and also feel out of control of. There may be many reasons for loneliness, but the emotions that go hand in hand with it are often very similar. Also, there is little doubt that there are many people in the world who are feeling intension loneliness and isolation. If you are reading this article because you are feeling extremely lonely or because the loneliness has triggered off feelings of depression, you will understand very well what I am about to write in this series of articles.

Two questions I have are these: Firstly, is depression the result of loneliness? And the second question is whether loneliness is a result of depression? I will of course address these questions a little later.

As far as I have seen from my own work, both work together and each contributes to a worsening of symptoms in the other. If depression is due to isolating oneself when depressed, will the feelings of loneliness become more acute? Yes. If loneliness is due to severe symptoms of depression and the inability to be social, then the depression could become more acute and unfortunately may become chronic because of spending so much time alone.

In my experience all of the above is true. Many people became depressed as a result of their on going experience of loneliness and the painful feelings that surface as a result. In the same way a person who isolates themselves from the world due to severe symptoms of depression will also be feeling acutely alone and detached from the world around them.

One of the problems I have seen is that when a person is depressed they do not want to socialize. They want to be alone as it becomes difficult to be amongst people, it's easier and more comfortable to be alone. Perhaps you can refer to what I am describing here. Unfortunately the situation can spiral out of control only too easily, where the loneliness becomes so unbearable that it affects the symptoms of depression which in turn make it even more difficult to socialize and more difficult to be positive.

The very nature of loneliness means a person feels outside of society in some way, not connected, not familiar, not loved, not cherished, no one cares about them, that they stand in this world alone, that there is no one to turn to , no one to share life experiences with, pain and joy. Perhaps, no friends, no family, no one to listen or hear them and no one to validate them. The list could go on forever, but what is common is the feeling of pure aloneness, isolation and loneliness in the world.

The problem is that if loneliness is triggering a depressive episode then it is difficult to socialize. So what comes first the chicken or the egg?

In this particular series of articles I am going to attempt to dissect the whole problem of loneliness and see whenever it is possible to come up with solutions and alleviate the pain often associated with loneliness, including depression.

What does it mean when a person says they feel such utter loneliness it can sometimes feel unbearable? And how do those feelings that go hand in hand with the experience manifest themselves? What has loneliness to do with depression? Everything!

Can we feel lonely when we are not alone? Yes, many people say they do. Many people will say that even when they live with someone they can feel very alone when the relationship is having problems and people stop communicating. This is very interesting I think because many people who are alone and lonely assume those people who are not alone, do not feel loneliness. Unfortunately this is not true. I have worked with men and women in a relationship, with children who feel completely and utterly alone in this world.

Why would that be?

Most of us need to feel needed, loved, cherished, wanted, understood, validated and feel as though we matter in this world. We want to know that we share our world with others who care and understand everything about us. When these things are absent in our life and we often start to feel very alone in the world. It would also seem that the lack of the above can become contributing factors towards serious feelings of loneliness and isolation which can then develop into depression.

Feeling alone in a relationship is also very common. When two people do not share their world but crave understanding and validation from the other, it can be a very lonely place indeed leaving a person feeling very isolated. Whether alone or not, people often describe loneliness as a feeling of being on a desert island and no matter where they look, there is no one to turn to.

So, is it a feeling of connection that is needed? Is it a feeling of validation or honor that makes the difference between loneliness and belonging? Is it feeling loved by another or sharing a good relationship with another? Is belonging to a group, whether that group is family, work, a social group or something else?

Many people say that at work and amongst colleagues, they feel alone. The same can be said for being with a group of friends. A person can feel removed and separate from the rest of the group and so, feel alone. I have heard all of these explanations in my work over the years where people describe feeling on the outside looking in, and in that place feeling butly alone.

There are many thousands or even millions of people who live alone, have few friends, have little or no family, work alone, exist alone, or exist in a lonely environment. For example a single mother with a young baby who sees no one during the day could find the experience of motherhood difficult and lonely if she has no one to turn to, no one to support, help or love her. It is very easy in this situation to become depressed and sink into a place where she feels so bad and so depressed, she does not even want to speak to anyone. She then feels even more alone, because of course, she is. Of course when we isolate ourselves, we automatically put ourselves in the very place we actually hate most. Despite depression often feet so bad because of the insolvency which seems impossible to avoid, or is it?

When life is like I have graphically described above, feelings may slide into not being able to face the world and it is only too easy to slip into a state of depression that is difficult to cope with. It is not a happy state I am writing about, but unfortunately it is a state that exists for many thousands of people. Ignoring it does not make it go away. Here, I do not want to ignore it, I want to attempt at least to answer my own questions as best I can and better still, to find some possible solutions.

I do have some explanations and some solutions that exist in unusual places, so please stay with me. These solutions are not to be found in anything external (like other people), the external does come in to play after courses of course, but what I am referring to are internal solutions that come directly from you and that will open the way for you to start engaging with the world around you in a happier way.

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Changing Conditioned Thinking

Although you may not realize it, you could be responsible for conditioning your thinking, emotions and behavior in very negative ways that are toxic and certainly do not help you achieve a healthy state of mind. If, for example you have told yourself any of the following and you have conditioned yourself to believe what you tell yourself, you may want to read on.

· I am fat

· I am ugly

· I am stupid

· I am unlovable

· I will always suffer from depression

· I will never stop my panic attacks

· I can not make a success of myself

· I am not worthy of love

· I am a failure

Repeatedly telling yourself any of the above as well as believing it, is a bad place to find yourself in. Why? This is so because you are unknowingly reinforcing your distorted beliefs about yourself. When you allow conditioned thinking to take over and dictate what is and is not fact, you are in trouble. Conditioned thinking is toxic. It is toxic because it does not think. It simply responds and repeats itself and so becomes conditioned in your mind as though it were true and fact. There is little “real” thinking in conditioned thinking, just conditioning.

If we are told the world is square enough times and if we do not bother to find out for ourselves whether this is fact or not, we will believe it because the whole world has been conditioned to believe the same thing. The whole world believes it, so it must be true !! Here it's the same idea. You will believe what you tell yourself even if and when it is not valid. Unless you learn to question, assessment and test what it is you are conditioned to tell yourself, your conditioned mind will never change and you will continue believing what you automatically tell yourself.

The problem with conditioned thinking (thoughts we have unconsciously conditioned ourselves to believe) is that for the most part these thoughts do not represent reality. Once you are locked into conditioned thinking you become stuck with it, with no room for change. If there is no room for change, how do you move forward in an effective way? How do you change what is damaging you? You can not, and for this reason it is not only necessary to recognize your own conditioning, but also to give yourself the opportunity for change by questioning, challenging and assessing what you think is true.

You can see many examples if you look closely enough, and you will recognize how you yourself repeated plant conditioned negative thoughts into your own head. In fact we all do this so often, we do not even think about what it is we are telling ourselves. We simply repeat the same mantra's we have taught ourselves over time. We became conditioned to do so. Others may do the same to themselves and to us because they are also conditioned in their thinking and in their lives that they do not stop to think consciously.

This is all well and good if what you are telling yourself is actually valid. The problem with conditioned negative thinking is that it is not valid in most cases. Conditioned thinking simply damages us emotionally and mentally, so better undo it right now.

You may have told yourself a million times over that you are stupid, sometimes due to a past experience that left a scar or left you questioning yourself. However, what might once have been an experience of supposedly “failure” (whatever that means) may not be valid for your life today. You may have “failed” at something once, but you now take this fear of “failure” with you every time you have a challenge. You have pre-programmed yourself that you are a failure and that you will always fail. You have set yourself up to fail because of your conditioned mind.

STOP RIGHT HERE !!!!!!!

Now what if you start to question, examine and test these conditioned thoughts more consciously, what would you find? Take the following:

1. I am stupid: Have you really and consciously thought about whether you are stupid or not? Have you tested it? Can you see flaws in your thinking where you simply (and without thinking) tell yourself and accept that you are stupid because of an experience you had many years ago? (By the way, you can apply this question to any negative conditioned thought or belief you hold about yourself, other or the world around you) You need to find out what is valid for today and in your life today and what is not.

2. I will always suffer from depression: Have you consciously thought about whether there is something you can consciously and actively do to combat your depression? If your depression is chemically based, you may need meds plus CBT. If your depression is reactive depression, you can gain the tools to help yourself overcome your depression. Have you simply accepted your conditioned thoughts without asking the right and conscious questions? Are you now more driven to help yourself than ever before and are you now determined to succeed?

3. Anxiety: The same as above, but this time it's about anxiety states. Do you simply believe you will always suffer from panic attacks or high anxiety? If yes, why do you think that? Is it because you are now well and truly conditioned to believe what your negative thoughts are telling you about yourself? Have you conditioned yourself to believe what you tell yourself? Have you tested it? If not, you need to test it and see whether it's time to change.

Once you begin to recognize that you've been sort of sleep with your thoughts, you are heading in the right direction. When you arrive at this point, you will also see the need to make some drastic changes within your thinking patterns. What I mean is that once you start to see just how blindly you allow your conditioned mind to dictate to you how and what to think you are on the right path at last.

Recognizing that much of your negative thinking comes from a place of conditioning and that much of your current conditioned thinking is in fact “flawed thinking,” gives you a head start to make changes. Once you know all this, you have an opportunity to think about what it is you need to put in place for the change you want to actually happen.

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