Tag Archives: depression

Programmed for Positivity

As far as I know, there’s no organism on this world that pops outta the womb, shell, or earth and says, “Forget it, I’m done”, and rolls over to whatever fate finds it first.  Why then, with that seemingly prewired hopeful outlook, do we have such a hard time feeling positive?

Though it’s hard to argue the thought that we are all pre disposed to see the up side to things, somehow our experience often feels bleak.  Our wrinkly, grey thinkers do what thinkers do best and come up with numerous possible catastrophes bound to take place at any moment.

Creativity, a magnificent tool that brought us out of our caves, had a dark brother that likes to get carried away with late night stories around the recently discovered camp fires.  So despite our instinctual love for life, there exists also a healthy, or perhaps not so healthy, imagination that begs us to be weary.

In a world ever more connected and strangely new all at once, the modern imagination has an arsenal unparalleled by any generation that has come before.  Media can be both a help and a hindrance, as nothing spreads like bad news (something I challenge you to stop encouraging).  Even the social environment we live in often markets fear to us in a ploy to make us feel a need for the next new product.

So You have a choice to make. Feed the fire for the spooky story teller in your head and on your screen, OR find the inner spark of positivity that all life is built on. If you choose the latter, here’s a few things I’ve seen that are helpful:

 Reduce negative input – You bring about what you think about. Don’t believe me? Try thinking about how bad people drive before getting in your car next and note what happens. Better yet, try the opposite. By actively reducing negative input from news or your social interactions, your mind will have less fuel to create wild fires of fear in your head, and hence, your perception as well.

Plug in to positivity – Whether it’s music, happy news feeds, or feel good social groups, get involved with those good vibrations and watch them refurbish your perspective of life.

Practice gratitude – Some say write a list in the morning, others reflect on all they appreciate in the evenings, I say do it whenever you want, can, or just feel like.  Make it your spare moment activity.  Practice makes perfect, and having a grateful life is no exception.  It’s also one of the best ways to guarantee a positive life for you and those affected by you (everyone around you).

If all else fails, or you find yourself in a slump, as Dr. Seuss wisely says you’re bound to, remember this:  The world might be full of dangers, tragedies, and slumps, but an ever growing population of people still choose to get out of bed each day and make the most of it.  And guess what? You are one of them, so appreciate that!

Thank you for making my life that much more abundant with your presence, thoughts, and feelings,

Brett

P.S.  If you found this helpful or fun, please share it with someone you feel could benefit or enjoy it too.

Negative Triggers

There have been times in my life where I feel like I’m bipolar. The question that arises is, “How can such a happy person like me, who recognizes and is grateful for all her abundances, feel so angry and down sometimes?” The stark differences between the good days and my unhappy moments are so drastic that it is difficult not to feel like there is something wrong with myself.

I want to talk about negative triggers. Our brain learns from the past for many reasons, one being to protect ourselves from danger or hurt. Often, if we have been emotionally hurt in the past, things that occur in the future can seriously set off our subconscious, upwelling those same feelings of hurt and confusion. They are so deeply rooted that this perspective or person we become feels a little, well, crazy to how we are used to ourselves being.

It’s easy to be afraid of these triggers reoccurring, so we try to control the circumstances around us to avoid those horrible feelings. However, it doesn’t necessarily dissolve or change the fact that is exists. Negative triggers are just subconscious habits and like all habits we can change them. It is not an easy feat, especially since the feelings negative triggers produce are powerful and often feel true at the moment.

I hope this step by step guide I have developed for myself can help you start gaining more confidence that you no longer have to be the victim of past triggers and you can start doing something about it now

  1. Welcome Triggering Situations: We cannot Change the “problem” if we avoid the whole problem altogether. Avoiding it will only burry and deepen the problem that exists. 
  2. Identify the Trigger: You may not know what and why, but you can recognize the feelings, “Oh this feels very bad and very familiar, I must have been triggered.”
  3. Remove Yourself from the situation and anyone who might have caused the trigger: When we are triggered, the most difficult thing is not to react. Remember, these are deeply rooted habits to serve a purpose: protecting ourselves. Unfortunately, these habits are slightly misinformed and cause more harm than good. Leaving the situation allows us to get space to “work” on changing these habits without further triggering or interruption. 
  4. Allow & Observe Triggering Effects: The trigger has already happened. Trying to fix or avoid it at the moment is like trying to stop a bullet once it’s left the barrel of the gun. We need to back off and watch where it lands. I like to sit alone and write it all down.  It allows me to look back when I am in my “sane mind” and see how insane my thoughts and feelings were. 
  5. Be Patient with the Process: Triggers can set us off for minutes or sometimes days. The sooner you can reach true allowing & observing, the sooner those feelings will let go. Resistance to what happened or to your feelings will only prolong the negative experience. 
  6. Reflect: Once you feel “normal” reflect on your thoughts and feelings during your triggered state of mind. Identify where the belief system comes from and if it is true. Fear of the possibility of it’s occurrance is different from whether or not it is actually true.
    (Ex. “My boyfriend told me he never loved me and that he wants to break up.” The fear maybe that you are unlovable or unworthy of love.)
  7. Give yourself Compassion & UnderstandingOne thing we lack in this culture is the ability to express ourselves negatively. It’s been unacceptable for so long to be negative that when natural human feelings occur, we don’t know how to express them. As a result, these feelings become suppressed, deep down, forming triggers instead of receiving the compassion and understanding they need to let go an move on.
    Give that to yourself, it’s so important.

This process is not a comfortable one when going through it, but you will find with practice, each situation becomes more quickly managed and less emotionally painful.

AUTHOR’S TIP:
On a last note, I want to share,  in my experience refined sugars deeply effected my sensitivity to triggers and my ability to handle them consciously. Most often I was susceptible to my worst triggers about 2-5 days after consuming refined sugars.
Try to acknowledge things in your life that may not be so immediate to the circumstance that could be hindering you from approaching or handling triggers well.
Ex. Sugar, Dairy, Wheat, Caffiene, drugs, certain people, certain environments, pornography, having sex, etc.

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Who YOU Are

Trying to find yourself? Often we go through the confusing phase of discovering ourselves and I found a really simple question helped me find out why sometimes “who I think I am” or “who I think I should be” is not always clear. I hope today’s video helps you with a little self discovery and in a direction towards feeling good about who you are…

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