holiday blues

The holiday blues are a real phenomenon, with half of us feeling some stress and fatigue if not mild depression. The holiday blues are felt by people as a result of the holiday season. Yet, some people are entering the holiday season already feeling stressed, anxious, sad, grieving, depressed, etc. How do I enjoy the holidays while helping people I know to cope with their holiday blues?

"If one were to devise an experimental set of circumstances which would test the integrity of an individual's mood control, one would invent the year-end holiday season." Jonathan Himmelhoch, Psychiatrist, Western Psychiatric Institute, and Clinic

The holiday blues are real, and according to at least one study, about half of us experience the holiday blues (the survey reached 786 adults, 18 years or older Fall of 2006). But some people suffer the holiday blues because they entered the holiday season already feeling sad, depressed, anxious, etc. The seemingly joyous time of the year enhances their depression and anxiety. 

I don't think there is any other time of the year, which evokes such strong emotions as does this time of the year. For some of us, we are excited, joyous, filled with wonder…

Read more: The Holiday Blues How To Help People Cope

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confidence

Confidence is not something we're born with, it's something we learn as we mature. My personal story is one of a shy boy transformed into a confident man. How did I do it? How can you do it? Let's talk about how I eventually learned to embrace my confidence.

"Confidence isn't walking into a room with your nose in the air, thinking you are better than everyone else; it's walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone in the first place." -Anonymous

The other day I was asked, "Have you always had this confidence?" I was somewhat taken aback by the question as I don't typically think of myself as having confidence. My current life activities consist of family, life coaching, writing, teaching at a university and college, hosting a podcast, giving lectures, and speaking at conferences. I keep myself active, but I enjoy all that I do. Is my enjoyment in what I do the confidence people see in me?

Confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one's abilities and talents. Yet, this definition presupposes that I have an awareness of my skills and talents. I feel this is the reason…

Read more: Confidence: How To Embrace It As I Did

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find hope

How to find hope in life is not always an easy task. Yet, a life without a sense of hope can be dark, depressed, anxious, and lacking in motivation. In this article, I write about ways of finding hope in life, and so finding happiness and inner peace. 

To find hope and to keep hope are essential to living a happy and peaceful life. Yet most of us know what it’s like to live a life devoid of hope. A life where nothing seems to be going our way, and no one seems to understand. The encouraging “you’ll snap out of it,” or “sleep it off,” or, my favorite, “just get over it,” is not at all helpful. If only it were that easy to overcome the feeling of hopelessness. 

Hope is a mechanism developed by the human brain to cope with contexts and situations unfavorable to survival. Without a sense of hope in the future, or hope in one’s ability, where would we find our motivation, our drive, to move forward? In the worst of times, it’s hoping that drives me forward. That “knowledge” telling me there is something better in the future if only I get there.…

Read more: How To Find Hope In Life

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overcome fear

To overcome fear, one needs to believe they will be happy on the other side, and that getting to the other side of fear is possible. Knowing and believing are two very different attitudes. In this article, I use my own childhood fear as an example throughout. Keep in mind, we need fear to live, so be careful in what fear you try to overcome.

As a young child, I had many fears, as I'm sure most children experience. For me, my most significant event to overcome fear was the weather, specifically thunderstorms. I was convinced that every storm would spawn a tornado which would ultimately find and pulverize my house, with me in it! Now, please know that I did not grow up in tornado alley or in a tornado prone area. Yes, we experienced the random water spout and once a decade, or so a tornado would develop. The tornadoes were far enough from my house not to see the funnel of destruction but close enough that the local newspaper printed articles about the twister. 

I have no idea of the origin of my fear, but I knew exactly how to overcome fear in this situation. To…

Read more: How To Overcome Fear But We Need Fear To Live

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don't sweat the small stuff

Learning to not sweat the small stuff is a phrase filled with much wisdom. The important piece to this statement is learning to live in the moment. But how can we learn to stay more in the moment so that we don't let the little things bother us so much that we lose our happiness? Here is my technique on how to not sweat the small stuff.

Step one is to actually reframe the question of how not to sweat the small stuff. If something is bothering someone, then it's not "small stuff" to them. Judging another's perception as to the gravity of a situation negates what they're feeling and expressing. Although, I do hope to eventually get them to a point in the future where they can laugh at it and say, ah, that really was small. 

But, to not sweat the small stuff, to get to the point of recognizing the smallness of some of our concerns, the question I'll ask the client is "in the scope of everything going on in your life and in the world today, where does this issue fit?" If they're honest with themselves and with me, they'll understand the inner challenge…

Read more: How To Not Sweat The Small Stuff And Find Happiness

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