It is a good time of year to review how depression affects people.
Did you know that if you have anxiety in almost any form, list making is your friend?
Anxiety in its purist form is about loss of control. It is that feeling that you cannot control the outcome you so desperately wish to do. And what better way to harness a little of the feeling of being in control than making a to-do list?
The good thing about labels is they help us identify what is being discussed. The bad thing about labels is they immediately (read that as stigmatize) identify what is being discussed. Hypnosis carries baggage as a label. Labels, as most would agree, can stigmatize an individual faster than than the letter “A” did to Hester Prynne in The Scarlett Letter. Hypnosis is a label that carries baggage, which is why I spend time educating people about it.
More and more I realize that there is nothing new under the sun, but how it is said is what makes it new. How you hear it makes it new, and when you hear it makes it new. Whether or not your antenna is up makes it new… or not.
Often that reception is problematic.
Your children are like so much wet cement according to Time Magazine, in that they are impressionable at an early age. Your words and actions make impressions that will ‘harden’ over time and guide their sense of identity. A large portion of our job as parents is to guide, correct and discipline them. While this is all true, it is important to guard how much you discipline (or criticize) in the guise of discipline and how much you praise.
What do you like to do when you travel? My favorite thing on the planet is to visit open air markets in other countries. Sometimes they are primarily food, while others will incorporate crafts and household goods. Recently I visited both a neighborhood market in Hamburg, Germany, and a huge fish market on their harbor.
Sometimes I am so tired of the self-help industry and the imposed expectations it places on us. While reading an interesting article about the differences in shamanic treatments for mental illness that are radically different from the Westernized way, my senses were heightened about the level of expectations in this culture. It is exhausting.
It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Jonathan Evison, author of This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, rites about a time he lived in a trailer park because his grandmother needed a caregiver. He reported being amazed at how these widows would, with great flexibility, adapt to entirely different points of view after their husbands’ deaths.
Earlier I my life I lived and worked in Japan. I taught English to a group of young men at one of Honda’s subsidiaries, Keihin Seiki, where they produced Honda’s carburetors. It was from these young factory workers that I gained an understanding of how change is slowly and incrementally effected from the bottom up in Japan, a concept called kaizen. By the time a policy or idea gets to the board room, it is at a place of acceptance among the workers, and the decision that is made in the board room is but a formality. This takes time. It is also one of the key reasons Japanese made cars have such a strong reputation for reliability.
I bet you wish you could say that and mean it. I say it many times a day, because that is where I work to place my focus.
PAGE RUTLEDGE, LCSW, CHt | Anxiety Therapy
5006 Randall Parkway (close to UNCW)
Wilmington, NC 28403
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