We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men...We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things..........from the 13th ARTICLE OF FAITH

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PERSONAL
GROWTH

6 Ways to Become the Person You Want To Be
 

Could your personality use some adjustments? Would you like to be calmer, happier and more confident? New research suggests it’s possible to reshape the traits you were born with so you can become all these things and more.

If you’ve always justified your negative behaviors by saying “I was born with this personality and that’s just the way I am”. It’s time to change your tune and get an attitude adjustment. Personality is also about the choices we make and the things we do. And because much of what we do is learned, it’s possible to train ourselves to act differently. It will take effort, time and patience but the results will be worth it. Here’s what you can do to make it happen.

Like any kind of life change, changing your personality starts with desire, then calls for motivation, effort and time. A good analogy is quitting smoking, which takes an average of 10 years. Since personality traits are at least as entrenched as habits, you should allow yourself that long.

It also helps to begin by making relatively small changes. Instead of promising to become more agreeable 24/7, modify how you act in situations where that trait comes into play. For instance, if you’d like to be less irritable with your partner, try listening with more empathy during your next argument. Small changes can eventually snowball into bigger ones.

Act “As If”. Scientific research shows that to change your feelings about something, if you first change your behavior to act “as if” you had those feelings, then the true feelings will follow.

Here’s other key ways to help change your personality for the better.

  1. TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE.
    Afraid to speak up? Jump to the end of the discussion and imagine how you’d feel if you walked away saying nothing. Focus on that regret and you’ll talk despite yourself.
  2. TO BE MORE PATIENT.
    When you’re frustrated by how long something is taking, try noticing 5 things around you. It will distract you and more importantly bring you back into the moment.
  3. TO BE MORE CHEERFUL.
    Having a happy personality isn’t magical; it takes effort. Your brain cannot process fear and gratitude at the same time. It’s impossible. If you want to be happier and have less fear….which is the cause of anger, hate and all negative behavior….develop an attitude of gratitude. Start pushing yourself to do things like answering the phone with a bright hello or smiling at the receptionist when you get to work in the morning, that cheerfulness will become more and more automatic.
    • Start a gratitude journal. Last thing at night or first thing in the morning, written down 3 things you are thankful for. Just simple things in life that give you joy or make you smile. This puts you in a gratitude state of mind, which will make you more happy, more appreciative and cheerful.
  4. TO BE LESS FEARFUL.
    The more you give in to fear, the more fearful you’ll be. On the other hand, the more you take risks, the more you’ll want to take them. The only way to be more daring is to keep doing new things. Push your limits. Life’s biggest rewards come from our biggest challenges.
    • Go to a movie alone
    • Speak to the stranger next to you in the check-out line
    • Give a speech
    • Take a rock climbing lesson
  5. TO BE LESS CRITICAL.
    As friends or family to call you on it when you’re being negative, then make a point of saying something positive instead. Over time, you’ll start to notice how you react yourself. That’s when you’ll be able to modify your behavior.
    • Challenge yourself to give 3 compliments or encouraging words to someone everyday. They can be to friends, co-workers or strangers. Doesn’t matter, just do it. If you can’t think of something...think HARDER!

It will soon become a habit and you’ll start to look for the good in others instead of always be critical.

  1. TO BE LESS OF A WORRYWART.
    Worrying can be a way of finding solutions, but not if your thoughts keep going in circles. To break the fretting cycle, ask yourself where worry is getting you. Being able to see that the answer is NOWHERE will help you learn to do it less.
    • Ask yourself “what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen?”
    • “Could I get through it?” 95% of the time your answer will be yes, I could get through it. So stop worrying!

You can change your personality for the better. Tackle one trait at a time, make a plan, set a goal and stick to it. The positive changes will come ... in time.

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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6 Simple Secrets To A Richer, Happier Life
 

It really doesn't have to be huge, momentous events or material things that make our lives happier. In fact, quite often it's the small, simple things that can have the most meaning and the biggest impact on the quality of our daily living. The mistake most people make is they are constantly waiting for others or circumstances to make their lives happy. Does this sound familiar? "When I finally get out of this dead-end job"...or "When I finally meet my true love"...or "When the kids are out of the house" ...then I'll be happy. WAKE UP CALL! The truth is the ONLY ONE that can make you happy is YOU.

To get you started on taking action for a richer, happier life, here's 6 simple secrets you can begin right now. Start today with incorporating 2 or 3 into your daily life and add the rest as the weeks go by. Watch what happens!

  1. MORE READING
    To those of us with busy, adult, multi-tasking lives...to sit down to read for pleasure feels like a complete indulgence...and who has the time? Yet reading can make your days feel so much richer and more relaxed. Books can take you to different countries and cultures, sweep you away with drama and romance, uplift you with humor and inspirational life lessons.

    So how do you find the time to read? You don't FIND the time, you MAKE the time. Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier and read before you get up. Keep your book in the car and read while you are getting gas, waiting for your kids practice to get over, or during your lunch break. Turn the TV off 30 minutes earlier at night and read instead.
  2. LESS SELF-PITY
    Are you the type who tends to whine on and on about your troubles? I'm sure we all fit into this category at times but I'm also sure we've been on the other end enduring someone else's endless whining and we wish they would just snap out of it.

    When you start hearing yourself go into the "poor me" mode, try this anti-self-pity exercise. You simply need to change your focus from you to someone else and do something nice for that person. Think about someone else you know who is having a rough time in their life. Take them a batch of cookies, offer to babysit their kids for an hour, bring them some hot chocolate or a flower. Or if you really want a reality check, go downtown and give a sack lunch to a homeless person, walk through a critical care unit and buy coffee for a family waiting for their loved one. Seeing the big picture in life is a powerful teacher and you will soon be happy to keep your own troubles...thank you very much!
  3. MORE BEAUTY
    The older I get, the more I realize what a positive impact beauty has on my disposition. I enjoy life so much better when I have shots of beauty throughout my day. Whether it's gazing out the back windows of my home to see my lovely garden, or walking through my dining room to see a beautiful oil painting my daughter has recently finished, or the vase of fresh flowers in my kitchen that always makes me grin...beauty is a priceless booster shot for your life.

    Don't wait for special occasions to bring out your beautiful things to enrich your environment. I have a friend who always has her dining room set with her best china and colorful napkins and placemats. Add some beauty to your work environment with a lovely picture frame or vase or interesting paperweight. For me, fresh flowers really keep my spirits up so I don't wait for my husband to be the only one to buy them. I treat myself regularly and it doesn't have to be costly. I figure a few bucks each week for grocery store or outdoor market flowers is well worth the way it makes me feel when I enter my kitchen and see them.
  4. LESS HURRYING
    How many times do you sit at a red light with adrenaline pumping through your veins because you're going to be late picking up the kids or for work? I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to be late, but I also seem to be the kind of person who refuses to leave enough time to get places. Leaving five minutes earlier than necessary would be a start - plus, if you get there early and have to wait, this could be another time for more reading!
  5. MORE GARBAGE
    Many a domestic guru will tell people who want to get their homes organized that they should first go around the house and throw 50 things away. Now this may scare you, but wait until you try it and feel the "liberating thrill" it gives you. Honestly, think about the little rush you get from simply throwing out the junk mail without even opening it. So start off with those junk drawers, how about dried up food in the frig, stained t-shirts, ripped undies in your dresser drawers, an old lipstick from 1996, what about all those old gift boxes you swear you will reuse? You won't believe how easy it is to come up with 50 things? Say good by to all those needless things cluttering up your life and environment. You will feel rejuvenated! I promise.
  6. FEWER LIMITS
    The biggest rewards in life come from our biggest challenges. The fewer limits you set for yourself, the fewer limits you will have. It's all in the power of positive thinking. The realization that you can do the unexpected and overcome fears - even ones you've had for a long time - is one of the most exciting things about getting older... and wiser. It starts with being aware of whenever you reject a possibility with the thought, "I'm just not the kind of person who_____," as in, who rides a motorcycle, embroiders, visits Alaska, raises chickens, speaks in public. Ask yourself "why not me"? "What do I have to loose if I try"?

    Case in point. One of my biggest thrills was learning to rock climb on my 45th birthday even though I'm fearful of edges and heights. My husband had heard me casually remark one time that I thought I should push my limits and try it some time. So he surprised me on my birthday last year and arranged for lessons and an afternoon of climbing together. I absolutely loved it! It was a total rush. I was so surprised. The even bigger thrill, however, was the fact that I was 45 years old, not "the type who rock climbs", and I didn't let these limiting beliefs stop me! I knew right then that if I could push my limits, face my fears and rock climb, then there wasn't ANYTHING in life I couldn't try. On that day I learned the only real limits I had were the limits I set up for myself.

    Want a richer, happier life? Give yourself a happiness boost by incorporating these 6 simple secrets into your everyday life. I promise it will be worth it.

    Only YOU can make it happen.

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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QUIZ: ARE YOU A CONTROL FREAK?
By Margot Carmichael Lester

Everyone likes to be in control of their lives, but are you too in control? Does your need to be in command of your situation spill over into your command of other people's lives? Does a lack of control send you spinning hopelessly into a panic attack? Take this fun quiz to discover if you're a control freak.

  1. When you're planning a night out, who makes the decisions:
    • We go wherever I say we're going. (Score = 1)
    • I let him think his opinion matters, but I always get my way. (Score = 2)
    • I'm pretty picky, so he usually gives in. (Score = 3)
    • We both make suggestions and try to find a mutually acceptable place. (Score = 4)
    • I do - and that's final. (Score = -1)
  1. What's it like on home movie night?:
    • I have strict rules about talking, and the timing of bathroom and snack breaks - and I rule the remote. (Score = 1)
    • Only Brad Pitt could pry the remote from my hands. (Score = 2)
    • I make most of the decisions, but I do let my man weigh in. (Score = 3)
    • Movie night is something we do together, so nobody's "in control". (Score = 4)
    • Remember Seinfeld's Soup Nazi? I'm the DVD Nazi ... (Score = -1)
  1. Your flight is delayed. How do you react?
    • Call customer service and demand retribution. (Score = 1)
    • Get seriously steamed and start crying in frustration. (Score = 2)
    • Add the airline industry to your list of things to fix. (Score = 3)
    • Call the people waiting for you at your destination, explain the situation and settle in to work or read. (Score = 4)
    • Storm around the podium saying you'll get them all fired if they don't get you on a plane. (Score = -1)
  1. If you're going somewhere with friends:
    • I insist on driving, even if it's not my car. (Score = 1)
    • Nobody else drives - unless I've been drinking. (Score = 2)
    • I like to drive and always offer to. (Score = 3)
    • I coordinate with my buds to figure out the most practical solution. (Score = 4)
    • It's my way or the highway. (Score = -1)
  1. What's the state of your lingerie drawer?
    • Bras in one drawer, panties and other items in a second arranged by type, then color; and a third drawer for special occasion garments - each stylishly arranged. (Score = 1)
    • Two drawers, with items folded and separated into sexy and every day. (Score = 2)
    • One drawer with garments neatly arranged. (Score = 3)
    • Panties on one side, bras on the other. (Score = 4)
    • It looks like Victoria's Secret - several drawers of neatly folded bras and panties and arranged by color, with a separate drawer for miscellaneous items. (Score = -1)


Less than 0: You've got your freak on - your control freak, that is. There's no room for impetuousness or spontaneity in your life. And that could cause you to miss out on great opportunities in life and love.

0-5: You're one step away from being borderline compulsive about controlling the events of your life. Your rigidity could be limiting your potential.

6-10: You're pretty controlling. Why not relax a little and let the world wash over you sometimes? You might be surprised what cool things happen when you loosen your grip.

11-15: You definitely like to have things your way, but you're malleable enough that it probably doesn't hurt you much. Still, loosening up couldn't do much harm, could it?

16-20: You control what you can and let the rest take care of itself. Your balanced approach is not only good for you, but good for the others in your life, as well.

 

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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Dressing With Confidence
by Jane Harvey, Reprinted from CareerBuilder.com

The scene has become a standard in every sitcom. The couple is dressing for a big night out and the wife, obviously wanting to dress at her best hauls every possible outfit she has out of the closet one at a time. Trying each one on, she asks her mate, "How does this look"? Dutifully he responds, "That's fine, honey." In total frustration she returns to the bedroom to try yet another outfit.

This is not the description of a woman who has the ability to dress with confidence. So much anxiety and stress, not to mention time, is wasted. How can anyone know that what he or she chooses to wear is the right thing for the occasion at hand? The answer to this question requires that each person first get information in several areas.

  • What is the nature of the occasion? Is it casual, semi-formal or formal? If you don't know then it is best to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
  • Who will be there? Will there be people there you want to impress or be noticed by? Or is it the usual crowd?
  • What do you have available? Will you need to add to your wardrobe to be dressed appropriately?
  • What is your personal style? What look have your created that is uniquely "YOU"? How can that style be adjusted to fit the occasion and the people?

Obviously the most difficult thing for some people to do is to know what their personal style really is. The simplest way is to copy the style of someone that you admire. That is the reason there were so many Madonna look-a-likes in the 80's and why so many women had their hair done like Rachel from Friends. But is copying the look of someone else the same as finding your personal style? If we all looked like Madonna or Jennifer Anniston, the answer is perhaps yes. As you are well aware we are all different. Now what do we do?

Several authors have investigated this question recently. Judie Taggart and Jackie Walker, who wrote a recently published book called I Don't Have A Thing to Wear, set out several categories of style that might fit different women. Nancy Nix-Rice has written about the style in her book, Looking Good. These two books are very good resources for anyone who has no idea of what might suit them best. Please remember that these references are only starting points and each of you must refine what they teach to find your personal style.

The essential thing is to remember that you want to find clothes and accessories that set you apart from others. This is all about YOU - your taste. Your wardrobe should make you feel attractive, comfortable, totally you. Don't let that pushy friend or impatient salesperson force you into choosing what THEY think is good. You will probably find yourself in clothes that would make them look good but do nothing for you.

Here is where the whole idea of confidence comes in. When you are confident you are sure of yourself. There is no doubt or worry that you are doing the wrong thing. When you are confident you are not looking inward and thinking, you are looking outward and experiencing the world and your impact on the people around you. So the beginning of confidence is to turn your thoughts outward. For better or worse choose something you like, feel comfortable in and enjoy wearing. Then look for the reactions of those around you. When you take note of remarks or looks from others that seem to be critical, think of how you might modify what you like to adjust to those criticisms you deem to be valid. BUT always stay with what you are comfortable with as a starting place.

After a few weeks of practice at the basic level, you can begin trying out new style elements. As you add to your basic style, try to look at each step as an experiment. Some additions will really work to add precious variety to your wardrobe while others may be mistakes that have to be modified or rejected. The key here is to approach this process as a fun experiment, knowing that you can always fall back on what you already have learned works for you.

Your freshly attained confidence coupled with your newly acquired sense of your personal style will fill out all four steps. You will be able to dress with confidence for any occasion and for any important person.

© Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2005.  All rights reserved.  The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority.

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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ARE YOU QUICK TO ANGER?  HERE'S HELP

Do you, or someone close to you, have problems keeping anger under control?  Do the smallest things set you off?  If you're experiencing a lot of rage, then you need to first get to the root of your anger so you can stop this destructive behavior long term. 

Anger is caused by fear. What happens to us humans when we feel fear is our heart rate goes up, adrenaline is released and we go into fight or flight mode. People with anger issues respond by going directly into fight mode. But fight or flight modes are rarely good choices. To resolve your anger issues, you have to first understand where you anger is coming from and then finding a constructive way to deal with your frustration and fear.

Here are 5 steps to get control of your anger and take your life back in a positive way.

1. Identify the emotion your anger covers.  Anger is nothing more than a cover for hurt, frustration or fear – or all 3. Try talking about what you're really feeling without using the word "anger."  Instead, try saying:

"I am really hurt by what my sister said to me.”

“The decision to not give me that new project at work really frustrates me!”

“I’m afraid that my boyfriend not calling me back means he’s loosing interest.”

2. Identify the true source.  What is the real source of your anger?  Who is the real culprit?  Chances are, it's not the people or situations you are lashing out at. People are rarely upset for the reason they think.

Maybe you are disappointed in yourself for where you are in your career so your boss or coworkers easily anger you.

Ask yourself bottom line….what am I really angry at?

3. Identify the unfulfilled need.  If you are experiencing uncontrollable rage, you have unfulfilled needs that must be addressed.  Ask yourself “what needs are not being met?”

Maybe you feel anger because you don’t feel valued at work like you need to.

Maybe you feel anger because you aren’t feeling respected like you need to by your family members.

Maybe you feel anger because you can’t forgive yourself for the way you’ve behaved while angry.

Whatever the case, you need to know what your needs are before you can fill them in a constructive way.

4. Identify the constructive alternative action.  Instead of raging against people, figure out what you can do that is constructive. Don’t just storm around for days or weeks seething in your anger. Decide on what you can do to resolve it in a constructive manner.

If you need to resolve an issue with a person that you are really angry with, the constructive alternative behavior would be to have a mature, open and respectful discussion with that person to resolve it.

If you need to forgive yourself or someone else, the constructive action would be to forgive.

5. Take specific action.  Once you have identified your constructive alternative action, then it’s time to TAKE ACTION and do it. As uncomfortable as it may be for you, you must take action so you can then move on, and reclaim your life.

One final great tip when you find yourself in the middle of lashing out is to insert gratitude. Your brain cannot process gratitude and anger at the same time. So when you find yourself starting to lash out at someone, immediately think of just one thing you are grateful for. Just one thing. It’s even more effective if your gratitude is pointed towards the person you are angry at.

For instance if you find yourself going nuts at your spouse, you could immediately think to yourself “I am grateful that this man gave me my 2 beautiful children.” This will give you some distance and a few moments to calm down, collect your thoughts and think of a more constructive way to handle your anger.

Follow these 5 steps and you CAN get your anger under control. It takes constant practice and patience but the benefits will be priceless for you AND everyone in your life. Good luck!

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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7 HABITS OF HAPPY FAMILIES

Cultivating habits and activities on a regular basis can boost your family's happiness quotient and it's well worth the effort. Scientific studies show that a happy family has positive effects on health, improving blood pressure and increasing life expectancy. And the activities you share, no matter how simple they may seem, can actually be extremely meaningful in the long run. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 96% of Americans rank family as the most important thing in their lives. Building the bonds that make families strong starts with the simple and fun habits and rituals you create.

In the end, the highest salary and the best car aren't fulfilling. Loving relationships are. They are the foundation of who we are. Happiness isn't what happens to us, it's the love, connections and support structure we have and giving of ourselves unconditionally. After interviewing a wide variety of happy, healthy families, here are 7 secrets to help you make a happy home a top priority.

1. LAUGH IT UP! Find ways to inject humor into your daily life, even if it seems like an effort at first. The average family spends too little time laughing together and too much time complaining. Tell jokes at dinner, leave a book of jokes on the kitchen counter or tuck a funny cartoon in your child's lunch box. Have regular family movie nights and watch hilarious comedies together. Even put some humor into household chores. If your teenage son always forgets to clean up the bathroom sink, write a reminder in shaving cream on the mirror. The times you laugh together will create a “happiness reserve” that can help carry you through the more challenging times.

2. MAKE GIVING A FAMILY AFFAIR. The key is to find something fulfilling that the whole family can do. Doing for others helps kids realize the world is bigger than they are and that people need their help. To get started, make a list of good deeds you could do as a family. You could make dinner for a family with a new baby, invite the new kid in school over to play after school, or take old rugs and blankets to the animal shelter. Set a goal to make a good deed list for everyone to participate in each month. Believe it or not, kids long for connection with others more than another new toy or trip. Kids learn that it does feel as good to give as to get....and giving is the right attitude to have to make this world a better place for all.

3. PLAY HIDE AND TREAT. What do lunch boxes, napkins and sock drawers have in common? They're all places where you can occasionally hide small treats or a note for times when you want to give encouragement for their good deeds, stellar behavior or you just want to tell your kids your love them. Usually we don't notice kids when they're being good, we just kind of expect it. It's important to give positive reinforcement verbally when they are kind, helpful and cooperative. It'll steer them into more positive behavior. And to surprise them with a nice note or a little treat every once in a while to show you are thinking of them is just a nice thing to do. Over time, noticing the good your kids do will reduce conflicts about misbehavior and make for a happier family.

Little notes are a great way to give teens positive reinforcement. Leave a note on the steering wheel of the car that says, ‘Have a great day!’. Or if they have a big test or important game, ‘I believe in you!’. Post affirmations around the house too. We have one on our refrigerator that says “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Along with another one that says “no whining”.

4. FAMILY GAME NIGHT. When you spend time with your kids, bonds are formed and communication is increased. Games are a great way to connect because you’re all together, you’re doing something fun but yet you can talk about serious or silly things. The point is you’re all together having fun. It's relationship building.

Research suggests that if you can develop a common interest, it's a wonderful way to spend time together. My husband and my son found the game of golf to be a terrific way to bond and have easy father/son talking opportunities together. These times were priceless. Any activity like a game night together that offers you open time is a very positive thing.

5. CREATE NEW BEDTIME RITUALS FOR TEENS. As kids get older, it’s important to create new rituals that are age-appropriate so there is a nice end to the day. One mother I interviewed used to read to her son every night when he was little. Now that he is a teen and likes to read the Harry Potter books, she’s reading them herself and talking about them with her son at bedtime.

Another mom started a tradition with her teens where they all gather at 9:30 in the kitchen, reconnect and have a snack together. Once they’re in bed she goes in, gives them a kiss, tells them she loves them and hope they sleep well. Simple yet very bonding.

Many teens love hand and foot rubs. They’ll be all yours for 20 minutes and it gives you a chance to stay connected.

6. GET A TALKING STICK. In Native American tribes, a talking stick was used to keep order in council meetings. Whoever is holding the stick gets to talk and everyone else has to remain quiet. Using one for your family meetings can empower parents who feel their kids don’t listen and for kids who don’t feel heard. The idea is to treat each other with kindness and respect by establishing an environment that supports it. You can use a rock or a hat or whatever you want but whoever has the object has a chance to talk without any worry of being interrupted. It helps kids understand that they need to respect the speaker and wait their turn. As kids get used to the concept, you’ll find you eventually won’t need a talking stick at all.

7. GET OUT THE MEMORABILIA. Studies show that when we share family history we strengthen the bond between family members. Kids long to belong. When they feel part of the tribe, it makes them feel secure and happy. It doesn't have to be complicated to connect. If you don't have time to make scrapbooks, just put the photos in an album and put them out on your coffee tables so family members can regularly go through them and relive happy memories, together.

This article was provided by Val Baldwin, CPC, a professional speaker, TV personality, author and certified relationship coach. For more information, please visit her website at www.valbaldwin.com.

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The Healing Power Of Depression

In his book Dark Clouds, Silver Linings, Dr. Hart makes the point that depression is actually a “healing emotion” — if you cooperate with it. He believes that God has created us to experience depression, and we need to understand why it is there.

Depression can be seen as one of three things: a symptom, a disease or a reaction.

As a symptom, depression is part of the body's warning system. In the case of a serious illness, it slows us down so that healing can follow. Otherwise we would self-destruct. If we heed its call and get the necessary treatment, the depression can bring healing.

As a disease, it afflicts many and has no other physical consequences other than robbing us of joy and the ability to live to the fullest. Major depression is an illness accompanied by a catatonic lack of energy that cannot be worked through and requires the intervention of a doctor.  Major depression is a disease in its own right, but when it prompts us to seek treatment, it brings healing of body, mind and spirit.

As a reaction, depression is known as grief.  Someone has said that depression is a cry of the soul that something is missing.  Extreme loss — such as bereavement or being divorced — calls for grief. This is certainly a perfect description of reactive depression. As a reaction, depression plays a particularly important role in healing. It removes us from our environment and slows us down so that we can come to terms with our loss. Grief, including crying, can bring profound healing to every part of our being and is good for us. It cleanses our soul and emotions. The more freedom we give ourselves to grieve, the more rapid is our recovery from the loss.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to think of depression only in terms of pathology. Depression is not a human defect but can be a healthy response to life's circumstances.  Understanding depression as a God given “healing emotion” may help you understand how it can benefit you and how to respond— if you cooperate with it.

So, the next time you are depressed, instead of saying, “What is wrong with me”, a better question to ask may be, “What is wrong with my life, my body or the way I am living”.  As a healing emotion depression can bring us face to face with ourselves so that we are forced to make healthier choices.

This article was adapted by Elaine Davis, MS. Marriage and Family Therapist (www.elainejdavis.com ) from an article by Dr. Archibald D. Hart.

 

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