“First off, I just wanted to let you know that you’ve helped me so much with anxiety in the past. I almost never have any anxious feelings or symptoms anymore, and when I do feel them arise, I always know how to handle it. So thank you so much. You changed my life.
Lately though, I’ve been feeling rather anxious about a job interview I have coming up. I’ve been preparing for it, but my heart races just thinking about it. I really want the job I’m interviewing for, but I’m nervous I’ll panic during the interview, since I’m already feeling this anxious. Do you have any tips for staying calm during interviews? I can’t really distract myself from this one. I know mindset is important, but I don’t know how to boost my confidence for the interview.
I’ve googled tips, but I just appreciate and value your advice so much, so I’m hoping you’ll help.”
When something means a lot to you (high stakes) and you can’t control it, that is a stressful mindset. So a better mindset reduces the stakes and increases your feeling of control.
Be present. “Witness” your thoughts and emotions. Grief, anger, fear… whatever it is, just watch. This brings light (awareness) to everything and stops you becoming it.
Remove attention to get relief from the feeling of loss. Focus completely on whatever you’re currently doing. Lose yourself in a movie or book.
Be okay with feeling okay. Don’t feel guilty about feeling better or having periods of “normality” while grieving. It doesn’t mean you didn’t love the person. It just means you’re choosing the focus of your attention.
Minimize thinking. Now is not a good time for active thinking. Give yourself the time and space to let everything settle down. Delay important decisions until you’re feeling better.
Help others with their grief. Being a rock for them means staying alert and present. In that state, you are much less likely to get lost in emotion yourself. Be spacious and loving and you will find your own grief easier to bear.
Appreciate your time together. If you’d like to think about the person, focus on their life and the relationship you enjoyed with them. They wouldn’t want you to be sad.
Take care of yourself. It’s easy to get into unhealthy habits during a period of mourning. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle as much as you can.
In our natural environment we faced real dangers, such as lions. The instinct to harm here is obvious — part of the “fight or flight” response. You either fight the danger or run away.
In our modern environment, we can still very easily feel stressed and “under attack,” even if it’s not in the literal sense of the word. And so, when this primitive mechanism is triggered, suddenly you have these thoughts, or instincts, to harm someone — even someone you love.
“What are your thoughts on trauma release exercises (TRE)? Have you done them? Apparently our bodies hold trauma even from years ago, which puts a person in a constant flight/fight/freeze state, always very alert and sensing ‘danger.’ With TRE the body releases the energy held up in it from trauma. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.”
I haven’t done any of those exercises myself, but I’ve heard a few health teachers talk highly of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), tapping certain points on the body to release old emotional stuff.
Traumatic events can certainly have powerful spin offs and we hold the sense of danger to prevent repeats, quite naturally. I do think there is great value in thinking about what you fear in a way that allows you to really let it go, to see it has no value to keep looking for it.
In other words, use intelligence to trump the lizard brain. These mechanisms are good for preventing say repeat lion attacks, back when our ancestors evolved in nature, but the same mechanisms can be dysfunctional in modern life.
Is depression caused by a serotonin deficiency in the brain?
After 25 years researching health and happiness, the idea that a disease state is caused by lack of a single neurotransmitter in the brain seems ludicrous.
Human biochemistry is incredibly complex with countless interacting processes mediated by genetics and lifestyle factors. The serotonin hypothesis of depression is really a house of cards with no foundations.
I see this idea floating around the web, especially on social media a lot. Is happiness really a choice? If you’re depressed are you really choosing that state willingly? It kind of reminds me of the type of advice depressed people used to get all the time — “just snap out of it,” or “pull yourself together.” As if. If a depressed person were to see this idea, I think it would make them feel worse not better. Continue reading “Is happiness a choice?”→
I don’t usually review books on my blog, but recently I’ve read a couple that have stuck with me that I simply must write about. The first of those books is Happy Guide: 6 Simple Lifestyle Changes for Health and Happiness by Michael Kinnaird.
I must say, this post has been a long time coming. I first read this book back in May, and I reread it just last month. It’s certainly one of those books that you can keep referring to when you need a little guidance.
Happy Guide, as the name suggests, is a guide to happiness. And no, it’s not one of those self-help books that makes you jump through hoops in the pursuit of happiness. It provides six very simple, very achievable steps that you can follow to achieve the happiness you truly deserve.
Let me just take a second to mention the time of year…