Mental Health Monday – A Toxic Environment Unwittingly Produces Positive Transformation

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:3-7

 

For this reason I write these things while I am absent,
so that when I am present I need not proceed harshly.
The Lord gave me authority for building up and not for tearing down.

2 Corinthians 13:10

 


 

 

 

 

Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBT community, Jews, the military and countless others. As a child, teenager and early 20-something, she participated in the picketing almost daily and pioneered the use of social media in the church. Dialogue with “enemies” online proved instrumental in her de-radicalization, and she left the church and her entire way of life in November 2012. Since then she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise — especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines. She speaks widely, engaging audiences in schools, universities, faith groups, and law enforcement anti-extremism workshops. Her book is entitled: “Banished“.

Mental Health Monday – Why You Procrastinate (and How to Conquer It Once and For All)

 

Be wise in your behaviour towards non-Christians, and make the best possible use of your time.
Colossians 4:5

 

 

Procrastination is the tendency to put things off – often to the point where they’re no longer manageable. It’s the disconnect between your intention and action

And it usually makes hard things even harder.

When you look at most people’s list of bad habits they want to break, procrastination is usually one of them. If you struggle with procrastination, consider which of these 12 reasons have you spinning your wheels:*

  • Lack of discipline.“I’ll do this later.”
  • Fear of failure.“I don’t think I can do this, so why bother trying.”
  • Wishful thinking.“If I ignore it, maybe it’ll go away.”
  • Unreasonable expectations.“If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t even attempt it.”
  • Feeling overwhelmed.“This project seems complicated. I don’t have the energy to tackle it right now.  Let me think about it some more…tomorrow.”
  • Fear of complexity.“I don’t even know where to start.”
  • Lack of motivation.“I’m just not in the mood right now.”
  • Fear of accountability.“What if I fail?”
  • Feeling bored.“I’d rather be having fun.”
  • Lack of urgency.“I have plenty of time to do this later. It’s not due for days.”
  • Fear of making a decision.“I need more information before I can start.”
  • Working under pressure. “I love the adrenaline rush that I get when I’m up against a deadline.”

Procrastination often happens when you have some anxiety about the important task ahead of you. To get rid of this negative feeling, you procrastinate — by opening up Facebook or watching Netflix instead. This makes you feel better temporarily, but unfortunately, reality comes back to bite you in the end.

When you procrastinate, it’s easy for things to snowball out of control. In some cases, it can lead to outright panic, freezing you in your tracks and preventing you from getting anything done.

What’s the solution?

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The most successful people have learned how to plan and prioritize effectively. 

If you don’t have a plan, your brain stalls. And that’s when you procrastinate.

Instead of considering procrastination as a habit you need to break, or a hardwired part of your personality, think of it as an alarm, or a red flag—a sign that something is missing. Something is preventing you from getting things done.

Start with priorities. Remember, everything on your plate is not an immediate priority. Force yourself to pick the 1-2 most important tasks on your to-do list and set your agenda for the day/week. Mark Twain said, “If your job is to eat a frog, eat it first thing in the morning, and if your job is to eat two frogs, eat the big one first.”

Next, identify a specific short-term goal.  A goal will force you to focus on one thing (and one thing only). 

Finally, identify the steps required to achieve that goal.  Break big activities down into smaller pieces (i.e., the divide and conquer approach). Don’t get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the whole task. Big problems are best solved in small bites.

Recognize that you don’t have to be “in the mood” to do a certain task — just ignore how you feel and get started. Instead of focusing on feelings, think about what your next action step will be. Even if it’s an extremely small action, a little progress will typically make you feel better about the task and increase your confidence. 

Your time on earth is limited. Procrastinators act as if they have all the time in the world. But deep down, they know they’re wasting their life by sitting in their comfort zone. Don’t squander another second – dive in today!

Dr Stephani Yorges is an educator, consultant, and coach, helping people to connect with their personal potential to peak performance. She has expertise in a variety of leadership models and assessment tools. Her formal education is in the behavioral sciences, receiving her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Purdue University in 1996. She has been teaching graduate courses at West Chester University in Pennsylvania for more than 20 years.

Check out her site at: http://leadinghigher.com/. It has a wealth of wisdom about living successfully!

 

Mental Health Monday – Tips for Embracing Change

 

 

 

 

The year has just changed. Without exception CHANGE is an essential ingredient of life! Change produces a variety of new things: e.g. size. My favorite example is the butterfly because the transition is so vivid. A funny story goes like this. Two caterpillars, hanging out on a branch, are chattering. Suddenly a butterfly swoops by them. One caterpillar says to the other: “You’d never get me up in one of those things!” 

However, that which is so self-evident about life is what we most resist! The Bible exposes the bedrock of such fear.

Prior to their fall the Creator had given this injunction to Adam and Eve: Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!” (Genesis 1:28)

However, the couple rejected the Creator’s plan.

‘The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they HID from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He replied, ‘I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.‘ The Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.’ (Genesis 3:6-10, 21)

It is not my intention to explore the depths of this section. However, note three things:1) The Creator designed human life for change that would produce expanding success! 2) Fear is the result of man’s rejection of the Creator’s design for successful living. 3) Fear, rather than conquering faith, is woven into the fabric of the human spirit. In other words it is the new norm. Change is automatically resisted.

 

Here are a few tips for successfully moving forward through the portals of change in 2018. Remember! A valuable diamond is fabricated under great pressure!

 

 

*Be flexible: It will enable you to better adapt to new people, environments and situations.

*Don’t allow fear to stymie productive change.

*Consider change as an opportunity for improvement: Without change, nothing improves by itself.

* See change as a new beginning: It makes life more exciting.

* Look for opportunities: When you adapt to change, you will find that different opportunities and choices present themselves.

* Seek learning and growth: Every time a change occurs, you have a new opportunity to grow.

* Move forward: Change has a funny way of triggering progress.

* Get out of your routine: Without change, life would be dull and predictable.

* Grow stronger: Change can be difficult, but when we overcome the challenges, we come out stronger.

Mental Health Monday – Year-End Review

 

Resolutions themselves are wired for failure.
More than forty percent of people who make resolutions,
abandon them in the first month.
Less than ten percent of resolutions are actually achieved.



The resolutions we do find the courage to make are important to us. They’re things we think about a lot, like: “I wish I could quit smoking,” “I need to lose weight next year,” “I can’t handle one more year in this soul-crushing job.” Yet, we continually struggle to see these resolutions through. The average person is said to make the same resolution TEN TIMES!

 What if I told you that it’s not you who is failing but the resolutions?

We’re given tools and taught how to plan all kinds of things: the perfect birthday party, family photo sessions, home decor, and epic summer road trips. But, it’s rare to hear someone in the media or at a party talk about how to plan your life. The information is available, but most people are not comfortable talking about it.

I have nothing against those news snippets and Pinterest boards about planning the perfect birthday party. I just think that we owe ourselves at least as much time to plan for our future as we spend planning our child’s next birthday bash. But, before you can begin planning for the upcoming year, you need to know where you’re starting from. An easy way to do this is with a Year-End Review.

When you plan your summer road trip, you map out your route, make reservations, and set aside funds. Yet, those things we want to change most in our lives, at best, are made into resolutions. We owe ourselves at least as much time to plan for our future as we spend planning a road trip.

 Ever since I began writing personal goals, December has been a month of reflection and planning. I tend to slow down, take a step back, and think about how I feel the previous year went. I take time to reflect on what I accomplished and what I want in the upcoming year. I consider where I am in terms of the long-term vision I have for my life.

Some years these check-ins are frustrating. There has been at least one year I felt like I barely made progress. Still, these are wonderful opportunities to learn from my mistakes and find a better way. I take time to recognize the seeds that were planted, rather than what I failed to do.

Below you will find a list of questions to guide you through a year-end review. Start with this simple version. I’ve found that the more time I invest in this step, the better my results the following year.

 SIMPLE YEAR-END REVIEW

 1 – What accomplishments from the previous year are you most proud of?

I like to do a quick brain dump so that I have a clear picture of where I’m at. Nothing is too small. If it pops into your head, write it down. It’s nice to have these lists from year to year so you can see how far you’ve come and feel inspired to keep moving forward.

 

 

2 – What lessons did you learn? How can you use what you learned in the coming year?

This might be a mistake from which you learned a valuable lesson. Or maybe you learned something about yourself or your environment. I’ve gotten to know myself much better by analyzing how and why I fell short on my previous year’s goals. I’ve taken those lessons and improved my results in other areas of my life.

 

 


 3 – What will you let go of in the New Year?

As we change and grow, there will always be something that no longer serves us. Think about projects, goals, commitments, emotions, or stories that don’t need to follow you into the coming year. It’s not always easy to check these things at the door as we transition to new seasons of our life. But naming them and being aware of is a great first step.

 

 

4 – What is the most important thing you want to change next year?

What ONE thing do you most want to change in the coming year? Think about the one change that will have the greatest impact on where you want to be five to ten years from now. This change should have a good why and be based on your desires, not the desires of others. This should be your primary focus as you set goals for the coming year.

Mental Health Monday – The Good News about PMS

 

Premenstrual Syndrome

 

Everybody knows that most women go a little crazy right before they get their period,
that their reproductive hormones cause their emotions to fluctuate wildly.
Except: There’s very little scientific consensus about premenstrual syndrome.
Says psychologist Robyn Stein DeLuca, science doesn’t agree
on the definition, cause, treatment or even existence of PMS.
She explores what we know and don’t know about it —
and why the popular myth has persisted.