Steps to a Depression-free Mind

Can you imagine living in a society that was virtually free of depression? Certain societies such as the Kaluli people of Papua New Guinea and the American Amish populations both essentially have zero depression rates. Depression has become a byproduct of our modernized, industrialized, and urbanized lives. While we have become accustomed to a highly technologically evolved society with the gadgets, gizmos, and comforts we love, we are also seemingly on a never-ending treadmill of overworking, under-sleeping, and hyper-stressing in order to live the “American Dream”.

By incorporating several simple lifestyle changes into your everyday living can help you minimize the effects of stress and depression. Common variables practiced by the Kaluli and Amish people include: eating an omega-3 rich diet, getting ample sleep every night, regular daily exercise, getting plenty of natural sunlight, being involved in some type of social activity with social connections, and practicing meaningful tasks all help these populations divert attention from your own negative thought processes that can lead to depression.

Communication Breakdown: Opportunity to Not Understand

When we communicate verbally, we are using symbols to convey meaning. If I tell someone that my car is red, there is a high probability that (if they are listening) they will understand what I am trying to communicate. Because he or she probably has a very clear understanding of what the word red and car represent. People don’t argue often about whether something is red or not. Or whether it is raining or not. These type of concrete statements rarely the source of confusion or disagreement.

Emotions, on the other hand, can be slippery. Here is a small example using a common emotion: fear.

I am afraid of big, barking dogs.

Simple statement. The meaning should be clear. A deeper examination of two test cases, however, demonstrates that when emotions are the content of the message communication is rarely black and white (or red). The same statement communicated by two different people can have radically different meanings.

Person A: I am afraid of big, barking dogs. Person A is does not like loud noises in general. Neither does he like dogs. He thinks they are filthy creatures who track mud everywhere they go. Barking dogs are a combination of two things this person doesn’t like. Loud noises make him nervous and bigger dogs bark louder.

Person B: I am afraid of big, barking dogs. Person B was attacked by a neighbor’s dog as a child. He had to go to the hospital to treat the injuries and still has scars on his arms. He vividly remembers being told that the dog was friendly, all bark and no bite. He feels tightness in his chest when he is close to larger dogs.

Same statement. Completely different meanings. It is the responsibility of both the speaker and the listener to ensure emotional statements are understood.


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Did You Know…

Did you know…that there are more than one type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? In fact, ADHD can be predominately hyper-active impulsive, predominantly inattentive, or a combination of both. Often times, when we think of individuals with ADHD, we assume they will be hyperactive, jumping from one activity to the next. Although this behavior is common for individuals with predominately hyper-active impulsive ADHD, others with predominantly inattentive ADHD may behave quite differently.

Predominantly inattentive ADHD manifests itself in an inability to sustain attention, excessive daydreaming, and making careless mistakes. This type of ADHD is typically underdiagnosed, and appears in girls more than boys. Little boys who talk excessively, constantly fidget, and often run or climb inappropriately, are more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis. Little girls who daydream frequently and get distracted easily tend to go under the radar.

ADHD can be very debilitating for a child who receives no assistance. If unidentified and untreated, it can have drastic effects on a child’s academic and interpersonal endeavors. Because predominantly inattentive ADHD is harder to spot, many women go their whole lives without ever being diagnosed. Untreated ADHD in women typically causes anxiety and depression, as well as difficulty in school and the workplace.

If you suspect that you or your child suffer from any type of ADHD, do not hesitate to consult a medical or mental health professional about getting assessed. Play therapy and behavioral therapy can go a long way in making family, school, and work life a more manageable and pleasant experience for individuals with ADHD. At Pinnacle Counseling, we have trained professionals who can administer the assessments you need in order to receive treatment. To learn more about how we could help you, please see additional information on our website about our counselors and the services they provide.

Communication Breakdown: Opportunity to withhold the Truth

Both parties involved in a communication have the opportunity to share a particular version of the truth. Whether or not this version of the truth is 100% honest depends on the individual and the particular communication in question. Most people have experience sharing tailored versions of the truth in certain  situations. For example, the parent who flushes a toddler’s goldfish down the toilet: You see, Dorothy is swimming to the ocean to be with her friends! Some would call this type of communication a lie. Others recognize it as an attempt by a parent the explain a difficult situation in a way that a small child can understand.

Sometimes we don’t understand the truth ourselves, particularly where our own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are concerned. Drug addicts and alcoholics, for example, are often unable to understand the truth about their own drinking or drug use.

Good communicators understand that the people with whom they are speaking, even when speaking truthfully, are sharing the truth as they understand it. Those who do not, may be headed for a communication breakdown.



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Feel Better Live Better

Do you talk to yourself?

Of course!!  Everybody does.   The better question is “what do you say to yourself?”

Brene’ Brown, LCSW, a leading researcher in resiliency and human behavior notes that current research demonstrates that the difference between those that are confident and those who are not is that those who are — “claim their confidence”.  They tell themselves positive messages, feel the positive feelings and act accordingly.  Confident people don’t wait for someone else to give them permission for confidence or wait for others to take away confidence.  I recommend that you take some time to check out Brene’ Brown on You Tube or one of her books.

A helpful exercise is to set an alarm to several intervals throughout the day.  Then check to see what you are telling yourself.  You may be surprised by the results.

What we put our attention on grows and what we take our attention away from diminishes.  We need to counteract negative, blaming thoughts which destroy our growth.

The following are 5 affirmations which are worth time and effort in exploring.

  • I have courage.
  • I release my old unworkable patterns.
  • I deserve a supportive relationship.
  • I release my disappointments
  • I am creating the life that I want.

Let’s consider some dialogue or self talk about each statement.

I have courage.  We can picture a mountain road which has turn backs and inclines and declines.  We can have the courage to keep moving knowing that it is not all uphill or downhill, but will lead to a vista with perspective.  The root of courage is “cour”, referring to the heart.  Listen to your heart.

I release my old unworkable patterns. Imagine a large old worn box in which you are contained.  Now picture a new comfortable beautiful box.  Visualize yourself stepping from one to the other.  In this new box, you can embrace new habits and thoughts.  You can try new ways to say and do things as well as new self messages.

I deserve a supportive relationship. We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.  We can protect ourselves by putting up barriers to hurtful, controlling remarks and demands.  Picture how animals  protect their boundaries and respect others to take care of themselves.  Ask yourself what a supportive relationship looks like to you and share it with those who are of support to you.  Believe in your own value.

I release my disappointments. Hanging on to resentments and misgivings is a sure way to build anxiety and depression.  Releasing disappointments can be visualized in many ways.  One way is to name the disappointment and imagine putting it on an imaginary leaf to float down an imaginary stream. Another graphic visualization is to release one or several disappointments in an imaginary  hot air balloon.   You might also visualize a room with two doors in which you see the disappointment come in one door and exit the other.  The disappointments don’t need to live in your mind, body, or spirit.

I am creating the life that I want. Putting your focus on the life that you want is the way to attract your desires.  Try spending five to fifteen minutes a day watching a movie in your mind about the life that you want.  Your intention will create your destiny.  You’ll begin taking active steps to create a reality that is life fulfilling. Follow your positive self talk to create a meaningful life.  Spiritual connection with a higher power will also give added guidance to your life. Knowing the recordings in your mind and where they came from is part of the equation to a healthier happier life.  The other more important part is to choose what you say to yourself. This takes a conscious effort. Counseling is a valuable resource to identify the healthy and unhealthy messages an how to make adjustments.  Listen to your voices and talk back.

By Sharon Nelson

Energy Healing at Nelson Counseling

One of our therapists, Carol Fowler, LCSW, is a certified Brennen Healing Arts Practitioner. The Brennen School is an intensive four-year program in energy healing and spiritual dynamics. Carol works out of out Rogers, Arkansas office, and is available for appointments Monday –  Thursday.

Brennen Healing Science has helped individuals to:

  • determine their life’s unique purpose
  • strengthen intention and ability
  • establish a deep connection with inner spiritual guidance
  • promote physical healing
  • re-store a sense of well being and emotional stability

To set up an appointment with Carol, call 479-283-6756. Or submit a Contact Form.

“All that spirits desire, spirits attain.” -Kahlil Gibran


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