Friday
Mar232012

Withdraw, Rethink, and Recover

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At 28, I was at a crossroads; I realized I did not have the skills needed to deal with life’s stresses and worries. Withdrawn and depressed, I was unable to be impartial or sensible when analyzing what I was feeling.

It was not until I attended a cognitive therapy program that I realized I lacked the tools needed to decipher my moods and rationally deconstruct the stresses in my life. The program allowed me to minimize my anxieties and dispel my negative mood.

Nonetheless, life is filled with many changes, and every milestone brings new encounters and conditions that challenge our personal philosophy, coping skills, and ability to adapt.

These new situations can include a shift in living arrangements, responsibilities and work environment.

Sometimes the stress of these changes is overwhelming, and it leaves us depressed and anxious.

I found that you can rebound from a bout of depression by giving into the negative feelings and giving up your daily responsibility for a short period. Under the right circumstances, and with a level-headed self-awareness, this can give us an opportunity to reflect, react and take constructive action.

Home with my son

For me, my situational shift occurred when I became a stay at home parent and a university student. I thought I was ready for the change, but in a few weeks it was obvious I was unprepared for the task.

At first, I tried to discount the discomfort I was feeling, but the stress of my new responsibilities pushed me towards a short bout of depression and anxiety.

While I was consciously ignoring the stress and discounting the challenges I was facing, unconsciously my body was warning me that something was incredibly wrong in my life.

Luckily, the bout was neither long nor deep. Instead of succumbing to the negative state, I used it to my advantage.

Withdrawing

Sometimes, the struggle to convince ourselves and others that we are not depressed can diminish our resolve to get better.

Personally, the hardest part of these mental funks is my tendency to be short and inconsiderate to people who do not deserve it. Thankfully, my wife is willing to indulge these periods of moodiness.

When you reveal your true emotional and mental state, you need to be non-confrontational and respectful. This approach will help people understand what you are going through and how they can help you recover.

As long as it is not destructive, it is ok to be a little selfish and withdrawn. Ensure that you pick a place to withdraw that allows you to be comfortable, dismiss your worries, and clear your mind of any expectations.

Once you are settled, ask yourself some simple questions, and expect only simple answers.

· Am I gaining anything from sitting here?

· Does the situation really require me to feel like this?

· What can I do to get out of this funk, and get myself moving forward?

The answers will not solve all your problems, but they do give you a way to deal with your mood. It simplifies everything and focuses your attention on easy actions.

For me this usually means cleaning something in the house, it’s a mindless job and it gives me time to contemplate my life. The key is to make the action solitary, so that you have time to reflect and build a productive outlook.

Adapting

The key to evolution and survival is based on our ability to adapt. In order to adapt, we have to be conscious of the fact that we are no longer able to deal with a new circumstances or new environments.

Even the strongest armies need to retreat and regroup from time to time. Stepping back and saying “I am not happy,” helps us reboot our system and change our perspective on life. Also, it gives us time to realize how our actions are affecting our productivity, mood, and our relationships.

The key is to snap out of these periods and start taking action, it does not matter what you decide to do as long it is productive and you feel good about the action. Once you are moving, momentum has the magical ability to keep you in an active state of mind.

Remember … "Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now”. ~ Jonatan Martensson

Tuesday
Feb212012

The Benefits of Using a Sound Machine / Review of Relax Melodies Premium for the IPhone

For the last 10 years, I depended on the calming sound of rain, thunder, and running streams to lull me to sleep and quiet down the rush of thoughts in my head before I went to sleep.

I have owned multiple sound machines of varying quality and price, but I found that none of the standalone units measured up to similar programs that run on personal computers.

Fortunately, mobile technology closed the gap between the two options, giving users the convenience of a standalone unit with the benefits of a computer program. This hybrid gives us a mobile application that stimulates sleep, enhances meditation, increases focus, and stimulates positive emotions.

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Saturday
Feb112012

Simple Tips: Software Upgrades

petNo matter the potential payoff, change is not always easy. People expend a lot of energy and time adapting themselves to their environment and the tools they use to get work done.

People tend to fear the unknown and fear the learning curve that can accompany change. This is especially true when it comes to technology, where the return on change may not be apparent for years.

While the status quo is comforting, it is a fleeting solution to any of life’s problems. You can achieve better results when you take responsibility for any forthcoming change and find constructive ways to deal with it.

I know of people who have severely out-dated computers and software, yet they refuse to make any progressive changes. People like this, fear they will never recover from the experience.

Nevertheless, time waits for no man. For example, Microsoft’s decision to stop supporting Windows XP (The most popular Operating System (OS) in history.) placed users in a dangerous situation where they will no longer have access to security updates unless they upgraded their system to a new OS.

The best thing you can do in these cases is to prepare yourself for any impending changes. With a little bit of research and forethought, you can head off any technological setbacks that may occur during any kind of upgrade.

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Tuesday
Jan242012

iTunes U

In 2007, Apple introduced a service on the iTunes store that gives users access to a wide selection of free educational programs. These programs included lectures, lessons, and courseware provided by universities and other educational institutions from around the world.

Essentially, the service offers everything someone would need to get a degree in multiple subjects without receiving an actual diploma.

This week, Apple supplemented the service by releasing a dedicated iTunes U iPhone app. The app allows users the ability to select and sync educational material directly from their phones. Therefore making the service available to people who rarely use iTunes on their Mac or PC.

iTunes U’s greatest strength is that it creates a hub for the massive amount of educational material that the internet has to offer. Like its music library, iTunes makes navigating and selecting courses easy because it consolidates multiple providers into one service.

All the iTunes U courses can be downloaded to a mobile device or directly streamed to your computer. Ultimately, it is no different than the way you access your music or movie purchases on iTunes.

Like any open ecosystem where anyone can post material, there are draw backs. At times the audio and video quality of the files is subpar.

Apple does a good job featuring the best programs, yet like the schools offering the material, the quality of the courses varies wildly.

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