Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feel better right away with no drugs needed part 2....

Today's Post: Thursday, 6-24-2010

Recap from last Tuesday’s post:

With anti-depressant drugs, some people feel better and some don’t. And, even for the people they work for, they don’t begin to be effective for up to a few weeks.

Many of the antidepressant drugs have undesirable side effects. These include sharply worsening your sex life, disturbing your sleep, causing involuntary movements, and even causing you to gain weight

So, even if they work for you after a few weeks, you may find yourself wishing for something better. And, if they don’t work or you run out of patience waiting for them to work, they are addictive and you’ll feel WORSE for a time if you quit taking them.

So, if you are mildly or badly depressed, you may well wish for a better alternative. Clearly if there was one, it would be a far better choice!

There ARE several alternatives and one works virtually when you start doing it.

Even better, if you use several of these alternatives at the same time, they work better and more reliably than the drugs.

This is NOT a guess. It has been tested to work.

There are 8 ways to do the job.

Yesterday we posted on the first 6 methods.

Four of them work directly and physically to make your brain work well instead of badly.

They are like replacing a bad disc drive or getting three times as much RAM remembering to plug in the computer.

They repair or optimize your mental hardware.

One of the first 6 methods works on both your hardware and software which is relating often and connecting often to other people individually and in groups.

Stopping ruminating thoughts is working on your brain’s software.

The last two methods are also software related and both help to stop the kind of ruminating thoughts that keep people depressed.

Although one has since been upgraded in three key ways and there are many people who can train you in using each of them better than he can, one man discovered them both.

Research psychologist, Martin Seligman, PhD was one of many who worked on “learned helplessness”. If you take animals and put them into a punishing situation they cannot escape, they will overlearn this if it goes on too long and then fail to make efforts to escape similar things later even when they can easily do so.

But Doctor Seligman noticed some of the animals didn’t have this happen.

Then he found that this happens in people too.

But that’s where it gets interesting indeed. The people who don’t stop trying even when frustrated do so largely because of two key ways of thinking that they do differently than other people. By his definition, such people are optimists. And, those who do the reverse are pessimists.

1. They work and think from the position that bad things are specific, have specific causes, are limited in effect, and tend to be temporary. As a result they tend to use “always” and “never” very little and to be very careful in stuffing things or people into narrow categories that don’t change.

Interestingly, this is a very reality based, precise, and almost scientific approach to things. It is almost always far more accurate that the thoughts of people who believe and practice the opposite.

2. They work and think from the position that good things are permanent, have many good effects, and are more general. In addition, they tend to believe that their own efforts will be effective. And they often believe that when good things happen it was because of their efforts. They tend to think things will improve and often like working to improve things personally. They even believe they will be successful in situations where the majority of the people who try them fail.

They can be seemingly LESS realistic than pessimists in their beliefs in fact.

And it couldn’t be simpler, unless the optimists who do both these things well have physical problems with their brains, such optimistic people who think this way do NOT get or stay depressed.

People who think in the reverse ways are often depressed and tend to engage in ruminating thoughts about how bad things are permanent and out of their control. Doing so is depressing and continuing to do so tends to keep you depressed even when your brain is physically operating right. Then not believing you can make it better, you don’t try and don’t focus on doing so which would otherwise force your mind out of this rut.

Re-training your mind to learn to do both the thinking skills of an optimist can be quite quick at times and take a long time in others. But it IS doable and each of the skills reduces depression when learned.

Doing the other 6 things and doing a good job of learning these two “optimism” skills comes very close to being a guaranteed cure for depression.

By the way, Dr Ilardi tested the first 6 things he found to work. A full 75% of the people who did all 6 things stopped being depressed.

How do these two optimism skills work in real life?

With some exceptions, it works surprisingly well. Seligman found that optimists: have more friends, enjoy better health, make more money, and live longer than pessimists. They even tend to be more likely to win when they compete in sports or politics.

The 3 upgrades are for the second factor.

Everyone who thinks accurately about in what ways bad things are specific, temporary, have specific causes, and how they might be fixed or overcome or massively improved does better than people who don’t.

So this first factor needs no upgrades. Learn to be very good at it.

The second factor is different. It can be used very effectively; but it can also get people in trouble and has done so. That’s why the 3 upgrades are so important.

The slightly to strongly unrealistic overbelief that they can do things and that it was their efforts that caused success, CAN and sometimes does backfire.

The bad results from using that wrong can stop people from being optimists and even cause depression.

But it’s largely unnecessary.

1. Be a PRUDENT optimist.

Jump into things feet first instead of headfirst. Avoid taking risks where losing or failing will cause injury or death. Take every reasonable precaution you have time and resources for if there is a significant downside risk. Wear your seat belt. Brush and floss your teeth, Eat right and exercise. If the effort is important, make an enormous and focused effort; but also have a plan B or at least what way to try differently in mind if your initial try fails.

If you are starting your own business, find a way to begin where you keep your job or spend virtually no money until and unless your business takes off and produces enough funds to make that unnecessary and has done so long enough it can be counted on.

2. When you can do so safely and the issue is important, voluntarily take responsibility and do something effective if you find others are not or are not able to do so.

3. Know exactly in what ways you DID do things that caused success. That is what people do who are optimists.

But only enjoy those thoughts silently in your own mind.

ALSO, know exactly in what ways other people helped you or made key contributions. Then thank those people and give THEM credit and your commendations for what they did. Then stop. Leave what you did out of it.

People who do the reverse, piss the people off who DID help them achieve success and often lose their future support.

Conversely, the people who do this right can be every bit as aware of what their actions and initiative did to make the good results happen.

But by focusing even more on treating their team and key helpers right, they can succeed on thousands of times the scale. People like them and willingly help them succeed.

In summary, the more and better you do these 8 things, the better your life will be; and you will be far less depressed and often not depressed at all.

Both your brain’s hardware and software will work right!

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