Four weeks of non-judgment basics practice

When I bring up the idea that judgment is the first compulsion that leads to all of the other emotions and behaviors we struggle with when we’re sinking into mental health challenges, people can often become very protective of their judgment skills. We can always think of ways our ability to judge has helped us. We’ve gotten positive feedback from others. Maybe our careers depend upon our judgment skills. But it’s not that judgment is necessarily bad. It simply has

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Overcoming anxiety at work and on the job hunt.

Recently, Daniela posted over on the Everybody has a Brain Tumblr about some anxiety challenges she tackled after getting laid off, then searching for a new job, and then at her new workplace. Her story was such a great example of all the skills we’re always talking about, and it includes vomit! It’s so useful to talk about overcoming these challenges and often that means overcoming very real physical symptoms, like nausea. So I wanted to share Daniela’s post and

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So you think you can’t recover from mental illness… (video)

Ruminating on reasons you can’t recover because your symptoms are different or you have very unique circumstances that prevent you from moving forward… is one of the most common symptoms. You’ll always be able to think of reasons why you can’t cut out compulsions, why you need to keep doing unhealthy things right now, why some other time in the future is going to be a much better time for recovery–our brains are so imaginative!

Don’t make unhappiness a prerequisite for happiness

When we’re struggling with mental health issues, they can come become a filter that defines how we see the world. We can’t imagine seeing it any other way. Everything revolves around the mental health challenges and we begin to rely on them. We can start to believe that not feeling anxiety means we don’t care about our loved ones, or not feeling jealous rage means we’re not actually in the “right” relationship, or not feeling the discomfort of craving means

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The Failure Creed

I will fail because trying not to fail has only made things worse. I will fail my assumptions about other people and let them fill in the gaps with the truth. I will fail so I make progress. I will fail at lifting heavy things in my life, and then I’ll fail again and again until they’re not so heavy anymore. I will fail at trying to do what’s healthy for myself, and from that failure, I’ll learn what supports

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Recovery is Heroic

Recovery is heroic. And I don’t mean that just because recovery is a journey best taken in spandex tights and knee-high boots. That’s obviously true, of course. But it’s also heroic in that it literally follows the different stages of an archetypal heroic story. A journey of recovery encompasses all of the qualities that make a story “heroic”. First of all, for a story to be heroic, you need a person (or a robot, or a dog, or a fish,

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Tackle your problems, not just your symptoms.

Sometimes it’s valuable to deal with symptoms so you can then free yourself up to tackle your real problems. But when it comes to recovering from a mental illness, focusing only on the symptoms can cause you to keep on feeding the problem and engaging in lots of unhealthy behaviors that only make the illness worse over the long-term. If you’ve got a lion on your back gnawing away, and it’s causing you lots of pain, don’t just take something

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