How Easily Kindness Can Spread

I just got back to my office from getting something to eat and thought I should share what just happened while sitting in a drive-thru. I have been pretty sick the last three days and I was sitting there thinking to myself how low my mood has been today.  I pull up to pay and get my food and the lady working the drive-thru tells me that the person in front of me took care of paying for my meal.  I asked why and she said they just wanted to be nice.  My mood instantly improved and I wanted to pay it forward so I paid for the person’s meal that was behind me in line.  After I pulled away, I stopped for a moment and looked back and noticed the person behind me handing the cashier money; which means that they paid for the person’s meal behind them.

I know the media thrives on creating the narrative that everyone is divided and the world is always one second away from coming to a cataclysmic end but don’t allow yourself to get caught up in this catastrophic narrative and look at what is right in front of you.  Do not underestimate the powerful impact that doing something simple for someone else has on humanity.

Mental Health Tip of the Day: Stop Waiting To Feel Motivated and Go Get It!

I was getting my haircut a while back and the person cutting my hair said that she wanted to lose weight and be healthier.  She was thinking about buying a self-help book to learn how to lose weight.  I asked her how she would instruct me to lose weight and she said to eat a healthy diet, healthy portions, get up and move a little bit, take a multivitamin, and drink enough water.  I asked her why she needed a self-help book to learn how to lose weight when she already knows exactly how to lose weight.  Remember people, nobody ever lost weight by sitting on a couch reading a book about how to lose weight. 

There are many people who buy self-help books because they are hoping the author will give them an easier way to accomplish their goals to which the self-help book will do nothing for them because they are operating under a mentality that nurtures failure. Stop thinking so hard and do what you already know you need to do.

Mental Health Tip of the Day: Pay attention—Don’t let entitlement ruin you.

I experienced a moment yesterday evening while driving home. I found myself feeling frustrated because there was a car in front of me that was going slower than I wanted to go.  I mean how dare they drive the actual speed limit?!!  I have been in this profession long enough that the majority of the time I am able to catch myself when this is happening and really ask myself why I am actually frustrated.  As all of my clients know, I am pretty candid when it comes to owning my own mistakes and failures and also am a huge advocate for therapists who can be human and feel confident and secure enough to freely discuss our own mistakes and use them as opportunities to model what we did in response (practice what we preach). Here is what I came up with.

The night before, I knew that the weather was going to be nice and I got super excited that I could take the doors and top off of my jeep.  There is something therapeutic and overall relaxing when the doors and top are off while I am driving.  It is similar to what I hear people who ride motorcycles describe.

Anyways, I realized in that moment of frustration that I was literally getting frustrated because this car in front of me was enabling my drive to last longer; which means that I got to spend more time in this vehicle that I was so excited about driving with the top and doors off.

This is just one small example but I started wondering about how many times that we get exactly what we wanted and still complain.  That car was literally enabling me to have more time in my “relaxation place” and I was getting frustrated with them.  HUH??!!  This is where accountability plays a significant role in enhancing our quality of life and overall happiness.  If you are one who doesn’t take any time to recognize and acknowledge when things do go your way, or worse, do what I did in the previous example and actually complain when it goes better than you expected; YOU are actively creating and exacerbating whatever situation(s) you are in.  Our decision to be accountable for the changes we want in our lives is the most important dictator of our success.

The mental health tip is to acknowledge when life goes right for you and don’t act so damn entitled and greedy. Just enjoy the moment…and then use that momentum to continue getting better.

Mental Health Tip of the Day–Focus on the Reality

In the past month, I have heard more people describe the world as this horrible, scary, violent place full of selfish people who will screw you over if it serves them. Remember that just because the negative aspects of the world grab our attention more so than the positive parts doesn’t mean that nothing good is happening.  It just means you are choosing to focus on one over the other.

The reason that the drama of the world catches our attention so easily is because there is so much good in the world that we are used to (but may not be mindful of).  We should be encouraged at the very fact that the negative stuff is still catching our attention.  All of the media outlets understand that we are drawn to scenarios that are out of the established order and don’t make sense to us.

We experience the same phenomenon when we are driving down the highway and notice an accident or a car pulled to the side of the road. It is not the other 1,000 vehicles that are traveling smoothly with no issues that grabs our attention; it is the two car accident on the side of the road that makes us slow down and stare with curiosity.  Although it is just two cars that we notice out of several hundred on the roads with us, those two cars on the side of the road are not supposed to be there so we instantly start trying to solve the case which means that memory will stick with you and be more readily available to you.  Media outlets know this is how our brains work and exploit this fact rather brilliantly…but it only works if we let it.  Try not to base your world view on the two cars on the side of the road and base it on the majority of the vehicles traveling safely.  There are far more good people out there than bad. Don’t let the 1% of negativity distort your worldview.  If you are tired of hearing about all of the crap that is going on in the world, maybe its time to change the channel.  I go to every morning to read a story.  Trade in needless drama for inspirational stories and you will notice a difference in your mood and you will have a more accurate view of the world and will develop a healthier relationship with it.

Mental Health Challenge of the Morning!

The easiest gestures can make someone’s day; which also boosts your mood. I challenge us to either write a note or email to a coworker telling them that you appreciate them and why you appreciate what they do. If you don’t see the potential positive impact that this can have, just ask yourself how you feel when someone goes out of their way to tell you how much they appreciate you. Now go make someone’s day better and watch how the whole day changes for you…and them.

Feel free to comment below or on one of our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) how/if this helped you and how/if it helped the other person.  Have a great day everyone!