is faster better for our mental health?

Is a bigger, better and faster world really good for our brains and mental health?

On a regular basis I am confronted with people facing burnout and anxiety, all attributing it to the same cause: the inability to ‘switch off’. This is no surprise, as in today’s day and age our brains are busier than ever. We are bombarded with what is presented as information, but are sometimes no more than rumors and sensations. The task of trying to figure out what are useful, true facts and what is pure trash becomes a daunting and exhausting endeavor.

Our world is developing at 300km an hour and we need to keep up. Three decades ago we had travel agents booking our flights, library assistants helping us find information in books, and professional typists or secretaries helping corporate moguls with their workload. Now we do most of these things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our busy lives.

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Re-frame Failure

As the end of the year slowly approaches, many take the time to evaluate the year that was. In the evaluation of this process, I have found that people form two basic camps: either the year is seen as a raging success, or as an epic failure. These views then become very apparent to those around them, as this information is shared on all social media sites. After some time viewing this process, I came to a disturbing realization – that people tend to think like this in most aspects of life, and not just when it comes to evaluating the past year.

The fact that people only evaluate their life experiences in these two broad terms, either a success or failure, made me realize that people may have a misconception with regards to what these two terms may mean.

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The world exists of stories. Every nation, every tribe, every group of friends, every family, every couple, and every individual has their story. So too does the Bible have a story, the story of God’s relationship with His people. His story has always been about relationships. He wants to be in relationship with His people, and He wants His people to be in relationships with each other. A good example of this is how God created man, but didn’t stop there. He created another person.

In the very olden days God’s people talked about the Holy Trinity as the Perichoresis, which translated into “Circle Dance”. It was a dance between Father, Son, and Spirit. With the day of creation God opened the floor to us humans to become a part of this dance. He invites us to become a part of his dance and to become a part of each other’s dance.

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Scares of love

“The marks humans leave are most often scars” – Some people are very proud of their scares as it gives them an indication of how far they have come, for others their scares are unsightly and must be hidden. Scares can be a great reminder of endured suffering, but they may just as well be a reminder of survival. I would like to share with you this wonderful story written by De Dorman from Helping Hands Ministry.

Some years ago on a hot summer day a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.

In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother – in the house was looking out the window – saw the two as they got closer and closer together.  In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

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Playing is good for the soul

One of my favorite sayings by George Bernard Shaw is that “we don’t stop playing because we grow old we grow old because we stop playing”. In preparing for today’s blog post I had no idea what to say with regards to this topic, so I did what we all do when we have questions…ask the very smart Google.

However, what I found was less than satisfactory. I typed “how to help others play” and it gave me pages upon pages on “how to teach your children to play nice with others”, “what to do when your child does not want to play” and “help children learn through play”. The reason this was so distressing to me was because it gave me the impression that only children are allowed to play. As if when you are 18 and you can drive, vote and get married you are seen as this adult that must be preoccupied with being an adult. It is expected of you to work and have these responsibilities; you must now relinquish your play abilities to your children.

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Attitude of gratitude.

“There will always be someone that has more than you and there will always be someone that has less than you.”

This is a message most of us have heard from our mothers and probably the most hated. Because you were always told this when you were ranting and raving about how absolutely unfair the world is and you just want someone to agree with you, then they comfort you with THIS!!! WHAT? NO. Tell me life is unfair, tell me it will turn in my favor and tell me that I am right.

However much I wanted to fall deeper into my misery and will the world to change to my whims I realized that, that is impossible and continuing in this belief will just keep me on this roller-coaster of pain and misery.

Change happens by choice and not by chance, it was my choice to keep on blaming the world for all my problems. It was my choice to stay on the ride and it was my choice to not move away from the pain. However, later it was also my choice to get off that roller-coaster and develop an attitude of gratitude.

Here are some great ways to develop an attitude of gratitude so you can see what is right with the world and not focus on what is wrong with it.gratitude Continue “Attitude of gratitude.”

Letting off Steam

We can so easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, hardly making any time to deal with the high levels of stress and negative emotions that often accompany such a fast-paced lifestyle. It is important to not keep all that pressure locked up – it will make you explode! So here are some practical tips for letting off some steam.

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Letting go of anger

I meet people in their most challenging times, when they feel that life is totally meaningless and someone has put off the lights to their joy. This is normal and expected when being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, however as time passes and as people start moving through the healing process you can almost see the light returning to their eyes. I have become quit accustomed to this process of ebb and flow in emotions, however this week I was hit by the worst emotions of them all in this ebb and flow process – Anger!

Not that it is very surprising – you see anger is an easy emotion, therefore whenever we feel totally overwhelmed and have no idea what we are feeling or what to do with this flood of emotions we turn to our ‘primal brain’ for guidance thus pure and unrivaled emotions come spilling out of us in the form of anger. The problem with anger being such an easy and strong emotion is that after some time it becomes the ‘go-to’ emotion and anger starts being the dominant emotion in all things.

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