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Rising Phoenix - Taking Back My Life from Mental Illness
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Non-Traditional Sources of Help

When we think about various sources of information that can help us and inspire us, we typically think of the more obvious sources, for example, we think about sources like therapists, psychology texts and journals, and things like faith and prayer. While those are definitely good sources, they are not the only places we can find help, inspiration and inspiration.

 

In this article, I will briefly talk about a few non-traditional sources. I am planning to talk about the various items in more detail over the next few months, as well as a few others not talked about in this article.

One non-traditional area is ethics.

Currently, I am re-reading a book by Dr. Rushworth Kidder, which I first read in 2008, titled How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living. As I read the book, it reminds me of how many things I found valuable for improving my mental health.

Using this book add an example, it explores the concept of how to deal with situations that are not cases of right vs. wrong, but rather cases of right vs. right. The very concept of there exist situations where both choices are ‘right’. The basic concepts within the book can be expanded, with some thought, to apply to other areas in life. Even beyond that though, the book itself does help with how to resolve ethical dilemmas. Figuring out how to resolve any kind of dilemma makes our lives easier, it removes a stress point.

I plan to write more about this book, as well as Dr. Kidder’s book Moral Courage in the coming months.

We can also find help by identifying our personal strengths and talents. When we come to understand what our strengths are, we can look for ways to use those strengths. This is very different from finding out our weaknesses are, and more uplifting. I can think of hundreds, literarily, of things, I am not good at, but that only helps a little and looking at the list can be depressing. However, if I find the things that I am the strongest in, it is by its very nature positive rather than negative. It also lets me look for things that I can excel in rather than telling me things to avoid because I might fail at them. It sets me up to succeed and thrive as opposed to preventing me from falling. There is a significant difference between succeeding and not failing.

The difference between succeeding and not failing will be a topic of a future entry as well.

One last area that I am going to touch on is learning to read body language. I know that this sounds like one that is way out there, but learning to read body language can be a very useful tool for us. A person’s body language can tell us a lot about a person’s feelings about a situation, whether they are being open and honest, closed off, angry, etc. I personally think this is a very important to learn about and master. While we may be better than the other groups at telling when a person is expressing negative emotional facial expressions, we do not do so well with identifying neutral or positive expressions. Being able to read body language, including facial expressions, can help evaluate any given situation.

Understanding body language also allows us to be aware of the image we are projecting. In either case, reading other people’s body language and being aware of what our own body language is saying, allows us to reduce confrontation with other people and lower our stress. It can help make life easier.

Below are a few books that I have found useful over the years.

  • Moral Courage –   Kidder, Rushworth
  • How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living – Kidder, Rushworth
  • Strength Finder 2.0 –  Rath, Tom
  • Now, Discover Your Strengths – Buckingham, Marcus and Clifton, Donald O.
  • The Definitive Book of Body Language – Pease, Barbara and Pease, Allan
  • Enhanced Detection of Emotional Facial Expressions in Borderline Personality Disorder – Schulze L. · Domes G. · Köppen D. · Herpertz S.C.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23006779)

 

 

Posted: February 2nd, 2013 under Helpful Tips, My Journey, Thoughts on Mental Health.

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