Check out the best of Mental Health Moment

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Mental Health Moment on break

It’s summer, and my son is getting married this month! 💞❤

So I’m taking a short break from new episodes of Mental Health Moment.

I’ll return with NEW EPISODES on June 24.

Until then, here’s a few early episodes you may have missed!

 

Episode 2: Sticky note wins the day

 

 

 

Episode 3: Don’t stress exercise

 

 

 

Episode 4: Deep breathing isn’t just “take a deep breath”

 

 

 

Episode 5: Five things (and also 20 things) to reduce stress

 

 

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 





 

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 

Ep 67: When do you know it’s time to see a therapist?

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We know life can just be challenging and stressful. That’s part of living in today’s modern world.

You may have your stress under control now but you may need some help just keeping it together. Is that serious enough for therapy?

This episode gives you a few things to look for to decide if it’s time to see a therapist.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

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Full transcript 👇

Ep 67: When do you know it's time to see a therapist?

Hi. I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

People ask me all the time how they know it’s time to see a therapist.

Life can be hard sometimes. But how do you know when you need to actually enlist the help of a complete stranger?

Therapy is shrouded in more mystery than it needs to be. It’s easy to think therapy is for just the “seriously troubled.”

  • So if you’re anxious about big changes at work maybe that’s not serious enough.
  • Or your constant worry about those tests your doctor ran last week…you just need to figure out how to deal with that.

Many of the things that stress us out and make us anxious are just everyday things.

We can rely on resilience and try hard to manage our daily challenges as they come.

And most of the time, that works because we already have a few coping skills that we learned early in life.

Some coping skills are healthy, like exercise, meditation or reaching out to connect with good friends.

Other coping skills lean towards the unhealthy, like drinking a glass or two of wine every night after dinner to unwind or using food to calm those anxious emotions.

But at the end of the day, healthy or unhealthy, coping skills do work.

Until they don’t.

  • Going for a run no longer takes the edge off.
  • Killing that entire bag of chips sends you into a serious shame spiral.
  • You isolate yourself from your friends and family and go from one Netflix binge to another.
  • You call in sick to work multiple times rather than face the stress and pressure of your new boss.

It looks like you’ve officially overwhelmed your coping skills.

Here’s how you know: when the things you’ve always done to deal with your problems suddenly don’t work anymore, that’s the time to consider a professional perspective.

This is especially true when your problems begin to affect your functioning, like keeping your job or maintaining important relationships.

And that’s really the key.

When it starts getting hard to show up in your daily life, you need to give some thought to reaching out.

How can a therapist help?

I’ve heard more times than I care to count that talking about your problems won’t solve your problems.

And that’s kind of true. There’s no magic solution in just talking. That talking has to be followed up with real action from you to create the change you need.

But don’t underestimate the power in just telling your story to someone uninterrupted.

How often do you get to do that?

Your therapy session is your time and your space. You can talk about whatever the heck you want.

You can find a lot of insight while you’re rolling out all the details and forming a timeline of events.

And because your therapist isn’t living your life with you, she has no vested interest in how your story turns out. She wants what you want.

So you get to be the hero.

All that talking can lead to some interesting discoveries.

A therapist is an objective third party. It’s a lot easier for them to get an aerial view of your life without all the bias and expectations everyone else has for you.

They will pick up on behavior patterns and ways of responding that may not be that effective for you.

It’s really hard to see all that while you’re in it.

Patterns matter.

You need to understand why you’ve responded to things a certain way. Then you can learn how to create new patterns.

The best part about therapy is that you have a team working with you.

Therapy is supposed to be collaborative. You and your therapist work together to help you determine where you want to be.

What can you work on that will help you feel some control over how you respond to what’s happening to you?

Then you can develop a plan of action to get there.

Your therapist holds you accountable in a nonjudgmental way and helps you measure your progress.

The goal of therapy is that you develop the skills to kind of be your own therapist.

This goes a long way to help you manage the everyday issues in your life.

And it might be a key factor in how you weather tough times in the future.

There are several resources that can help you connect with a therapist in your area. You can search online or ask friends for recommendations.

If you have an Employee Assistance Program benefit at work, you can easily get started there.

It may feel a little weird making that first call. But I promise the therapist on the other end doesn’t think you’re weird because you’re asking for help with regular life stress.

They see this a lot because so many people struggle these days.

And they know you’re not alone.

I’ve said before that resilience to stress is identifying your strengths and taking advantage of the resources available to you.

Therapy can be a valuable resource when you need it most.

You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment at mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.

If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

Here’s what else I’m saying about this topic

 

 

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

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Ep 65: What is self-care, really?

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Healthy self-care is a key part of good mental health. But what does self-care look like for you? Is it an event you schedule when life overwhelms you?

Or is it a daily practice that lets you invest in and care for yourself?

Here are a few ways to understand how self-care can fit into your crazy, busy life.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

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Full transcript 👇

Ep 65: What is self-care really?

Hi. I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

Self-care is definitely one of the most important things you can do to feel healthy and strong, physically and mentally.

But when I say self-care, what images come up in your mind?

  • Maybe you see a lady with cucumbers on her eyes getting a facial while holding a mimosa.
  • Or maybe you see someone sitting Crisscross applesauce on a yoga mat meditating next to the beach.
  • Or maybe you see a group of women out having Sunday brunch and laughing together.

Self-care is indeed all of those things. But it’s not limited to the things that you set aside special time for.

The whole point of self-care is to replenish and recharge. That means self-care has to happen on a regular basis.

So while a spa day or a Sunday brunch with your besties is a terrific way to let your hair down and connect, that kind of self-care can get expensive if you do it a lot.

And I’m guessing it’s pretty hard for everybody to schedule too.

Here’s the thing to know.

Self-care isn’t about indulging yourself.

Self-care is about giving back to yourself and filling your own cup.

Every day.

I’m guessing you’re pouring from that cup a lot every day.

As a therapist I have to be very intentional about self-care to make sure I have what I need to help others every day.

So for me that means things like exercise, good sleep, and eating healthy food. Those three are gold standard ways to care for yourself every day.

If you have a stressful job with a lot of responsibility or you’re a caregiver for an aging parent, you absolutely should be doing these three things every day.

That’s you caring for yourself in the same way that you’re caring for others.

Self-care can take on some other forms, though.

I’ve said many times before that reading is my self-care. This has been the case since I was old enough to pick up a book or newspaper.

Reading gives me knowledge, increases my vocabulary, and helps me find meaning and insight in my own experiences.

When I feel like I need to recharge, reading is the first place I go.

Of course, I grab my iPad to read now. 🤓💻

Reading allows me to give back to myself and invest in what I might need tomorrow to show up for others.

But it means that when I’m reading I’m not taking care of some other things that are on my list. Maybe even some kind of important things.

This isn’t selfish. Taking time to read is an act of empathy and compassion towards myself.

It’s my way of saying to myself that I care about you and want you to be well.

As a society we really suck at this kind of self-care.

We just go from thing, to thing, to thing with no break in between.

Unfortunately we have taught this to our youngest generations. Already, Generations Y, Z, and whoever is coming after that is already struggling with anxiety from being overscheduled and worried about the future.

Back in the day, we kind of had some natural buffers for our stress.

  • We walked more because we only had one car.
  • Before TV really took hold, people went outside to enjoy nature and talk to their neighbors after the day’s work was done.
  • There was kind of a natural rhythm of self-care built in to the day.

Only we didn’t call it self-care. We just called it… Wednesday. 😜

Now we keep pushing so hard until we kind of melt down and feel like we need a large block of time to recuperate from everything.

So we schedule a spa day, and we enjoy it.

But how do you keep from getting to this point where you feel like you have to set an entire day aside to recover from your life?

You need a better strategy.

You need to have a plan to make sure you have what you need every day to stay resilient to all the random stuff that happens to you.

How do you find time for self-care in your busy day?

Well, you can schedule it in your calendar just like anything else.

I know that sounds kind of like a duh, but it can be challenging to pull off because it may not feel as important as your son’s soccer practice.

And maybe the practice does run late or you run into some other scheduling conflict.

But when you see that entry on the calendar, then you have to do something with it. Scheduling it at least puts self-care on your radar.

Create a recurring entry on your calendar for whatever will help you hit the pause button in your push to get stuff done.

Try making it the first thing you put in your schedule when you do your planning.

Another way to find more time for self-care is to simply tag it on to something else.

I used to work really close to the beach so I commuted home on the road that ran right next to the beach instead of taking the busy highway.

I made a point of stopping by the beach most days when I started back home.

It wasn’t an extra trip because I had to go by there to get home anyway. I didn’t bring a whole bunch of beach paraphernalia with me so I couldn’t make the trip a thing.

I just got out of the car and sat in the sand, business casual wardrobe and all.

That time became a buffer to help purge some of the day’s stress before I went home. My family learned to appreciate it too because it meant I brought a little less stress home with me.

What are some things you can do to recharge your battery in the middle of other stuff you’re already doing?

  • Can you enjoy a quick browse through your favorite bookstore while you’re waiting for your son’s soccer practice to be over (do we even still have bookstores?)
  • Maybe you can you sit in your car and enjoy your favorite smoothie for a few minutes while you’re out running errands.

You’re the master here.

Get creative and find ways to inject self-care in your day in small ways.

If you feel like life is running you over and you’re having trouble dealing with everyday stuff, getting a handle on your self-care is a good place to start.

Because when life gets real, self-care is sometimes the first thing to go.

Good self-care will be the deciding factor in you feeling less overwhelmed about your life.

Find ways to care for yourself every day and see if you don’t feel more empowered to make better decisions in your life.

You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.

If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

Here’s what else I’m saying about this topic!

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 




Ep 64: How to stay focused during the summer season

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The summer season brings fun and relaxation. We welcome the change in routine and can’t wait to kick it in low gear.

But we feel pressure to perform at high levels in spite of the change the summer season brings.

Here are some ways to have a productive summer while keeping your expectations manageable.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 





Full transcript 👇

Ep 64: Ep 64: How to stay focused during the summer season

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend.

That means school is ending soon.

Schedules are changing and hopefully that means a little vacation time for you and your family somewhere.

Whether it’s a planned vacation or an impromptu long weekend to the next town, the summer season is full of stops and starts.

This can make it tough to keep any momentum with projects or your work. If you’re not at the beach, you’re thinking about being at the beach.

Instead of planning for that big project you’re starting in the fall, you find yourself daydreaming about your first day in the Poconos.

And to be honest, you really do need some time to take your foot off the gas and coast a little bit.

Just a side fun-fact here, did you know that planning a vacation makes you happier than actually taking the vacation itself?

Studies have shown that planning and anticipating a vacation raises your dopamine levels higher than actually being on the vacation you’re planning.

It’s okay that your head is in the middle of planning your next time off. This is good for your sense of well-being.

So how can you function well during the summer season and feel empowered and engaged?

Here are a few ways to enjoy the summer season and still feel like you’re getting a few things done.

First, drop the idea of getting it all done.

Except for projects that have a definite completion date, accept that you will not get to a place where you slap your hands together in delight and marvel at how you got it ALL done.

That’s just not how it works anymore, and especially this time of year.

You simply have too much on your plate all the time, on all of your important fronts. And you don’t know what might still drop out of the sky, so there’s that just waiting for you.

I know sometimes I enter the week all excited about all the things I’m going to get done. And when I look back over the week, I see there were quite a few things I just was not able to complete.

I make myself feel okay with that.

Because if I’m focused on my most important things, then the rest will be what it is.

This gives me an opportunity to practice some acceptance.

The Industrial Revolution is over, and there’s no longer an end of the line to shoot for.

Part of conquering stress is losing the idea of feeling like you have to finish that last widget before you go home or finish for the day.

Determine ahead of time where you would like to be at the end of this day. What things would allow you to feel a sense of completion and still walk away at a decent time?

When that time of day comes, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and honor your commitment to move on when you said you would.

After a couple of minutes of convulsing, I promise you’ll feel fine.

Second, accept that your inbox will never get to zero, and certainly not during the summer season.

I’m not sure where this idea came from. What exactly is the idea behind completely cleaning out your email inbox? To me, this is kind of like having a super-neat sock drawer.

Does anyone ever notice? Do you ever share a screenshot with others showing them how clean your inbox is?

Please say no. 😜

Email is like the junk drawer in your kitchen. It’s definitely not the most important drawer, and for sure it’s a mess.

Everybody in your family has been throwing random crap in there for several years.

But for whatever reason you CAN actually find the tools that you need sometimes.

You would never take the time to actually clean out that drawer, though.

To do so, you would have to touch all that other useless crap and figure out where to put it. That’s why we never clean out our junk drawer.

It’s easier to just come back to that drawer when you know you might find that 7 millimeter socket wrench to screw on your new license plate.

Trying to keep your email completely clean can be the biggest time suck and a great way to procrastinate from your more important work.

And when you do go on vacation, when you come back, guess what? You may have several hundred new emails waiting for you.

Stop playing the professional version of “Stop Hitting Yourself.”

Instead of trying to get to zero, learn ways to just be a little more intentional with your email practices.

  1. Filter your email inbox by name so you can sort for the important people to respond to first.
  2. Scan the subject lines that ask for a specific action needed from you.
  3. Wait for your email app to flag you that it’s time to delete old emails so you can do it all at one time.

No one ever died because they didn’t answer all their emails.

It’s summer. Don’t die on this hill.

Third, set some boundaries for yourself.

You already know this summer season will include some interruptions and breaks in performance. You simply can’t have the same expectations and still feel in control and content.

Put some boundaries around your time and your expectations.

Pick just a few things you would like to see happen for yourself this summer, squint your eyes and focus.

Then crush on that very small list of priorities.

Maybe the summer season is a good time for planning for this last bit of the year instead of trying to hit some high, productive mark.

In order to keep your stress levels in check, you can’t go 100% all the time.

Putting in extra hours to try and finish the same amount of priorities during the summer season as you do the rest of the year is a recipe for more stress. This is especially true if you DO have vacation time scheduled.

You don’t want to regret taking the time off when you get back.

Find ways to put a little fence around your expectations and remind yourself that any progress is progress.

Then protect that territory.

Don’t allow others to come inside that fence and start messing with your stuff.

You do have this power.

The summer season is the time to break from the normal routine and enjoy time with family and friends.

We kind of naturally want to kick into low gear this time of year. That’s not wrong, and it’s important to help you feel empowered the rest of the year.

Find ways to protect your time and restructure your priorities this summer.This will help you still move forward but also be present to enjoy what’s around you and make memories with those you love.

You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.

If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

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Ep 59: Are strong emotions bad for you?

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Did you grow up thinking your strong emotions are bad for you? We get the message early on that emotions are either bad or good. This is mostly based on what we do with those emotions.

It’s easy to avoid emotions that make us uncomfortable because we don’t think they have a role to play in our lives.

But emotions, especially powerful emotions, can tell us a lot about ourselves.

Learn how to let all your emotions find their natural place in your life.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

If you missed my series last week on resilience, you can check out all the episodes here.

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 





Full transcript 👇

Ep 59: Are emotions bad for you?

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

How many times have you missed the mark with something because you just couldn’t handle your emotions? And then you chastised yourself for feeling such difficult emotion?

You don’t need a therapist to tell you that emotions are powerful.

Even though this therapist did just tell you that. 😀

Emotions represent some of the most basic needs that we have as humans.

The ability to love, fight for justice, feel joy, and move bravely through sadness is what makes us human.

We are absolutely wired for emotion, even the messy ones that spill out all over everybody around us.

From the minute we enter the grand stage of our life, one of our earliest, most basic needs is to attach to others.

This happens through a profound process of love and physical nurturing from a caregiver.

Attachment is a dealbreaker for every baby human to start healthy development.

And all that happens from powerful emotion going from one person to another.

Since we’re little kids, we are led to believe that some emotions are good and some emotions are bad.

The evidence for this is largely due to the behaviors that we show when we feel certain emotions.

  • If we get angry and we throw something, then anger is bad.
  • If we do something that pleases others and we didn’t get upset about having to do it, then we must be happy.

One fun exercise I like to do with kids is to give them a page full of different emojis. The faces range from happy to angry, and all points in between.

I simply ask the kid to cross out the bad faces and circle the good faces.

They waste no time crossing out the obvious angry face, the frustrated face, the sad face, the worried face, and sometimes the confused face.

It takes them a lot longer to pick out the good faces. Once they get past the obvious smiling face, you can see the philosophical war going on in their head with silly face and rolling eyes face.

They’re fun faces, but are they good?

When they’re done, I ask them to pick out one of the faces they crossed out.

In almost every case they pick the angry face. What makes that face a bad face, I ask.

Because that face was mad and did something wrong, so they got in trouble for it, comes their reply.

I keep probing.

So…it’s bad to feel angry?

They look at me as if I suddenly grew a third eyeball right in the middle of my forehead.

Of course it’s bad to feel angry because when you get angry you get in trouble.

So you shouldn’t feel angry.

And there it is.

Before you even hit puberty, you’re taught to avoid emotions that make you uncomfortable.

Yelling back at your mom or throwing your Xbox game controller on the ground is bad, so anger is bad.

Unfortunately, well-meaning parents focus just on correcting the negative behaviors that stem from unhealthy emotions instead of helping their kids listen to what those powerful feelings are trying to tell them.

And there’s almost no focus on healthy emotions and understanding how to appreciate that for the gift that it is.

Hearing what your emotions are trying to tell you helps you learn what to do to manage them when things get difficult.

Emotions are dashboard indicators that tell us what’s important to us, or to pay attention to something that’s bothering us.

  • Anger may tell you that you were actually hurt by a situation and you need to repair a relationship in order to move forward. You don’t need to run from that.
  • Contentment and joy may tell you that your focus on prioritizing your family is actually making you happier. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Emotions are less good or bad and more healthy or unhealthy.

Unhealthy emotions can lead to unhealthy behaviors, but that doesn’t make YOU bad.

Framing emotions in this way gives you more power to actually feel like you can have some mastery over them.

When you lose your cool with your kids, instead of beating yourself up for reacting in anger and thinking you’re a bad parent, you can spend some time trying to understand what’s really happening here.

  • Are you overwhelmed with all of your other responsibilities?
  • Have you set up clear boundaries with your kids so that they clearly understand the role they play in the family?

Figure out what’s laying underneath that unhealthy emotion.

Do you feel like you’re going to lose it every day at work? Maybe you feel like you’re swimming in a cesspool of frustration, powerlessness, jealousy and boredom.

That’s a recipe for disengagement for sure. But this isn’t a bad thing. You can tap into each of these emotions and investigate the situations that got you here.

  • Are you jealous of that coworker who got promoted ahead of you? Maybe you’re feeling hurt that you didn’t get chosen and you feel rejected.
  • Fine. It’s okay to feel that way. Now you know that promotion was important to you.
  • What role can you play to make any changes that might set you up for the future?
  • What other options might you have?

In order to do the healthy work to improve yourself, it’s important to lose the idea of good or bad when it comes to emotions.

That’s a super fast way to judge yourself and others.

There are just too many variations on our emotions to think that just one set of emotions is good and the rest are bad.

Learn to be curious about what your emotions are telling you.

Emotions add color and joy to our lives.

They complement logic and reason because sometimes things are not always so black-and-white.

Even difficult emotions add value because they are a testament to what we’ve been through.

And if we’re still standing, our emotions and our ability to use them can show us just what we’re capable of.

You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.

If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 




Ep 58: Finding meaning and purpose through resilience

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Meaning and purpose aren’t just a one-stop destination you fulfill at the end of your life. You can find meaning and purpose in every day. And you create it every day with those around you.

Tapping into your strengths and looking forward — the ingredients for resilience — frees you up to settle in to your purpose by doing what you do best.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

Check out the other episodes in my series this week on resilience.

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 





Full transcript 👇

Ep 58: Finding meaning and purpose through resilience

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

So far this week in this series on resilience we’ve defined resilience as being able to identify resources and taking action to help yourself.

When we start focusing on our strengths and looking to the future, we discover that our purpose starts to reveal itself.

Do you think about your purpose a lot?

I know ever since I was a little girl I thought maybe there was this one thing that I was supposed to do. One way that my life would impact other people.

I was pretty focused on it. I sure didn’t want to miss my purpose because I wanted my life to matter.

I was a very serious little girl wasn’t I? 🤓

My teen years and early adulthood centered around trying to figure out that one thing that would take me to my purpose. Never mind that I wasn’t 100% sure what that purpose was exactly.

This put pressure on me because every new effort required some kind of direct line to this ill defined purpose.

I surely didn’t want to waste any time doing something that wasn’t going to lead me to that ultimate singular purpose.

I remember this time being full of busyness and constant activity. I felt overwhelmed a lot.

But I just thought this was part of having a sense of meaning and purpose in your life.

What I’ve discovered now that I’m a middle aged adult, is that my purpose isn’t measured by one destination.

It’s lived out hundreds of times a day in how I interact with others.

My purpose isn’t about one big thing that I can put on my tombstone one day.

The more I understand that the more I am able to give myself a break when I miss something. And the more I give myself a break the less stressed I feel.

Funny how that works.

I heard Tony Robbins say one time that this relentless search for meaning and purpose that we modern world citizens are looking for is a relatively new thing.

Just a little more than 100 years ago, people did not expect to to live a very long time. And for whatever time you were alive, life was more about survival and taking care of immediate daily needs.

Your meaning and purpose was most likely to put food on your table.

Meaning and purpose didn’t have the same front row seat that it does now in our profoundly abundant world.

This search for so many of us is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of humanity.

So it’s totally okay if you don’t have this figured out yet.

Part of staying resilient to stress is knowing that your efforts are leading to something.

Of course you want to be intentional and make sure you’re doing the best you can to live out your purpose.

You want to know that you can have some kind of control over where your life goes and how you can impact your future.

We all want to know that our time here on earth is well spent.

But sometimes I think we make this purpose thing too hard.

I think one of the greatest contributions to our stress is this constant push to be accomplishing something. Every activity, every effort has to lead to something.

And if you can’t find common themes or draw some lines, then you freak out because you start wondering:

  • Where is all this going?
  • What’s my purpose?
  • And is all this activity leading toward something?

Your purpose is not an event that you’re trying to get to.

It is something that you live out every day with the people you work with, with your family that you love and take care of, and with the parts of yourself that you share with others.

It’s entirely possible that you exist purely for other people to help them and to give them meaning in their life or encouragement that they need.

For me, this is exactly my purpose. The technical skills I bring to my whatever work I’m doing take a very distant backseat to the way that I encourage others and help them find their way to the next step.

I do this without thinking about it and I couldn’t tell you exactly how I do it.

But it is truly my purpose.

For all of the soul searching, the assessing of your skills, the focus on intention and disciplined effort, you may already be living your purpose.

Don’t get so caught up in finding your why that you miss the what that you bring to the world around you every day.

You can catch the previous episodes of this series on resilience by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.

If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 

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Ep 57: Use power and confidence to build resilience

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Resilience is all about finding your strengths and using them as power to move you forward. You can use power and confidence to build resilience.

We get a little confused by personal power and confidence. We think they’re emotions. And neither of them are things you’re born with.

Action always precedes power and confidence. That’s where you build the courage to put yourself out there.

Learn how that can play out in your own life by listening to the fourth episode in my series on resilience.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

Check out the other episodes in my series this week on resilience.

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

 

Get Mental Health Moment 🎧

in your inbox every day.

 





Full transcript 👇

Ep 57: Use power and confidence to build resilience

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

So far we’ve been talking this week about how resilience can help you find power in the middle of a challenging situation.

Resilience isn’t just about weathering stuff.

It’s about tapping into your strengths and figuring out what actions you can take to change your situation.

Being able to impact your circumstances, even in small ways, is one way to feel like you have a little more control.

And all that is fueled by having a sense of personal power and the confidence to exercise that power.

What does it look like when you don’t have personal power?

That’s when you let others bring out the worst in you with their actions. So for example, you let someone else’s negative response to a situation at work affect how your whole day goes.

You give your power away when you let others decide who you are and what you’re all about.

Exercising your personal power makes you feel like you have mastery over your circumstances. You feel like you have the skills and the knowledge to influence your situation.

Confidence is where you take that personal power and use it to take risks.

When someone trusts you with a task or challenges you with an interesting project, they’re giving you the vehicle to demonstrate your power with your skills and experience.

But you have to be willing to take the action and walk it all the way through.

So confidence is really a behavior.

But we treat it like an emotion we experience. We even articulate it that way.

“I don’t FEEL confident about my test tomorrow.”

Confidence about a test is less about feeling and more about how prepared you are.

And how do you prepare for a test?

You use flashcards, you study a little every day, you drill yourself on your knowledge of the subject.

You perform behaviors that will put you in place for the best possible outcome.

Like all behaviors, confidence is first affected by your beliefs and the emotions that stem from those beliefs.

By choosing what we believe about ourselves and what we choose to act on, we can influence our confidence.

So personal power and confidence is something you give yourself every day with the actions you choose to take.

Here’s something that happened to me in the third grade that maybe illustrates this. Apparently I’m waxing nostalgic about elementary school a lot this week. 🤣

When I was in the third grade, I tried out for my elementary school choir. I come from a musical family so I knew I had the skills to get in.

So I was pretty shocked when my music teacher didn’t pick me.

I don’t remember her explaining why. I just remember feeling confused.

I mean, it’s the THIRD GRADE. How exclusive do we need to be here? It’s not like we were airing our performances on network TV here.

At about the same time, I had an opportunity to try out for a community choir in our town.

This was definitely a more prestigious outfit, with students from all over our entire school district, even the private schools.

Those guys were good.

There was definitely a chance I wasn’t getting in.

But I don’t remember dwelling on that.

What I remember is practicing the audition music every day.

My mom, who is a singer and classically trained pianist, worked with me every day to help me get ready.

On the day of the audition, I simply had a task to perform. Sure, I was a little nervous but not about getting in.

I simply wanted the performance to go well because I knew I was capable of it. I’d already done the work.

So I walked in with that power and placed myself in a situation where the outcome could really go either way.

There was a risk that I wouldn’t meet the criteria they were looking for.

But I had done enough work before the audition to feel comfortable taking that risk.

I was confident.

I don’t want to leave you hanging. I got in.

And I stayed in that choir until I aged out in the 7th grade. I learned music theory, made some great friends and learned how to perform in front of an audience.

I’m glad I didn’t miss all that.

But I would have missed all that if I hadn’t trusted what I knew I could do and placed myself in a situation where I might fail.

So instead of allowing that music teacher to make the decision for me about my musical skill, — taking away my power — I dug in and learned even more.

The outcome of that audition didn’t matter as much as the power and confidence I gained from the experience.

But it was pretty cool that I got in.

Instead of letting others influence how you respond to your situation, focus on your strengths and all of the experience you bring to the table.

Get in there and learn. Lean in to the experience and really develop your skills.

Then use that power to put yourself out there in a way that honors your journey.

That’s resilience all day long.

You can catch the previous episodes of this series on resilience by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.

If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

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Ep 56: Get what you want without feeling entitled

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You know you can’t always get what you want, the Rolling Stones told you that. But when entitlement sets in, it’s easy to focus on what you’re not getting.

Maybe you don’t think entitlement is a problem for you. That’s for celebrities or younger people, you might think.

I used to think that, too. But when I looked over some of my more stressful times, I realized that one common theme was always in play: Why can’t I get what I deserve?

If you are focused more on how to get what you deserve, instead of how you’re moving forward, you might be swimming in some entitlement waters.

Feeling entitled can take away your ability to stay resilient to stress because it removes your power to change your situation. Learn a few ways to get yourself out of those choppy waters.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

Check out the other episodes in my series this week on resilience.

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

Full transcript 👇

Ep 56: Get what you want without feeling entitled

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

Have you ever thought about whether or not you’re entitled?

When we hear that word, we picture someone who asks for more than they deserve, or who thinks they should be able to cut to the front of the line, so to speak.

“That doesn’t sound like me. I’m totally okay standing in line like everybody else.”

But entitlement can sneak in in some very crafty ways.

From my own experience, I can tell you that when I feel like I’m carrying too much, that’s when I feel entitled.

  • I’ve always been a hard worker. I meet my deadlines and I try to stay positive for myself and others.
  • People know me as the person who can help you push something on through.
  • I bring value. I know that.

But sometimes that backs up on me because then, when I don’t get what I want, I’m taken off guard.

“In what universe do I not deserve to get what I want? Don’t you see how hard I work?”

I may not say it out loud but this is definitely what I’m muttering under my breath.

What does all that have to do with resilience?

Well, remember resilience is about focusing on your strengths and being able to access resources and options even right in the face of challenges.

This is where you find the energy to move forward to help yourself.

Entitlement, though, gets you focused on what everyone else is not doing for you.

Instead of keeping your eye on what you can do to get what you want, you start looking around for all the ways that people aren’t helping you.

So you start using language like “I deserve more than this.”

There’s always this tension between what you don’t have and what you feel like you’re owed.

This is both an energy drain and a zap on your resilience.

Because if you are wallowing in those kinds of negative thoughts, you’re definitely not going to get what you feel like you deserve.

And you’re not focused on taking any action to just go get it.

You’re stuck in a victim mentality.

And there’s nothing resilient about a victim mentality.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to be more and do more.

You deserve to have the best shot at achieving your goals and dreams.

Every human does.

I’m talking about that constant undercurrent that says you should have more just because you’re good and you’ve been here a while.

You can see this in your family relationships.

Maybe you’re the one who’s always taking care of things and making sure everybody has what they need.

Maybe they don’t always return the effort. Or maybe they don’t even acknowledge it. At least not when you want them to.

It’s easy to feel like you deserve better treatment than that. And maybe you do.

But by focusing on what others are not doing to recognize your contributions, you can quickly lose sight of where you were headed in the first place.

And all that negativity and rumination about what you’re not getting can make your mood go south.

Does the company you work for really owe you anything more than paying you for the job that you do for them?

I don’t mean to sound cynical.

But at the end of the day, your company isn’t paying you for all the extra gifts that you bring to your work, just the basic job description.

So when you feel like you’re doing all this extra stuff and you’re not getting recognized, it’s easy to feel like you’re not getting what you deserve.

That can leave you feeling less engaged in your work. Instead of looking to the future, where all the goodies are, you’re stuck at where you are right now.

All that can start to sour you on your relationship with your company really fast.

If you don’t feel Iike you’re getting what you deserve, you have three options to stay out of entitlement land and keep you focused on what’s ahead.

One, you can simply ask for what you want.

Shocking, I know.

But most of us don’t do this. We prefer our passive-aggressive style of wringing our hands about what others aren’t doing for us.

So just ask them to do something for you.

This forces you to define what you really want and put words on it to articulate it. That in itself is a great exercise.

Second, find out what you need to do to get what you want.

You know as well as I do that if you really get what you want and what you deserve, it’s because you committed yourself to take action.

Honestly, there are very few situations where other people truly have all the power over you to keep you from getting what you want.

I feel like this is true in fast food drive-through restaurants. 😂

How many more levers can you pull to see this through? I know, you’re already carrying so much of the weight.

But to get what you want, you may have to carry a little more and forget about what everybody else is doing or not doing.

Lastly, if you’re not getting what you want, maybe it’s time to go somewhere else.

Opportunity exists in so many places anymore. You should always be assessing what’s working and what’s not.

Sometimes getting what you want lies in another place. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you failed.

It just means that you don’t have the resources you need in this place to get what you want.

That’s how resilience works.

Sometimes you have to look at what you have available to you right now and just be brave enough to make the decision that where you are now just may not be cutting it.

That really has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with you.

Feeling entitled takes power away from you and makes you a victim.

It’s hard to get what you want, and it’s hard to help other people succeed when you feel like you have no power over your situation.

Give yourself a few tools to help you get in the habit of accessing what you already have and focus on what you can do to get what you want.

You can catch the first episode of this series on resilience by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. You can also find all the other episodes there, too.

For articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 


Subscribe to the Be Well, Do Well newsletter

GET THE BE WELL DO WELL DIGEST!

Info and tips each week to help you improve and change your life!

Ep 55: How to find your power when dealing with change at work

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Change at work has become the new normal. You can fight it, or you can figure out how to find your power right in the midst of change.

Part of being resilient is knowing what you can hang on to to get through change.

As part of my series this week on resilience, in this episode, I share a story from the fifth grade to illustrate how you can find resilience and find your power even as everything is changing.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

Full transcript 👇

Ep 55: How to find your power when dealing with change at work

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

One day when I was in the 5th grade, I was riding my bike to school on a small country road.

I was about halfway to school when I heard a vehicle coming up behind me. I turned my head to see a white pickup truck bouncing down the road in my direction.

I was pretty sure he saw me but I made sure I was fully on the right side of the road on the shoulder. I grabbed the handlebars tightly and steadied myself as I braced for the truck to go by, my little legs still pedaling so hard.

This was not the first time a truck had passed me on this road. So I fully expected to feel a breeze from the truck as it went by.

What I didn’t expect was a loud, obnoxious “Woof!” in my left ear as the truck flew by.

Okay, that was my attempt to sound like a very large barking dog.

Turns out, there was a big dog in the back of that truck who decided to say hi to a little girl on her bike right in that moment.

I was so startled I drove straight into the ditch next to the road and flew head first right off my bike and in to wet grass.

Books, lunchbox, glasses and all.

I’m sure it was a YouTube worthy moment. Thank goodness there was no YouTube in those days.

I can promise you the next time I heard a vehicle come up behind me on that road, I had some extra information in my pocket to prepare myself.

I became more keenly aware of the possibilities for what could happen when a truck goes by you on a country road.

And I learned what I need to do to become more resilient to prepare myself to stay out of that ditch.

Does this experience describe how you feel when change happens all around you at work?

We all just want to get on our bikes and get to school, for crying out loud. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and that can be really frustrating.

Constant change is just part of being in the workforce today.

It’s lovely to say that we wish it wouldn’t change so much and remember how it used to be.

But work is now very competitive and companies have to run fast to keep up with changes in your industry.

This means that:

  • leadership teams shuffle around more often,
  • technology gets outdated more quickly and has to change, and
  • markets get more unpredictable and require fast changes for companies to stay afloat.

And all that can add up to uncomfortable changes in how you do your work.

Remember in yesterday’s episode we talked about how resilience isn’t just about what you’ve already been through. You can use your own strengths to help you stay forward focused to weather what’s ahead of you.

The same formula applies here.

The first thing you have to remember here is to not take change at work personally.

It’s rarely about you and almost always about trying to survive to live another day.

Instead of complaining about how all these changes are affecting you, you can take a more offensive approach.

Use this time as things are shuffling and moving around to assess what you would like to see in your job.

  • Are you really feeling SO challenged and engaged in your job?
  • Is there some scenario where you would be okay with seeing some things change so that maybe you can re-engage in your work?

Ask yourself a series of questions to help you come up with some ideas in the middle of all this change happening around you.

  • What’s working for you?
  • What’s not working?
  • What skills would you like to continue to develop or deepen?
  • What other levers could you pull to achieve some larger career goals?
  • What do you want to do? There’s a wild question.

You don’t have to necessarily share your answers with anyone. But knowing what options you might have can help you have a little more power in those times when you feel like you have very little control.

The second thing to remember is to avoid sitting and stewing about all the negative possibilities in your situation.

Ruminating about all the things that are going wrong or could go wrong with all this change leads to a feeling of hopelessness.

And it certainly removes your power from the situation. Resilience is all about keeping your power so you can access it when you need it.

Because you answered those questions I mentioned earlier, AND you made a list of your strengths from yesterday‘s episode, you already know what you bring to the table. 😉

Now you can walk through a different perspective.

Not a paranoid one that thinks all of these changes are about making me miserable.

But a perspective that helps you learn how you might contribute to some of this change in a positive way.

Instead of replaying your scary movie in your head over and over again, challenge yourself to look for all of the possibilities and sniff out your opportunities.

Which leads me to this.

One of the most important things you can do to stay flexible and resilient through change at work is to stay away from gossip and rumors.

This is your kryptonite.

Sorry I just mixed a barking dog in a pickup truck analogy with Superman. That’s just how it goes sometimes.

Gossip is the one thing that sinks many good people. When things change at work, we can be filled with fear.

Every little snackable morsel of information that comes your way is like kindling on a fire that stokes your fear.

To be fair, sometimes poor communication during times of change makes you desperate for any communication at all.

But the more you poke at gossip and entertain it, the more oxygen it gets and the brighter it burns.

Gossip takes away your ability to ask meaningful questions and find out where you have real power.

Instead it wants you to position yourself as the victim.

Now you’re more concerned about what’s happening to you and how you can protect yourself instead of focusing on your strengths and what you’re grateful for.

And for what might still be ahead.

You can’t avoid change at work.

And you can’t avoid all the ways it might affect you.

But you definitely have the power to use what you know about yourself and challenge your thoughts about what you see happening around you.

You have this power all day long.

Knowing what strengths you bring to this equation will help you keep your hands firmly on the handlebars, and hopefully, keep you out of the ditch looking for your glasses.

Tomorrow we’ll look at how stress can lead us to feel entitled and how we can find ways to live in a different mindset.

You can catch all the previous episodes of mental health moment at its new web address at mymentalhealthmoment.com.

As always you can catch Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify.

For articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 


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Ep 54: Building resilience to fight stress and find opportunity

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Building resilience isn’t just something that happens after you go through something challenging. You can build resilience every day. It’s a skill, a habit that will help you weather whatever comes your way.

In the first episode of this series, learn how you can focus on building resilience for creating a buffer against the stress of change and find opportunities to feel more powerful.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

Full transcript 👇

Ep 54: Practice building resilience to fight stress and find opportunity

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

This week I want to look at some areas related to resilience.

We really don’t think about resilience a lot, do we? It’s hard to define.

You can put a number on how depressed or anxious you are, but how do you measure resilience?

Resilience is like that Jell-O salad at Thanksgiving. No one can define it, really, and everybody makes it a different way.

And it almost never looks sexy.

But thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it, right?

The Google box defines resilience as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” Another definition is “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.”

Those are pretty good definitions, but they focus more on resilience as a result of something we’ve already been through.

How can you leverage what you have right now, in the middle of what you’re dealing with right now, to become more resistant to the effects of change and challenge?

Resilience is simply this: how can you identify the resources available to you today and take action to help yourself when stuff gets real?

To find your resilience you have to look beyond your situation and figure out what YOU can bring to the table.

  • What strengths can you activate to deal with your situation?
  • When should you use those strengths?
  • How can you set yourself up for the next situation that rolls around?

Resilience, then, is actually a skill that you can build with intention and purpose.

The choices and decisions you make can empower you right in the middle of all your drama.

And with the right focus, you can make resilience a habit, and a powerful one.

How can you focus on building resilience?

First, identify your strengths

What strengths describe how you move through your life when you’re successful?

These are more like positive character traits.

  • Do you have courage?
  • Are you positive-minded?
  • Are you a rational thinker?
  • Are you enthusiastic?
  • Are you known for your integrity?
  • Do you like to show kindness to others?

You need to identify and develop a foundation of strengths to build on. This is what you can draw from on a dime when things get hot.

It doesn’t matter what’s happening around you.

If you can use your courage, for example, to make a simple decision to change something about your life today, then you can feel like you still have some power in the middle of your situation.

Your strengths are like health in a video game.

The more you have, the longer you can last. And you always want to pick up as much as you can, even if you don’t feel like you need them right now.

So, figure out what you’re really good at when things hit the fan.

Second, building resilience means you need to stay forward focused.

Your past plays a big role in building resilience because you can learn from what you’ve been through. I mean, hopefully at least you can learn from what you’ve been through, right? But that’s where it ends.

If you’re constantly replaying what happened to you over and over again, it’s easy to get stuck. You can take yourself right back to those same hurtful emotions and re-injure yourself.

Create the habit of being curious about what’s ahead.

Take a look at that list of strengths that you just built and figure out how you can leverage those strengths to impact something, or create a future opportunity for yourself right now.

Make a list of all of your possible options, even the weird or less-likely ones.

Sometimes this kind of brainstorming can generate solutions you hadn’t thought of yet.

Third, practice a gratitude mindset.

This is the special sauce you can come back to every time because gratitude reminds you of what you’ve already come through.

Gratitude is more than just being grateful that you have more than others. It’s appreciation for what you’ve been given and drives you to share with others out of that gratitude.

Maybe you can encourage someone with a text or a written note, or buy someone’s lunch today just because you’re grateful you’ve always had enough to eat.

So gratitude is more than a feeling.

It’s an actionable practice that takes your focus off of your own needs and places it squarely on what you can do for others.

A gratitude mindset is the cornerstone of building resilience because it helps you appreciate the contributions that other people are making in your life and in the lives of others.

Much of the stress we experience is reacting to stuff that happens to us.

Part of weathering that stress is making sure we have enough resources we can draw on to withstand what comes our way.

But you can take this a step further by asking yourself, what can I do to set myself up better for the next challenge that comes around?

That’s how you practice resilience.

Over the next few days we’ll look at how building resilience can help you in a few ways.

  • How can resilience help you create a buffer against the stress of change, especially at work?
  • How can you feel less entitled when you’re most stressed and really want to feel entitled?
  • How can resilience help you create your own opportunities to feel powerful and confident, and finally,
  • How can it help you find purpose and meaning in spite of your struggles?

Make sure you don’t miss any episodes this week by subscribing to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify.

I would just be over the moon if you could leave me a review in any of those places.

For even more articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at LoriMiller.me.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
  • Share this episode on Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn .

Help spread the message about good mental health!

 


Subscribe to the Be Well, Do Well newsletter

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Info and tips each week to help you improve and change your life!