A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

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I recommend the book, “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis for anyone suffering with grief or depression.  This is not a typical book, it’s actually a collection of journal entries made by C.S. Lewis after his wife died.

He describes grief as feeling like you are afraid and feeling like you are slightly intoxicated.  C.S. Lewis also had this to say about his grief:

“There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me.”

“I loathe the slightest effort.”

His writings are an honest portrayal of his agony and his feelings toward God.  I appreciated his willings to be honest about his anger at God.

I found the book beneficial, because I often feel the same way and I could relate to it.

 

Happy – A Documentary

“The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself.”  Benjamin Franklin

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This documentary is available on Netflix.  It takes an in depth look at what makes people happy and how we can improve our own happiness.

Here are a few things from the documentary that I found to be interesting:

  • Dopamine is a chemical in the brain and it is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.  Physical activity releases dopamine, so engaging in exercise is a natural mood booster.
  • Events have a limited impact on our happiness.  When something good happens, we may feel ecstatic.  However, those feelings will dissipate quickly.  When something bad happens, we may feel devastation, but those feelings will also dissipate.
  • A key ingredient to happiness is being able to recover from adversity quickly.
  • Once our basic needs are meet, an increase in income has a limited affect on our level of happiness.
  • You will always be able to find somebody that has more money than you or that has something you don’t have.  A constant desire for more will have a negative impact on our happiness.
  • The more people focus on money and image the less happy they feel.
  • The more people focus on relationships, personal development, and community service the happier they feel.
  • Changing your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have that you can share, will promote happiness.
  • The building blocks of happiness are play, new experiences, and relationships.

Take time to do something that makes you happy today.

 

Make Rest a Priority

In Matthew 11:20-12:21, we learn Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and he wants to offer rest for our weary souls.  All we need to do is follow Jesus.

Rest is often undervalued in our society.  There is so much to do at work, at school, and our options for entertainment are phenomenal.  Granted entertainment is fun, but it can also prevent us from getting the rest we need.

Jesus offers us spiritual rest.  We can trust in his acceptance and forgiveness.  He invites us to destress our souls and spend quite time with him in worship, prayer and meditation.  He wants to help us overcome our anxieties and our fears.

We know rest is important and we know the consequences of not getting enough rest.

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Decreased ability to function
  • Decreased ability to focus
  • Anxiety
  • Increased aggression

Make rest a priority in your life and you will notice the difference.

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Personal Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering is loaded with benefits.  When you do volunteer work you are helping other people or animals.  You can improve your own community or even help improve neighborhoods on the other side of the planet.  Volunteering also has personal benefits:

  • It’s a great way to get work experience if you are just starting out in your carrier.
  • You will meet new people and make some new friends
  • It improves your sense of self-worth and help elevate feelings of depression

 

Introvert Personality Anxiety

I am an extreme introvert.  I could go days without talking to people and be very happy.  In fact, I really enjoy having days without human contact.  I am not anti-social, and I do enjoy being around people.  I just need that alone time to recharge my batteries.

When I am forced to interact with people all the time and I don’t get enough alone time, I become irritable and my anxiety levels increase drastically.  I actually feel agitated and it can even cause my depression systems to increase.

I try to explain this to people, but they don’t seem to understand.  They don’t realize how important it is for me to have time for personal isolation.  I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but I just need to be alone.