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3 Things To Do RIGHT NOW If You Are Depressed and Angry

You are depressed and angry and you are scared.

Scared because you don’t know why you are feeling this way. Scared because these are feelings that you can’t seem to control. Scared because you don’t know if the feelings will ever go away.

Depression and anger are scary things to manage but there are ways to do so. Here are what I believe to be the 3 most important things to do first.

#1 – Get to know your feelings.

Depression and anger are both feelings that most of us are familiar with but these feelings can appear in a variety of ways.

At one time or another we find ourselves sad or mad after something happens to us. I was really sad that I lost my mom’s necklace and very mad later in the day because someone cut me off on the highway. Both of those emotions were warranted because those are things that would make any of us sad or mad.

Sometimes sadness and anger go together. My client’s cat died and she was really sad but she was angry too because the cat was hit by a car. In this case, both emotions showed up and once again they were warranted because the circumstances around her cat’s untimely death were both sad and frustrating.

And then, sometimes, depression and anger occur together, for a certain period of time, and nothing has happened to cause them.

I have a client who regularly suffers from depression, caused by a chemical imbalance that she chooses not to treat. As a result, she is often depressed and because she is depressed she can be lethargic, she has little interest in doing things or being with friends, she has gained weight and her productivity is WAY down.

And, as a result, she is pissed. Angry all the time that her life is a mess, that the world is out to get her and that none of it is her fault.

Get to know your depression and anger. Is it sadness and anger brought on by circumstance? Or perhaps the two are present together for logical reasons? If either of these situations are the case then most likely those emotions will pass.

If your depression and anger are more of a constant for you, something that is present in spite of circumstance, then further action is warranted.

Read on.

#2 – Tell someone who loves you what is going on.

If you are struggling with regular depression and anger then it’s time to tell someone else what is going on.

Many people who suffer from depression and anger keep it to themselves. Many of them have isolated themselves from others or have been pushed away by the people they mistreat. They often don’t realize how deep their feelings have become and have no idea what to do about them.

So, if you feel like you have been depressed and are angry, tell someone who loves you what is happening. Telling them how you are feeling and that you need some help.

I have a friend who is my person. He watches my emotions for me because sometimes when I get depressed I just don’t see it happening. Suddenly I find myself lethargic and cranky and I don’t know why. My friend Duncan is the guy who is paying attention for me and who will call me on it if he sees my moods change.

If you are depressed and angry find someone who loves you and share your burden. They will help you find your way out of the mess.

#3 – Get some help. Immediately.

I cannot emphasize this enough. If you are depressed and angry it’s very important that you get some help right away.

Depression is something that can get worse if it goes untreated and the accompanying anger can get worse too. And we all know what can happen if untreated anger rears it’s ugly head.

I have a co-worker who was ALWAYS cranky. At first we all put up with it but then it started to get worse. She was getting really mean and her work, and our work, was starting to suffer. I knew that she had a history of depression and I wondered if her anger was related to that.

One day, when I caught her sitting forlornly alone at her desk, I asked her how she was feeling. She looked at me and burst into tears. She had been treading water, trying to be okay with all of her strong emotions, but they had finally gotten the best of her.

With my help she reached out to her doctor and got the treatment that she needed to help her manage her depression and her anger.

It’s important that you, or the person who loves you, reach out right away to your primary care doctor to seek treatment for your emotions. They might recommend a variety of treatments, such as therapy, medicine or both.

What do you do if you are depressed and angry? PAY ATTENTION, that’s what you do.

Ask yourself where your emotions are coming from. If they are situational and will pass, recognize that and manage them until they do so.

But if your depression and anger are more deep-seated and pervasive then it’s time to get help, from a loved one and a professional.

Depression and anger are serious issues. Don’t take them lightly. For yourself, and those who love you, get help NOW.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

What It Means When You’re Feeling Depressed But Nothing Is Wrong (And What to Do About It)

Have you recently been feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? Do you feel like you have everything that you want in your life but still you feel like you are carrying a hundred pound weight on your back, that you have no interest in anything and that all you want to do is sleep?

I am not a doctor but I can tell you that I used to feel that way all the time. I lived with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread. I tried to be a good parent but keeping my energy up was close to impossible. I tried to be great wife but my irritability prevented that from happening. I had a great job but my performance suffered.

This went on for years. YEARS. I thought that I was managing it, and I was. Until I wasn’t.

One day, when I was 42 years old, I found myself in a closet banging my head against the wall. I had no idea what was going on.

A friend of mine scooped me up off the floor and took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with clinical depression. He sent me off with some medication and instructions to follow up with a therapist.

That day changed my life.

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong in your life then you too could be clinically depressed. This means that you have a chemical imbalance that causes depressive symptoms without something actually being wrong.

So what do you do if you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? I have some suggestions.

#1 – Ask yourself a few questions.

A good way to get a sense of whether or not you are clinically depressed is to ask yourself some questions. They are:

  • Are you living with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Are you more irritable than usual?
  • Have you lost interest in things that used to make you happy?
  • Are you not sleeping as well as you used to?
  • Have your sleep patterns changed? Are you spending more time in bed?
  • Have your eating patterns changed? Have you lost or gained weight?
  • Are you more anxious than you used to be?
  • Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness?
  • Do you have a hard time focusing?
  • Do you think about committing suicide?
  • Do you have new physical problems, like headaches or backaches.

If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions you might be struggling with clinical depression.

#2 – See your primary care doctor immediately.

If you are feeling depressed and nothing is wrong It is important that you reach out to your primary care doctor as soon as possible to tell her about your symptoms. Seeking medical help is key to dealing with depression.

Many primary care physicians are knowledgeable about the treatment of depression and can help you with treatment right away. Some primary care doctors might refer you to a psychiatrist who can help you diagnose and manage your depression.

Either way, see you doctor right away.

#3 – Stick to whatever regimen the doctor prescribes.

This is a key part of dealing with clinical depression.

What often happens is that a doctor prescribes a medication to help someone manage their depression and then once they are feeling better they stop taking it. And what happens next? The depression comes back.

So stick to your treatment. Continue to take your meds. Just like you would if your doctor had prescribed meds to help you with a thyroid issue. Or diabetes.

#4 – Surround yourself with people who love you.

Many people who suffer from clinical depression tend to isolate themselves from friends and family. Making the effort to spend time with people and to pretend to enjoy themselves is just too much. So they don’t.

Make an effort to get yourself out there and spend time with people who love you. Spending time with people who make you laugh, who keep you out of your head and make you feel good about yourself is very important to managing your clinical depression.

#5 – Don’t be embarrassed.

Many people who are diagnosed with clinical depression are embarrassed. Embarrassed that they can’t just “suck it up.” That they might have some kind of personal deficiency that makes them weak in the face of this perceived disease.

Let me tell you! You are not weak. You are not lacking something that others have that make it so that you can ‘suck it up.’ You are actually incredibly brave for facing this issue head on.

Clinical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease.

Clinical depression is perceived by many in society to be a personal weakness. I mean how can you be depressed if nothing is wrong? Luckily more and more people are speaking up about living with mental illness. More and more people, including many famous people, are being honest about living well with their condition and helping to eliminate the stigma about mental illness.

So, join the celebrities. Don’t be embarrassed. Clinical depression is not something that you could have prevented. But it is something that you can deal with.

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong then you may be struggling with clinical depression.

The best way to deal with it is to get yourself to see your doctor right away and then stick with the medical treatment they prescribe. Also make sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who love you.

You, like millions of other women, can have a full and happy life living with clinical depression. All you need to do is to pick up the phone and call your doctor.

Do it TODAY!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways Untreated Depression in Parents Affects Their Children And How to Best Protect Them During Dark Times

Living with untreated depression is a horrible thing. Every day is full of hopelessness and despair. Life can seem unbearable. Imagine, then, how untreated depression in parents can affect their children.

Parenting is a 24/7 job. It’s all about modeling good behavior, paying attention, educating and loving our children. Doing these things while depressed can seem almost impossible. As a result, untreated depression can have a huge negative affect on children.

Here I will share 5 ways that untreated depression in parents affects their children and how to best protect your kids during dark times.

#1 – Depression is scary.

For a child depression in a parent is very scary. A child just cannot comprehend why their parent is acting the way that they are.

When depressed, parents can, and do, act a variety of ways – sad, angry, tired, anxious, ambivalent, indifferent, insecure, aggressive. As a result, if those behaviors show up regularly, children can start acting anxious, insecure and aggressive themselves.

#2 – Kids blame themselves.

When my daughter was 15 I shared with her that I had just been diagnosed with depression but that I had probably suffered from it for years.

Her reaction? ‘I am so glad to know that it wasn’t my fault.’

Children are so innocent, and so self-centered, and as a result they believe that anything that happens in the world is a result of them and their actions. Because of this a child can easily internalize their parents depressed feelings and blame themselves for the behaviors.

#3 – Their parent isn’t parenting.

When a parent is suffering from untreated depression they just can’t be the parent that they usually are or want to be.

If a parent is so sad that she must take to her bed for days, or if the depression has made him particularly cranky and impatient, the child will suffer.

If her mom can’t get out of bed to make her dinner then she will have to fend for herself. If her dad is always yelling at her she will feel bad about herself and take to her room.

Parents need to be parents and it’s difficult to be so when they are suffering from untreated depression. And kids need their parents to be parents.

#4 – Their mom and dad don’t seem to like each other.

One of the biggest side effects of untreated depression is relationship instability.

When one partner is depressed the other often struggles to understand what is happening, why their partner can’t just snap out of it. This feeling of helplessness can lead to anger and frustration which in turn interferes with relationship health.

And there is nothing scarier for a child than having her parents not get along. The parental unit is what provides the foundation for a child’s growth. If that is regularly unstable the results can be devastating and permanent.

#5 – They don’t feel safe at home.

Unfortunately, when one suffers from untreated depression productivity can suffer. As a result one’s home can get dirty, meals don’t get made, laundry doesn’t get done, safety standards don’t get met.

As a result, many children of parents living with untreated depression are neglected in some way which forces them to either suffer needlessly or grow up very quickly because they have to take care of themselves from an early age.

How unfair is that?

So, how can you protect your kids during dark times?

#1 – Be honest with them.

If kids, or adults, know what is going on then they are more likely able to deal with it.

Tell your kids if you or your partner is suffering from depression. Explain to them that mommy’s sadness or daddy’s anger is the result of something that they can’t control. Ask them if they have any questions and be willing to answer them.

Being honest will allow your kids to understand, to some degree, what is going on which will alleviate some of their anxiety around the situation.

#2- Explain that it’s not their fault.

More than anything a child needs to hear from his or her parent that the behaviors they are experiencing aren’t their fault.

Understanding that their parents’ instability isn’t a result of their actions will take a considerable weight off of a child’s shoulders. And that is the very important: to not let your child blame themselves for your troubles.

#3 – Remove yourself from the situation.

If you are depressed, make every effort to not overexpose your kids to your moods. When you are depressed, if you are able, send your kids to a friend’s house or have your spouse take them out for the afternoon.

Constant exposure to a parent who is suffering from untreated depression can have a significant negative effect on kids. Even a short break from the moodiness can be therapeutic.

#4 – Get help around the house.

If meals aren’t getting made or the house isn’t getting cleaned consider getting someone in to help.

Children need to be taken care of and, if you can’t do it, let someone else. Your kids will thank you someday.

#5 – Seek professional psychiatric help.

The best way to protect your kids during dark times is to get help!

If depression goes on untreated it just gets worse. Early intervention can greatly reduce the effects of depression in a parent on a child.

See your primary care physician immediately. They will help you get treatment right away so that you can protect your kids.

Untreated depression in parents can affect children in a big way.

Kids of parents with untreated depression often suffer from low self-esteem, insecurity and anxiety and often are forced to grow up way too fast.

It is essential that you make an effort to protect your child if you or your partner suffers from untreated depression. Be honest with them, make sure their needs are taken care of and seek help as soon as possible.

They are your children. They deserve the best, whether you are depressed or not.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Tips For Being Productive When Depressed

You know those days when you wake up depressed and you know that it’s important that you be productive nonetheless? Those are rough days!

It is possible to be productive when you are depressed. It might at times feel like you are climbing a mountain backwards in flip flops but if you have to be productive it IS possible.

Here are 5 essential tips for being productive when depressed.

#1 – Get out of bed!

This, obviously, is the most essential piece of being productive when depressed. And it’s most probably the hardest.

For most of us bed is our favorite place to be when we are depressed. It’s cozy and warm and safe and we can sleep away our sadness. At least for a while.

But to be productive you have to get out of it. Which is hard but imperative.

People I know who suffer from depression have a myriad of tricks to get themselves out of bed and stay out of bed. They place their alarm clock across the room and when it goes off they have to get out of bed to turn it off. Some people strip their sheets off their bed once they are out or even take their mattress off it’s box spring. Whatever it takes to keep them out of bed and getting started on their day.

#2 – Exercise.

The second most important piece of being productive when depressed is getting some exercise.

I know! The prospect seems herculean but what a difference it will make if you can do it!

Exercise produces endorphins which is exactly the chemical that is deficient when you are depressed. Exercise will help replete your bodies supply of endorphins, at least for a while.

And newly stocked your body, and mind, will able to be more productive.

So get out and do something. Take a walk, go for a run, do some yoga, play frisbee. Whatever you enjoy that will get your heart rate up and those endorphins flowing.

#3 – Choose one thing to get done.

Sometimes all it takes is doing one thing to get out of a depressed stupor.

Sitting in your bed, or on your sofa, pondering all of the things that you have to do can be so daunting that you give up completely and instead binge watch The Walking Dead. That is not productive.

Instead of focusing on everything you need to get done consider ONE thing. And get up off the couch and do that one thing.

Often times, if we are able to break our stupor and get something done we will feel so good that we will want to go on to another thing. And, while we might still feel depressed, we are being productive which will ultimately help put that depression at bay.

#4 – Choose to do things that you CAN do.

When I am depressed there are some things that I am absolutely not capable of doing. Making phone calls is one of them. I hate making phone calls on a good day. On a depressed day, forget about it.

I do know that on a depressed day there are some things that I can do. I can sort through my piles of paper and recycle and file them as necessary. I can go through and clean up my email inbox. I can do research on future blogs. I can go for a walk.

I know my things might seem weird but they are my things. Think about the things that you could do when you are depressed. And do them. Because even if you can’t make phone calls doing something else is definitely productive.

#5 – Let yourself off the hook.

Okay. You are depressed. And it sucks. But it is what it is.

Recognize that you are depressed and that you will have to ride it out. And in the meantime you might not be as productive as you would like to be but you are as productive as you can be.

If you don’t let yourself off the hook, don’t recognize that this depression will pass and that you will become your old self again, you will only sink into a deeper sadness which could fuel your inability to be productive.

So take care of yourself. Recognize that you are in a tough place and that you are doing your best nonetheless.

And then get up and do that one thing!

Being depressed is horrible. Being productive when depressed can seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be!

Living with depression is like carrying a 50lb gorilla on your back. It’s debilitating and exhausting. But it doesn’t have to defeat you.

Get out of bed, exercise, choose one thing to do, do it and let yourself off the hook.

Trust me! You will be glad you did.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Hold Up Your End Of The Relationship When You’re Dealing With Depression

I have struggled with depression for my whole life. 52 years. For a long time I didn’t have a name for why I always felt so hopeless and full of despair. I just lived with it.

And then I got married. And he had to live with it too. It was not fun.

Being in a relationship when you are dealing with depression can be very difficult but I am here to tell you that relationships don’t have to self-destruct because of it.

Here is my latest – 5 Ways to Hold Up Your End Of The Relationship When You’re Dealing With Depression.

#1 – Recognize when you are depressed.

For those of us who live with depression we can usually tell when it hits. Simple tasks that just the day before were easy to do become difficult. Sleep is elusive. We are short tempered and crabby. Each of us manifests depression differently but usually we know when we are experiencing it.

Keeping in touch with your depression and sharing its presence with your partner is very important. Don’t just expect your partner to guess that you are depressed. They might not recognize the signs and might not respond to your new mood and that could lead to some big problems between the two of you.

So when depression hits be clear about it. You and your partner you have a bit of a battle ahead. Together.

#2 – Talk to your partner about what depression is like.

Even the most sympathetic of partners doesn’t really understand what depression is like unless they suffer from it themselves. Because of this it’s important to try to teach them what depression looks like for you.

When we talked my message for my husband was 1) you haven’t caused this and 2) you can’t fix it and 3) I can’t just suck it up and feel better. For me it was essential that he knew these three things to be true.

Next I explained to him what my depression looked like. That when I was depressed I felt like I had a gorilla on my back. Moving around, getting things done, communicating effectively, all required such a herculean effort that I could barely manage. When I was depressed I was exhausted, easily angered, prone to long bouts of crying. Going to work, seeing his family, taking care of myself, all filled me with such an overwhelming sense of dread that I couldn’t bear it.

So, when you ARE NOT depressed, take some time and share your experience with your partner. The better understanding they have of your depression the better they will be able to deal with and cope with it.

#3 – Plan ahead for what to do when depression hits.

A key part of dealing with depression for me, and for my husband, was that I was able to, when I wasn’t depressed, make a plan for what I needed when I was depressed. I knew from experience what I needed to get through my depression. Sharing it with my partner was key.

For me, when I get depressed I need four things: to get outside, to sleep, Pad Thai and sex. I knew that those things would not cure my depression but that they made living with it easier.

So, when I WAS NOT depressed, my husband and I made a plan for what to do when I was. We would let me sleep in, go for a hike, get Pad Thai, have sex and send me back to sleep. We would do that, or some variation of that, to stay connected while I was depressed and help me get through it.

What we also agreed was that he wouldn’t try to fix it. Many people like to fix things. You can’t fix depression. Accepting that was a great way for my husband to manage when I was depressed because he wasn’t constantly frustrated, searching for ways to help me.

Want more help dealing with depression and relationships? Reach out and let me help!

#4 – Don’t make your partner suffer.

So you have talked to your partner about your depression and made a plan for what you need when you are in it. Both of those things are great. Proactive. Good for you.

Sometimes, however, those things just don’t work and you are miserable. You are short tempered and difficult and not fun to be with.

At times like that, let your partner go. Let them go about their day, guilt free. The last thing in the world you want to do is tether someone you love to your depression.

Encourage your partner to go do something they love instead of hang around being miserable with you. If you let them do this they will come home refreshed and better able to support you. And they might even bring you some Pad Thai.

#5 – Agree to seek help.

One of the hardest things for someone who loves someone with depression is their sense of helplessness. They know that there is nothing that they can do to help their partner get out of this dark place. And that sense of helplessness can tear relationships apart.

What can you do? You can agree to seek help dealing with your depression. That help can be what you want it to be: medication, yoga, therapy. Whatever works for you.

It is important, for both of you in the relationship, to know that the depression isn’t something that will be ignored but that will be addressed head on. That it is something that you can both learn to deal with and take on together. As a couple.

Get some help. Both for you and for the one you love.

So there you go – my 5 Ways to Hold Up Your End Of The Relationship When You’re Dealing With Depression.

Depression can have a devastating effect on relationships. It doesn’t have to be a death knell, however. Some relationships can actually thrive when couples tackle depression together.

Share with your partner what your depression looks like, allow them to fully understand it and share with you the tools you have in place to manage it. Give them the freedom to escape from it for a bit if necessary. But be in it together.

Because if together you can manage depression then there is nothing else that you can’t take on. Together.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways I Helped Change a Client’s Life – Even Though She Was Skeptical That I Could Do So

I have a client who was gifted 3 life-coaching sessions by her sister. While she truly appreciated the gift, she was rather insulted that her sister thought that she needed a life coach.  She wasn’t really happy, she thought, but she was fine.

One month later, though, is she happy that she found me. She says that she was very skeptical coming into working with me because she had been seeing therapists for years, to no avail, and then, in 3 short weeks, her life was on a completely different track.

Here is my latest: 5 Ways I Helped Change a Client’s Life – Even Though She Was Skeptical That I Could Do So.

#1 – I provided insight.

During our first session my client told me about how miserable she was. She was unhappy in her job, her marriage was floundering, she wasn’t able to exercise because of an injury and she was drinking too much. She felt hopeless.

She also told me that she had just weaned herself off of her anti-depressant. That she had reduced her dose for 3 months and she was on her second week of no meds at all.

I put two and two together and asked when her overwhelming feelings of hopelessness had started. She said about 2 months earlier. “So just about when you started weaning off your meds?” I asked. She thought about it and agreed with me.

I suggested that she ask her doctor about going back on her meds, perhaps at a lower dosage, to see if it made any difference with her negative feelings. And guess what? She did and it did.

Without me there to listen and point things out objectively, with no agenda, like a relative might have, she might not have seen that her lack of meds was affecting her so. Nor, without the meds, would she have been able to start the other hard work that we began next.

#2 – I held her accountable. Big time.

During one of our sessions we started to talk about her drinking. She was on a cleanse and when she was done she was determined that she wouldn’t go back to her regular drinking habits. She recognized that she probably had a drinking problem but wanted to try to control it on her own.

We then talked about her calling her primary care doctor to get the name of an alcohol counselor. “Just get a name,” I told her.  It would be a first step towards stopping her drinking, something that I knew was important to her because she didn’t want it to affect her kids.

One week later I checked in. She responded that she was great and that she hadn’t contacted a counselor and could she put off our appointment for two weeks so she could get some things done?

I told her no. That I wanted to talk with her on Monday, even if just for a few minutes. And what did she do because she knew that she was going to talk with me? She not only made an appointment with a therapist but she went to it before we talked.

She was feeling so great when we talked. She had much hope after her therapy session. And she thanked me for pushing her into doing it.

#3 – I helped make her career clearer.

My client has a job that suits her needs. She likes what she does, works hard enough and has summers off. But she is approaching 30 and wants to make sure that she doesn’t let her career life pass her by without being all that she could be.

But what would that look like? Being all that she could be?

I had her make a list of everything that made her heart sing and then I had her read it back to me during our phone call. After she read that list we started talking about possible career options. Because she had just read a list of what made her heart sing her mind was clear and wide open. And we used some of those things on her list to identify a career move.

And guess what? We landed on one. A good one. Her homework was to take the first step towards making it happen.

As we were wrapping up she said “Can I tell you something? It’s almost embarrassing. I make these little kids bracelets and I would love to make them and sell them on Etsy.”

“What a great idea,” I replied and gave her some ideas for getting started down that path as well.

If she hadn’t felt comfortable enough to trust me with that little pearl of wisdom it might never have popped out of her mouth and come to fruition. And she was so happy it did.

#4 – I taught her how to talk with her husband.

My client has a very good relationship with her husband overall but communication had broken down, like it does in many long-term relationships.

They had some things to talk about and she had no idea how to broach them.

I taught her that the most important part of communication is to talk not about how the other person is acting but how their actions make you feel. Another person can not get angry with you because of how you feel but they can get defensive about what they perceive is an attack on their character.

I also taught her that timing was everything. That if she wanted to talk about their drinking I suggested that 9:00pm, after a few cocktails, was not the best time. 9:00am after coffee might be better.

Armed with these new tools she set out to have a constructive conversation with her hubby and have one they did.

#5 – I taught her how to believe in herself.

We are all our own worst enemies. We catalog all of our worst traits and transgressions and trot them out whenever we feel it necessary. As a result we tend to really not like or believe in ourselves.

I had my client keep a running list of daily successes. Big and small.

Getting out of bed. Not yelling at the kids before breakfast. A great meeting at work. Not having three slices of pizza for lunch but only two. Getting off the couch and going for a walk after dinner.

Successes, big and small.

I then had my client read her list of successes every night before bed. So she could sleep on them and remember them. That way those successes would be foremost in her mind, as opposed to her failures, and then she could trot them out when needed.

Believing in herself has allowed my client to move forward in her life, working on her relationship with her husband, growing her career and dealing with her drinking with more self-confidence.

And self-confidence is the key to success.

So there you go, my 5 Ways I Helped Change a Client’s Life.

We all have issues in our lives and we all find them difficult to deal with. We have the support of friends and family but more often than not they just want to support us, to tell us what we want to hear.

But not a life coach. A life coach will tell you what she sees, objectively and professionally, and hold you accountable for plans that you make. She is the guardian angel who sits on your shoulder and reminds you that you are wonderful. She is the wonderland elf who gives you tools to succeed. She is the fairy godmother who helps make all of your dreams come true.

Sounds pretty wonderful doesn’t it?


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Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to be Happier Quickly – Even if Your Default is Usually Crabbiness

We all just want to be happy. That is the life goal. It has been proven that when people are happy their health improves, their skin brightens, their attention span strengthens and they have more success at work and at home.

All of that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

But how, in this chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting world, do we find happiness? It seems like such a long-term goal, something we have to really work towards, not something that is accessible right now.

I am here to tell you that you can be happier NOW, just by tweaking a few things in your life.

Here is my latest: 5 Ways to be Happier Quickly – Even if Your Default is Usually Crabbiness.

#1 – Forget positivity. Focus on the negative.

Everyone tells us these days that in order to be happy we must practice mindfulness, live in the moment, focus on the positive. While those ideas have their place, I think that the best way to be happier is by focusing on our negative thoughts.

You know those thoughts. The ones that tell you that you are worthless or ugly or un-loveable? Yes those ones. They aren’t comfortable in our body and yet how easily they settle in for a long visit.

Try this. Next time you tell yourself that you are un-loveable pull out a piece of paper and write a list of everyone who loves you. When you tell yourself you are ugly go look at your profile picture on Facebook, you know that one in which you look AWESOME. When you tell yourself you are worthless call your mother. She will remind you how worthless you are not.

I suggest that if we push back against, argue with, those negative thoughts it will bring about quicker change than focusing on the positive.

Because, really, it’s very hard to access those positive thoughts when we are unhappy. The negative ones, however, are right there for the plucking.

#2 – Smile.

Smiling seems like such a small thing but it’s not. Did you know that when we use the muscles in our face to form a smile instead of a frown we actually change our chemistry, releasing dopamine into our system which allows for an immediately improved mood.

I know that when my kids were little and I was drowning in the chaos that was my life, smiling at them made my day just a little brighter, if only for a few minutes. And then I smiled at them again because I just couldn’t resist and there I was, happy again. So I did it all day long. Or tried to.

#3 – Lots of lovin’.

Yes, I know. Sex is great. Really great. But what I am talking about here is physical affection.

Did you know that hugging is one of the best things you can do in your life, for a variety of reasons. A brief hug produces oxytocin which helps reduce anxiety. A prolonged hug produces serotonin which leads to increased happiness. Hugging relaxes the muscles and reduces tension. Skin to skin contact calms down the nervous system.

So hug your friends, your kids, your family members, someone who looks sad. Hug away. It’s quick and painless.

That being said, a good orgasm releases enough dopamine to guarantee you 5-7 hours of happiness. Really.

#4 – Watch a scary movie or an action flick. Or go skydiving.

So this is an interesting thing. Whenever I am feeling blue I love to watch The Walking Dead. I know. And yes, I am a grown woman. I never understood why until recently.

When we watch a scary movie or an action flick our body actually produces adrenaline and that rush of adrenaline makes us happier. When I watch The Walking Dead I get a full hour dose of adrenaline which can last me well into the night.

Skydiving, helicopter skiing and swimming with sharks have the same results but they aren’t quite as accessible on a Wednesday night after work. But definitely try them as well if presented with the opportunity.

#5 – Give back. In big ways and small.

Really it doesn’t take much to give back to the world.

We all have excuses about why we can’t volunteer – that we are “just too busy” is usually the first one that comes out of our mouths.

But, really, you can give back to the world, every day, in small ways.

Last week I ran into a woman on the streets of NYC. It was early morning and we were walking our dogs. I complimented her on her clogs, footwear that is rarely seen here in the city. We chatted about clogs for a bit and I bid her good morning. She said that me reaching out to her “made her day.” That I made her feel good made me feel good.

So reach out to someone everyday. That crabby person running the register, smile at them. Open the door for someone, just because. Make (or buy) cookies and bring them to work.

Just thinking about doing good can make all the difference. Doesn’t it just make you feel good thinking about bringing cookies to work? For many reasons….

So there you go, my 5 Ways to be Happier Quickly.

We all just want to be happy. And I would encourage you to reach out to me, the ultimate life coach, to help you work towards that goal. But there are things that you can do in the meantime, right now, to elevate your mood.

Whoever designed human beings installed mechanisms for maintaining mood and keeping us healthy and alive. We modern humans have a tough time accessing those mechanisms because we have forgotten they are there.

I have just reminded you. Go forth and use them. Be happy.

Looking for ways to be happier? Contact me and I can help!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Help You Ride Out the Early Winter Blues – Even if They Threaten to Overwhelm You

This week I was SO crabby with the man in my life. For no real reason. I picked fights and nudged and nagged. It wasn’t pretty. And, when asked why, I couldn’t answer. Why was I crabby?

And then I realized. The temperatures dropped significantly this week. And I was depressed. Seasonally depressed.

“Oh man.” I thought. “Here we go again.”

Luckily, I have a bag of tricks that I turn to when I get depressed. They work almost every time.

Here is my latest: 5 Ways to Help You Ride Out the Early Winter Blues – Even if They Threaten to Overwhelm You.

#1 – Take a good hard look at how you are feeling.

This is very important. Be aware of why you are feeling the way you are feeling.

For me, this week I seemed mad at my guy. But really I wasn’t. I was sad because the weather had turned cold. It happens to me every year.

Pay attention to your blues. Are they the result of something that happened? A conversation or an event that went wrong? Or did they just appear overnight? And how long have they lasted? A day? A week? A month?

If your sadness is not the result of something specific and has lasted for more than a few days it might be time to see your doctor. Depression can be a serious disease and catching it early is the best way to deal with it.

#2 – Talk back to that brain of yours.

I have said this before and I will say it again. When your brain starts telling you things that don’t make you feel good SHUT IT DOWN.

Our brains are hardwired to be our worst enemies. When you start feeling sad your brain goes into overdrive to sustain that sadness. It tells you that you are fat and you believe it. It tells you that you are worthless and you believe it. And when you are sad your brain will only tell you things that will make you sadder.

That’s how it works – UNLESS you tell your brain to back off.

When you hear your brain telling you that you will never amount to anything recognize that your brain is telling you this from a place of sadness. If you were in a better place, a place of happiness, your brain would not be saying this to you. It would be telling you that the sky is the limit.

So, when you are sad, question every negative thought that comes into your brain. And then talk back to it very firmly. Say to it “Of course I am going to be something…look at how far I have already come.”

#3 – Get enough Vitamin D and sunshine.

The human body gets Vitamin D from sunshine. Yes, it is also in fortified milk and a few other foods but really the main source for us is sunshine. And with insufficient Vitamin D we get depressed.

Almost every person living in the Northeast suffers from Vitamin D deficiency. And much of America does now too because of the widespread use of sunscreen.

Try to get outside and get some sunshine every day. On your hands and your face are most important, I have been told. There are also light machines that mimic sunlight which you can use inside but getting outside, where the air is fresh and the sun is shining, is best.

Also, taking a vitamin D3 supplement has worked for me in the past. 5000 IUs is the dosage my doctor recommended for me. I take one every morning from October – April and it very much helps.

#4 – Eat foods that make you feel good.

I don’t know about you but when I get depressed I LOVE to eat. Pad Thai and peanut butter with chocolate chips by the spoonful are my favorites.

While these foods aren’t bad for me there are actually foods that have been shown to be mood enhancing. And some of them are really yummy!

Top on the list of mood enhancing foods are: almonds, guacamole, chocolate, coffee, watermelon and fava beans

That last one isn’t a perennial favorite but I threw it in there anyway.

Also good for you are bananas, apples, green leafy vegetables, oatmeal and pumpkin seeds.

So when you are feeling the blues make yourself a banana and almond milk smoothie, grab a handful of chocolate chips and go sit on the front stoop in the sun for a bit.

Try it now….at the very least the chocolate chip part.

#5 – Change your chemistry.

Okay, here is the best one. Doing things that make you feel good.

The body produces a chemical known as dopamine. When dopamine levels are low in the body depression can be the result.

Fortunately, there are ways to bump up dopamine levels in the body. And, really, not one of them is a chore.

Top on the list of things that produce dopamine:

  • Listening to music
  • Having sex
  • Setting a goal and meeting it
  • Knowing one answer on a crossword puzzle
  • Doing something creative
  • Trying something new

Do you think you can find one thing on that list that might appeal? Do it after your banana and almond milk smoothie and life will be good.

So there you go, my 5 Ways to Help Your Ride Out the Early Winter Blues.

Depression can be very serious and I don’t want to downplay that here. If you have been feeling not yourself for any period of time check with your doctor.

The things that I have listed here are things that I have used for years to get me through the blues. They really work. As soon as I feel the depression settling in I put these things into action.

Just ask my man. Not only am I no longer being crabby but he gets to help me raise my dopamine levels. Now everyone is happy.

Looking for more ways to beat those winter blues? Contact me and I can help!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!