Guest post - Many people — and not just the Irish — use St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to go overboard on booze — around 13 million pints of Guinness worldwide. Surveys show that it comes in as the fourth most popular drinking day of the year after New Year’s Eve, Christmas and Fourth of July. Not only does binge drinking propose a health hazard, but more than one in three drivers involved in a fatal car crash have a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, making it one of the most fatal driving days of the year. So, whether you’re avoiding alcohol because you’re in the midst of rehab (or a recovering addict), or you simply want to be safe and responsible, there are risk-free ways you can celebrate the luck of the Irish that still enjoyable.
Throw an Irish-inspired dinner party
Gather a group on like-minded friends who also want to opt out of drinking and focus on eating — not drinking. To keep it festive, prepare traditional Irish dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, soda bread and bread pudding accompanied by a green mocktail or beverage like Green River soda. Don’t skimp out on creating a beautiful tablescape to make it feel more like a special dining experience.
Decorate to boost your mood
Whether or not you throw a party, adding touches of decor can boost your mood and help you get in the spirit — much like the effect of Christmas decorations. There’s no need to schuck out a bunch of money, however. If you have kids, use it as an excuse to have a DIY St. Patrick’s Day decor party where everyone pitches in to create green and shamrock-inspired items such as garland, banners, table decor and wreaths. A string of green twinkle lights can go a long way, too.
Have an Irish film fest
Pop the popcorn and turn your average movie night into an Irish film fest. When it comes to movies that take place in Ireland, there are plenty of good ones to choose from. Start with classics such as The Quiet Man and The Wind That Shakes the Barley before transitioning into modern-day flicks like The Commitments and Leap Year.Jam to some Irish tunes
Many bars have live entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day and while that’s great, a beer-infused bar may not be the best environment if you’re avoiding alcohol. Instead, opt for your own at-home concert by playing upbeat traditional music such as "Skibbereen," "Finnegan's Wake," and "The Fields of Athenry." Classic bands to consider include the Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners and, The Wolf Tones. When you’re ready to transition into something more modern, there’s favorites like U2, Van Morrison, The Pogues and The Cranberries.
Making a list of what you feel lucky for in your life is a lot like having a gratitude session. Take some time for self-reflection — maybe you feel lucky you randomly met your husband, you landed your dream job, or simply that you are able to put food on the table every day.
Along with the realization that St. Patrick’s Day started as a deeply religious holiday and not an all day drinking fest, relish in the fact that you won’t be hungover the morning after. While you don’t have to necessarily avoid parties and parades where alcohol is present, you’re more apt to have fun if you choose an activity that is not connected to booze — especially if you’re a recovering alcoholic. Celebrating sober is actually easier than you think if you have a game plan.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Going back to the same person who broke you.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Evaluate your childhood relationships. If you find something comforting or appealing about someone who hurts you, there’s usually a reason.The way you are self-sabotaging: Attracting people who are too broken to commit in a real way.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You are not too broken to find someone who actually wants you.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Being unhappy even when nothing is wrong.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You keep expecting outside things to make you feel good, rather than relying on changing how you think and what you focus on.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Pushing people away.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You want people to love and accept you so much that the stress of it all makes you isolate yourself away from the pain, effectively creating the reality you’re trying to avoid.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Automatically believing what you think and feel is true.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You want to worry because it feels comfortable, therefore safer.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Eating poorly when you don’t want to be.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You are doing too much, or not giving yourself enough rest and nourishment. You are being too extreme.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Not doing the work you know would help move your career forward.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You’re not as clear as you think you are on what you want to be doing. If it isn’t flowing, there is a reason.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Overworking.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You do not have to prove your value. You do, however, have to stop running from the discomfort of being alone with your feelings.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Caring too much about what other people think.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You are not as happy as you think you are. The happier you are with something, the less you need other people to be.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Spending too much money.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Things will not make you feel more secure.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Dwelling on past relationships, or continually checking up on exes.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: This relationship affected you more than you were letting yourself believe. The ending hurt you more than you acknowledged, and you need to process that.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Choosing friends who always make you feel like you’re in competition with them.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Wanting to feel “better” than people is not a replacement for needing to feel connected to them. The common denominator is you.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Having self-defeating thoughts that hold you back from doing what you want.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Being mean to yourself first will not make it hurt less if other people judge or reject you.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Not promoting your work in a way that would help move you forward.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You’re not putting your all into what you’re doing each day. Create things you are proud to share.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Ascribing intent, or worrying that things are about you when they aren’t.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You think about yourself too often.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Ending relationships you “should” have stayed in.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You’re choosing relationships based on society’s standards, not your own.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Staying in a city you claim to dislike.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Home is where you make it, not where you find it.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Denying the obvious in order to “win” the argument.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Your ego is fragile. Conversations are not about “winning,” they’re about learning.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Wanting to be more attractive (read: thinner) than other people, because you think it makes you “better” than them.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You are insecure about the ways you perceive other people to be superior to you – trying to be more physically appealing is the most basic way to remedy that feeling, because you think it’s the one thing that you can solely control and everyone else can see.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Procrastinating.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: Re-think what you’re doing. If it’s not coming to you naturally, it is not the right thing for you to be doing.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Focusing on fear thoughts and irrational ideas.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You’re misusing the power of your mind.
The way you are self-sabotaging: Mindlessly scrolling through social media as a way to pass the time.
What your subconscious mind wants you to know: You need to address the inherent discomfort you have when you don’t have something to distract you.
With the resurgence of interest in the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes including many clinical studies at NYU, Johns Hopkins, UBC, and many other research centres I have been digging into some of the literature. I came across two pieces that make for an interesting contrast: Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past by Betty Grover Eisner Ph.D., and The Ten Lessons in Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered, by Neal M Goldsmith, which is a chapter in a book called Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogens as Treatments.
Psychedelics such as LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, and Mescaline has been shown to be very powerful psychoactive tools that reach places psychotherapy and current pharmaceuticals don’t touch. Psychedelics are highly effective in reducing anxiety in terminal cancer patients, those with highly resistant PTSD, alcoholics, and new clinical research is exploring ways that psychedelics can have a positive impact on people with eating disorders, and there are many other studies researching how psychedelics work. Hope among researchers is that they will encourage governments to loosen control of these highly restricted drugs.
Betty Eisner was a psychoanalyst and psychedelic researcher in the 1950s and 1960s in LA.Her unpublished manuscript was written two years before her death in 2004. Even though there were some controls on LSD in the US before it became illegal in 1966, Betty’s book documents how freewheeling the researchers were back in the day. It is mainly a collection of letters to other researchers such as Humphry Osmond, Tom Leary, Adolous Huxley, Bill Wilson the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous who fervently believed in using LSD to treat alcoholics, and many other larger-than-life characters like the LSD evangelist Al Hubbard with his private plane.
She is a terrific writer and documents her experiences of the first age of the LSD beautifully. It was expected that researchers regularly partake in psychedelic experiences and Betty documents these with great clarity. She noted that an eight hour trip was like four years of therapy.
Have a look at this short 1956 film of Dr. Sidney Cohen (Betty’s boss) chatting with people on LSD.
Neal Goldsmith’sTen Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered is a much more nuanced and balanced account of the important lessons learned by Betty and her peers before LSD was banned in the US in 1966 up until research resumed in the 1990’s. Even though the first generation’s research was a bit loosy goosey and improvised, they discovered many very important techniques Neal documents.
The importance of set and setting was recognized early on. They recognized that one had a better trip if one is prepared and in a comfortable location. This might seem obvious to us now, but keep in mind that early researchers had people strapped to gurneys in hospital rooms and left alone for the duration of their trip. Probably because researchers consumed LSD themselves that they were able to understand the importance of things like set and setting.
In this second age of psychedelic research, clinicians are hoping to document and validate the beneficial effects these drugs in the hope that medical authorities will relax the controls that currently exist on psychedelics. If successful, psychedelic psychotherapy will become much more common in the future and I think it will inevitably lead to a radical re-examination our current understanding of psychiatry as it has been practiced for the past hundred years. After all, psychiatrists wrote off psychedelics and mimicking psychosis and schizophrenia, but now most understand that it is the gateway to understanding altered states of consciousness which include spiritual and religious experiences.
These books are available for a free download with the links posted below.
Betty Grover Eisner, Ph.D. Remembrances of LSD Therapy Past, 2002, unpublished
NEAL M. GOLDSMITH “The Ten Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered.” In Winkelman, M. and Roberts, T. (Eds.), Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogens as Treatments. New York: Praeger, 2007.
This is a must read for anyone who takes a psychoactive drug. It's brilliantly written and well researched. I think he makes some excellent points on the nature of how Mental Illness is diagnosed and treated in western countries. Could the meds actually be causing mental illness? Read it and find out what he says...
Anatomy of an Epidemic investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of adults and children disabled by mental illness skyrocketed over the past fifty years? There are now more than four million people in the United States who receive a government disability check because of a mental illness, and the number continues to soar. Every day, 850 adults and 250 children with a mental illness are added to the government disability rolls. What is going on?
Read the full post from Robert Whitaker's website, where you can also download the first chapter:
Reframing is a simple, yet powerful way to boost your self esteem, defeat negative self talk and even see events in your life in a clearer way. When something happens in our life, we ascribe meaning to it, whether we are conscious of this or not. Upon investigation, we may find that the event is loaded with beliefs that may be skewing our perception of ourselves of the world around us. Reframing helps bring awareness and perspective to undo any negativity or misperception when an event reflects negatively on up. In short:
Reframing involves changing your perspective on a given situation to give it a more positive or beneficial meaning to you.Reframing can be used to help remove limiting beliefs, to help appreciate positive moments that you might otherwise miss, or for any other negative thought you would like to change.Our assumptions help us provide meaning to events that don’t have any inherent meaning. Even when our inner voice has something negative to say, there is a positive intention behind it.The first step in reframing is to observe your negative thoughts. Keep a thought journal and use the rubber band technique to help you better understand your own internal dialogue.The second step is to replace the negative thoughts with a more positive one. It helps here to challenge the implied assumptions behind your thoughts.There are a lot of common negative thought patterns, and you can arm yourself against them in advance.
To read the full piece click on the link: http://feelhappiness.com/reframing-your-thoughts-make-yourself-happier/