Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    The Dual Sting of Depression and Anxiety - Involuntary Defeat Strategy (IDS)

    For anyone who has ever felt the dual sting of both depression and anxiety, you know that there is a link between the two in many instances. It makes sense that, if an individual has experienced the rejection and defeat that contributes to depression, they will ultimately experience anxiety in regards to confronting the sources of that depression. There are many ways to label this connection, but the basic premise is simple - the more severe the depression, the higher level the anxiety ultimately reaches.

    There is a difference however in what kinds of depression can cause this sort of reaction. For some people, depression can be caused by their attachments. Having a fight with a loved one or breaking up with a long time partner can be a source of depression that is debilitating but not always in a manner that breeds higher levels of anxiety. However, depression directly attributed to one's perception of social ranking can often be directly tied to the development of anxiety.

    What this means is that this high level depression is caused by a feeling of inadequacy and inferiority within a given social environment. The individual is made to feel submissive and defeated in a social competition - whether it is losing a spouse to another man or woman, losing a job to a coworker, or being upstaged by a persistently more successful sibling. This feeling of defeat compounds and, due to the inherent hierarchy that exists in any social interaction, people start to judge or rate each other. Worse yet, those that suffer from depression assume they are being judged and rated, even when they are not, and start to develop high levels of anxiety about what their friends and family think of them and how they will react to almost every decision made.

    Recent studies have gone on to show that this form of anxiety is unique in that it is directly related to the way in which you interact with those around you. One in particular - that of David Zuroff from the University of Toronto - states that when people gather in a group of essentially any form an immediate hierarchy develops. This hierarchy and the ranking of each individual within that hierarchy can then be measured based on their level of low positive effect - a term referring to the depression they have experienced as a result of defeat, rejection, or losses in a social setting. The comparison was drawn between this low positive effect level and the ability of the individual to hold attention and attraction in their peers through respect, influence, likeability, and other social prominent factors.

    The study went on to show that the lower a person is within the social hierarchy of a given group, the higher the level of depression they may suffer from, and the more anxiety they will develop as a result - feeling trapped within the social environment and overwhelmed by those they feel are better than them. Rather than confronting this perception, they retreat within themselves, hiding from outside sources due to a perceived or very real lack of support from their family, friends, and peers.

    Zuroff's study is based upon a theory known as IDS or Involuntary Defeat Strategy (Gilbert, 2000; Sloman, 2000) which basically states that depression is directly caused by an activation of an instinct that keeps defeated individuals from attempting possibly dangerous contests with rivals that are superior. This social rank competition theory means that a great deal of depression is caused simply by individuals not being able to terminate this IDS reflex in their brains at the end of a social competition. They continue to allow the effects of losing a job or breaking up someone to affect how they perceive and interact with the world.

    Millions of people attempt each day to overcome social pressures and be an important part of the social hierarchy. Those that can overcome their depression by working with those around them and terminating the self-defeating behavior our brains attempt to instill when we fail, will not only be able to operate free of much of the social anxiety they experience - they will quickly rise to the top of the social rankings.

    Want to learn more about Involuntary Defeat Strategy?

    Bruno LoGreco Master Life Coach, Toronto Canada.


    Cricket said...

    I am somewhat familiar with the link between hierarchy and depression, but this really shook me awake today. Again, perfect timing.

    I want to add that we should make sure we are well-rested and nourished, too. It will help us to have a healthy mind if we have a healthy body.

    By the way, since you mention Healthy Choice a lot, I picked up a few at the local store (on sale!) and I have to say, yum! I don't have to worry about what is in them, either! Stress free!

    Bruno LoGreco said...

    Hi Cricket! I couldn't agree with you more. Did you know our mind consumes 25% of our energy? So nutrition, exercise and rest are extremely important to maintain a well balanced healthy lifestyle. Mindfulness techniques calm the mind and have a host of health benefits including reduced stress and anxiety.

    Beef Merlot is my favourite. Try it out..

    Thanks for the comment!

    Post a Comment

    Ten Powerful Self-Coaching Tips

    By Bruno LoGreco

    Are you living the life of creativity and happiness that you've always dreamed of, or are you allowing your fears or other outside factors to influence you?

    Following the path that your heart's desires requires courage and might require a shift in attitude. There are several methods you can use to act as your own life coach and start working toward the life you dream of.

    Ideas for self-improvement

    You don't need to change every aspect of your life at once in order to improve your attitude and outlook on life. Self-improvement can feel daunting if you try to change everything at once.

    A good way to embark on your journey of self-coaching is to make one change and see what kind of impact it has upon your life. The following tips are designed to help you improve your life and become your own life coach. Try out one of the following tips at a time to positively impact your attitude and daily life.

    1. Find some ‘you' time. Everyone needs time alone to meditate and recharge. You may think you don't have extra time in your day. Start with 10-20 minutes to use for meditation or silent reflection.

    2. Ask yourself what you truly want in life. Are you living your life according to your true dreams and desires? You may be unaware of your desires that lie hidden beneath your surface needs and wants, so take the time to find out.

    3. Write everything down. Even if your thought seems silly, write it down! You may be surprised by the inspiration and ideas you can come up with.

    4. Journal daily, but with a twist. Instead of just writing about today, try writing about yesterday.

    5. Keep track of the "happy moments." Each day has potential for many small moments that bring joy and happiness. If you don't make a special note of them, you may not even recognize the small joys in your day.

    6. Choose one task each night to complete the next day. This way, you have focus, and you accomplish at least one task. Tasking and taxing yourself with effort is important in reaching goals.

    7. Smile when you wake up. Smiling is contagious. By smiling you improve your mood and can potentially improve someone else's day as well.

    8. Give thanks each night. Gratitude will improve your outlook on life and help you see all the good and wonderful moments of your day.

    9. Try something new. A new experience fuels creativity and your enjoyment of the day.

    10. Create at least one memorable moment each day. Make each day unforgettable, even if in a small way!

    Taking the next step with a life coach

    Self-coaching tips are great ideas for helping you improve your life. However, you can take your life to the next level with a life coach and mentor. A professional life coach can help you set goals and help you move forward with your dreams. If you're looking for the right path toward happiness, a life coach can help you discover the path your heart truly desires.

    Want to learn more about self-improvement? Bruno LoGreco is a Life Coach Toronto and mentor. Visit BrunoLoGreco.com and find out how to unleash your potential for success and happiness.

    The Success Indicators on Your Life Path

    Many people seek out a particular goal in their life path and are content when they achieve it. The chance to broaden their horizons or learn new things within an existent structure is not as appealing to them as it is to some others. This is an issue that arises in many individuals because they mistakenly think they have achieved what they wanted to in their lives. The plethora of environmental noise around them begins to infringe upon their goals and forces them to lose sight of what they truly wanted.

    A good way to think of this problem is to envision a large square box. This is not just any box though. Rather, in this case, your box has been divided into three separate, but equally shaped rectangular boxes, all stacked on top of one another. Each of these rectangular boxes is a highly important expression of your life goals -- individual levels of success. Within each of these levels of success is an indicator that tells you how close you are to becoming successful in this area of your life.

    Every area of your life that you identify as a potential path for success can be further divided, containing the many different events and obstacles you will encounter as you strive to reach your goals. Think of each sector of your life as being divided even further, with three new sections within one of the three stacked boxes (sectors). Within each stacked box are three separate sections, divided by dotted lines that make up the life path you will follow. These dotted lines are not the same as the solid lines dividing the sectors -- they are a path that you have envisioned since childhood -- a series of goals and pathways to success that you want to follow.

    As young people, these life paths may not be fully formed. Or they might be crystal clear in our minds--long, straight life paths from the early days of college and adult living to the ultimate goal of success that you have always strived for. You can see exactly what you need to do to reach each success indicator and achieve what you have set out to accomplish. And you probably did just this. After all, your goals as a youth were to be successful in the same way that you saw thousands of others live their lives. You wanted to reach your success indicators and experience the measure of success by which you would measure you life for decades to come.

    However, nothing is ever as simple as we envision it during youth. There are countless factors that interfere with your ability to clearly see those success indicators and life paths to success. These factors, or "Environmental Noise," can be detrimental to even the most focused of individuals. Think of what would happen if you dumped the contents of downtown New York into your box and tried to maintain your focus on those goals. Would you even be able to see your life path anymore?

    Everyone must travel their life path with environmental noise inundating them from all sides. It begins to become cloudy. The dotted lines, our life paths, begin to look like the straight lines and the success indicators start to be confused with any number of different distractions.

    And then something will happen and you will realize that you are in fact nowhere near the original success indicators you set for yourself. Everything has changed and yet you are stuck in a way. You are deep within the center of the middle rectangular box and you have no idea which way to go or how to get back on track. The noise only grows louder and you grow dizzy trying to regain your focus.

    It is in this instant that you must clear the noise and return to the basic, almost instinctive mode of thought you experienced as a child. What did you want from life? Where did you want to go? What do you need to get to that point? What was my life path? All of these questions must be asked without the distractions of the world around you muddying up your thought process. When you can revert to a very simple perspective of the world and only spend time thinking of what you want from life, you can be that much more successful.

    You can succeed in life despite the environmental noise, cruising down your life paths and moving through your rectangles with ease, but oftentimes you need a helping hand to clear away the noise and look at life with fresh eyes. There is nothing wrong with asking for help to weed out these distractions and remove the clutter from your life sectors with a professional life coach.

    Is your life path inundated with environmental noise? Learn how you can lift the noise and begin reestablishing your success indicators today. Visit www.brunologreco.com a Life Coach Toronto today.


    Top 10 Benefits to Journaling

    By Bruno Logreco

    There are countless reasons to maintaining a journal. The top ten benefits of journaling may differ from person to person. However, there seems to be general themes that are attractive in the collective unconscious. Many people are looking to daily entries of their personal experiences to reap some of the following rewards.

    Maintaining a journal is a natural way to exercise the brain. People who make regular entries are taking time to develop writing and communication skills that are very valuable in everyday interactions. This mental exercise also helps to allow your thoughts to flow freely.

    Creativity is a second benefit to consider. This is an important aspect of journaling. The right hemisphere of the brain is associated with visual, imaginative and intuitive facets of thought. When you take time to write, you free the right hemisphere. The ideal entry will be one that puts the inner editor on hold. Thoughts and ideas should flow freely and naturally.

    The uninhibited nature of this form of writing serves a third benefit of developing self awareness. People often create different faces to meet various circumstances. We tend to recreate in distinct situations including the work environment, the community and even when at home.

    The process of keeping a journal helps you recognize the various aspects of your unique personality. The growing self awareness is a powerful force that can lead to even greater benefits in the future. Gaining insight into the self is among the most important aspects to maintaining a journal.

    The fourth benefit is the ability to set priorities. Once you get a grasp on the thoughts and emotions that are filtered through your personal experience, you begin to gain control of them. The process eventually leads to a greater understanding of what is and what is not important.

    The ability to re-see the past is another great benefit of keeping a journal. The pages can be revisited with a fresh perspective. It can be very surprising how much your understanding of an event changes over a relatively short period of time. Some writers find great moments of epiphany when rethinking and rereading entries.

    Journaling is a fantastic problem-solving resource. The approach of using entries to come up with various solutions to troubles is a little different than approaches for self awareness and growth. Many people choose temporary brainstorming techniques that serve to give viable solutions to problems.

    The seventh benefit of journaling is variety. You can choose what kind of entries you want to make. Common choices include brainstorming sessions, automatic writing and reflective notes. Personal journal entries can be made upon inspiration, when you first wake or right before you fall asleep. Some choose to do a combination of these.

    Purging is the eighth benefit to this practice. Many people find it helpful to place negative thoughts and feelings down on paper. Once the negative energy is placed on the page, they are free to let it go. This practice also works well when dealing with anger towards another individual. Purge the negativity and work towards a constructive approach.

    The ability to communicate with others is another benefit of keeping a journal. Those who work with life coaches can find a wealth of resources for sessions. Journaling can help you tap into your fears and dreams, helping your coach gain insight through entries that you choose to share.

    The tenth benefit is improvement in your overall health. Journaling reduces stress. It provides time for you to meditate. The process helps to make the positive forces in your life surface and it helps to bring the harmful elements into light. The result of personal journaling is a new perspective on how you can take control of many aspects of your life.

    Want to learn how online journaling can help you reach goals and problem solve? Learn more about life coach Toronto at brunologreco.com and journaling at iijournal.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bruno_Logreco