Marching on, I have downloaded Spotify on my phone and made a special list of classical music to sleep to. Mostly Piano, but also some violin, flute and other instruments. So far, it has definitely helped me sleep.

While I have still woken up, it hasn’t been nearly as much as normal. (2-3 times compared to 6-10. Not joking.) Still not the greatest sleep in the world, but for me, a chronic insomniac, this is great.
Happiness level has still so far only been minimally effected. I believe that sleeping well will help, but it will not do everything, of course. I wake up better, but I still end up irritable, easily annoyed, frustrated and depressed.

Intelligence is still largely neutral, but I am still doing good with Words with Friends, silly as that seems. My mind also seems to want to read a lot, so that is promising. But without any difficult problems coming my way, it’s hard to assess right now.

Creativity is up, but slightly. Still having issues dealing with writing while people are around, so it’s hard to say if creativity is really up since I haven’t had much time to test it out.

 

Overall, sleeping to classical music sounds good. Perhaps I will look up some research as well…

[Continued from Sleeping Classically ]

1pm: Last night, I decided to try it again. Except this time I changed the station on Pandora from general ‘Classical’ to ‘Classical Solo Piano’. I think it did much better. I was able to sleep while it was on. It was not overly stimulating, (therefore not keeping me awake), and while the volume would change some from song to song, it was not as dramatic as the night before.

I woke up in a fairly good mood (though my alarm may have also helped, Doctor Who quote of “You are beautiful. No really, you’re gorgeous.”), even though I still didn’t want to go to work that much. I don’t feel any more creative today, though I’ve been doing decently at ‘Words with Friends’ (It’s like Scrabble.) Still a bit early to tell.

10pm: So, not a bad day or anti-creative or anything of the sort, but not excellent. Tonight I’m going to find relaxing piano specifically to listen to for the night, see how that goes.

So far, status: Happiness looking good.
Intelligence is neutral, but hopeful.
Creativity is unaffected this far.
Sleep was looking the best though.

So I have now tried a new experiment. For general happiness, creativity, and intelligence. People say that when you have babies listen to classical music, they get smarter. They are born smarter. So I wanted to see house it affects sleeping adults such as myself. Not only for intelligence, but also for better sleep, since I have a hard time sleeping and I have to listen to something in order to sleep.

So instead of trying to listen to white noise, I wanted to try listening to classical music. I did it last night, for about two hours, but pandora’s radio station is not the best idea. Besides the volume changes between each song, there were changes in the mood of the music. I’m going to work on finding which songs are better, but this could work. I’m going to try again tonight with more selective music.

Wish me luck!

The funny thing about this blog is I started it to help me with my depression, but I didn’t want it to be just me bitching on the internet to a bunch of strangers.I wanted it to be here to help not only myself, but others.exercises in happiness and how to deal with depression effectively. I do not feel as if I’ve done that. So now what I want to do is to do some research like ” the happiness project” and see what I can find.
I will admit, since my friend’s death, it has been hard to do things, but I’m trying to fix that. No matter what it takes.

So my last few posts have been about my dear friend who passed away. Yesterday was the memorial and I flew in from out of town to attend. While there are so many things that I wish I could have done, while anger boiled up within me, wanting to blame people for what they had done, I didn’t. I couldn’t. Despite that I could clearly see that there were some people who had not helped her when they thought they were, they had good intentions.

And in the face of this tragedy, I could not scold them that ‘the path to hell is paved with good intentions’. It was not my place. I was not there to help and I do not have a thorough assessment of what was going on. I have bits and pieces and what she told me. I have what I’ve learned since then. None of it is complete, and I want to blame someone, including myself, that it happened.

But that doesn’t help anyone. Not at all. So I’m trying to do something with it.

I already mentioned before that I wanted to get my degree in Psychology. That is still the plan right now, I am merely figuring out the logistics of it. Which school and such. Since I am likely going to have to get a student loan anyways, it makes little difference anymore of the where besides what the college and the area offers.

So I may be moving to accomplish my goals. Which sounds fun.

I was born very pale, I can’t tan worth anything, and I really don’t understand why people see these women with dark skin differently. I suppose my parents raised me well in that regard. Maybe it’s the artist in me? I’m fascinated with what is different from me.

This topic is currently very sensitive to me. With my dear friend’s recent suicide, I believe this contributed to her depression. Therefore I feel the need to reiterate. The path to happiness, the quest out of depression, is personal.

No two people will find their peace in life in the same manner.

For some, it will be religion, for others, it will be family, or friends, or finding their passion and embracing it with open arms. It will be similar for many people, but two families are not alike, two friends are not twins. As people are so vastly different, so must their journeys be.

This means that you cannot force your path to happiness on anyone else. You cannot tell them that the only way to happiness is “blank”. It is simply not true, and sometimes it can even make things worse for others.

I will say that those of religion are often the biggest offenders in this matter. I believe that it is because religion gives many people such a sense of peace that they do not see how it cannot give others even a small piece of it. The path to happiness through God or through religion is often so dramatic, so instant compared to the others, that it is easy to see why one would believe that it is indeed the best path.

And while I will not go into the folly of an absolute religion, those who tout theirs must realize that many people find their happiness in other religions, in other methods. There are people who found their happiness through Christianity. Some through Judaism, Buddhism, even Atheism. Some found their happiness through their family, some through their best friend or lover. Some have even found it in solitude, in passions such as acting, running, or painting.

The paths to happiness are as varied as the people seeking them. Always remember to keep that in mind when helping others on their quest. You cannot force them onto your quest.

I found out today that a very dear friend of mine committed suicide. I have spoken with her many times about her struggle with depression. I have shared with her my own struggle, and we had talked about many, many things. I loved her with all my heart, and I am very sad about her passing.

I had not been updating my own blog with updates, advice or, really, anything, lately.

I am now committed to change that.

I am now committed to updating this blog, to working on my quests.

Not for myself, as I don’t always need to write and keep a regular update in order to stave off sadness, but for others. For the same reason that the It Gets Better Project exists. For the same reason that any of us sit and talk to our friends when they need us.

I will admit, I feel as if I didn’t do enough for her. I lived states away, and despite knowing of her suicidal thoughts, I did not talk to her as often as I could have. I did not remind her of what she means to me every chance I got.

I will now regret that every day of my life.

Suicide is one of those things. Many people see it as a last resort. Many people use it, and while it may end their pain, it hurts others. While I do not believe in sin, it is selfish.

While we can help those who are contemplating it, while we can support them, love them, pray for them, and do whatever is in our power for them, they are the ones who make the choice in the end. They are the only ones who can decide if the pain is too great for them to bear.

I have lost too many friends to suicide. I can only hope they found peace.

And I can do my best to help others who are contemplating suicide, who are depressed. I will do my best to help others who need it. I will be posting more information on the how as I determine that.

Much Love. -Samie

My dear Lici.
I love you with all my heart and I will miss you dearly. You were one of my best friends. Words cannot describe how much you meant to me, with all we’ve been through. I will remember your sweet face, your kind smile, your infectious laugh, your curious intelligence, your amazing art and the love you had for others. I loved spending time with you, going to your house, listening to music, drawing and talking. There is no one memory, because every memory was amazing.
I remember meeting you, at Leota, and wanting to be your friend because of your warm, bubbly, upbeat personality. I remember your silly jokes and our long philosophical discussions. I have collections of artwork you gave to me that I will treasure always.
I wish I could have been there for you more. You will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope you’ve found the peace you seek.
All my Love,
Samie

 

I recently finished reading Zen And the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss. I liked it.

I approached it with an open mind, and I enjoyed the read. The idea of the book, at it’s core, is that to be happy you must realize that the Universe is looking out for you and regardless of what happens, it is the best possible thing that can happen to you.

Or, in other words, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

I loved the emphasis on this, and I loved the story examples the author gave. I loved that the author mentions using this method in his drug rehabilitation center especially. [Even though many people didn’t.]

I loved the mention to drug rehabilitation because as an aspiring Psychologist, it was very helpful, and I believe that it is a far more effective treatment method than many therapists use, especially in the case of drug rehabilitation. This is largely because of my own personal experience. I went to a treatment center that included drug addiction as well as other at-risk behaviours. They taught there the ‘rule of thirds’: One third will recover, one third will relapse and one third will die.

Very depressing stuff, hearing that constantly, always wondering which third you’ll be. They also largely focus on shame and making the patient feel bad for what they did. While it is good to feel regret for their bad choices, regret and guilt are two different things. Guilt can be toxic, and the more loving philosophy would, I believe, benefit the patients much better. With the belief that the Universe is looking out for you, recovery can be a much more relaxing place.

On the other hand, there are definitely some cons as well.

Zen and Buddhism only play a minor role in the book, which is misleading based on the title. While it covers the subjects in a broad sense, any practitioner [or practitioner to be] should take it with a grain of salt. It does not mention a lot about meditation or mindfulness, [though the argument can be made that he is talking about mindfulness in the philosophy of ‘everything that happens is the best possible thing that can happen’].

It is also simply written, which can be either good or bad. I didn’t mind it, but sometimes it took him some time to get to the point of what he was trying to say. He often spent more time sharing his personal stories than explaining his philosophy.

It’s definitely more of a philosophy book mixed with a disjointed memoir than a How-To. Which to me, was fine.

I don’t believe any ‘How-To’ book on Happiness is anything more than philosophy with some direction anyways.

3.5/5 stars. It’s a quick read, and I got it at a discount. Worth the read, but there are better books out there.