Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Art of Joy

With my latest book
Starting Over

We writers are usually neurotic. Acknowledging my neuroses helps me deal with them. By practicing sports I overcome anxiety, worry, frustration and anger. Even my kids, who are now 9 and 6 tell me: “Mommy, you need to go for a run”, because they know it lifts my spirits.

Any sport or form of exercise is the best antidepressant. That, plus a balanced and healthy diet, sleeping enough hours each night, can keep the blues at bay. On the other hand, moderation is the key.

I’ve battled with obsession and compulsion since I was a kid (that’s perhaps why I suffered from bulimia, which I address in my books Me siento gorda (I Feel Fat) and Miedo a comer (Fear of Eating), and so I set limits for myself and practice moderation in all areas of life. Ever since I ditched the scale, stopped counting calories and quit overdoing it at the gym, I’ve had a healthy weight and size and I feel better than ever, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Don´t take yourself
too seriously!
Being pessimistic or negative can become a habit that you can certainly overcome. In order to avoid being washed away by negative thoughts, I often listen to self-improvement books or anything by David Sedaris on my MP3 player.

Something as simple as smiling often and not taking myself so seriously has worked wonders in my case.

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  1. I was just doing some research on the contagious nature of depression and anxiety. Mothers who were depressed could pass their depressive tendencies onto infants as young as three months through their behavior. The reverse is also true. Happiness and peace are equally contagious. It's all up in our heads, and once we realize this, it's a downhill road to getting help.

  2. Thanks Justin! My grandfather and other family members had a tendency towards depression, and so did I when I was very young. But ... I dealt with it non-stop and am happy to say you CAN reverse it. And also that my kids have inherited my bright side, and that it seems to be catching ... others around me smile more and are happier too over time!