A day filled with values-guided behaviors will create more moments of LP and HP, and a full day will lead to much more productivity than an unplanned day. To demonstrate how you can notice your own patterns, I'd like to introduce Sheila. Like many people, Sheila struggles with persistently poor moods when she's home alone at night. After tracking for a week, Sheila learned that the one night she really lit up was Monday, when she went to her book club. She compared her mood that Monday to the rest of her weeknights, when she ate dinner and watched TV at home, and noticed a stark difference. What did Sheila learn from her own data? She realized she needs more social connection, fun, and intellectual stimulation. But the book club only meets once a month. This information can help her think creatively about extending similar benefits to other nights of the week. She now has a better sense of what she is looking for and when to plan it in. Do you notice your own themes emerging? Certain types of activities or social situations may lift you up while other types may knock you down. In your journal or on the downloadable form, try to answer these questions: What are your vulnerable activities? That is, what are you doing that makes you vulnerable to feeling lower than your typical baseline? What are your uplifting activities? That is, what are you doing that makes you feel better than your typical baseline? I've had adults say they'll come in for treatment, will pay my fee, but will not seek reimbursement from their insurance company for fear that the diagnosis will tag them and travel with them forever. I've been asked by parents to "find a diagnosis" that can work for their child, implying that they are worried about future stigma. Personally, I became label avoidant in the early stages of my depression--literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, I peeled the prescription off of the Prozac bottle every month for almost a year.

I didn't want anyone to know what medication I was taking. Figuratively speaking, I managed my "psychiatric" prescriptions at a drugstore several towns away, whereas my "medical" prescriptions were refilled around the corner from my home. I didn't want there to be any chance that awareness of my mental illness could occur. Stigma doesn't affect the life of only the person with mental illness. If you are a family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor of someone who has mental illness, you have the potential for finding yourself socially disqualified from others.31 Sometimes called courtesy stigma32 or associative stigma,33 stigma by association devalues your status because you share an affiliation with a child or adult who has mental illness. The closer your connection, the more others understanding stigma believe you have direct involvement or responsibility for the mental illness. When I moved into my first home, I set up an office and completed the necessary paperwork for the town's zoning. Part of my responsibilities was to contact neighbors to let them know about the construction plans. At first, there was an outcry that my office would encourage "sick degenerates" to roam freely in the neighborhood. Having "crazy people" come at all hours of the day would "put our children in danger." Gradually, neighbors who were once warm and engaging held their gaze downward instead of waving hello as I passed. At the bus stop, I tried to educate parents about the individuals I worked with, but failed miserably. It didn't take long for me to realize how misinformed my neighbors were about mental illness. Though I was frustrated by their stigmatizing views and the social disqualification I endured, I knew that time would calm their concerns. As they began to see that the landscape of the neighborhood remained unchanged, that no sick degenerates wandered into their yards, and that the people who came and went from my office were just like they were, their anxiety faded. After the to-do over my office subsided, nearly everyone in the neighborhood sought my advice, counsel, or friendship at one time or another. I consider the teachable moments regarding my home/office to be some of the proudest anti-stigma moments of my life. By now, you've come to learn that stigma is a generalized way of negatively viewing a person based on a single trait. Addressing stigma is not always an easy thing to do. For many, fighting stigma is not an option. The misconceptions, intolerance, and biases that wait in the wings for a person with mental illness can heighten their need for concealment.

Fear of losing a job, friends, and social status are very real things. For this reason, concealment can be a strategy in avoiding stigma.34 For others, challenging stigma is less risky. Some openly share their diagnoses and treatment experiences and bring to the table a realism that helps dispel social myths. This is known as "indiscriminant disclosure." Others decide what, where, and with whom they share, controlling the information about their mental illness, but sharing it nonetheless. This is called "selective disclosure." I strongly believe that disclosure of one's mental illness should remain a personal choice. Just as there can be a trauma with diagnosis, so too can there be trauma from self-disclosure. I believe that the decision to disclose my mood disorder was easier for me to make than it is for most others. Don't get me wrong; it was very difficult and emotional. In areas where you get creative--your home office, workshop, or (for you kinky types) bedroom--let things get messy. But remember that a little clutter goes a long way: The researchers warn that excessive messiness can cause sensory overload and mental shutdown. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to the sort of art you put on your walls. If you're finding yourself feeling a bit stressed at home, you might want to rethink how you're decorating your walls. Architecture professor Roger Ulrich, who studied how hospital design affects patient well-being, found that art on the walls generally elicits positive feelings and keeps patients' attention--even distracting them from discomfort or worries. But not all art proved healthy: While patients found landscapes and nature scenes pleasing, in interviews patients reported feeling disturbed by abstract art. Ulrich dug into this trend further, and found that seven paintings had actually been targets of physical attacks over the previous seven years, with five of those having been attacked more than once. All seven were works of abstract art, and all were eventually removed. If you're finding yourself feeling stressed or itching to attack your wall, change the artwork on it. Add some excitement to your life by changing up your home's paint colors. While there have been numerous studies on the relationship between color and mood, a big area to consider is whether the color is warm (such as red or orange), cool (blue or violet), or achromatic (neutral grays, black, or white). To figure out how people respond to these different color temperatures, researchers developed two "virtual living rooms" and varied the placement of the window, furniture, and shelving units in them.

Participants were shown three pictures of each room, each with a different type of coloring (warm, cool, or achromatic). We're unnecessarily feeling emotions over little events and then feeding into them so they grow out-of-control. We're allowing unnecessary emotions to thrive and they're stopping us from keeping the right mindset and taking action. Baby emotions become big events and these "big events" stop us cold in our tracks. Little drama between us and family, friends, and co-workers cause us to call into work, stay in bed all day, and lose productivity. Instead of creating and being the change we want to see in our lives, we just complain and hope someone else will fix it for us. A lot of us bitch, whine, and complain all day long at our jobs and when we have an opportunity to raise our hand and speak up in a meeting, we stay silent. When we have an opportunity to pull the boss to the side and give some feedback about what's bugging us, we choose to walk the other way so we don't look like we're kissing ass. We cry and cry about how things need to change but we never speak up, offer solutions, or do anything about it. We keep going to the same job day in and day out and we complain instead of finding a new job or making our job more tolerable. The same goes for our personal lives. We bitch about how our kids act but we don't change our parenting habits. We complain about how we look and feel, but we don't change our eating habits. We complain about being broke and not making enough money at work, but we don't change our spending habits, job, or our work ethic. We complain about our spouse but we don't seek counseling or to get away from them. We complain about our home life but we choose to keep living there. If you're complaining about something you can fix, then fix it and be quiet. If you're complaining about something you can't fix, then offer solutions to those who can fix it, or get away from it entirely. If there's something you don't like about yourself, change it. If there's something you don't like about your occupation, change it.

If you don't like your income, change it. If you don't like the results you're getting, work on changing yourself first because that may be 90% of the problem. Instead of complaining, you have the power to make things better. Having your act together means you and your life are the product of your conscious decisions and actions. For those of us who don't have our act together, we're failing to consciously make wiser decisions and to take action. We're reactive instead of proactive. We're reactive instead of responsive. We're unconsciously reacting to everything happening within us and to us and, over time, we become the product of our reactive decisions and actions. We're broke because we're constantly reacting to emotional excitement, short-term gratification, and the inability to wait. We're not taking time to stop, think, and be proactive about what our money could and should be used for. We're overweight and unhealthy because we're reacting to being hungry and instead of being proactive, having some mental toughness, and waiting to eat something healthier, we're doing what's easier - using the drive-thru of fast food restaurants. We're complaining, angry, and worried because we're failing to take time and think about the current situation and how much control we, realistically, have over it. Warm colors were consistently rated as more stimulating and exciting; cool colors were considered more spacious, restful, calm, and peaceful, while achromatic colors had the lowest positive ratings. Boost the "excitement" of rooms like kitchens and home gyms, where you'll want to have high energy, with warm colors. Go with cooler options for places where a more calming feeling would work best, such as a bedroom or study. Skip the achromatic colors altogether. If you're working on a project that requires creativity, seek out a space in your home where the ceiling is at its highest--or maybe just go outside. A pair of marketing professors conducted a trio of experiments looking at individuals' responses to rooms that were identical except for ceiling height. They found that higher ceilings induced a greater sense of freedom in individuals--not to mention sharper memory. When are you vulnerable?