The best way to clarify the mental fluid is to just let it settle all by itself. Don't add any energy to the situation. Just mindfully watch the mud swirl, without any involvement in the process. Then, when it settles at last, it will stay settled. We exert energy in meditation, but not force. Our only effort is gentle, patient mindfulness. The meditation period is like a cross section of your whole day. Everything that happens to you is stored away in the mind in some form, mental or emotional. During normal activity, you get so caught up in the press of events that the basic issues with which you are dealing are seldom thoroughly handled. They become buried in the unconscious, where they seethe and foam and fester. Then you wonder where all that tension came from. All of this material comes forth in one form or another during your meditation. You get a chance to look at it, see it for what it is, and let it go. We set up a formal meditation period in order to create a conducive environment for this release. We reestablish our mindfulness at regular intervals. We withdraw from those events that constantly stimulate the mind. We back out of all that activity that prods the emotions. We go off to a quiet place and we sit still, and it all comes bubbling out. Then it goes away. The net effect is like recharging a battery.

Meditation recharges your mindfulness. Secrecy. Most people know without being told when their behavior or substance use begins to tip out of balance. Perhaps they don't yet see a problem in it, but they sense that others will not understand and will disapprove of their actions. So they hide them. No matter how we try to convince ourselves otherwise, we hide only what we are ashamed of, and so a low-level conflict begins within us. Deception. Before long, the need to hide our secret forces us to lie, usually to people who care about us. We might be able to justify having personal secrets, but everyone knows that deceiving people close to us is toxic to healthy relationships. Which leads to heightened . Shame and guilt. If depression were a rocket, then these two would be the fuel. They can enter our thinking from many directions, but when they arise because we're harboring a secret addiction, one we lie to keep hidden, then shame and guilt lead directly to feeling powerless, worthless, and unlovable--all the hallmarks of entrenched depression. Finally, the reflexive response of someone in the grip of growing addiction and depression is this: Further self-medication. And just like that, the cycle of secrecy, deception, shame, and guilt--all driving us into depression--starts over again, this time in a higher gear. What does addiction have to do with depression? Everything. Don't take any of this as instruction to ignore your anger and cover it up. There's a reason we grow angry. It is a healthy release of stress energy.

It helps us deal with uncomfortable situations and to work through unhappy emotions. However, directing that anger at the wrong person or the wrong situation does you no good, and it can also be extremely damaging to your health. The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself. Let's say you're a relatively nice person, you don't get overly angry at anything in particular and when someone gets to you know you, you're capable of a decent conversation for at least a few minutes. Why then do you still come off as unfriendly? No, you're not broken. It's not a personality disorder and you don't need pills. More realistically, you're not even trying to be unfriendly - it's a combination of insecurity and discomfort in the presence of others that is causing your unfriendliness and nine times out of ten, simply recognizing that discomfort will help to reduce it. I like to apply my three don't do' communication pitfalls. <a href=''>It</a> allows me to mend thedisconnect' in my relationship, repair any miscommunication that has recently taken place, and communicate feelings of respect, admiration and appreciation for my partner. No matter what type of relationship you're dealing with--a romantic one, a professional one or a personal one (such as with a family member, a neighbour, a parent at your kid's preschool, etc.) avoiding these following pitfalls can drastically heighten your popularity, improve your ability to get along with EVERYONE and reduce social blunders that can affect your social life. Being defensive. One of the fastest things you can do to emotionally distance your partner from you is by putting him/her on the defense. You're planning a ski trip at the end of the week, so you turn to the Weather Channel on Monday to get the five-day forecast.

"It's going to snow on Friday," it reports. Psyched, you can't wait for the weekend. On Tuesday, you check the weather again to see if Friday's storm will be huge, but now they say it's going to be sunny. What happened to the storm? Disappointed, you check the forecast a little later and this time it predicts rain for Friday. We hear long-range forecasts all the time, and they're reported with considerable certainty. And yet, those forecasts are constantly changing. What's going on? It turns out that we can't predict the weather that far ahead. In fact, weather prediction is reasonably accurate only about twenty-four to forty-eight hours in advance. And yet, we spend billions of dollars to make long-range forecasts. The World Meteorological Organization estimated that the global budget for weather forecasting was around $4 billion in 1995. About half of that is spent in the United States by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is the parent organization of the National Weather Service, the Climate Analysis Center, the Severe Storms Forecasting Center, and the National Hurricane Center. The National Weather Service issues daily forecasts as well as three-to-five- and six-to-ten-day forecasts. The Climate Analysis Center gives us monthly and seasonal outlooks, predicting weather patterns for the next thirty days, ninety days, and even eighteen months into the future. We do this knowing that the weather is a chaotic system, and is therefore impossible to predict that far ahead.54 Research indicates that the National Weather Service can produce reasonably accurate forecasts of temperature, cloudiness, and rain twelve to forty-eight hours ahead of time. Heavy snows are more difficult to predict. For example, New England experienced the great blizzard of 1978 on February 6. The day before the blizzard, the Boston Globe made no mention of a big storm, and predicted that the winds would only be ten to fifteen miles per hour in an easterly direction. As William Sherden notes, "For the period more than 48 hours in the future, weather forecasting enters the twilight zone, where accuracy and reliability decline to a point of very limited usefulness.

In fact, the prediction of the specific time and places of precipitation beyond two days becomes indistinguishable from random guessing." It's no surprise, therefore, that the long-range forecasts of the Climate Analysis Center aren't any better than chance. If you wanted to predict whether a certain part of the country would have normal, above-, or below-average temperature over the next three months, which is what the Climate Analysis Center does, you would do just as well by throwing darts at a map to predict those three options. Some people believe that the Old Farmer's Almanac is quite accurate in its weather forecasts. In fact, the editors of the almanac claim that their forecasts are 80 percent to 85 percent accurate. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? But consider the evidence. William Sherden analyzed the monthly average temperatures for the previous thirty years in Omaha, Nebraska, and found that the almanac was accurate 49 percent of the time in predicting whether they would be above or below seasonal norms. Given that there's a 50/50 chance of being right in this prediction, we might as well just flip a coin. The almanac's accuracy in predicting temperature was 73 percent, which is close to the 80 percent that it claims. Sounds pretty good--but to determine the real value of the almanac forecast we have to compare its accuracy to some benchmark, like that attained from a naive forecast. What if, for example, we just used the seasonal average temperature to naively predict the current temperature. Amazingly, we would get an accuracy rate of 90 percent. So relying on the almanac gives us less accurate predictions than if we just used past seasonal averages, which require no forecasting skill at all. What can we take away from this evaluation of weather forecasting? In recent years, meteorologists have made great strides in storm detection and short-range forecasting over a one- to two-day time horizon. In fact, Sherden notes that meteorology is the only forecasting profession that shows signs of improvement. However, long-range forecasting is just voodoo. So you have to wonder, why are we spending billions of dollars to make long-run forecasts? It seems more like wishful thinking than anything else. Technology gurus constantly make predictions about the new gadgets that will change our lives.