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Be Grateful

There is always something to be grateful for. It is up to you to hold onto it and make it your focus.

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.

The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.

-Zig Ziglar

This is the # 1 thing you can do to get your mind from drifting into depression. Depression is a big net that captures everything that is good around you and makes you blind to it or numb to it. So it’s our job, to cut big holes into that net, and not let it capture what we know is good.

Every morning, before I do anything, I think of one thing I’m so grateful for.

My wife is out of town and my son is sick, so I let him sleep in our bed halfway through the night last night. Even though it is harder to sleep, I love him by my side, knowing I am close, if he needs anything. So this morning, I woke up, looked at my precious son and realized how grateful I am to have such a wonderful son in my life. I’m grateful for his ability to fight this sickness and how he can still be so happy even with that runny nose and fever.

Exercise #1

-Buy a journal and a pen

-Whenever your feeling depressed, anxious, sad, overwhelmed, take a minute and write down what your grateful for. Do this throughout the day and then at night go over that list. Do this everyday and you’ll start training your inner thoughts to be grateful and to look for the good.

Depending on how long you have been depressed this could take time but don’t give up on it. Your mind is programmed to look for things throughout the day that we concentrate on, good or the bad, so might as well be concentrating on the good. The biggest lie of people with depression, is that they will always be depressed. We have to change our brains inner thoughts to look for the good and that cloud will start to vanish and that sun will start shining through again, I promise.

Be grateful throughout the day, everyday!

What are you grateful for?

 

How do I help my loved one with depression?

Ignoring the depression will only make it worse. Time to confront it and conquer it!

You know someone who is depressed and want to help. Where do you start?

Here are my top 10 things I would suggest. Hope this helps.

#1 – Love them but don’t enable them.

There is a fine line of loving and enabling . Have a open dialoge on why they are feeling the way they are. Just ask questions without having any answers for them. Let them know you just want to hear and understand. Bite your tongue on giving any advice or talking about you. This is just about them. This will build trust and show you truly care only about them.

#2 – Get them active, involved, feeling alive at something positive

Challenge them to go do something with you. Don’t let them be alone in their thoughts all the time. There must be something they love to do or used to love to do. Find out what and go do it. Stay positive the whole time and don’t let there depression dictate the mood of the day. You’re hanging out with someone sick and it’s your job to be the medicine. The medicine is positivity, encouragement, fun and loving on them.

#3 – Send texts of encouragement and truth

My favorite daily readings comes from a book called “Thought Conditioners” by Norman Vincent Peale. He uses the Bible to speak truth into your life and guess what……. it works, it really really works 🙂

Example of one of his daily readings:

The things, which are impossible with men are possible with God. —Luke 18:27

This text shows how to do an “impossible” thing. Size up your problem, pray about it, do all you can about it. If it seems impossible, don’t give up, but affirm, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

Keep relaxed. Don’t worry. Avoid getting panicky. Never think, “This can’t be done.” Declare, “It can be done, it is being done because God is doing it through me.” Affirm that the process is in operation. The final outcome may not be entirely what you now desire. But, handled in this manner, the solution will be what God wants it to be.

#4 – Encourage them to get help.

Find a depression counselor and set up an appointment for them. Let them know you’ll pick them up and take them and afterwards go to lunch or something. A lot of times, your loved one, wants help but just can’t do it for themselves. So if you take all the planning or stress our of the positive activity, they’ll be more likely to go.

#5 – Help them to treat themselves better.

Depression affects all sorts of lifestyle changes. A lot of times they forget to treat themselves. So encourage them to do things that are good for their appearance, health and daily routine.

#6 – Appearance

Book a day at the barber or salon. Get your haircut, hair dyed, beard trimmed, new haircut. Make your loved one feel great about themselves. Get some new clothes that look and fit great. This is a great way to break the mindset of someone depressed.

#7 – Health

Be on the lookout for red flags. Are they eating horribly? Are they exercising? Brushing their teeth? Things that might seem simple to us but when your depressed, you seem to forget to do the simplest things, to stay healthy. So make healthy meals together, go on walks together, take or purchase a good multi vitamin. Try to limit unhealthy snacks. Depression is sometimes a direct link to how the body is being treated. Try to implement some healthy lifestyle changes into their life but remember to make it fun! Sometimes walking isn’t that much fun but frisbee golf is. So find creative ways to get them to be healthy.

#8 – Daily Routine

Are they a thermostat or a thermometer? I’m guessing they are a thermometer and the world dictates their mood. So it’s time to coach them to be a thermostat. Have a healthy night routine. Write some things your grateful for before bed. Wake up with an alarm. Start your day with some goals and daily readings that are encouraging and life giving. Don’t let that phone of yours dictate your morning or nights. It’s time for you to set your own mood.

#9 – Go get blood work done

Go to your doctor and get a wellness check. Make sure your body is doing okay. Maybe your loved ones depression is a direct link to something that is going on with their body. It’s always a really good feeling to know everything is okay. If something comes back off, then it’s nice to be able to know what to fix and how.

#10 – Don’t let them talk negative about themselves

Most depression is linked to a poor me attitude and lack of gratitude. Always in a loving way make sure they know not to talk crap about themselves or anybody else. The way you talk about others will directly impact the way you think about yourself. Even if someone is a crappy person, it does nothing for you to talk poorly about them. Find ways to love other people all the time and you will find love for yourself too :). Sometimes you have to fake your inner thoughts and mood to get it to change. So help that loved one with loving themselves all the time.

I hope this helps when it comes to helping your loved ones!!!

Give Thanks!

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” -H.A. Ironside

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” -Gertrude Stein

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” -Doris Day

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” -Alfred North Whitehead

Want to do something right now that will instantly get you in a better mood???

Think of someone who has helped you with something. It could be something as little as saying hello to you or holding the door for you. Send them a message thanking them for that kind gesture. Let them know how it made you feel and your grateful for what they did.

I love all the quotes from above but the one that sticks out the most is:

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” -Gertrude Stein

The reason why this sticks out so much is because I know its the simplest to fix. I am guilty of it and I am sure you are too. It feels so good to hear the simple words, “thank you” from someone that has helped you out.

When you keep helping certain people without them acknowledging your kind act, you start to wonder, are they are even grateful? Then you unintentionally or maybe initially stop with your kind acts towards them. This could be a simple business referral, taking them on outings, watching their kids, dogs, house, anything that would just take a simple “thank you” from them, for you to feel appreciated.

Showing gratefulness to people and seeing good deeds all around you, will help you take your focus away from poor me. It will put your mind on how you can help and recognize, good in other people, then be able to say thanks at those opportune times.

Being depressed is a mindset we have to fix. It’s a mindset of poor me and why is this happening to me, me, me, me, me……. me. If you do anything, try and not focus on you all the time and focus on giving thanks to people that do nice things for you. It’s out there, I promise, but unfortunately you don’t see it all the time, unless your looking for it.

It’s never too late to show gratefulness to someone. This is one that seems awkward but I promise its never too late. So, if you have someone you know you should of said thank you too, back in the day, but didn’t. Send them a message now or give them a call. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, they will love it and you will feel great for doing it.

Giving thanks will give you just as much pleasure as the person receiving it. It’s strange how that works, but we are programmed to love and respect people. Sometimes we think it is a weakness but its not. Its our greatest gift for ourselves and for others.

Give thanks next time you get a referral from someone, don’t do it later, do it then! When someone takes you fishing, hunting, shows you something cool, whatever it might be, tell them thank you and treat them to one of your favorite spots next time. Give thanks to the person holding the door for you or let’s you cut in line cause they can see you’re in a hurry. Remember those kind gestures and then repay that favor to someone else when that opportunity arises .

Giving thanks is so simple but you’ll be surprised how easy it is, not to do it. Change that habit and see your relationships blossom, your mood heighten, and the world will seem better.

There is a catch to all this. Do not expect, a thank you, for doing something nice. Do it because you want to do it. Do it without expecting anything back. You might get people that don’t recognize your good gesture, but don’t let that bother you. If you notice you’re in a one sided relationship and you never receive thank you’s, from a certain person, it might be time to chat with them. Just let them know how you feel and that you love doing stuff for them, but a simple thank you, would mean the world to you. Opening their eyes to this concept will help them. Not with just your relationship but with a lot of their relationships.

Hope you enjoyed this and please share my blog with anybody you know that is struggling. We are all in this together and why not make it a great place to live for every body :).

Once Depressed, Always Depressed?

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure, but no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends, but hate socializing. It’s wanting to be alone, but not wanting to be lonely. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”

When your depressed, its hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. The best way to describe depression, in my opinion, is from the quote above. It’s horrible and no one understands what you’re going through, except for yourself and others dealing with it too.

So how do you get out of depression and will it come back when you do?

Depression to me is like a small cold that never goes away. Its hardly noticeable at first but you can feel it at times. Then the cold gets worse and you start to have more symptoms. At it’s worst, it turns into pneumonia, your bed ridden and you don’t know how much time you have or how much time you even want. Then you get medicine for it and it seems to settle down. Your life starts to get normal and the symptoms go down. That’s when it figures out how to beat that medicine and kicks your butt again.

Depression is like a cold that will and won’t go away. You just have to figure out what triggers it and try to eliminate those activities, hobbies, habits, relationships, etc…. The horrible thing about depression is once you have it, it’s easier to get, in the future. So we need to find out how to rewire our mind, find our triggers and get our life back.

The worst part of depression for me, is that if I don’t carefully watch out what triggers it, it comes back. Luckily, I’ve realized most of my triggers. I still fail at times but when I do, I can snap back into a non depressed state, really fast.

We need to change the way we think if we want to get out of depression for the long term.

-No more thinking poor me. Depression spreads the fastest when your always thinking about yourself. So we have to combat that with trying to help others and thinking about what we can do for them, to make them the happiest. It’s amazing how we are the happiest when we are thinking of how to help others.

-Knowing your story will change and it’s okay. I never thought my parents would get divorced and my Dad would leave us, in our home state when I was 13. It devastated me for the longest time. He was my best friend and I never understood how a Dad could leave his kids. Now I realize the benefits of him doing this and how it has helped me as a Dad. I ended up moving to the place he moved to and I have fell in love with Montana. I wouldn’t be the Dad I am today, if it wasn’t for me realizing, how I felt back in the day. So I spun my bad story into a positive one. You have to figure out a way to make everything as positive as you can, even when at the time, it’s really shitty. It’s your life, not anybody else, you deserve to be happy and to help others in the same situations you conquered or that your going through.

-Stop doing things you know that are bad for your mental health. I had a friend message me, some time ago, that was talking about their journey with depression. He was saying how he felt great working out, not drinking and being active. He then went to say how it wasn’t sustainable and how he was feeling depressed again. He liked having that occasional beer, didn’t have time to work out, and wasn’t being active. I understand wanting to be normal or thinking you don’t have enough time but when you know how to feel better and what your triggers are, I highly suggest sticking with what works. To me, being happy is worth way more then being comfortable. Being comfortable and complacent is probably what got us into depression and its time to change those habits.

-Hang out with good people and positive people. People that don’t gossip or bring others down. We should all want the best for people. Even if that person has the same profession or hobbies that you have. There is so much business to go around. We should never have a mindset of scarcity but always a mindset of abundance for you and others. You won’t love yourself as much as you deserve if you don’t love others like they deserve. Are you feeling depressed because of the way your seeing others? It’s hard to think, that you being critical of others has a direct link of how hard you are on yourself. Give others and you a break. Love on people and don’t hate.

-Don’t think you need something in the future and then you’ll be happy. You need to be happy with what you have now. If your always happy with what you have and don’t put false expectations, on how you’ll be happy later, if you get a certain something. You’ll have a mindset of gratefulness and gratitude which is the greatest medicine for depression.

Will you always be depressed once you’ve gotten the depression bug???

I truly believe your mind always wants to go back to depression. It doesn’t make sense to me but it is what I have noticed. Luckily depression for me isn’t a constant state of mind anymore. It’s something I can now recognize and I figure out what is making me feel that way. I stop it and the rest of the day I am good. So let’s conquer this depression bug today, tomorrow and everyday. Let’s live our best life and help others and us at the same time.

The Best Advice I ever got THAT DIDN’T WORK

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” 
― Oprah Winfrey

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” 
― Aldous Huxley

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.” 
― Thomas Paine

You ever feel like some people have all the advice in the world but wonder if you should listen to it? This is something that happens daily to most people because people in general love to give “great” advice when they’re not the ones having to do anything.

So who do you listen to and who do you actually gather advice from, in hopes it will help you out?

I base most of these decisions on the person’s life and their actions. Everybody and anybody, is an expert, now a days. So it is up to us, to see if these wise words are coming from a hypocrite or someone who has backed up his/her words with how they live their life.

When I was depressed I sought out advice from a lot of people but a lot of it never seemed to help. The biggest reason, they were never depressed, so they had no idea on what I was going through. They cared but caring doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to help.

Best thing I did was to find books, from authors, that had experienced depression. How they fought it and the steps they took to get out of it. One book I read talked about how eating correctly cured a lot of his stress and anxiety which helped with his depression.

With this knowledge I found out. Part of my depression was lack of energy, which was stemming from the things I was eating, and I had no idea. I thought I was eating healthy but what I didn’t know at the time was, I was allergic to some of those things. I was having huge inflammation issues within my gut, which in turn, was draining me of my energy.

I would of never realized this, without researching others that had struggled with depression too and seen what they did.

Another example from another book, is the way we talk to ourselves throughout the day. I was shocked, once I took note of my subconscious thoughts, what I was telling myself throughout the day. No wonder why I was depressed. My mind was literally feeding my mind with lies all day long. I changed this pattern right away with intentional positive reinforcement, every 15 minutes through out the day. I would have a notecard of all the positive things about myself, even if I thought I didn’t believe it. I would read those words and make sure I believed it. After a week of doing this it was crazy how my subconscious thoughts started to change.

I just want you to know, there are people out there, that have gone through exactly what you are going through now. They want to help you and it is up to us to find them. Its so nice finding a book or person that you can relate to. That way you know there is no made up BS and they can relate.

Be picky on who you take advice from and especially who you take criticism from. If someone hasn’t walked in your shoes or close to it, they might not be the best person to help you get out of it.

I hope this helps you out and let’s get happy and stay happy together!

Caffeine or no caffeine?

One of the biggest obstacles of depression is your energy level. Energy seems to disappear and we need to figure out why.

So what can you do, to get that energy, you need back?

I’m going to crush you a little bit but the answer is to give up caffeine. Or to lower it everyday until your down to a cup of coffee or 100mg a day at most. Caffeine, spikes your natural cortisol levels. It’s your bodies main stress hormone. It controls things like fear, motivation and even your mood.

So if your constantly on the caffeine train to get your energy, your cortisol levels are always unstable. Your getting way too much cortisol levels and then your body crashes way too fast, afterwards. So your in a cycle, of thinking you need more and more caffeine.

The problem is with high cortisol levels (un natural levels because of what caffeine does) comes problems. Anxiety, Depression, trouble sleeping, weight gain, problems with digestion.

With too much caffeine your body is constantly producing too much cortisol, which in turn, is telling your body somethings stressful, somethings wrong, your in danger, etc… It’s literally fueling your fight or flight instincts in your body.

So knowing this you can understand why you might be feeling stressed, anxiety ridden, tired, and fearful all the time. So lets try and get our body back to normal and get our cortisol levels in check.


Here are some things I have done to help with my addiction to caffeine, I hope it helps you as well.

I’ve substituted my normal coffee with decaf coffee. It still has caffeine but at a fraction of normal coffee. I love having coffee in the morning with my wife, so this helps with that craving. Good news, it taste the exact same!

If I’m tired throughout the day, I do some yoga poses, pushups, pull ups, ab training, or I go for a walk. When your active, you create energy. Energy doesn’t just happen by itself, you must create it, by making yourself start something active. It might seem impossible but it works!

I hope this helps you out in your journey to a better life :).

Feel free to comment below on your success with these tips or give me more tips that have worked for you, thanks 🙂

Are you fueling or smothering your depression?

“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

When your depressed all you want to do is be “happy”. You’ll do just about anything to get a quick fix of happiness. Just something that you can feel that doesn’t feel like death.

The problem is, a lot of times what you choose, is fueling your depression.

This is hard to hear, so please be open minded. We need to redirect our negative thoughts of poor me and divert it to, am I doing this to myself? You’ll have to be in a mindset of I’m willing to be honest with myself in the hopes of gaining my life and happiness back.

Example: For me in particular and my journey with depression, I found out my unhealthy happiness was coming from two particular things. Unhealthy hobbies, that could be great hobbies, if it wasn’t taking over things that were more important. 2nd was Amazon and purchasing things. It gave me such a high and I could rationalize needing it and making it okay every time.

I was addicted to fly fishing in particular. It consumed me. I would watch videos all day, learn every knot, take trips all over, and buy fly fishing things I didn’t need. Fly fishing is healthy right??? It is, but it has to be something you do as a hobby, not something that you obsess over. Anything you obsess over more than getting your life in order, you need to try and back out of it.

When your depressed there are things in your life that you have neglected. Spouse, kids, finances, bills, yourself, etc…. You need to put a halt on the things your trying to escape from and work on those things that you know that need attention. Just start with one thing and do something about it once a day. They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. So try it out for 21 days and see how it is helping your life and your depression.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

2nd thing I personally did was, I got a high from spending money on materialistic things. I think everybody does but for me this was causing tons of anxiety and depression. Finally admitting it and cancelling my amazon account was the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m realizing you don’t need anything materialistic to be happy. Having more stuff is really, in my opinion, a lot more stressful. We are in the process right now of selling tons of stuff! The whole movement on less is more, is so true.

I’m not sure if you’re a believer or not but I know now everything I have is not mine, its Jesus’s. He can take it all away at anytime and he can also give so much more at anytime. So to worry about stuff, was really bogging me down, so now I don’t.

The biggest way to get out of depression is if you know something is triggering it, stop it! Right away. No regret and no looking back. You’ll always be glad you did something today then thinking back in 20 years, I wish I would of done that then. The best time to take control is now, that’s all we are guaranteed.

So now when I want to fly fish or hunt, I make sure I make it a trip based on relationships. I never go alone unless I need a day of meditation. Relationships are one of the biggest blessing we have in this life and I make sure I capitalize on that.

I never buy anything unless I talk to my wife first or I think about it for a couple days. Pulse buying is what got me in trouble and when you have time to think about something, you can make sure it is a necessity, it’s in the budget, it is something your doing for yourself and not just to look cool.

Are you fueling your depression or are you smothering it?

You got this!! You can do it! Your best self is ready to shine again 🙂

We all have a lot to live for I promise you!! These are two of the cutest things I live for now and they are the best 🙂

The power of Activity.

One of the biggest obstacles to get over when your depressed is to have daily activity. The truth is, when your depressed, you don’t even want to get out of bed, most days. So the idea of getting out of bed and doing something active probably is the last thing you want to do. Especially if that activity, involves having to be around people.

The problem with Depression, is that it constantly feeds you lies. It’s like a really bad friend, that you know you need to get rid of, but for some reason you hang onto.

It’s really hard to do, but do everything opposite that depression is telling you to do.

-Be Grateful (Never let your mind feel sorry for yourself. It feels good in a weird way but I promise you, it’s not healthy. So let your thoughts dwell on the things your grateful for throughout the day)

-Be Active (Join a gym, go on hikes, ride your bike, play golf, take your kids to the park, etc…)

-Surround yourself with people you want to be like (You’ll never be who you want to be, hanging around people, that are in the same mental state as you)

The last thing I wanted to do, when I was in the deepest part of my depression, was to workout. Now that I look back, it was the best thing I did for myself. You get natural endorphins pumping through your body and you feel great. I have never once went to the gym and after my workout, thought to myself, that was a waste of time. It’s always one of the best parts of my day.

I challenge you to find something you can get involved in, that is activity based. Something to get your blood pumping and that you have human interaction with. I know its going to seem impossible but remember getting out of depression, is a one day at a time kind of solution, not a instant fix.

Its a new day and lets do this!! Your best life is waiting for you and its time to start today.

“For me, exercise is more mental than physical. I crave it for my sanity. Not just the endorphins, but my energy, confidence, and relaxation are all motivated by it.” ~ Jonathan Keltz

“Now, I’m no scientist, but I know what endorphins are. They’re tiny little magical elves that swim through your blood stream and tell funny jokes to each other. When they reach your brain,you hear what they’re saying and that boosts your health and happiness. “Knock Knock… Who’s There?.. Little endorphin… Little endorphin who?… Little Endorphin Annie.” And then the endorphins laugh and then you laugh. See? Its Science.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres

Hey what’s up! I’m Matt

Me and my son Wesley
  • Why am I blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

My personal mission and goal is to help people to live their best life. I was depressed for over 20 years and constantly thought about suicide and I don’t want that for anybody. If I can help one person by teaching them how I overcame depression then I have done something bigger than I could of imagined.

  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?

I will write about techniques that have helped me overcome depression. Teach you how to stay fit physically which will make your mind stronger and release those natural endorphins. Lastly, I want to teach you how to eat properly to help your body to operate at its best.

  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I want to connect to anybody struggling with depression who is f*ing tired of it and wants to get rid of it and is open to try new things to achieve a new way of living.

My name is Matt.

I Love my family and especially our late night rave parties.

I love fly fishing and the places it has taken me. Africa, New Zealand, Seychelles, All over America, Mexico, Bahamas, Canada, Belize, and hopefully many more.

I love lifting and staying fit. I would much rather go to the gym for natural endorphins then any other type of drug.

I love when I listen to God and do things I’m scared of. It always turns out okay and its something that always makes me smile looking back on.