Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

12 Bricks of a Strong Mental Foundation

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I was reading “The No-Cry Discipline Solution” last night (because I’d like to discipline without the tears and tantrums!), as recommended by my psychiatrist, and found author Elizabeth Pantley’s points for building a strong parental foundation to be ones that I can incorporate into my mental health program. Here they are:

1. The big picture is more important than any one action.


To even attempt perfection would be ludicrous and stressful, yet … most of us criticize ourselves unnecessarily over every negative situation.

2. Relax more and stress less.

View the little things for what they are–little things–and don’t let them get in the way of taking pleasure out of every single day.

3. Play more.

You don’t always have to have one eye on the clock when you’re immersed in playtime….Let the answering machine pick up a few more messages. Ignore the ding of incoming e-mail messages on your computer.

4. Give yourself more credit for what you do right and don’t examine so intently the things you do wrong.


Do your best, learn from your mistakes, and appreciate that you are doing a grand and important job. Give yourself a pat on the back, and give credit where credit is due. You are doing a better job than you think.

5. Let your heart win out over the voices of insistent, insensitive, and unwanted advice [THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE!].

Be open to new ideas, but sift them through your moral strainer before you apply them to your [life]. Once you make thoughtful decisions, move forward with confidence.

6. Be willing to break the rules.

Throw caution to the wind and follow your heart more often. Loosen up a bit and know that you don’t have to be the serious, dull, authoritative boss every single moment of every single day.


7. Discipline doesn’t have to be unpleasant to be effective.

Don’t be too quick to jump into unforgiving or harsh discipline. Try the gentle methods first.

8. Know that it’s not that important.

What’s not that important? Well…nearly everything. The majority of the annoyances we suffer … are due to minor issues.

9. Give the small stuff small attention and the big stuff big attention.

I remember a professor in college telling the class of the very first day, “If you put the same amount of attention into sharpening your pencil as into writing your thesis, you will only succeed in making yourself a nervous wreck.”


10. Relax, because when you’re prepared for the worst, it almost never happens.

Worry itself is useless. Studies even tell us that most of the things we worry about never happen. It is better to be prepared and knowledgeable and then, to state it very simply, don’t think about it so much. Banish needless worry–it’s a waste of a good imagination.

11. When the worst does happen, you’ll get through it and you’ll move on.

Bad things do happen. Some things we have no control over, and some are a result of decisions made. But either way, when bad things happen, we cannot manipulate time and make them not happen. What we can do, however, is adjust how we think and what we do and move past even the most difficult situations. In all but the most extreme cases, we, as human beings are resilient and adaptable.


12. Live in the present.

The more you can embrace living in the moment as part of who you are, the more fulfilling your everyday life will be.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

  • Gen

    Thanks Therese, rarely do we read such down to earth, common sense tips! Also, isn’t it funny how parenting tips work so well for life in general? I think I’ll print these out!

  • Anonymous

    These tips, the application of them to your own isues and the very fact that you’re reading this book all serve to even further strengthen my belief that your David will be just fine even if he DOES turn out to have inherited your anxiety disorder. What an outstanding role model your kids have! (As do those of us who log in each day to receive your daily dose of wisdom in regards to our own mental health issues. Thank you so much for always being here, even when you’re not You were missed more than I can articulate here this morning. Your repeat posts were great, mind you, and you absolutely DESERVED SOME R&R, but it’s reassuring to know that you’re “back in the saddle again.” I hope you have some fun time scheduled for this weekend. Labor Day does NOT mean you’re supposed to labor! You’re the best, my friend.

  • Dick McKusic

    Isn’t it good to see why St. Therese is a thriver and not just a survivor. :) What an encouragement to the rest of us out here.

  • lucy

    Wonderful recipe for irresponsibility. Haven’t we had enough of this already?

  • Elizabeth Pantley

    Hi Therese,
    How wonderful to see that you felt my tips were of such high value. And I’m happy that you are sharing them with others. I found an interesting link between us – with both of our sons named David ~ :o)
    I wish you happiness and love.
    Elizabeth ~^*
    PS Can you please add this to the bottom of your blog as required by my publisher:
    Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Discipline Solution (McGraw-Hill 2007) by Elizabeth Pantley

  • Suzanne

    I am trying to overcome the loss of a job. I live in a community where I do not know very many people, so it is extremely difficult for me to pull myself up from the “pit” I have fallen into.
    The people from the past are not particularly close to me and my family doesn’t contact me via phone or email. I am wounded beyound belief.
    Please advise. Thank you.

  • Suzanne

    I live in a community that is relatively small compared to the previous community I lived in. Last year I was hired relatively late in the school year (October) and had my hands full of unruly students.
    I did my best and was “stabbed” in the back by a colleague. This has never happened to me before and it is taking some time to get beyond the hurt this individual has inflicted upon me. She still has her job, but not me. I know I am competent, but am having a difficult time.
    Any advice?

  • blanche

    Lucy, I’m sorry to say that you sound like a “serious, dull, authoritative boss”.

  • Beth

    Suzzanne: My thoughts on people who stabb another in the back are insecure. She obviously felt threatened by you/your position… didn’t like the attention you were getting. As far as living in a small/new community; it takes time to build those new relationships, so don’t give up. Look in new places, make converstaion and SMILE alot! For your sake and the sake of your family and it futures you all need to mend the broken ends. You say they don’t call or email you. Maybe you can call/email them somethinmg to break the ice. If you don’t, one day you will all be very sorry…

  • Doug

    Bad things happen to good people, no matter what. People get fired every day. It happens. Sometimes it’s our fault, sometimes it isn’t. The thing is that we need to keep suiting up and showing up, even (especially) when we don’t feel like it. I lost my job almost a month ago under some questionable circumstances. I am in recovery and have a strong relationship with my Creator. I can’t believe He would bring me all this way just to drop me on my head. I do believe that what He brings me to, He will bring me through. I keep looking for another job, and i keep being thankful for the opportunity to demonstrate my Creator’s power in my life. I know it looks bleak now, but it WILL get better. Don’t give up!

  • Anonymous

    Dear fallen into the pit yes you have fallen into the pit now take a real look at were you have come from now take a deep breath and remember what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger go get some extra traing if you can afford it if not then gatheryourself together network with others and try and keep yourself moving forword and make friend all the while you are gettimg info on new positions get unemplyment benifits as well then seek out a new job be around positive people as wellremember this this is only temporary but death is so permenent and besides that the bigest revenge to get is to live and grow surpas that person and keep that as a plane to live your life at a better rate than you were before.
    signed been ther done that AL.

  • BarbO

    Ny co-worker and I were friends for years. We helped each other through a lot at work and personally. Her betrayal and her lies that got me fired after more than 24 years on the job was the most hurtful thing I’ve every known. (Of course this feeling doesn’t come close to losing loved ones). I never found another job and I have some health problems and no insurance. I went back to school at 60 years old and soon will be working from home. The priceless part is I was able to be with my husband 24/7 through the last 2 years of his life. So sometimes things are awful, but there is always some kind of blessing too. I’m very sorry you are alone. Please find a support group. They help a lot. We always need to remember there is someone out there with some of the same problems we have. Talking about them help.
    The jest of this is don’t give up. Something good is around the corner. Stay strong.

  • margie

    hello I’m stuck in medical problems and it’s hard to get going i just want to go back to bed, everyday.

  • J H

    My 17 year old Grandson, has been charged with a crime he did not do. He had an atty that totally believed in him, but gave him the wrong advice. They gave him 6 years in prison. He is being TORTURED every day, with gangs, threats to his well being, and mentally tortured as well. Imagine if you were wrongly accused. Or worse yet, that one of your CHILDREN were. It is Hell on Earth. We are appealing, but with no money left, it all seems hopeles. I was told the appeal could take a year! When a child goes in our system….a good child comes out a criminal. Can’t we change that? They also make it impossible to see them, because they send them FAR away, not close to home. GOD help us All! Please be an advocate to change this system!!!!!!!!!

  • marisol

    This is for Margie:
    Please, remember that the body wants to keep the same position that gets use to, so please, keep moving trying to do what you know is good for you,and that God has a plan for us, do your best and let Jesus do the rest, with a faithful spirit and a positive thinking I can assure you that you are going to be surprise about the blessigs that God is sending and is going to send you.I know is easier to say it, but I know that if you learn to love yoursel, you always are going to do the best for you and then be able to do the best for others knowing that since now Jesus is holding your hand through the path he has prepared just for you. I am praying for you to open your eyes, your heart, your soul and your spirit to receive the blessings from God.
    Jesus loves you too.

  • mariso

    I pray that we all put our burdens in God’s hands, and that we all keep strong, faithful and with very positive thinking, no matter what the situation is, and be able to pray for each other, because we need to remember the power of prayer;and not forgetting that if we always do our best to help to solve any problem, and that God is always there for us even though we do not see how, it is true that he is there for us. Do not despair,and do not stop, keep seeking, knocking and opening eyes to be able to see the blessings God is sendig daily. God love all of us!!!!

  • conundrum

    hi, i’m at my wit’s end. i had a bad ax a year ago. i am strong. outgoing. but shy. i had/have a job keeps me in public eye. im ending, almost a long road. however, along the way of broken hip,fractured pelvis, still broken leg, bad back…i’ve dealt with friend…who i though would be there. she is my BEST girl friend. BUT she has only visited 1 day a 1/2. She flies planes. She complains she can’t understand my text. My letters she can’t answer, she is too busy. She won’t write back, when I say that’s all, your turn : ) She says she can’t plan days off. She’s the only girl I’m close with. She’s getting arrogant and conceited flying ‘bigger planes’ She gets defensive. I am kinder, enlightened, and make amends. She doesn’t pay attention to emails. I feel like quitting her. She tells me I’m like her sister, I feel like her step sister. I’ve learned so much thru this life threatening experience. She’s learned about planes and concentrating. I’ve learned to be tough and accept the truth and best. I cry sometimes. I can’t talk with her. It hurts. I’m lonely. The guy friends get tough. Tried new girlfriends. I’m tired. She hurts, uses people. I’m tired because of injury and not moving on. She can’t “feel”. What do I do? Signed, Me P.S- I think she’s getting competitive.

  • Lisa

    Get another lawyer,but you have to paid big,so they be on your side.
    You need strong evidences to stand in court.Lot’s of prayers to.Raise
    the money.

  • rod

    i also was a victim of the justice system.I advise you to pray.

  • Rosa Cardona

    I am having some problems with one of my pair in job. She wants to be retire before the time is suppose to be. She used me fine out the way to be retire a receive more money. She talked to me disrespectfully and then she say that I treat her with bad manners. Now she said that she is receiving sphicology treatment because me. I have never said something about her. She work close to me a she don’t talk to me.

  • R

    This response is to “Me”.
    I know exactly what it’s like to have a friend who has no time for you. I had to let her go because I would keep in touch with her after she moved over 1200 miles away from where we grew up.
    She also told me that I was like a sister to her. I thought that too about her. But, it was nothing to her to just stop writing.
    It does hurt, but moving on will heal how you feel. What helps me is to look on the inside and see what you would like to do. God is with you and will help you.
    Every time I think I’ve found a new friend, they either don’t like to email, write, or they don’t have time for anyone.
    Now, I’m my own best friend. I am good to myself. I have since found good friends, and even am email friend. Someone I knew from another state. I now live 5 hours away and we don’t travel very far from home. Some of my friends come to visit me from time to time. I’m not lonely anymore.

  • DD

    In response to ME:
    I know also what you are going through although, my situation is different. My best friend for over 18 years is a man, who became my husband 8 years ago. We recently separated and I am completely on my own now. However, before I left we couldnt talk, we fought more than anything, and he had alienated everyone else in our lives so that the only person I was allowed contact with was him. LOL I prayed and GOD helped me. I now have a good job, my own home( it is no where the size of the one I left, but it is mine) and my family is now my best friends. But since May I have learned to be my OWN best friend. I am never let down this way. My friends before my marriage (he also grew up with these people) acted like I didnt exist. They could see me at the store and turn the other way. These are people I shared secrets with, laughed with, lived with, grew up with. My life with an abusive husband has taught me that people can be shallow and hurtful and the bottom line for them is them. they do not care about anyone else unless it benefits them. Well when you dont care anymore they will realize that they have sacrificed a true friend. Keep up your prayers and GOD will keep you strong and mend your soul as well as your body. I know this because he has mended me. Good Luck.

  • Erin

    Articles from Beliefnet have helped me a great deal.
    I recommend others to join this site.

  • ME

    Thank you all so much who responded. I believe the way I was raised and the way I am is ‘very motherly’ and empathetic…however, some people confuse it will be passive. However, I am very assertive. It’s just that I’ll go and go, until you take and take, and eventually…like you’ll miss what you have. My enlightment came through this accident and I have changed into a stronger, better person, with a position to not know the why’s of it all, but to know it did happen for a reason, even to slow down, to take heed, to find out that maybe, I should take stock. At the same time my ‘sister friend’ couldn’t handle her new ‘schooling/flight’ job and was ‘easily swayed’. I did find I was stronger. What happened is I got tired of the sale ol stuff? I held people accountable. Busy became an excuse. Sometimes she looked out more for herself, but couldn’t understand her selfishness. Titles made her feel important. Without her title she’d be nothing. I’d survived and even a lot more than that accident, I was human. I found she had no empathy, and was shocked. Her gifts ‘told’ me she cared. Her few days off offered me respite. But being one of the guys, being attractive, and having no ‘chum’ outlet is getting old. One friend’s had a nervous breakdown owes me money, another lies to cover for flaws and always has excuses for things, but this ‘best friend’ is coy and is not there, and it saddens the heck out of me…but if I don’t e or write she is quick to call and check. I know she is a different person not around me. She has gotten ‘snarky’ I have become almost one more introspective, with humility, and want to achieve so much, not an the expense of others, not that I did before. I think I will have to pull back. It hurts maybe,but it’s just too hard. The energy is too much. To re-explain what she missed., for her not to open up, it is so much. I do cry, and I don’t know. We are both nomadic in nature. But I’m not a doormat. I tolerate her because I know what’s she is like…but it is beating me up. I talked to an older woman, she’s like take the good you can and leave…I thought, well I’ll be lonely. I’m seeing how people use and connive. I guess it’s better to be honest and free and alone, then chained to these balls of unhealthiness. I’m good alone. But it’s the times you think of your history and a mate out, a girl to talk with, the times you helped when you hurt, and no return you cry. But I suppose writing this helps, makes me think, no life is not fair, full of suffering, you don’t give what you get back., but just try. God bless you all. Peace. Thank you. I am looking to God to mend my soul, it does seem like I’m soul sick for the contentment I’ve dreamed of paralyzed in my hospital bed, no more able, stagnant in my life, with just a little more to go…but I can’t change people. I think they know, even her own mother with cancer is ailing and she can’t see her. The selfishness or bad timing stinks. If only…then is what it is, right…?

  • Darlene

    Hello out there,
    It’s another beautiful day on the road to “HAPPY DESTINY.” Life’s GREAT! Life’s much too short to waste on unnecessary things, places and people who don’t have the capacity for living,loving,sharing or caring about themselves and the feelings of others. The consequences of “bad realtionships” can be a “good” learning experience for everyone whose been unfortunate enough to have to endure any in their lifetime. I’ve been able to “GROW” from each and every “good and “bad” relationship that I’ve been blessed with. God is “GREAT” and he is “GOOD.” I know now that he’s always been there and will continue to be there for me and anyone else in need of his love, care, and guidance. “THESE ARE THE RULES” that I’ve rediscovered for living a happier, successful, joy-filled life that I love because I’m loved unconditionally. The prefered agreement is to love thyself, thy neighbor and above all “HIM.” Everything else that happens in life are more gifts and beautiful miracles on a daily basis to be cherished and treasured FOREVER~

  • Destiny

    I needed to read this… I’m actually at work right now and this is my “escape” sad isn’t it? I have a baby boy who isn’t even 4 months old yet, and last sunday (1 week ago) he ran a major fever and I took him to the hospital we found out he was developing early stages of pnemonia, so we thought that we would just stay home by ourselves and not take him around anybody for a while until he got better, well, we had alot of winds from the hurricane here in ohio and caused MANY people to go without power, ours came on by monday, hardly anyone else’s did!
    So, we have a sick baby in a small 2 bedroom townhouse, and a cat and to top it all off, we then had to have my fiance’s dad AND grandparents stay with us b/c they need power for their oxygen and medicines etc, AND we had our aunt, uncle and their 3 kids over every night to shower and eat dinner (that i had to cook) so for the last week (yes its taking them that long to get everybody’s power turned back on) I’ve had to take care of a sick baby, cook for 10 people, clean up after them and we have to be completely moved out of our apartment in less than 2 weeks, we don’t have any moving done yet b/c of so many people being in the way! I havent been able to sit on my couch I havent’ been able to lay on my floor (its way too dirty from so many people comming and going) and my son, who has slept through the night since he was a month old, has begun waking every 1-3 hours through the night b/c of the stress, and he’s not getting over being sick as fast as he should!
    Oh yea, and the grandparents on my couches, haven’t bathed at all since they’ve been in our home so i need to steam clean all of my furniture when they leave! talk about stress and how bad my depression is bothering me, I am amazed i’ve held back my bipolar disorder, I’ve come really close to screaming at some of them but I somehow walked away, I’ve been smoking alot more than I usually do though (not around the baby or in the house dont worry!) it’s the only thing keeping me from going crazy, so I like reading things like this to keep myself thinking positive, it helps :)

  • Yvonne Turner

    This is beautiful, I just started a new job and I deal with some of the most eccentric people. I live in and work in a holistic community. I work with readers and they can be quite a hand full when it comes to the ego and competition….if they would only look at themselves and live in their moment of intuitive gifts they could give to others healing readings and not worry about who is getting the next reading…it is quite competitive…but I listen and learn and I move into each moment with love in my heart…namaste…

  • InezBradley27

    That is perfect that people are able to get the loans and this opens new chances.

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