Mostly C’s: “The Thinker”
A lifelong student, avid reader and questioner of everything, you take “knowledge is power” to a whole new level. You’re probably a big fan of documentary films, you heavily research vacation venues before traveling and never stop asking, “Why?” and “How?” Realizing such things about herself has helped Brooklyn, N.Y.-based journalist Stephanie Schroeder, 48, to gain control over her mental health: “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 11 years ago,” Schroeder explains. “The second I was diagnosed, I researched it, I met with a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and read books about the condition. There was no goal to ‘get better’—I just wanted to learn what I could do to be healthy, and that required a lot of investigating.” On her list of mental health management goals: getting eight or more hours of sleep; cutting back on coffee, grains and dairy; exercising consistently; and having a solid support system in place. “Before I understood my condition, I did a lot of damage to myself and others, but learning as much as I can has made all the difference in becoming healthy, inside and out,” Schroeder says.
Transform yourself: Whether you’re trying to lose weight, clear out the clutter in your home or office or be a better listener, satisfy your need for information by boning up on the issues behind your unhealthy behavior. For instance, binge eaters can explore their issues by visiting websites like Binge Eating Disorder (binge-eating.com) or books like The Binge Eating & Compulsive Overeating Workbook by Carolyn Ross (New Harbinger); clutter sufferers can check out books on feng shui and the psychology of clutter, such as Conscious Order by Annie Rohrbach (Printed Voice) or Your Spacious Self by Stephanie Bennett Vogt (iUniverse, Inc.); and we can all become better listeners by reading The Sacred Art of Listening by Kay Lindahl (Skylight Paths).
Max your motivation: Because you’re well informed, you may feel like you already know what you should or could be doing and therefore, you resist seeking help. Instead, acknowledge that there are times when someone else might know a bit (just a teeny, tiny bit!) more than you and enlist their expertise—just like Schroeder did. Even if you’re simply trying to improve upon something you’re already good at—like, say, taking your creative writing, snowboarding or watercolor painting to the next level—hiring somebody more experienced to give you a one-on-one lesson or two could open up a whole new world of transformational possibilities.
Mostly C’s: “The Thinker”