That’s advice from keynote speaker Deri Latimer, author of Wake Up to Your Habits, who spoke at last week’s Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference.
“We don’t see the world as it is. We see the world as we are,” said Latimer, a Winnipeg-based human resource manager turned professional speaker to share her expertise on practising positive mental health.
Unfortunately, we’re susceptible to falling into what she calls our “ruts of thinking.”
These are the wrong interpretations we often have of our situation, or how others see us. Unchecked, they can lead to depression and other destructive ways of living, she told a workshop at the three-day conference.
“If the rut is deep enough you can let go of the wheel,” she said.
The better path is to become a more mindful thinker, challenging your negative thoughts and staying well through personal resourcefulness, she said.
“The one thing we do control is our perspective.”
That requires staying self-aware, paying attention to thoughts and how they may be affecting you, and adjusting your thoughts before they become overwhelming.
“Depression didn’t come in one day. All of us can learn to notice when it’s starting,” she said.
Latimer said it was her father’s death that made her realize early in life how critically important good mental health was. He died of a heart attack at 45. It was only after that family found out how much stress he’d been under, she said. Just out of high school at the time, her dad’s death was an early motivator to help others live better and work in psychologically healthy workplaces, she said.
“I remember thinking, ‘work should not kill you,’” she said.
Latimer gave a TEDxManitoba talk titled ‘Choose Life’ earlier this year. It is found online at http://tedxmanitoba.com/2013.