The fifth factor that impacts symptoms of depression is the disconnection from meaningful work. Please do not be confused by the word “work” here. Work does not necessarily mean employment.
Meaningful work may include volunteering, teaching, mentoring, healing, or creating.
Call it your purpose, higher calling, mission, passion, or soul gift. The Japanese call it ikigai. Your reason to jump out of bed in the morning!
Whatever you choose to call it, it’s so important to identify it. And then find ways to integrate it into your life. Some of you have already connected to that thing, but what if you haven’t? Ask yourself…what lights me up? What gives me energy? What can I lose myself in for hours?
One way to explore this further is to make three lists: your values, things you like to do, and things you’re good at. At the cross-section of these three lists, you will find your ikigai. If you’ve identified yours, I’d absolutely LOVE to hear about it in the comments! Or if you’d like some help uncovering yours, please send me a message!
The fifth factor that contributes to symptoms of depression is disconnection from nature. Our bodies long for connection to the earth. We need vitamin D from the sun. Our lungs crave fresh air.
But how much time are you actually spending outside??? My guess is not enough.
So, here are some suggestions for getting more nature in your life: 🌎 take frequent breaks during your day that include fresh air 🌎 add plant life to your home…inside and out! 🌎 plant and nurture a garden (even a small one) 🌎 if you dread yardwork, find ways to make it more fun (listen to music, make it a family activity) 🌎 take off your shoes and plant your feed on the earth
Pro tip: Find ways to combine our need for movement AND our need for nature. Then we get to check off two wellness boxes in one fell swoop. Ditch the treadmill and opt for a walk in the park, go swimming, hike a trail, take your yoga mat to the grass or just skip the mat altogether! If you’re someone who intentionally spends a lot of time outdoors, do you notice that it affects your mood? Please share below!
The fourth factor that impacts symptoms of depression is disconnection from movement.
Our bodies were designed to move, but our lifestyles have become so convenient that it’s almost unnecessary for us to do so. We don’t even need to leave our homes to shop for groceries, buy holiday gifts, or watch a movie. Technology has greatly reduced the need for manual labor. We spend more time than ever before sitting behind screens.
My suggestion for incorporating more movement into your life is simple. Find something you enjoy. Even if it’s not conventional “exercise.” Shift your belief about movement from one driven by weight loss to one of self-love. Move because you understand the value it adds to your life.
In order to make movement a habit in your life, start small. Commit to 5 or 10 minutes, 3 days per week. Make it non-negotiable. By honoring this commitment to yourself, you’ll feel the benefit of consistently showing up for yourself (because you are so WORTH IT) AND experience the mood-boosting effects physical activity has on your emotional well-being.
I look forward to sharing more insights on the factors that contribute to symptoms of depression with you this week. Please feel free to share how you've been able to restore connection in your life to improve your emotional health!
The third factor that impacts symptoms of depression is disconnection from meaningful values. So many people get wrapped up in what they believe will bring them happiness that they lose sight of what's truly important to them. They put so much of their time and energy into a career that leaves them feeling empty. They believe happiness lies on the other side of a major purchase. They believe that once they reach a certain weight, THEN they will finally find peace. And none of this happens by chance. Our senses are constantly bombarded by advertisements. Messages that are designed to influence our beliefs and decision making. We've come to value consumerism over connection. Thinness over wellness. Status over authenticity. Unfortunately, for many, it takes a brush with mortality (their own or someone they love) to wake up and recognize the disconnect. My best advice for reconnecting to your core values is to journal. Explore what's most important to you and think of ways you can shift your attention and energy toward those things. Explore your deeply held beliefs about money and material possessions. Ask yourself what qualities you want to embody.
The second factor I believe contributes to symptoms of depression is disconnection from others.
Us humans...we're social beings. We long for authentic connection. When those connections diminish, we suffer. In fact, if we feel cut off from our people, our brain interprets that as a severe threat to our lives. That's one of the reasons we wear masks to fit in. For many, it's more important to belong than to show up as our authentic selves. If you're at a place in life where you feel disconnected from others, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and make the effort to connect with other like-minded people. Take time to re-kindle old friendships. Use meetup.com. Connect with others who share a similar hobby or passion. Volunteer. Show up as the real you. Your people will be naturally attracted to you. The others will fade away. And that's perfectly OK.
This week I will be focusing on the factors I believe contribute to symptoms of depression. The first is disconnection from self. Most people are living unconsciously, stuck in thought patterns that do not serve them. In order to reconnect to our highest self, the part of us that knows our deepest desires, that is loving and compassionate, and understands that all is well, we must first become aware of our thinking. We must recognize that our thoughts are not who we truly are. Once we can quiet our minds, we’re able to feel and hear the guidance of our inner voice.
One way to make space in our minds for this level of awareness is through meditation. There is no wrong way to do it. I challenge you to start with just 5 minutes each day.
Another way to reconnect with our highest self is to journal. Journaling is a wonderful tool for reflection and self-discovery.
People become depressed when they start believing the negative thoughts (or stories) the mind creates. They become disconnected from the true essence of their being.
Stay tuned for more insights on the causes of depression. I assure you, there is hope for healing. 💕
The funny thing about confidence is that most people believe they need to establish a certain level of confidence before they’re ready to face a new challenge or take steps toward a goal.
But I’m here to tell you, we’ve got it all wrong. Confidence comes from DOING. Showing up and honoring the commitments we’ve make to ourselves, DESPITE the fear. Here’s some good news for those of you who feel stuck in fear. It is also possible to create feelings of confidence by using visualization techniques.
Here’s how. Close your eyes and imagine your desired outcome. Imagine how you would feel if you had achieved exactly what you wanted. What would you say? How would you act? Who would you know? The more detail, the better. Don’t be afraid to get specific. One of the most amazing things about our brain is that it doesn’t know the difference between reality and visualization. Ever heard the stories of people who visualize playing the piano without ever physically practicing? And they go on to play just as well as those who do? I find that fascinating!
My suggestion is to incorporate both: take action (and get comfortable feeling uncomfortable) AND practice visualization.
Where in your life could you use an extra boost of confidence?
When it comes to healing, what you believe matters.
Many people who are diagnosed with depression believe they are broken and destined to live out the rest of their lives with this diagnosis. They embody the diagnosis. It becomes part of their identity. This is exactly what happened to me. I believed I had a depressed brain. That it wasn't possible for me to ever break free of the chains of depression. Because my brain was broken, I would obviously die a depressed person.
But here's what I believe now: ➡️ We've been conditioned to think this way. ➡️ We receive messages from society that lead us to believe there's a problem with our brain chemistry that can be fixed with an antidepressant. ➡️ The cause of depression is FAR MORE complex than a chemical imbalance (more on that coming soon!). ➡️ Some people have terrible side effects while taking antidepressants which leaves them feeling hopeless. ➡️ There is hope for self-healing.
How often do you hear people claiming that self-healing is possible? That you do not have to live the rest of your life as a "depressed person?" I'm here to tell you healing is possible. Interested? Let's talk.
Today in my private Facebook group "Emotional Wellness Connection," I shared about the importance of spiritual wellness. I believe that to ignore spiritual wellness is to ignore the true essence of who we are as humans. "Emotional Wellness Connection" is a support group for people who have dealt with or are currently dealing with symptoms of depression. Members of the group are open to holistic ways of being and healing.
If you're interested in joining the group, head over to FB and check it out! 💕
Part of the work I do with clients includes helping them develop the skills needed to manage their emotional lives...without me. I work with clients as long as they feel they need my help, but ultimately we’re working together toward the emotional freedom that comes from self coaching.
Self coaching involves the awareness of your emotional state of being and acknowledgement of the fact that thoughts have led you there. When you’re experiencing an unpleasant emotion, you can ask yourself, what was I thinking just before I started feeling this way?
So much of our thinking is preprogrammed material so it often takes time to uncover our deeply-rooted belief systems. But it’s possible and so worth it.
Do you crave emotional freedom? How about emotional stability? Reach out to schedule a free consultation. 💕