The Quieted Soul

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

We live in an age where people are so focused on working hard that we lose sight of enjoying time with ourselves. ‘The grind’ is romanticized. Turning what was once a fun hobby into a ‘side hustle’ has become the norm. It may not seem like much in the beginning, but over a period of time, not allowing yourself to quiet your soul can detract from your mental health. In the same way that you make your work a priority, make taking time out for yourself a priority.

Let’s reflect on Lao Tzu’s quote. What’s the significance of it? What real life applications are there?

The Redwood is a great example of what Lao Tzu meant. The average Redwood grows 240 feet—that’s as long as a city block! Never once, though, is the Redwood stressed about how tall it will grow, why it isn’t as tall as the other trees of its kind yet, or whether its roots are where they’re supposed to be. Let’s apply that to our lives.

Do you often compare yourselves to others around you? Do you feel like you need to rush your life’s journey? Maybe you do experience these feelings. Now ask yourself, has any of that comparing or rushing brought you any further accomplishment? Remember the Redwood next time you’re feeling like there’s too much on your plate. Remember the Redwood next time you’re unsure of where you’re going. In the same way all is accomplished in nature, you too will get where you need to go.

Read more about cultivating a healthy soul here: Center Your Soul

Uncommon Symptoms of Depression

Many of us are familiar with the term ‘depression’ and its traditional symptoms because of how it has affected us or our loved ones. Its presence in media and entertainment makes it seem easy to identify— sadness, exhaustion, lost interest. While those symptoms are real, there are some that are less common, yet equally important to look out for. 

Uncontrollable emotions

As we mentioned, sadness is often associated with depression. However, it isn’t necessarily the emotions that we feel that can warn us about depression. It’s the rapid changes in our mood that truly clue us in. Feeling yourself shift rapidly from high peaks of happiness to low valleys of sadness, from feeling strong emotions to nothing at all are examples of cautionary experiences. 

Insomnia

When we think about depression, it’s easy to think about someone that sleeps constantly as a means of escape from their sadness. However, insomnia and trouble sleeping can clue us in to whether or not we are depressed. Oftentimes, laying in bed for long periods of time during the day is due to your inability to get restful sleep at night. 

Weight Fluctuation

Being depressed often means that we experience a change in our appetite. Some tend to eat more. Others tend to eat less. What you should look out for is extreme fluctuation in weight one way or another. 

Compensating with Happiness

Many people who are experiencing depression do what they can to hide that from others. To mask their feelings, they may compensate by acting happy— over the top positivity, constant joking, etc. While this certainly does not apply to everybody’s experience, it isn’t all too uncommon. Pay attention to your friends’ and loved one’s changes in behavior. 

To read more, click here: Coping With Anxiety

Depression Hurts

To many of us, depression pertains JUST to our mental health. If you are dealing with depression, though, you may not know that it can manifest itself physically in your body. These physical signs are worth noting because when we only pay attention to what’s going on inside our heads, it’s easy to become desensitized to our own experiences, making it difficult to note our progress. They’re also worth mentioning because our loves ones are more likely to vent about their aches and pains than they are about their mental health.

Everything Hurts More

Studies have shown us that people who are experiencing depression also experience a lower pain tolerance. They may also experience inexplicable aches and pains throughout your body. Before immediately jumping to pain-relievers, first take stock of your mental health. Talk therapy may very well help with the pain you’re feeling.

Headaches

Headaches are a normal experience, especially in a world that has become nothing but hustle and bustle. We may attribute it to work, stressful relationships, or not hydrating properly. However, studies have shown us that headaches can be a symptom of depression—especially when they become a daily struggle. Headaches caused by depression are not like migraines in that they don’t often take you out of commission. However, they will begin to wear on you as they become a more regular occurrence if you do not receive the help you need.

Stomach Aches

Upset stomachs, feelings of being bloated, diarrhea—these are all ways in which depression can physically rear its ugly head. In fact, the pain associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is so similar to those experiencing stomach pains stemming from depression that patients are often diagnosed. Our stomach is almost like a second brain. In the same way that depression can affect your mental state, your stomach will pick up on the internal turmoil and begin to follow suit. Interestingly enough, a healthy diet has been proven to alleviate some symptoms of depression. To read more about the relationship between the body and the mind, read our other blog entries: How Anxiety Affects Your Body