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

Center Your Soul

Center Your Soul

When we think about clutter, we often focus on the material things around our homes. The extra pairs of shoes, the unnecessary salt & pepper shakers, or maybe even the ukulele we promised ourselves we’d learn but never did. While it’s important and good for our souls to de-clutter every once in a while, we also need to remember to de-clutter our mind so that our souls have room to thrive. Have you taken inventory lately of your relationships? Who in your circle is rooting for you? What commitments do you have that are burdensome and detract from your happiness? 

Just like we need a little spring cleaning in our homes, we also need to ensure that the relationships and commitments we make still fulfill us and are worth pursuing. When you don’t leave enough room for yourself, when there isn’t time in the week to be introspective, we stifle our soul. We do not grow and we do not self-actualize. 

Being present and being in the ‘now’ is imperative to cultivating a healthy soul. But how difficult is it to find that time for yourself to reflect and take stock of your healthy relationships when there is no time to do so? Being able to center your soul begins with simplifying your life. Find time to reflect on what you want and who you want to become. And then, your soul can thrive. 

How Anxiety Affects Your Body

Anxiety

How Anxiety Affects Your Body

Let’s talk about just how intimately intertwined our mind and body are. What we think affects how we feel and how we feel affects what we think. Understanding that the mind-body connection is powerful is the first step towards living holistically.

Let’s look at a real life example. People who deal with anxiety can see it manifest physically in the form of headaches, stomach issues, and tense muscles. In similar fashion, if you aren’t allowing yourself enough sleep or getting the kind of nutrition you need, you may find it harder to cope with your anxiety, worsening the problem.

Effective coping strategies address both the body and the mind. Remember to give your body and your mind what they need to take care of one another. For more information on the relationship between the body and the mind, click here: Body Blog

The Science Behind It

Our brain produces chemicals that can help our body to feel better. Endorphins, for example, are our body’s natural pain remedies and gamma globulin has been shown to make our immune system stronger. These chemicals are produced, in part, on our thoughts and reactions to the circumstances. Science shows that a patient who is positive about their outlook when rehabbing after a surgery, for instance, is more likely to have a speedier recovery. 

On the other hand, those who feel more negatively towards their outlook are less likely to recover more quickly. When we don’t have positive reactions towards our circumstances, it can keep the brain from producing those chemicals. It’s important to remember that some illnesses are out of our control, but it’s equally important to remember that we can help ourselves by being mindful of how we’re dealing with our obstacles, like anxiety. 

Coping With Anxiety

Coping With Anxiety

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million adults in the United States deal with anxiety. Anxiety comes in different forms, so your experience may differ from others. It is important to consult a therapist about treatment, as they can help you on your mental health journey by identifying the source of your anxiety, the triggers, etc. However, there are coping mechanisms to help you stay on track. Today, we focus on some long term strategies for coping with anxiety. 

3 Long-Term Strategies

Meditate Daily

It may not come naturally to some, but mindful meditation is simple to pick up and incredibly helpful when dealing with anxiety. It allows you to find your ‘center,’ where anxious thoughts do not have as much influence over you. While sitting still may not be appealing to some, pilates and yoga are great activities that still allow you to meditate.

Take Care of Your Body

Making sure you exercise regularly has been shown to help with anxiety in the long-run (get it?). But just like abs, your diet is equally important to cultivating a healthy mind. What you feed your body is what you feed your mind! And lastly, keeping a consistent sleep schedule will help you to feel less anxious. To learn more about the relationship between the mind and body, click here: Body Blog

Speak with a Therapist

Therapists, like the ones at Global Wellness Consociates, offer a professional perspective on your personal experience with mental health. Sessions are judgment-free zones where you speak your truth, allowing you to be you. Therapists can also cater specific coping mechanisms to your personal circumstances. Our approach is holistic and our goal is simple— helping you on your journey towards mental health.