Because breathing is a natural process, its’ enormous power goes untapped. But, this simple act can transform your life. Mastering how to harness the power of intentional breathing changes the way in which you show up in the world. So just, “smile, breathe, and go slowly.”~Thich Nhat Hanh
Everyone experiences feeling gloomy, melancholy or down––it’s normal. At times, life circumstances can be overwhelming and put you in a sad mood. But sometimes being unhappy isn’t just the blues, it is a signal of a deeper underlying issue such as depression. Depression is an intense sadness accompanied by helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness that last longer than two weeks. Don’t take it lightly, like high blood pressure and diabetes, it is a medical problem––you cannot simply wait it out.
8 Signs Your Sadness is a Sign of Depression:
To lift your sad mood, keep a consistent sleep regimen, don’t worry about being a downer; maintain positive social contacts, increase your physical activity, shift from multi-tasking to accomplishing a single thing at a time, find something other than food to cope with your feelings, eat foods high in folic acid (spinach) and omega-3-fatty acids (salmon), avoid drugs and alcohol, practice deep belly breathing to relieve stress and schedule an appointment with your doctor. There is help for depression…you don’t have to be “exhausted from trying to be stronger than you feel.” (anonymous)
I am sure you are familiar with the phrases “be you,” “beYOUtiful,” “the real you,” “be an original” and the like. They all imply to be inspired by, but resist trying to copy others. I agree that it seems to be good advice; but, what does it really mean to be the unadulterated unedited version of you? The you which is mostly influenced by your own passion and purpose. Warning, it’s challenging. Living authentically involves a higher state of being which requires a deep connection with your inner self, soulful living.
Authentic living can be viewed as simultaneously desirable and yet unattainable. How do you live authentically in a world that capitalizes on you wanting to be anyone except you? Moreover, with everyone sharing their opinion about you, how do you even recognize if you are living your authentic life?
The best place to start is to share what authentic living isn’t. It does not hold you hostage to what you do not want and leave you questioning your ability to manifest your dreams. It is not continuous unrest and constantly feeling at odds with yourself. It is not living incapacitated by fear. Authentic living is not merely “doing,” in absence of enthusiasm, because you are good at it––or told you were. It is not establishing your life based on your families legacy if it does not align with your personal aspirations. The bottomline is authentic living does not mean to forsake yourself!
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences.”~Timothy Leary
Now that you know what authentic living isn’t, you may still be trying to come to terms about what it looks and feel like in your life––it’s ever-evolving. However, these seven signs are a general guide. You are living your authentic life, when…
When I wasn’t living my authentic life, I felt a persistent internal struggle. The life I really wanted and the life I thought I had to live was always at battle. I was mentally and spiritually exhausted. It took a lot of energy to just get out of bed and put my feet on the floor. It was as if I was unengaged and disconnected from my own life. Everything was a task. It was not until I made the conscious decision to be my authentic self that I felt alive again! My suggestion to you is to be free to wear the hairstyle you like best, the clothes that make you feel beautiful, travel to your favorite destination, go after the career which makes your spirit leap…intentionally be you!
When I discovered what it meant to be authentic, my life changed. I felt like a two-year old discovering a treasure of choices. I was unbound, liberated, and attuned to me. I no longer needed a stamp of approval to live because within my purpose, there is already permission. Happiness became tangible and peace was not extinguished by obstacles.
Embracing authenticity gives you the courage to get off the virtual merry-go-round that circles around your ideal life and awaken to vast possibilities. Research has found “authentic people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses.”
Each time you do not live according to your heart, you are being unfaithful to yourself. When you drift from your true self, you and the universe are deprived of the incredible riches that can only be deposited by you. Authentic living waters the seeds planted within you and allows you to blossom into the unique person that you were born to be. “Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close…” GO LIVE YOUR AUTHENTIC LIFE!
Are you lying awake counting sheep? You are in the company of millions worldwide. Not getting enough siesta time is no minute issue. Insufficient shut-eye predisposes you to heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. On the other hand, adults who sleep at least seven hours a night, experience a better sex life, improved mood, clearer thinking and more productivity. A good night sleep is as necessary to life as breathing.
Get some Zs! Try these 7 Easy Fixes For A Better Night Sleep:
Quality sleep is a part of a healthy lifestyle. So, sleep or sex only in the bedroom, unplug, get on a schedule, meditate, change the ambience, stop hitting the snooze button and shut down the kitchen earlier—sleep tight.
Hello Health and Lifestyle VIPs,
This is Dr. Bernadette, your friendly informative family medicine doctor, prescribing health, healing and happiness and guiding you to your passion and purpose. Authentic healing is more than just declaring “I am over it,” “I am done with that” or “I have moved on.” Deciding to put a stressful incident behind you is essential to your healing, but don’t confuse it with being healed––a healthy mental state which creates a safe space to live life to the fullest. Simply moving on, leaves you vulnerable to circumstances and conditions which become the impetus to circling back to your soul-aches.
Dr. Bernadette approaches life with a grateful heart, a spring in her step and a smile that extends from ear to ear. It’s hard not to be inspired by her. In addition to her work as a family medicine physician and the co-owner of Faith Family Health in Columbus, Ohio, she is also the creator and founder of Life in Harmony, an innovative, action-oriented approach to well-being. Dr. Bernadette believes that positive health outcomes are not exclusive to traditional western medicine but that they are best achieved and sustained with a holistic approach and patient participation. Her philosophy is grounded in more than two decades of experience in healthcare as well as her personal battle with obesity, which served as the impetus for her lifestyle transformation and the founding of Life in Harmony.
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