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
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.
Signs Your Sadness is a Sign of Depression:
- Sleeping too little or too much. Changes in
sleep pattern can be the first clue of depression. Although you sleep for long
hours, you aren’t refreshed. You are often awakened multiple times which
usually causes fatigue and irritability. Sleeping may actually be an attempt to
escape from problems. On the other hand, you can find yourself too troubled to
fall asleep and experience many nights of wakefulness and restlessness.
- Lack of interest in activities that were
pleasurable. If you rather not hangout with friends, participate in your
favorite pastimes or do hobbies which once excited you, it could
be red flag that you are not just down in the dumps, but instead are depressed.
Withdrawing from friends and loved ones amplifies the depression.
- A guilty conscious. Are you constantly
feeling guilty about things, even those that are not in your control? Being
consumed by a guilty conscious signifies depression may be lurking. People who
are depressed tend to get stuck in a cycle of excessive negative thoughts which
weigh heavily on them and distort their thinking.
- Low energy. If the low battery light
seems to always be on in your life, perhaps you should check to make certain
you aren’t depressed––no motivation can be a tell-tale sign. The thought
process in depressed individuals is typically slower making it difficult to get
even routine day-to-day tasks done.
- Poor concentration. Are you
at the same “thing” for hours and cannot make any progress because your
thoughts are all over the place? This could be a warning sign––depression
ahead. Because you are easily distracted, the ability to comprehend and
remember information is affected. Poor concentration can put a burden on work,
personal life and relationships leaving you feeling alienated.
- Overeating or loss of appetite. Food can be
a means of numbing emotions that appear too massive to confront. If you notice
you are having a love-hate relationship with food, but you crave its comfort,
perhaps you are depressed. Likewise, if you are dropping weight due to a lack
of an appetite and feeling low, it also could be a cloud of depression.
- Easily agitated. When the “normal
chaos” is frustrating you more than ordinary and you frequently find
yourself seconds from crying, it might be a hint that you are depressed. The
fatigue, perceived stress and persistently dampened mood which are the
hallmarks of depression can be keeping you on edge.
- Suicidal thoughts. Take thoughts of
hurting yourself very seriously. Seek professional help right away. There is
nothing to be embarrassed about, with the appropriate intervention, you can
regain hope and self-worth.
lift your sad mood, keep a consistent sleep regimen,
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.
is help for depression…you don’t have to be “exhausted from trying to be stronger
than you feel.” (anonymous)
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.
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?
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
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,
- you can do it
afraid––whatever “it” is.
- you are concerned less about
the opinions of others and more about yours.
- you become the author of your
own story including defining your success.
- you acknowledge that
everything you need to be you is already within you.
- your life is enough––this does
not mean you do not have ambitions, but comparisons will be a thing of the
- challenges are just
pauses––regroup and get back at it.
- you can quickly notice
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!
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.
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
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!
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:
- Zone the bedroom for
sleep and sex only. Go ahead, place a sign on the
door! The bedroom has become a hangout place to do everything. It has lost its’
sacred essence. I recall awakening from my sleep because of rolling onto my laptop,
cell phone or whatever work I brought to bed. Kick the office—or
whatever—out of your bedroom and reclaim it as your sleep haven and for
- Unplug––including the
television. The best scenario is to not have a
television or electronics in the bedroom, but if you must, set a
specific time to turn them off. There is
no way around it, you must power down for quality rest. Electronics provide
cognitive stimulation which is the opposite of what you need to sleep. Put a
stop to texting, emailing, browsing social media and watching television in
bed––you can’t stay connected 24/7 and get restful sleep.
- Keep regular hours. Turning-in and rising at random times is a set up for fatigue.
Establishing a routine matters. It trains your body and reinforces its’ natural
circadian rhythm––internal clock. It is very important to pick a time you can
maintain even on the weekends. A regular sleep schedule is a prerequisite for a
healthier happier life.
- Meditate day and
night. Add mediation to your bedtime routine.This
is fantastic way to slow things down and shift your focus from daily busyness.
It calms the mind and centers your thoughts. I generally light a candle and
turn on my favorite guided meditation CD. The ideal time is approximately an
hour before bedtime.
- Set the atmosphere for
sweet dreams. I read that people who doze
off in rooms painted in blue sleep the longest––that’s reason enough for me to
pick up a gallon of blue paint. Some other bedroom makeovers include new
bedding, candles, flowers or change the wall decor. Also, adjust the lighting
and temperature in the room to keep it dark and cool.
- Don’t do it, don’t hit
the snooze. I’ll be the first to admit I would set
the snooze for thirty minutes before I actually had to get out of bed. But, the
sleep after it sounded wasn’t exactly peaceful because I was concerned about
oversleeping. So, turn off the alarm and rise and shine all in one motion. By
the way, I rarely require an alarm clock to wake up anymore; a full night’s
sleep is generally all that’s needed.
- Close the kitchen two
hours before bedtime. Eating and going to straight
to bed isn’t a good idea for many reasons. And, one of them is it can keep you
tossing and turning. Avoid big heavy meals late at night; instead, have a small
snack like greek yogurt, a smidgen of peanut butter and toast or popcorn. It
goes without saying, not to have caffeine or alcohol close to retiring for the
evening. Also, if you don’t want your sleep broken by the spasming of your
bladder, be mindful of drinking too much water right before heading to bed.
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