10 ways we consciously invest in depression

Many people suffer depression because of things that happened to them. Things that were unfair, unjust, unnecessary, painful, scarring and things in which they had no control over. My heart always breaks for these people, of which I am one.

On the other hand, there are times when we  participate in behaviors (often subconsciously/on auto-pilot) that promote or maintain a depressed state. My hope is this awareness will help you manage choices you have control over to move yourself in a better direction, one decision at a time…

  1. Eating when you’re not hungry
  2. Staying busy to escape anxiety
  3. Trying to control everything and everyone
  4. Going with the flow instead of creating boundaries
  5. Blaming others instead of assuming accountability
  6. Expecting material possessions/events to make you happy
  7. Believing you’re the only who you feels that way
  8. Playing victim rather than exerting efforts to breakthrough
  9. Placing your wants ahead of your fundamental needs
  10. Living the same day today as you did yesterday

 

The solution to all of these scenarios is presence. Becoming aware of these humiliations are necessary to rise above them. Accessing the moment, without the need to judge it, negate it or explain it is a good starting point.

I know what to do…I’m just scared to do it

Instead of saying: “I know what to do…I just don’t do it.”

Say: “I know what to do…I’m just scared to do it.”

One reveals ignorance while the other reveals fear and those are two completely different conversations!

Are you ignorant or scared?

The first step of transformation is awareness, then accountability and then action.

Premature action is just that and serves to get you nowhere fast!

 

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

The reason I am where I am

The reason I am where I am; is because I haven’t believed in myself.

I haven’t believed in myself.

I haven’t.

I.

Once you’re down to the “I” (a.k.a. total accountability), transformation can finally take place.

Removing the “I” through blame, justification and rationalization promotes stagnation.

If your change endeavor doesn’t begin with some form of accountability, I just don’t think you ever get there…and by there, I don’t mean reach your goal, I mean free.

Why we need to address the mind first

With the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, it’s clear that “having it all” is anything but “all.” About 9 years ago, I became disenchanted with the traditional process of diet and exercise in an attempt to help people reach their health, fitness and quality of life goals. It was clear to me there was something missing from the equation. I was treating these people as a “body with a goal.” Week by week, we’d weigh in and workout, all the while, they’d make self-critical comments as they operated as their own worst enemy, claiming to “love food,” “hate working out but enjoying the result” and chalking things up to “this is how I’ll always be.” So much for our efforts adding up to any sense of joy, contentment or fulfillment.

 

Once I realized people were coming to me to enhance their Body and it was their Mind holding them back and their Spirit that was suffering, I knew I needed to learn how to cater to the needs of the mind first. Ends up…

  • The way people behave are driven  by what they believe about themselves, so any effort to address behaviors is mostly barking up the wrong tree.
  • The biggest challenges people face are low people-pleasing, perfectionism and self-doubt, none of which can be healed by way of diet and exercise.
  • People thrive when they have structure and guidance and are taught how to hold themselves accountable to themselves.

As health and fitness professionals, we weren’t really trained and conditioned to treat the whole person but unless and until we’re equipped to help people get out of their own way, the risk of having people see no light at the end of the tunnel remains high. You may be thinking this isn’t our job or we’re not qualified and I’m not suggesting we play the role of therapist but people are far more likely to work with a health professional than they are to see a psychologist due to the judgmentalism that permeates our culture. We can turn people to themselves as their own solution, we can help people reframe their perspectives and we can help people understand how their thoughts affect their emotions and actions. We can’t do it all but we can do more than we’re already doing. These simple efforts shine a light of hope, inspiration and most importantly, love.

We’re not obligated to do anything, we simply have an opportunity to.

Why you’re not doing what you know how to do…

I know what to do but I just don’t do it—ugh! How many times have we all said that?
 
But ever wonder why you’re not doing it? You may blame it on laziness or not being disciplined but it goes deeper than that.
 
First things first, It has nothing to do with knowing what to do, that’s only part of the equation. Knowing what to do is the intellectual side of it, doing it is all emotional.
 
It all comes back to what you believe about yourself…which was formed by experiences during your formative years.
 
If you believe…
– you’re not smart enough, it’s unlikely you’re going to study for the test (because study and then failing would confirm your belief).
– you’re not pretty enough, you’re probably going to bail on the pool party (because dieting and exercising and still being judged would confirm your belief).
– you’re not good enough, exerting effort probably feels like you’re failing (because giving your best effort and failing short of your preferred outcome would confirm your core belief).
 
So, the reason you’re not doing whatever you’re not doing is because you run the emotional risk of having your limiting core belief validated and it’s safer and easier to not do anything than become vulnerable to transformation.
 
Your core beliefs were defined by experiences and can only be redefined by new experiences.
 
Intention, courage and resilience is required!
 
#beliefsdrivebehaviors
#treatingthewholeperson
#conditionforlife
#mindfirstapproach
#lifestylemanagement

A cure for the Monday blues…

I know all about the Monday blues…the feeling things were never going to get better. I woke up with crippling anxiety for years and I’ve learned how to heal from it through a dedicated practice of self-care.

I learned that anxiety is anticipating failure in advance and it largely has to do with uncertainty and a lack of control.

If you grew up with controlling parents, that most likely and inadvertently became your program for happiness.

It’s also why most people fear religion and spirituality…that whole faith and letting go thing conflicts with an attitude of certitude.

You can’t get rid of anxiety, in fact, you don’t want to as it plays a vital role in your overall well-being. However, you can replace the fears driving them with constructive behaviors.

What’s worked for me was replacing anxiety with my values or what I find important. For instance, I value resilience, therefore, I just finished up a workout that expressed resilience. I value family, therefore, I’ve planned my sessions to start and end on time so I can be with my family this evening. I value peace of mind, therefore, I’m committed to journaling daily.

Please note I called this a practice and not an event. What I can promise though is that living on purpose and with the intent of expressing your values will improve your relationship with anxiety over time.

Effort is required…and by effort, I mean loving and believing in yourself!

Is having a purpose all its cracked up to be?

Everyone talks about having a clearly defined purpose and I’m not sure of its’ necessity for leading a joyous, rewarding and fulfilling life.

Isn’t the simple side of the purpose of life to give and receive love? Do we need to make it much more complex than that?

My sense is that fear (of vulnerability, of rejection, of loss, of uncertainty, of surrender, etc.) would have us believe there’s much more to consider as it keeps us from simply loving our neighbors as ourselves.

I believe it’s more important to live on purpose than it is to have a purpose.

By on purpose, I largely and simply mean knowing what your personal values (what you find important: i.e. family, self-care, balance, etc.) are and intentionally living and loving them out each day.

If you feel there’s more, go look for it…just don’t forget to come back and love.

P.S. The hardest part of love is loving ourselves and the search for purpose can be a perfect scapegoat.

 

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and show compassion and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer

 

#allweneedislove

#fearcontractsloveexpands

#lovedoesntalwaysfeelgood

#mindfirstapproach

#thewholeperson