As a MindBodySpirit Coach, it's not uncommon for clients to present feeling depressed.
Many of them are well-educated about their dis-ease, often more so experientially than intellectually, but few realize how they subconsciously participate in their emotional states.
My clients and I have found it incredibly helpful to see how certain decisions (made or not) can cause them to feel depressed, exacerbating their symptoms, and discomfort.
They've reported this perspective provides them a healthy sense of accountability, autonomy, and empowerment.
My last 100 clients said the decisions below have caused them to feel depressed, and the opposite decisions have resulted in joy, contentment, and fulfillment:
1. Eating when they're not hungry
2. Comparing themselves to others
3. Doing anything obsessively
4. Self-criticism and judging others
5. Living passively and without purpose
6. Chronically putting others needs ahead of their own
7. Trying to act perfect and impress others
8. Making promises and not following through
9. Looking for happiness outside of themselves
10. Not believing in Something bigger than themselves
11. Disconnected from nature
12. Remaining in toxic relationships
13. Prioritizing health ahead of happiness
14. Scapegoating and blaming others for their stress
15. Chasing symptoms instead of root causes
16. Believing life is always happening to them
17. Remaining unaware of their values and what's important to them
18. No vision or plans for the future
19. Operating on low sleep
20. Not engaging their physicality
21. All-or-none thinking
22. Procrastination and running last minute
23. Not having many relationships they feel safe in
24. Inability to surrender control
25. Believing their past predicts their future
I tell them there is absolutely no pressure to make the opposite decision, and they are entirely free to continue making the decisions that cause them to feel depressed.
In fact, I only want them to make the new decision when it feels like an opportunity, something they want and get to do; and never because they feel obligated or because they need to or have to.
We discuss what it means and takes to make new decisions and the traits required for doing so, such as vulnerability, courage, faith, patience, endurance, acceptance, resilience, maturity, and so on.
Last, I'm constantly reminding them, depressed or not, that all transformation always and only occurs one decision at a time, so they do not get ahead of themselves.
This gentle reminder negates feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and promotes access to the present moment, which is always accompanied by love.
"The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment." Andrew Solomon