Straight Talk: be honest with yourself

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Ok, I’m going to be real with you- I’ve had a rough week. I was sick, didn’t make it in to the gym, and felt completely off my game. I know, I know. I’m the one always posting about health and fitness, discipline, and goals. But you know what, some days I just don’t have it. 

So I spent some time on the couch, eating poorly, and falling behind on my work. But honestly, who hasn’t had those days/weeks/maybe months? Sometimes life happens and we don’t get to focus on our goals 100%. I’m not telling you this as an excuse. I’m sharing because I think it’s more important that we be honest with ourselves and love ourselves enough to allow for the down time when we really need it. My body needed some rest and recovery time last week. So I let it rest. End of story. 

We can be so hard on ourselves at times that we don’t think we “deserve” a break from the focus, or that we haven’t earned a night of relaxation. We try to cling so tightly to our goals that our good intentions end up leading to feelings of self-hatred, disappointment, and anxiety around completing our goals. One thing that helped me these last few ways was a friend’s video on “have to-dos” vs. “want to-dos”. I realized I’m the one putting all this pressure on myself. So I can be the one to let go a little. 

It’s amazing the control and strength we can gain from letting go. We regain control of our emotions and negative thoughts that had been plaguing us. We get to take ownership of that to-do list and determine what can be delegated or cut from the list. We understand that allowing for a day of rest may actually give us the strength we need to be 100% focused for the rest of the week. 

So I encourage you: let go of the control, give in to what you body needs; and you will come out restored, focused, and clear on how to conquer the goals you determined! 

Have you had this experience? What did you learn about yourself? How did you reframe your actions for better long term results?

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Depression as Comedy?

Kevin Breel, a 19 year-old comedian, displays an incredible amount of awareness and bravery as he describes his battle with depression. Beyond his personal struggle is a greater issue: the stigma and ignorance that still clouds the importance of mental health.

What can you learn from Kevin? How can we be more loving of each other and ourselves? How can we support those in need, not push them away?

“Breathe in the…

“Breathe in the future, breathe out the past”

This quote reminds me to be present. In the moment. To let go of the worry and regret that often plague us as we consider our future and lament our past. I’ve read (from many sources) that anxiety is thought to be the result of a conflict when thinking about your future; and depression is the result of conflict when thinking about your past.

As a psychotherapist, I don’t believe that the manifestation of anxiety and depression are so simply. And I don’t believe that just being present will completely resolve those conflicts for people. However, our lack of presence as a society many be correlated to the higher incidences of anxiety and depression than seen in other countries.

So what can we do about it? Everyone experiences thousands of thoughts running through minds daily. Some thoughts come and go quickly. Others stay with us a little bit longer. Others elicit an emotional response which may make us angry, anxious, or sad. What if we were just an observer to our thoughts? All of thoughts. Whether happy or sad. What if we breathed our thought in, paused, and breathed it right out? How might that change our thought trajectories throughout the day. How might it impact the emotions or reactions we would have had? How might it make more room for the present if we were to let go of the anxiety and depression we held on to from the past and the future?

Mediation is an admittedly difficult practice. I struggle every time! It only takes a matter of seconds before I start dreaming of cupcakes and my to-do list. But we can simply remind ourselves to be and observer of our thoughts and push ‘reset’. And then do that again. And again. Until we can gradually lengthen the time in between our ‘resets’. Below is a link to more helpful tips on starting your meditation practice. Tell us how you did in our comments sections below!

http://www.artofliving.org/us-en/meditation/meditation-for-you/get-started-with-meditation

Sending presence your way,

Brittany

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