Fearing Night Depression

Sometimes people who experience depression feel more depressed at night; so much so, they fear nights and dread the night coming.

But why? Think about it.

At night we are normally alone, tired, and engaging in less activity. There are not as many distractions, so it easy for the mind to ruminate. Rumination is when you focus your attention on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.

This is probably when you think about all the things are not going right in your life, the things you wish you could of have and should have done, and how your future doesn’t look so good based on these things.

So now that you know that you feel sad every night, you can begin to prepare for it.

Implement some self-talk.

For instance, if you start to feel depression deepening, this is when you tell yourself “no ma’am/sir not tonight, we know where this is going and it’s not fun” or “this is a sign that I need to focus on something else before this gets worse”. Redirect yourself to focus on something else because you do not want to snowball the negative thoughts into a deeper depression.

Find an activity to do before sleep.

Read a book, draw, listening to an uplifting youtube video, write, paint, meditate, pray, or do whatever you think that can be helpful in helping you to relax and not to focus on negative thoughts before bed.

Come up with a night routine.

Teach your body how to wind down properly. Some enjoy taking a shower, then drinking a hot drink before bed. Some people enjoy doing some light cleaning and taking out their clothes for the next day. Some people love to write down things they plan to do the following day or even journal to get out those last minutes thoughts. Create a routine that serves your needs.

Text or call someone.

Yeah, I know it’s time for sleep, but sometimes if you know someone that might be up around that time, reach out. It might be helpful to distract yourself by talking to someone before bed, but only if it’s a positive interaction.

Don’t go to bed until you are ready to sleep.

Try not to lay down until you are ready to fall to sleep. Spending hours idle in bed can leave room for rumination and you are trying to avoid focusing on negative thinking. If you just want to lay down so you can relax first, try to listen to something soothing and positive to help you stay in that mood.

Prepare for your night throughout the day as well.

Try to be as active as you can during the day. Make an effort to accomplish some small task and take small steps to reach your goal. By the time you lay down to sleep, you will be too tired to think about all the negative things that tend to come up at night.

You have to give your mind something to do. The only way to reduce negative thoughts is to keep the mind busy and focus on other things. If you don’t give your mind something to do, it will create its own problems to tackle and that will more than likely be the things you are most afraid of and cause you the most grief.

This is not something you learn overnight. It is trial and error in finding out what really works for you, but once you find it you will be glad you did not give up.

Take it one step at a time and be proud of every step you take.

What has helped you to overcome depression at night? Help others and Comment Below!

Seeking Reassurance

We have all wanted it at some point in life; approval and constant reassurance.

We want to hear that its okay to be mad or sad, we are worthy, our ideas are great, we made good decisions, we picked the right outfit, we said the right words, we chose the best partner and our relationship looks good right?

We tend to get so caught up into what other’s think that it expands to us wanting approval to every aspect of our lives.

This leads to identify confusion. You don’t know who you are anymore because you are waiting for someone else to tell you who you are, how you should feel, and what you should do next.

There is so much fear around rejection and abandonment. We are afraid of not being likable and lovable that we are willing to change the very essence of who we are.

One aspect I’ve always struggled with is my looking for approval for my emotions. I’ve had many instances where I’ve shared my feelings hoping for someone to offer understanding and to empathize with me. Instead I would get judgmental comments and a lecture about how I should and should not feel.

Then I end up hating that I even shared my feelings. Then I would start to question myself. What’s wrong with me? Were they right? Was I wrong? Am I taking this too seriously? Why am I like this? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be normal? Am I normal? Let me go ask someone

And the horrible cycle continued.

I wish someone would have told me sooner to never question myself because someone else invalidated my feelings.

Later in life, I did find people who were more supportive and were good at reminding me to stay true to myself and to trust my feelings and intuition.

The only person’s approval you should seek is your own. We have to do a better job at validating our own feelings no matter how others feel about them.

So if you are angry about driver cutting you off, you have that right!

If you want to wear that stripe shirt with those flowery pants, go for it!

If you have a good idea about starting business, what are you waiting for?

If you want to change careers, have at it!

If you finally decided to say “no” and stand up to that person who keeps asking too much of you, good for you for taking care of you!

If you are wondering if you should have shared your honest opinion, heck yeah!

Ask yourself and wait for an answer that comes from within. Give yourself that reassurance you have been looking for from others. Make it your daily practice to give yourself that constant reassurance you seek.

You will become more empowered and will know a new level of self confidence and self-love.

Who cares what others think? What do you think? Comment Below!

Awakening to Me

Balancing Eden about enduring through any obstacles, setbacks, or hardships that might be put in one’s path. It’s about the relationship you have with yourself and your ability to maintain balance. This is something we all have in common, but how are you managing life’s turns and tumbles? How am I managing?

I’ve been saying “going within” for a while to describe the process in which I have gained awareness of self.

Going within sounds so simple, but believe it or not, not everyone is tapping into their inner guidance system. And, that’s okay. Everyone has their own journey. Some might ask, “Am I going within” or “what does going within look like”?

In order to go within, one must have an experience that awakens them to their inner self. Though, some people are born more aware of their inner guidance system, but may achieve a higher level of awareness through life experiences. Instead of inner guidance system, some might call this intuition, inner knowing, or communicating with higher self and so on. However, other individuals with minimal self-awareness must have an experience where they happen to stumble upon the inner guidance system.

Often times, these experiences are marked by major life changes, tragedies, and dark nights of the souls. It is like a mid-life crisis on steroids. It is a time in a person’s life when their persona, belief system, and identity is shattered to a point of realization that they cannot move forward without changing something. As they awaken, they come to the awareness of their faulty beliefs about their true selves and the world around them.

This is where the “inner work” starts. Once a person begin to go within themselves to seek answers and to tap into divine knowing, they become aware of aspects of themselves they need to change. It’s mostly about the thought processes; what one chose to believe about themselves.

For instance, one of the first things I recognized by going within is the expectations I had put on myself and how it was negatively affecting my life. I noticed how I made decisions that did not serve me based on the existing negative belief system about myself. Most of this comes from conditioning and learned behavior that become deeply embedded in my core beliefs.

One negative belief I had to work on that caused me so much suffering is “good things happen to good people” and “bad things happen to bad people”. I grew up in a Christian family home with strict Christian values. Christian beliefs differ from household to household. I am aware of that. However, my parents taught us that if something goes wrong for you, it’s either because you didn’t pray enough or you have sinned. And, I bought into this belief most of my life.

When bad things started to happening to me, I thought God was punishing me. I thought God hated me. Every bad thing that happened to me, I thought it was God saying “this happened because you are a bad person”. This caused low self-confidence, shame, and guilt which affected decisions that I made about relationships and other areas of my life. This was one experience that brought me closer to my awakening.

Fast forward a few years after I had awakened to my divine self, I realized I have to let go of the belief that bad things happen to bad people and vice versa. I had then transformed my belief to “bad things happen period” and now I am transitioning to “things just happen”. I am trying less to categorize things dualistically and with more polarity.

With the awareness I gained from the awakening, I recognized the suffering I endured just by believing something that did not serve me in anyway. It was counterproductive to my alignment with self and God. When events happen in our lives that bring about uncomfortable feelings, our minds go into the overload trying to figure out why it happened. I believe it is our instinctive need to safeguard ourselves as well as our fears of not being in control.

Inner work is a continuous process of transformation. The more you go within to navigate through life, the more you experience growth. Letting go and surrendering to life can be one of the most beautiful experiences. This is when an individual accepts whatever happens, happens. I will continue to live my life to the fullest.

We are here. Things will happen. We may not always know why. But what we can do is go within because this is where the answers are. And sometimes an answer is not yes or a no. Sometimes it’s just another experience where the answer might reveal itself to you at the right time. As always, going within.

Have you ever had an experience that transformed and awakened you to your true self?

Wanting a Relationship To Fix Your Life

When approaching this issue with my clients, I always asked them “if you meet the person of your dreams, would you feel confident enough to walk up to them and speak with them”?

And they all say “NO”. Why? Because even though they want to be in a relationship, they don’t even feel like they are deserving of one, especially with the person of their dreams. They did not feel they had much to offer and did not feel that person would like them very much.

But the underlining issue is that they did not like themselves. They had low self-esteem and didn’t feel confident. Not that they were not beautiful people, but they didn’t believe they were beautiful inside or out.

If you want to be in a relationship, work on being that person you are seeking. Put yourself in the position where you are able to offer the qualities you are looking for.

Work on yourself so that you can increase your self-esteem and confidence so that when you do see that person, you are not afraid to converse with them. You want to feel like you have something to offer.

Honestly, it is unfair to expect someone else to fix your life. One person can’t be everything to you all the time. If you approach a relationship like this, it is guaranteed you will get disappointed. You can not depend on another person to maintain your happiness.

Happiness is a personal thang. This is something that comes from within yourself. If you are not happy without a relationship, you will likely not be happy in a relationship.

Relationships can get stressful and requires patience and effort. If you are already unhappy, how can you help maintain a healthy relationship, especially if you are depending on the relationship to provide that happiness for you.

Only you can “make” you happy or “fix” your life. It’s not easy but with a little step here or there you can definitely accomplish it. I have faith in you!

Also, start by finding people who share your interest. Even if it’s an online Facebook group. People can’t see how awesome you are if you hide.

What can you use besides a relationship to “fix your life”? Comment below?

Change in Scenery for Mental Health

I think a change in scenery can develop into a change in thinking or at the least, a distraction from negative thinking.

It’s like going to a new place and realizing that the world is much bigger than your problems. Or discovering that you do not have to be limited to living the way that you live.

Having a change in scenery can give you a different perspective.

It may be a good way to decrease stress depending on what you are doing. You might engage in some enjoyable activities and decide to do them more often.

However, sometimes this doesn’t happen.

Sometimes even after a change in scenery, people continue to suffer from depression. This would more than likely be a person that suffers from clinical depression which is more biochemical and probably needs medication for improvement.

Also sometimes, you could think changing scenery could be a good thing, but if you take the same problems with you, it might not be what you expected.

Some people are willing to change location, but not willing to change the way they think.

For example, once I thought moving to another town was going to be so much better than my hometown. I just felt this new fresh start was going to help me to thrive beyond what I could imagine. However, I did a lot of the same things I did in my hometown including not going out, not making connections with people, having the same unpredictable routine, and focusing on the same problems.

Sometimes the real work is what’s happening within you.

-Asha Griffin

If you want to get the most benefit out of a change in scenery, you have to be willing to transform within as well. It’s like they say “doing the same thing and expecting different results”.

It’s okay to want to relocate physically, but what about shifting the way we see ourselves as well?

I have not traveled much during my lifetime, but I consider myself well traveled in my mind. I am willing to go places within in order to take on a different perspective to allow me to expand in this world.

Nonetheless, I still think a change in scenery would be good for anyone who wants it, even if it doesn’t stop depression. It may give someone something to look forward to and feel good about. But don’t forget to look within when you get there. You might find what you been look for all along.

Has a change in scenery help to improve your mental health? Comment Below!

I Don’t Feel Good Enough Because of Social Media

I witness someone talking about how they didn’t feel good enough after looking at social media.

Once I had a good friend and we were having this same conversation.

I asked my friend, “how can I not get frustrated when I see people so far ahead of me in life while I feel like I am stuck on pause”?

My friend said something to me that kind of stuck and now if I start having these thoughts again, I think about what he said and redirect my energy back to myself.

My friend said, “if you were busy enough with your own life, you would not have time to stop and look around at what others were doing”.

I could have easily taken that the wrong way, but it made sense.

I was not putting enough energy into focusing on myself. Because of low self-esteem, I was stalling and paralyzed with fear. I was afraid to take a step because I didn’t like how my life was going and I didn’t think it could get any better.

I had to pull myself together and start working on myself.

I’m not saying that we don’t all have these thoughts from time to time, but you can’t stay there. You have to get to work on yourself.

Start creating that life you want by doing things that are in your control.

You might not have the things you want now, but what habits are you incorporating in your life to change that.

One way I begin to work on myself is I started painting. I had denied myself from enjoying pleasurable activities for a long time because I felt like it was pointless.

What I did not realize was that not engaging in pleasurable activities was causing my life to be out of balance. That lack of balance caused frustration, anxiety, and depression. I was always focused on problems at work and daily life stressors.

When I started painting, I got EXCITED because I was accomplishing something I didn’t think I could accomplish. Plus, it was something that I created that no one could take away from me.

I also started doing other things as well including making music, learning a new language, learning to play the guitar, engaging in more exercise, eating healthier, exploring my spirituality and so on.

Little did I know, I was getting to know myself within and at the same time creating a life I enjoyed. Then on top of that, I was happy about sharing myself with the world because I felt like I had a lot of exciting things going on in my life regardless if I was single with no kids.

So the take away is, put down the social media and start exploring and discovering more about who you are and what you want out of life. Make goals and then small steps to begin working towards having the kind of life you want. Remember, you are the creator and it’s up to you to create the life you want.

In what ways have you created the life you want? Comment Below!

High Carbs and Depression

In the past, I have had an issue with eating too fast and eating too many carbs in one sitting. So I have experienced depression after eating before.

Too many carbs for me is anything over 30 carbs in one meal. It may be different for someone else, but this is when I started to feel tired.

Also, I noticed that if I eat a lot of starches like bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes, I get fatigued, sleepy, and sometimes depressed.

I have also noticed this with eating processed foods, sugary sweets, dyes and foods with gluten.

I am definitely working on my diet, but it’s hard when you are a bread lover (I need to learn how to make low-carb bread).

Depression comes from a low level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, has functions in appetite regulation as well as a mood enhancer.

Sometimes we crave carbs due to low levels of serotonin. Your body is sending signals to eat more carbohydrates in order to get the nutrients needed to make serotonin.

If you go and eat highly refined carbs like sugary sweets and starches, the glucose will go into your bloodstream all at once.

Then your body releases too much insulin to deal with this problem. Then you go from a sugar spike to low blood sugar. Your body sees this process as stress.

Your body will then respond by using the stress hormone, cortisol. Chronic release of cortisol causes fatigue due to your adrenals having a difficult time making enough cortisol to keep up with your body’s stress.

Often times we underestimate how our diets affect our mood. Next time you eat high carbs, notice the difference from when you eat fruit, vegetables, and protein.

This may help you to become more aware of depression triggers from food and how to avoid them.

Has anyone ever notices a difference in mood based on how they eat? Comment Below!

Becoming Emotionally Self-Reliant

Have you ever felt like it was difficult to regulate your own emotions? So much so that you depend on others to others to make decisions for you, have difficulty identifying and validating your own feelings, communicating in relationships, seeking others approval over your own, have poor self-esteem, and fears of abandonment.

You may even think the worst thing in the world would be having a problem and your best friend not answering the phone to help calm you down. Or, you make see others approval of you own feelings and feel worse if they are not willing to make a decision for you.

Becoming emotionally self-reliant is all about developing the necessary coping skills.

Imagine yourself as a child and getting hurt playing outside. What do you do next? A lot of children immediately look for an adult to help ease their anxiety about getting hurt and to feel more secure.

Sometimes people grow up without healthy relationships with their parents and did not have much of a chance to learn emotional resiliency. Having an adult to teach you at a young age how to manage your stressors can impact your ability to manage problems and emotions as an adult. This can be a major factor when entering and experiencing adulthood of how well you handle life transitions and challenges.

Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. In order to become more emotionally independent, self-reliant, and emotionally resilient, you have to develop coping skills.

  1. Practice assertiveness and setting boundaries with others. Know and set your limits with others and yourself. That thing you been avoiding being straightforward about, it’s time to express and acknowledge how you really feel. Being true to yourself is good for mental health and building emotional resilience.
  2. Taking care of your physical health helps to manage stress. So get good sleep, physical exercise, and good nutrition. When you do not take care of your body, it’s difficult for it to perform to its highest potential. Thus, making it hard to give your brain what it needs to manage stress.
  3. Learn some ways to relax and distress. There are so many ways people choose to relax. Research and try new things. Find out what works for you. You can go for a walk, take a nap, drink tea, take a hot bath, meditation, and so on. What works for someone else may not work for you, so it is important to find what works for you.
  4. Have your own interests and hobbies. Please don’t sit around and wait for someone else to give you something to do. This leads to boredom and depression. Follow your interests and develop new hobbies. Have your own activities you engage in when you are alone that is important and exciting to you. If you don’t know that that is, just try something new. Keep doing that until you find something. Also sometimes your hobbies can lead you to meet new people who share your interests.
  5. Be open to getting support where ever you can when you need it. You don’t always have to do it alone. It’s okay to have support from family, friends, and professionals. Sometimes knowing the right time when to seek support can help you to manage your emotions. Others might have good ideas as well when it comes to coping skills.
  6. Do not be too hard on yourself. Be self-accepting. Be more gentle with yourself. Learn to be that parent your inner child needs when you are having difficulty managing your emotions. Learn what you need and give it to yourself when you need it. When I get really stressed, I redirected myself. I coach myself into focusing on something that is more relaxing and I tell myself “it’s okay, you just got frustrated and overwhelmed, and you just need to relax now. It will get better soon”. Learn to make your inner child feel more secure.
  7. Stop looking for approval for how you feel. You have permission to own those feelings. Sometimes people worry so much about how people will respond to their feelings, they hide them. They worry about being judged and labeled. But in order to be emotionally self-reliant, you have to own those feelings and not feel guilty about them. Feelings are just indicators of what is going on in your mind. They are a self-guidance system and they are just telling you what you are focused on and giving signals to what might need improving or support.
  8. Find balance in your life. This is a constant effort. There is no such thing as getting balanced and staying balanced. Life experiences might cause us to pay more attention to certain things than others. You just have to remind yourself to not forget about the other important parts of you that need love and attention.

These are also ways to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you are able to rely on meeting your own emotional needs, it helps you to feel better about your capabilities in managing all areas of your life. Learn to react to stress in ways that help you to feel more self-reliant. No one knows how to help you more than you. So start digging deep, go within, and rely on your inner self to teach you how to take care of you.

What ways have you tried to become more emotionally independent and self-reliant? What worked? Comment Below!

How can you live a happy life if you think you don’t deserve one?

Short answer “you can’t”.

If you want to live a happy life, you have to change the way you think about yourself, your circumstances, and your outlook on life.

In the counseling field, we have something called “changing your narrative”. It’s basically you changing your story. Not into something that is fake or a lie, but from a different perspective that better serves you.

If you think you do not deserve a better life, you will see life through the eyes of a person who doesn’t believe they deserve to be happy, who perceives all their circumstances as negative, and who focuses on all the negative aspects of their life.

Of course, there are negative events like death, divorce, trauma, illness, addiction and so on that can influence our stories in a negative way. Sometimes people become depressed and anxious and have difficulty managing their emotions related to present and past issues.

And the most terrifying thing is we being to believe that things somehow define who we are and what we should expect for our lives in the future.

Our lives are shaped by the stories we tell ourselves about experiences. We are not our past, our problems, and our circumstances. Yes, the experiences are a part of us, but it is up to us to tell a story that uplifts us instead of bringing us down.

Focus on the positive things in your life. It might seem like there are not any when you are focusing on all the negative things, but if you make it a habit, it will be easier to the positive.

Work on increasing your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Here is a few ways to improve:

1.       Give yourself compliments– What are your strengths? What are some of your good characteristics? What are your talents? Now give yourself some credit for having these good qualities.

2.       Stop assuming you know what people are thinking– They are not as interested in your every move as you think. Most people are caught up into their own lives and problems. You believing others are constantly thinking negatively about you is part of your social anxiousness due to low self-esteem. And hey, if they are talking about you, they are not happy and are probably feeling very miserable.

3.       Positive Self-Talk– Some might feel this doesn’t work, but let me share with you a little trick I learned. Find a positive thought you mind will accept that’s not the complete opposite of what you believe. For example, if you believe “I am a failure”, you can’t just turn around and say “I am accomplishing my goals” and believe it. You got to come up with something your mind will accept. Let say, “One step at a time, I am working towards my goals”. You might not feel you are accomplishing anything, but if you can believe you are working towards them at least that is more positive than to believe you are not progressing at all.

4.       Take Care of Yourself– Take care of your personal hygiene, physical health, and nutritional health. Learn to take better care of your body and improve upon the aspects you are concerned about.

5.       Set those boundaries– Learn how to say “NO”, or better yet learn how to express yourself no matter what. Set your limits with yourself and other people. Learn how to stick to your standards. You have to teach people how to treat you and what better way than to display how you treat yourself.

6.       Try something new– Get out there. Try new things. Don’t be afraid. You never know what you can accomplish if you do not at least try. And don’t just try one time, try a couple of times. Learn more about what you like and don’t like. Achieving new things helps to increase self-esteem and self-confidence.

7.       Run your own race– Please stop comparing yourself to others. Someone once told me “if you were focused on your own life, you wouldn’t have time to look and see what others are doing”. They were so right!

8.   Do not lets others assign your self-worth– You get to create your story, so don’t let other people tell you who you are and what you deserve.

10.   Create a purpose– Don’t just wait for that thing to fall in your lap. You don’t find you purpose, you create it! Take part in activities that allow you to build your self-worth.

So the take away is, if you want a happy life, you have to create one. And the first step is believing you deserve one!

When did you start believing you deserved a happy life and what did you do to work towards it. Comment Below!

Should you date someone with depression?

If anyone is asking themselves this question, I can understand your concerns about being with someone who suffers from depression.

It can be challenging being with someone who suffers from depression. You have to witness someone you care about struggle and there may not be much you can do to change it. This brings about feelings of helplessness.

Also, sometimes people may feel their partner being depressed causes them to be more depressed. It’s like it rubs off on them.

Some people take it personally and feel unloved or undesirable because their depressed partner is just not that animated.

However, my main questions would be “do you at least feel that your partner is making attempts to manage or overcome the depression”. And, is this person open to communicating about ways to navigate the relationship while struggling with depression?

People come with all sorts of problems. Depression is challenging, but it could easily be something else.

When you are getting to know someone or when you are in a relationship, there has be some level of acceptance, empathy, and understanding of that person and their issues.

Remember, you never know what someone else is willing to walk away from when dealing with you.

Deciding to continue dating someone or to be long-term partners with them, you have to accept that depression is something that they struggle with and you will do your best to support them.

Nevertheless, I understand that in some cases some people with depression refuse to try and manage their symptoms. They may try to deal with in some self-destructive ways. It’s understandable that a person can only put up with negative behaviors for so long.

You do have to set your boundaries and encourage communication. Let that person know what you expect from them and what you are willing to tolerate in the relationship.

For instance, people who are depressed have the tendency to push people away due to being socially withdrawn. Come to some sort of compromise. Talk about what it means for them to socially withdraw, how much time they need, and what you are expected to do at that time. Get some clarity about how to navigate the relationship without causes further issues and unhappiness.

But as long as a person with depression is working towards better mental health, and display healthy relationship skills, why should they not have the opportunity to love?

Do you have any tips for having managing a healthy relationship with someone who suffers from depression? Comment Below! It might be useful to someone else. Happy Dating!