A Holistic Happy Life: Depressed and Stressed to Joyful and Peaceful
I deal with depression and stress daily. I have had lows that I simply would like to forget about, but they were and sometimes still are, a reality for me. I have learned a few principles that have helped me to find more joy and peace after hitting what felt like rock bottom for me, and I want to share these principles with you today.
Planning: What We Think About and Plan for Becomes Our Reality
■Plans are how we get to goals, so let’s start with what we value or the goals that we have.
“Over the years, I have observed that those who accomplish the most in this world are those with a vision for their lives, with goals to keep them focused on their vision and tactical plans for how to achieve them. Knowing where you are going and how you expect to get there can bring meaning, purpose, and accomplishment to life.
Some have difficulty differentiating between a goal and a plan until they learn that a goal is a destination or an end, while a plan is the route by which you get there. For example, we can have a goal to drive to a certain unfamiliar location, and as some of you dear sisters know, we men often think we know how to get there—often resulting in our saying, “I know it must be just around the next corner.” My wife must be smiling. The goal was clear, but there wasn’t a good plan in place to reach the destination.
Goal setting is essentially beginning with the end in mind. And planning is devising a way to get to that end. A key to happiness lies in understanding what destinations truly matter—and then spending our time, effort, and attention on the things that constitute a sure way to arrive there.”
-M. Russel Ballard
■In order to plan your time you have to know your values.
–What are you top five values? Check out this self-assessment. Here is a list of values, if you need or want to get your brain fired up.
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Read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and here are the worksheets that can help you find your values.
–How to use value-based planning. Daily, monthly, and yearly
Create your Non-Neogotiables (Top Priority Tasks) I use letters to stand for certain tasks that I want to get done everyday, without fail. Mine look like this: PSWWP (Prayer, Scripture Study, Workout, Writing, and Preschool). All of these tasks align with my top values and are written in my planner.
–Positive Affirmations and Visualization. This is so powerful and can change your ability to dispel fear and act with confidence. I post my positive affirmations where I can see them everyday and they remind me of who I am and who I can become. I also love to close my eyes and visualize the life that already exists, but I still need to work towards obtaining it.
Motivation: What We Feed Grows
■If you are starting something new or intimidating, remember that when we are full of fear we lose hope and light.
■Our fears are always worse than reality.
–When were you afraid to do something?
–Was it as bad as you imagined?
■The only failure is not trying.
■Why are we here on Earth? “Men are that they might have joy.” Focus on the joy to be had instead of lack.
■Mormon 9:28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.
■Read “Focus and Priorities” by Dallin H. Oaks. God and Family. Are your actions creating eternal or fleeting rewards? We cannot recycle time. “Three things never come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.”
Momentum: The Best Time to Start is Now
■Getting started mentally is the hardest part, but once you get going, you can become unstoppable. Think about a Merry-go-round or a train. The energy exerted at the beginning is tremendous, but once the merry-go-round or train is going, it simply needs maintenance. A child can go flying off a merry-go- round at incredible speed or a train can destroy a two ton brick wall like it is glass.
■You are 100% responsible for your life. There is no one to blame, and the sooner I take responsibility, the sooner I can make the needed changes.
■Do you have excuses that are holding you back? Jen Sincero, in her bookcalls them our sad stories that are simply limiting beliefs and excuses keeping us from serving the world more fully.
■Know Your Whys…get back to your values.
■Compound Effect: Small things done consistently become big.
–Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
Keeping the Motivation: Reality is a Wise Teacher
■Mosiah 4:27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
■Consider reality and your values as you make goals. For example, I have the goal to do strength training each day. My 2 and 3 year old are not interested in watching me do strength training. They usually end up getting on my back or crying at my feet, so I can meet my goal by working with reality instead of against. I can do exercises during bath time, while they are playing at the park or while I am playing with them on the floor. Get creative with your “in between” moments during the day.
Holistic Health Principle One: New perspectives can lead to new behaviors
■Here are ways to get a new perspective:
■Go on a vacation or day-trip on your own
■Go to the temple on your own
■Read scriptures/good books on your own
■Start an exercise class on your own
■Begin therapy on your own
■Unplug from social media to be on your own
■Meditate consistently on your own
■Do you see a pattern? Yes, I said it. On your own. Do something by yourself so that you can see yourself and your life with fresh eyes.
I have done a me-only vacation and I have done a girlfriends get-away. Both were refreshing and much needed.
■Mothers, wives, grandparents, busy professionals or young adults are surrounded by needy others all the time. God wants us to be still and know that He is God. You need and deserve some time to meditate about your identity and health.
■When you are not on your own or you prefer company around you, choose your friends and acquaintances wisely. Those you surround yourself with can become important mentors or crabs grabbing your legs as you try to escape the boiling pot of water.
Principle Two: You are the sum of your parts. See yourself holistically.
■You are made up of your mind, your body and your spirit.
■If these parts can live in harmony, you will enjoy life more.
■Do you take care of all of these parts?
■Consider a pitcher with no water in it. Can it serve the weak and thirsty? NO.
■I believed for too long that unless I was sacrificing my needs for others that I was not a good person. This is a lie.
■God wants you to love yourself.
■Even in the commandments it is implied…Love thy neighbor as thyself.
■God assumes you will take care of yourself.
■You should practice self-care, and your capacity to love and serve is only expanded.
■Let’s take some time to think about yourself:
■Mind: What are some ways that you can take care of your mind?
■Body: What are some ways that you can take care of your body?
■Spirit: What are some ways that you can take care of your spirit?
■Ideas for cultivating the Mind: Meditation, personal development/learning, positive thoughts + affirmations, goals, visualization, love for others, quiet/personal time, uplifting music
■Ideas for caring for the Body: healthy eating habits, regular exercise, positive body image, sleep, learning about body, gratitude for material comforts, attitude towards food, accountability, personal hygiene
■Ideas for nurturing your Spirit: scripture reading, prayers, service, live beliefs, share with others, appreciation +respect, act on revelation, listening for answers
What are ways that you take care of your mind, body and spirit that are not on these lists? Share in the comments.
Principle Three: Be Ye Therefore Perfect…Eventually
■No one, including God, expects you to be perfect overnight.
■God expects us to seek progress and perfection line upon line, precept upon precept.
■Because of Christ’s atonement, you can work on living more fully without feeling like you are a complete failure. We are so blessed.
■Be kind to yourself and others as we all fall and get back up again, over and over.
Principle Four: The Real Blessing Comes after We are Whole
■I want you to imagine a water pitcher again. Imagine the pitcher is well-taken care. A very thirsty stranger or a wilting plant comes into your home and you pull out this pitcher.
■Not only does it please the weary stranger’s eyes gives relief to a dying plant, but it perfectly pours the cool water that is so needed.
■You, my friends are the pitcher. As you care for and beautify your mind, body and spirit, you will bring joy to others and will function as an important instrument in God’s hands.
■You are filled with water and when the thirsty come, you have much to give.
■The greatest blessing of living our life well is being able to bless our families, friends and others.
■Consider our perfect teacher, Jesus Christ.
■Did he take time to commune with God alone? 40 days and 40 nights
■What was he doing when the storm hit the sea? “Asleep on a pillow” Mark 4:38
■Was he whole? Perfectly.
■Could he have loved so fully and perfectly if he did not love himself with the same kind of love? No.
Principle Five: A Life Well Lived Can Only be Measured by the Master who Sees the Whole
■Do not compare your progress with others. Run your own race.
■God sees our mind, body and spirit as a whole. He knows our hearts and cares less about the things that men and Satan are occupied with.
■We can trust in God and as we do our best to live well, he will bless us and help us to achieve all that we desire in this life and the next.
■Our story is eternal and we should try to enjoy this time we have as much as we can.
I hope “A Holistic Happy Life: Depressed and Stressed to Joyful and Peaceful” helps you to have a better tomorrow!