Cleaning your lens on life

This article is submitted to us by Dr Deb Roberts, a writer, speaker and yoga teacher and part of Career Money Life’s Supplier Community. You can view the original article on her website.

When I feel anxious or depressed I feel like I’m viewing life through a dirty lens. My thoughts impact the colours and the clarity, finding focus feels exhausting and tiresome. However cleaning that lens is possible, but it takes effort, especially when things feel bleak.

 Our outlook on life in general and our reactions to the specifics of the day, always impact our well-being. The stare someone gave us on the street, at work or at a social engagement can be interpreted in different ways. A positive interpretation energizes us, but a fearful or suspicious one does not. 

 When things are going well, things just feel like they flow, nothing requires too much thought or effort, and we have more patience and energy to positively engage with life. When things go wrong,  we can feel vilified, trapped, desperate and want out. We may take it out on others; often on those we love most, further adding to the tension we feel in our daily lives.

 If there was one specific, fool proof and magic method for clearing our lens, changing our mood and riding the waves of stress, we’d all be doing it. Yet, there isn’t one magic fix, the formula is slightly different for us all – and it also changes as we do.

 I currently feel more clear than I have in a long time. The world literally looks different. The colors are brighter and sharper. As someone who suffers intermittently from depression and anxiety I don’t know how long it will last, but I can genuinely say that today feels good! 

 It’s nice to be in this clear and bright space and yet I don’t exactly know how I got here. I wish I did! I want to box it up and put a neat bow on it, so I can access it at will, but it isn’t that straightforward, as what worked to shift my mood this time is not exactly what worked for me last time.

For the past 25 years I’ve developed and maintained a yoga practice to support a healthy and balanced life, aiming to live without medication. However last year I fell into a deep depression which consumed me and even with abundant and generous support from friends and family, it was a dark time. 

So perhaps my current change in mood and perspective is the result of the professional treatment and being back on medication? Or the combination of medication and having a holiday break and being in a different environment?

Or medication and yoga? Or medication, yoga and new work opportunities? Perhaps time has passed and the natural wave of feeling anxious and depressed took its own course? Perhaps it is all of the above?

From my lived experience, and from my professional experience, I know that there is not only one path to achieving well-being and feeling balanced. Each of us is born with a distinctive genetic blue print and amass unique life experiences. Nonetheless we can learn from each other the most common ways in which we attain more clarity.  Here are a few that are working for me: 

1.     Get enough sleep
2.     Eat more wholefoods and less processed foods
3.     Get exercise, including some mindful movement with breath (better yet, outdoors)
4.     Engage in social connection and with kind people who have a good vibe
5.     Maintain true friendships who accept you in any shape or form
6.     Listen to music
7.     Spend time with pets
8.     Become interested/passionate about something
9.     Seek and accept professional advice as needed
10.  Practice moment to moment acceptance and gratitude

Remember that our internal state is in flux and that change is inevitable. The things that currently help us feel balanced may not work in the future when we feel out of sync.

So remain open and let your ‘go-to well-being list’ be flexible! Add to it anything that works for you. It might be creating art, learning a language or watching rom-coms. Look after yourself and take notice when you feel a sense of contentment, even if it is just a glimpse, it will help you see and enjoy all of life’s colours for the better.

Until next time,
Deb

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