Much like the ocean, the mind is a vast world inside of our bodies- we have yet to fully understand it’s depths or its full power. Scientists still seek to understand the full effects of nature versus nurture, the distant impacts of our family tree on our behavior or how exposure to artificial light is changing our sleep patterns. Mental health has been a huge subject in our world recently as all sorts of variables (diet, hormones, random acts of God, etc) collide in creating sometimes highly volatile moments of experience. We are getting used to words like “depression” or “bipolar disorder” because we’re finding countless more friend, family and colleagues who live with them. If no one comes to mind, it is reported that 14.8 million adults in the US are affected by depression in any given year.
So what do we do?
How do we manage a sea of emotions, experiences, things beyond our control when we don’t always know what is what?
Some words of wisdom to help win the battle when you feel overwhelmed by sadness:
According to HelpGuide,
Depression typically involves sleep problems. Whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers.
We’re seeing patterns between hours slept, exposure to light, and uninterrupted sleep and it’s effects on our mood. Setting a sleep schedule may be a helpful way to see just how much rest is impacting your mood.
R. Morgan Griffin shared that exercise triggers the release of endorphins, chemicals responsible for fighting pain and stress, which counters the effects of depression. He says,
How much exercise do you need? You don’t need to run marathons to get a benefit. Just walking a few times a week can help.
With all we’ve learned about the negative effects of bottling up our thoughts and feelings, there can still be a stigma to the idea of therapy. However, Psychology Today says,
Asking for help is a brave act and speaking to a therapist is a healthy, productive endeavor from which every individual would benefit.
Having an unbiased person to share your feelings with can help you feel free to share to begin with. It also opens up channels of communication with a person who can speak from a broad range of wisdom and advice. Seeking the help of a therapist is also a proactive step YOU can take right now, removing the idea that you are powerless in your emotions.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing your mind. Some days are going to be good and some days are going to be tough no matter who you are but not talking about it can mean you feel isolated in those experiences. Know that you are not alone and you are not your feelings. You are supported!
If you are seeking help from a therapist, there are many options you may not be aware exist. Check out this resource for getting the help you need!