The Other Side of Darkness

Overcoming and Working Through Depression.

It was an emotional start to the week in Bemoore as my Life Challenges radio show hosted the amazing Hannah Armitage of Mum’s Life. She is now making her name as an on-line influencer – Hannah is confident , well presented and bubbly. It was a delight to interview her – and she is a radio presenter in her own right! So it was a honour that Hannah chose to talk about an event in her past that led to depression and her overcoming through therapy. It may also have been potentially a surprise to those  that see her public persona.that Hannah had not always felt like the confident sparkly young woman she presented herself as.

However it is not an uncommon story – many individuals will be able to put on their game face, get out there and be the person they need to be – all the while hiding the feelings which can be all-consuming and prevent them from embracing what life has to offer.

I personally held down a very tough role whilst battling on a daily basis negativity and massive lows. When I asked women what achieving meant to them on the original launch of my webpage someone said – just getting out of the bed in the morning. I get that ! …

Where Does it Come From?

Depression can come over someone for many reasons but two types are the depression caused by experiencing a specific event which you can remember and pin point as a starting point. The other feels as though it just appeared and you cannot understand what has happened to cause it. This could be due to chemical changes in your body – a physical process you are going through ( think of post natal depression for example) or it could be that there was an event you experienced and you are not able to recall it because it happened when you were very young or your memory has chosen to suppress it..

Depression itself can feel a very lonely place and yet it is the world’s leading  mental health problem and in 2013 a survey by mental health.org showed it to be the leading cause for disability in 26 countries. Scary as those statistics are the fact is you are not alone and there is no shame in seeking support.

What To Look For ?

symptoms vary according to individuals – ranging from just not feeling themselves to insomnia or the need to always sleep , changes in relationship with foods ( not eating enough or binge eating) , leading to poor concentration and lack of energy, feelings of guilt and a drop in confidence and self-worth. People will describe at a physical tangible thing which is upon them and Winston Churchill famously described it as his black dog which followed him.

People may experience strange thoughts and or dreams – remind me to tell my own story of the chimp that I created which became the big boulder of a hint that it was time I got myself sorted !

What Can I Do?

We are thankfully seeing a big change in people being able to talk about mental health problems and sharing your feelings and thoughts is the first step to getting support.

Find someone you can simply confide in and also see your GP who will help to identify what additional support will help. This could involve medication and or counselling or therapy.

Take small steps to review what is going on in life – make time to look after yourself and start to look for those small but important positives that you have on a daily basis – even getting out of the bed in the morning is a big achievement so celebrate it.

Overall listen to your gut instinct. You will get small signs that things are not right and if you try to ignore them they will just grow.. Oprah talks of listening to the sand and the pebbles otherwise they will become rocks and then a boulder which will come hit you upside the head.

There is so much I could write about this topic and a blog just doesn’t do it justice but if you want on-line support why not come over to my FaceBook Group Bemoore -Reconnections where there are loads of hints and tips and lots of fabulous people supporting each other.

My final message is that recovery is possible. Through initial medication , therapy and support I ( just like Hannah) was able to overcome and create a life filled with purpose – it actually led me to where I am today supporting others to be able to do the same.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bemoorefindyourroar/about/

 

 

Advertisements

The Search For Happiness …

Why it appears that in our society more is becoming less …

At the start of this week the country connected with Blue Monday. In that way in which we name our days to attach an importance or a feeling/ behaviour with them – like the dreadful Black Friday or Cyber Monday, we have deemed that Monday in January to be the time when everything Christmas and New Year and glittery and bright is a distant memory. The credit cards bills are landing and the children have moved on from the presents and are already focusing on what next ..

However it was also a national week asking us to Hunt for Happiness – in an emotional sense might I add! .So here in the world of Bemoore it seemed like a great topic to explore.

Why are we so often searching for that happiness?

What is it that is missing from our lives that creates a need to look for something more ?

Now happiness is not an tangible thing. It is an emotion , a feeling and this is created by our own brain processing information. It is something that happens within our mind and our body and yet we are looking for it outside… of course what we are in fact looking for is that tangible thing we can attach the emotion of happiness with.

The problem we then have is we need to have something external in order to bring forward that feeling of happiness ongoing. .. and the more we bring it forward the more we believe that we need more stuff to keep feeling happy – remember my blog on the compulsive buyers ( and I have certainly been there myself!).

People’s lives are filled with sentences that start ..’ if only I had ‘ .. If only I changed .. If only it was different .. When I get to …. Then I will be happy !’ and yet even when people get those things or get to where they thought they wanted to be .. they are already looking for next big thing.

On my radio show this week I had two wonderful guests – Anna Parker- Naples Founder of Inspiring Mummies Club and a fellow Mindfulness practitioner and Sharon Rai – Enabler at the Entrepreneurial Spark Program run by Natwest nationally for start up businesses.

Both of them had experienced events in their life which meant they saw that happiness could come from a different place. For Anna it was after a health scare and then her ability to find happiness inspiring others around her.. For Sharon it was seeing that the glamour of the high corporate consultancy life didn’t actually fulfil her and she made the big jump into the world of social enterprise and again found happiness helping others get started.

We all agreed that happiness is actually within us and it is within us we need to look. I think it links so well to another of my favourite topics – purpose. And I think this is also why we see people embracing a return to minimalism or coming away from the instagram life  where we are bombarded with perfect images of lives we could have ( but actually don’t even exist) and seeking peace in retreats for the mind and the body. I loved the quote that came up on my FB Live on Wednesday from Wendy- comparison is the thief of joy ! – that is truth!

For me I found happiness again in similar way – I knew I could give something back and help others find their path  and that’s the shape of my business going forward.

So  look for those small things that create that feeling : they are all around you – these are some of our favourites – thank you Ellen for getting us started..

Clean Sheets, popping bubble wrap , stroking cats , the licking of the yoghurt pot lid, throwing leaves in the air and watching them fall , blowing bubbles through a child’s bubble wand , a good book , a hug, the small crunchy chips at the bottom of the bag, doing something which makes someone else’s life easier .. and my secret vice .. dipping salt and vinegar crisps into hot chocolate ( don’t knock it till you tried it)..

So when you are looking for that next thing .. why not look inside and see what you already have …happiness is there for you – you can bring it anytime you wish…

Have a fabulous and mindful week ! x Ali

 

Intention and Purpose

What A Week !

Well it’s not only the end of the Intention and Purpose week here at Bemoore but the end of my first proper week back in the business and on the business after Christmas and New Year.

Firstly how long ago does that all feel ?

My intention this week ( see what I did there ? ) was to look at goals and resolutions but from a different aspect and I will touch on this in a moment, however sitting here on a Friday evening waiting for the family to return, it has also been a moment of reflection on my own intentions at the start of the year.

Those that follow me will know I was feeling frazzled. I was feeling like instead of working on what I truly enjoy – which is helping others to find ways forward – I was chasing all the shiny stuff, getting caught up in the who had the best clients and the most PR opportunities and it was feeling at odds.

So I made the decision that everything I did this year would be about purpose. I would question my choices to ensure they were in line with that purpose and focus on working with clients that wanted to move forward and  focus on enjoying my business and being true in my intentions. … I was putting it in the hands of the universe that if I put my energies into this way of working the business side would come together.

… and this week has been testimont to that belief! The therapy room has been filled with amazing individuals with many different asks, but all wanting to explore their journey, I have met some fabulous new contacts , had wonderful enquiries about future work and connected with new opportunities which have opened doors. Each day has seen a step forward and the best bit is that everything I am now working on and everyone I am working with feels congruent with how I want it to be.

In my FB live this week I talked about working from your purpose first rather than making great lists of ‘To Do’s then falling off the wagon just a few weeks in. Looking to see what is going on in your life now and what is working for you and what is at odds with your intentions. Also exploring how you are defined and by what titles and again how this feels in terms of your future journey.

Having done that you can think about what you would like to be different and only then at that point start to think about the actions that will take you to that new place. Often after this exercise clients will find that many of the items on their original to do list are no longer relevant. Their new list ensures goals are focused on what they have defined as the changes they really want to make – and because of this these goals and actions are much more likely to stick.

So why not do a final review of where you are before the year really starts to ramp up?

Next week we are on the Hunt for Happiness and don’t forget you can listen in again next week Monday 7pm – 8pm on Secklow Sounds 105.5fm ( http://www.secklow.org) to hear my fabulous guest talk about their own hunt for happiness.

As always have a fabulous and Mindful week x

Celebrating Life…

Before you look to make change celebrate what you already have !

If last week was a chance to be still and reflect then this week is about being fully in the present and it’s National Celebration of Life Week so what a fabulous reminder to look around us and celebrate what is going on for us right now !

For many people life can range from mundane to down right difficult to deal with and we are bombarded with the negative through all media outlets. Celebrations can be hard to find and even for those that are on an even keel, celebration can be seen as something saved for the big events.

And yet understanding what is happening in our lives in the moment , looking at what we already have and seeing the small details which make our life what it is are vital components in drafting your future journey .. once again at this time when it’s all about goals – making things bigger , better ,changing , doing more or less of stuff  doesn’t it make sense to understand also appreciate what is just there now. That is what you need to nurture and love and grow. .. and of course being in the now and being present – that’s mindful living !

I heard a wonderful description of the visual world we live in – when we take the photo which used to be for memory and to cherish and now is all about creating the perfect image of a perfect world. We become so obsessed with the taking of the image and the look of the image we almost forget the moment we are capturing. … and yet if we stopped we might see that in that moment we had it all – right there – right then .. we had it all .. but we didn’t see it and we didn’t celebrate it and when we finally look up the moment is lost and sometimes the people are lost as well.

Helping people celebrate their life is such a wonderful part of my role and we start this by simply looking for positives on a daily basis. Now this seems easy but again for many people this can be tough especially when the goal is to find 10 or 20 positives every single day… and yet it’s about embracing the small. The smaller the better in fact . My favourites I share are:

  1. Putting on the hob light in the early morning before the house wakes up.
  2. Hearing the whistle of the kettle on the gas hob ready for that first cup tea.
  3. The first cup of tea – which I love so much I posted about recently.

And that’s 3 before I have even got out of my PJ’s! not very exciting and would pass many people by ..

… and yet that is the start of celebrating – each small thing which brightens our day creates that positive mind-set.

I recently asked my social media community how they celebrated – mine was very food related. Having been bullied to the point of home schooling and used food as a way of control I now see food as something to be enjoyed ..I was smiling when I saw so many people agreeing and of course opening the bottle of bubbles  – any excuse for me ( in moderation of course.) But also things such as driving in the sun to remind them of the summer months to come are all ways to embrace and celebrate the life we have.

So as you start this year and think about the adventures to come remember to stop and make time to celebrate your life right now , your people right now and look to see what you already have !

Bright Blessings !

Ali x