8 Physical Symptoms of Depression You Need to Know

Think depression is all in the head? Well, think again. Depression is much more than just feeling sad and it actually may manifest itself in many different physical ways that you may not be aware of.

Read below to learn 8 physical symptoms of depression:

1. Headaches

There are many different types of headaches that range in severity and cause. A “tension headache” is a type of headache that is often seen with depression, which is normally a mild throbbing pain extending across the forehead.

2. Fatigue

Feeling lethargic and having low energy is often a hallmark physical symptom of depression. If you have noticed a dip in your energy level, it is a good idea to check in with how your mood has been.

3. Nausea

Have you ever heard of the stomach being referred to as the “second brain?” The stomach is often referred to as the second brain because it is very much connected to the brain, meaning the brain can influence how the stomach feels – so feeling depressed can literally make you feel sick to your stomach. 

4. Constipation and/or diarrhea

As discussed above, the mind and stomach are very much connected which can lead to not only nausea, but also becoming constipated or having diarrhea.

Professional experience: In practice, I’ve had many patients who’ve had problems with constipation and/or diarrhea and once I put them on antidepressants the symptoms completely went away – pretty amazing to see!

5. Loss of appetite

A sudden loss of appetite is a very common symptom that comes with depression.

6. Increased appetite

Just as some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite with depression, many others will experience an increased appetite. The increased appetite is also normally for carb heavy, indulgent foods because carbs make you feel good – carbs help to increase serotonin which is the feel good hormone in your body.

7. Muscle stiffness

Muscle stiffness is a very common physical symptom that accompanies depression. If you’ve been feeling more stiff than usual, it’s a good idea to check in with yourself and how your mood has been.

8. Increased pain

Depression may make your body more sensitive to pain. The most common areas for pain are the back, neck, and/or shoulders – main areas where we tend to hold stress and tension.

Main takeaways…

It is important to check in with yourself from time to time, especially if you’ve started to notice one or more of the above symptoms.

 

10 Things Mindful People Do Daily




With all of the distraction and anxiety in our world today, it’s those people that walk around above it all and smiling throughout their day that have it right. Those people are often living a life full of mindfulness…

To help you reach that amazing state, below are the 10 things that mindful people incorporate into their daily life to stay calm, focused, and centered throughout their day.

 

1. They are aware of their breathing

By checking in on your breath you have a direct line into your overall state. Short breaths in your upper chest area may indicate anxiety or stress, while deep diaphragmatic breaths show off a sense of calm and relaxation. Calm breath equals a calm mind.



 

2. They focus on the task at hand

While the popular belief is that multi-tasking is the way to go, mindful people know that focusing on a single task and doing it great is the best use of their attention. Multi-tasking can lead to anxiety as our brain is running all over the place and never focused and calm.



 

3. They embrace nature

Getting outside and “bathing” in nature is one of the simplest ways to improve your headspace. Research has shown that being outdoors can even boost your energy and relieve stress.



4. They meditate daily

Having a consistent meditation practice has been shown to boost your well-being, improve focus, and reduce stress. Whether it’s in the morning before you start your day, during lunch break, or when you have time in the evening, finding even just 5 minutes a day to meditate will prove to be incredibly beneficial in helping you become more mindful.

*Try MeditateBot in Messenger for free meditations*



5. They pay attention to their eating

Often referred to as “mindful eating”, the art of paying attention to what you are eating during meals and savoring each bite. Listening to your body while you eat is an amazing way to tell if you are full and avoid overeating.




6. They laugh at themselves

Being able to take a step back from a situation you may be stressing over and laughing at how caught up you are in it is an amazing super power! Life presents ups and downs, but being able to take in situations and just laugh and be cheerful will take you a long way.



 

7. They free their minds

Knowing when to let your mind run free and be creative is an important part of being mindful. The funny thing about becoming mindful and being able to harness your attention at will, is that you have the power to turn your focus on and off whenever you want!



 

8. They turn simple tasks into mindful moments

By paying attention to daily activities, you can bring mindfulness into the even smallest of daily tasks. From brushing your teeth to unloading the dishwasher, mindfulness opportunities are presented in many forms, not just meditation.




9. They use social media proactively

With all of the angst against how social media distracts us, mindful people know that it can be also used to be beneficial to our lives. Whether it’s checking in on an old friend, following a mindfulness quotes account, or reading a blog post on positivity, there are many ways that social media can make you more mindful.



10. They control their reactions

We understand that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. The most mindful people can take a step back, assess, then choose the best path forward.




 

Top Tips To Prevent Holiday Stress




The holidays can be a very joyous time of year, filled with parties, friends and family. That being said, the holiday season can also bring about a lot of stress.

Read below to learn the top tips to prevent and reduce stress during the holiday season:




Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, especially when it comes to the holidays. Don’t leave everything until the last moment because that is a guaranteed way to put yourself in a place of panic. 

Have a plan

Having a plan is how you can prevent yourself from procrastinating. Make a list of everything you need to get done and designate different days to get everything checked off your list. Making a plan early on helps to prevent stress and anxiety later.



Identify the triggers

Understand what the triggers are that make you feel stressed during the holidays. Is it shopping for gifts? Having to cook for a large group? Travel? When you understand what your stress triggers are, you can better plan to make them less stressful.

Sweat it out

Holidays are an extremely busy time, which is why exercise is so important this time of year. Exercise gives you energy, helps you sleep better, and helps to lower stress hormones in your body.



Cut down on sugar and carbs

The holidays are full of tempting desserts and high carb meals. Eating foods high in sugar and carbs causes a rollercoaster in your blood sugar levels, which leads to stress in your body, moodiness and hangry.



Go easy on the alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are often flowing during the holidays, and one too many cocktails can leave you feeling more stressed than you started. Make a point to watch your alcoholic intake during the holiday season.

Main takeaways…

Know that stress will happen during the holidays, but stress can be much more manageable if you have tools to help you get through it.




12 Positive Affirmations for Success




Positive affirmations help to change your thinking and beliefs, in order to drive real change and positive results. It’s all about the mindset!

How to use them:
1. Take a deep breath
2. Speak or think your affirmation
3. Visualize yourself applying it to your life

Here are 12 of our favorite positive affirmations for success, enjoy!

 

1. “I live a positive life and only bring the best into my life.”




2. “Today, and every day, I choose to be happy.”




3. “My life overflows with happiness and love.”




4. “Today is full of opportunity and I open my heart to receive it.”




5. “Today, and every day, I choose to be confident.”




6. “I am completely in charge of my life.”




7. “I act daily with courage and confidence.”




8. “I open my life to the world and the world gives me love in return.”




9. “I act, think, and communicate like a true leader.”




10. “I inspire others to be their very best self.”




11. “Today, I choose to leave my old bad habits behind and take up new, more positive ones.”




12. “Everything that is happening to me now is happening for my greater good.”





 

How to Deal With Difficult People

 

No matter how you cut it, at some point throughout your days on earth you are going to come across a difficult person in which you’ll have to deal with. Even the most centered and mindful people run across these folks – truthfully,  it’s almost impossible to avoid them (hint: they’re everywhere – from the DMV to your workplace).

Below are some of our favorite techniques you can use to deal with difficult co-workers, customers, contractors, family members, and so on. Of course, you may know some of these difficult people better than others and know what tactics will work best on them – the key is to know that each of these are at your disposal (think of them like your toolkit).

 

1. Listen more than you talk

Let them vent and get out whatever it is they are angry about. Keep eye contact and nod your head to display that you are truly “hearing” what they are saying. This works two-fold – first, it demonstrates to them that you are attempting to see things from their perspective – second, it gives you time and all of the necessary information from them to respond methodically.

 

2. Don’t get defensive

I know this is a hard one because of course you want to defend where you are coming from. The key is to separate yourself from the situation and understand that it likely is not about you. Difficult people have their own issues that they are struggling with and are simply projecting them upon you in this situation. Try your best to not take it personally.

 

3. Stay calm

It’s a total waste of time to fight anger with anger. All that will do is put you two against one another and escalate the situation further. Instead, try to breathe deep into the stomach while listening to them – this will send calming signals from your brain throughout your entire body.

 

 

4. Find common ground

Ironically, the common ground you find with each other doesn’t have to have anything to do with the difficult situation at all. If you both have kids, talk about that. When we see someone we have similarities with it makes it easier to put ourselves in their shoes and see things from their perspective. You’ll find the more you demonstrate how you are similar, the quicker you’ll reach a mutually beneficially solution.

 

5. Look for win-wins

Offer up solutions that both parties will be happy with. When you work together to do this it makes it extremely difficult to argue. If everyone is cool and collected, that’s the absolute best way to deal with a difficult person – not through anger.

 

6. Try not to smile

I know this may sound odd, but if someone is exposing anger towards you and you’re just smiling back, you’re going to get them even more angry. Now, if you know the person well enough to know they enjoy humor, go ahead and try to inject some light into the conversation, but be careful and don’t always expect a smile in return.

 

7. Avoid demands

Giving a difficult person an ultimatum is fuel for their fire. You have to understand that these people often have some serious issues going on below the surface and by trying to force their hand to comply you’ll likely anger them even more. Instead of demands, try and find a mutually beneficial solution. This may mean you have to give a little, but that’s ok. Just finding a solution with a difficult person will feel like a win!

 

8. Treat yourself

Successfully handling a difficult person is one of life’s hardest tasks. So give yourself some praise (and even a treat!) when you accomplish this goal. Training the brain to know that after you deal with a difficult person or situation you’ll get a reward is a great hack to set you up for success the next time you cross one (which you inevitably will).

 

 

How to Quiet Your Monkey Mind

Do you constantly feel like you have a voice in your head (feeding you negative thoughts!)? Well the good news is that this doesn’t make you crazy, it’s actually built into our DNA to have this pesky sidekick living alongside us. This mostly unwanted friend is often referred to as our “Monkey Mind” and like any monkey – it needs to be properly tamed. If the monkey mind is not properly tamed and we attach ourselves to it, that’s when serious problems begin to arise in our lives.

Here are 6 ways that you can quiet your monkey mind and start living more in the moment…

1. Recognize that it’s there

The minute you begin to notice the thoughts arising from the monkey mind and detach yourself from them, that’s when it will begin to disappear. The monkey needs to know that you are paying attention and believing its thoughts. Starve the monkey by not paying attention to them – even laugh at them (this shouldn’t be hard because many are outrageous if you really stop to think about them).

 

2. Start journaling

Take notes on what the monkey mind is trying to tell you. Whether it’s a physical notebook or on your phone, begin to document what the monkey mind is saying and when it’s saying it. You should start to notice two patterns in – 1. What it’s saying 2. When it’s saying it (i.e. When you’re all alone). Both of these are equally important and will help you silence it over time. Additionally, take the time to write down what you are grateful for in your life (see #5) – I recommend starting each day with a 10 minute gratitude practice. 

 

3. Accept your past

The monkey mind loves bringing up the past over and over again. It likes to tell you that because something went wrong that ONE TIME, that it’s going to always happen. This is a lie that the monkey mind feeds off of and is something that will bring you down to its level. Take the time to accept that your past happened (the good and the bad) and know that it has little to no bearing on the present (and future).

 

4. Focus on your breathing

When you start to notice negative thoughts from the monkey mind intruding on your brain, divert those thoughts by instead focusing on your breathing. Take deep belly breathes in from your nose and out your mouth until those thoughts run away. If you want to take this to the next level or have never been “taught” breathing techniques, I recommend exploring yoga – you’ll begin to understand and control your breathe (along with many other benefits). 

 

5. Practice gratitude

By taking the time to think through what you are grateful for in life your monkey mind’s negative thoughts are not able to creep in. Gratitude focuses on the positive aspects of your life, which begins to rewire your brain to think more positively over time. Take 10 minutes at the start of every morning (wake up early if you say you don’t have the time) and write down 3 things that you are grateful for. That’s all. You’ll start to see the benefits on your attitude for the day almost immediately. 

 

6. Meditate 

Probably the #1 way to calm the chatter of the monkey mind is to start meditating daily. By practicing meditation, you’re telling your mind to be still – only accepting thoughts when you ask for them to come in and join. You can use this skill to counteract a negative monkey mind thought as it comes in.