Life is all about cycles – Seasons change, weather moves in patterns, the economy fluctuates, trends … change…transition…all of which are happening constantly.
Recently, I was talking with a woman who had moved into a lovely home. It was the home of her dreams. She had been very excited about the move and creating this wonderful space. However, about a month or so after the move she found herself feeling depressed and lethargic. She was very concerned and considered anti-depressant medication.
Change brings forth many emotions, sensations and shifts – ups and downs. Generally we don’t associate depression with “good things” but in truth each one of us responds to change in our own unique way.
Plants were my first teachers about change. Have you ever moved a plant from one spot to another? What happens? They tend to wilt and look like they might die. Just when you think it is a lost cause the plant perks up! Go figure…
We do a little of this too. Our moods and energy are always in flux and subject to change. This can make most people nervous – Who really feels comfortable when feeling, a bit depressed or down?
However, is what is being felt a symptom of depression or a human experience? There is a difference between a clinical condition and a response to a life event. We tend to label unwanted feelings and experiences as being related to sickness, but just like the plant or the woman who moved, that might not be the case. It just might be because change takes energy and lots of it – more than we might think. Also, anytime something is gained something is lost. Loss is part of every change – Even the changes that we want or goals we have worked towards. Grieving is a natural response to loss. Depression is part of grieving.
Preparation for change is key in setting ourselves up for success. Being able to move through change and transition safely and successfully without putting ourselves at risk or sabotaging our success. Each one of us may be sensitive to specific triggers/ stressors, events or circumstances – The conditions that may challenge our sense of mental, emotional and physical balance.
Mood and energy cycles often parallel with the environmental conditions occurring within and around us. If you are a person who is sensitive to change and or has mood, addiction or chronic health problems it is important to pay extra attention to change, especially when it involves your personal space, work or people in your life. Self knowledge is key.
The ability to understand our own cycles is needed in order to help ourselves in the best ways possible.
In order to feel well and to be effective, we need to adapt to changing conditions. This means that we need to identify, understand and prepare for them according to our individual needs.
This is why it is critical that we create the conditions we need to be well and successful. We can control that part.
This helps us in becoming skilled in managing change. Being adaptive and able to work with change is needed to be able to grow, increase our skills and capacities and to reach our personal and professional goals. As we move through life and experience its’ joys, our victories, defeats and losses we will have many intensive and personal feelings many of which are part of the process of becoming a whole person. Growth can be stressful and uncomfortable, but necessary if we are to become more skilled in living life.
Approaching ourselves with kindness, inquiry and flexibility allows us to create the conditions we need to move forward through the changes in our lives. This means not judging every uncomfortable feeling and or event that does not go as planned as something wrong or a sign of failure. Instead setting things up so that we have what we need – support, healthy lifestyle habits and a mindset of willingness and openness.
Through this process we become more resilient- meaning stress hardy. Then we truly become more healthy, adaptive and bounce back from set backs and stressors even using them as leverage to move forward. We are then truly able to move forward with confidence and in a manner by which we can be our best selves.