British Workers Most Depressed in Europe
Depression is the persistent feeling of sadness, helplessness and lack, which is often accompanied by symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, low libido, poor concentration and physical aches and pains.
Although causes of depression aren’t fully understood a combination of both internal and external and factors appear to contribute to the onset of the condition. In my work with people overcoming burnout I have met many individuals suffering from depression. Not everyone who experiences burnout experiences the same symptoms, so not everyone who burns out can relate to depression, but for many there can be sensations of persistent sadness or feelings of worthlessness and helplessness that are typically associated with depression.
What I have noticed in working with those reporting depression is that there is that common internal pressures include a struggle to please others, be successful, achieve and exceed expectations. External pressures are often experienced in the form of a personal or professional loss, or a major life change resulting increased physical, mental or emotional demands. There is often also a prolonged experience of feeling disconnected and unfulfilled in the workplace or home environment, or to quote several clients, a sensation of “living someone elses life”.
For many people depression can be something that they are able to trace back to childhood. Dr Trisha Macnair suggests that the majority of adults experiencing depression remember having symptoms as a child. Scientists have recently discovered that how happy or sad we generally are is 50% influenced by our genetics, 40% by the thoughts and beliefs that form our daily habits, and 10% by our environment.
Many psychologists believe that in the very early months of a child’s life his impression of himself and himself in relation to others begins to form, and by the end of the second or during the third year the child has already formed his conclusion about himself and others, what Harris (1995, I’m Ok, You’re Ok) refers to as the child’s ‘life plan’. What we determine at this early stage in life also seems to affect how we continue to relate to ourselves and others right through our lives into adulthood (Stewart and Joines, 1987, TA Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis).
As Marci Shimoff points out in her fabulous best selling book Happy for No Reason, the aforementioned theory that 50% of our happiness level is determined by our DNA, means that he remaining 50% is NOT genetics and can therefore be changed. Not only that, but according to Shimoff, epigeneticists have found that in changing our habits we can change our genes. So, although genetics may play some part in our predisposed ability to cope with certain situations in life we have the power within us to positively influence our DNA and be happier as a result.
So, how can we rewrite our childhood scripts and increase our happiness setpoint? Jeff Foster, an author who himself journied through depression points out that the verb has the similar phonetic sound as ‘deep rest’ . He believes that depression is a hidden invitation to release the pressure of being someone you are not so that you can ‘rest deeply in the core of who you are’. I heard a similar theory from a psychology professor many years ago who suggested that what you resist persists and that by listening to inner yearnings to retreat and go within we are able to reconnect with our true passions and purpose enabling us to birth ourselves anew.
As children, many of us mould who we think we should be, in order to fit in, keep up appearances and please our parents, teachers or care-givers. We therefore form a false sense of identity over time that can eventually become too much to bear and result in the experience of depression. However, if we listen to our bodies and accept the signs and symptoms of depression, they transform into an opportunity to rediscover ourselves, to accept all of the unique parts that make us whole, and to reinvent the way in which we choose to create our experience of life. You can thereby transform your experience of depression into an opportunity for self-discovery and self-growth.
7 Tips To Transform Depression
Listen – Allow the wisdom of your body to communicate with you by noticing the physical signs and symptoms it gives you rather than overriding them. Be kind to yourself. It is okay to feel low.
Pause – Give yourself permission to press pause and take time out to rest.
Go Within – Use creative mediums like poetry, art, song, dance and body movement to explore and process your emotions, especially the ones you’ve felt unable to express in the past.
Remove the Mask – Make a list or draw pictures of all the things you pretend to be in your life. What are you putting up with? What are your frustrations? Where do you feel tension? By expressing these it becomes easier to go behind the mask you wear and rediscover who you truly are underneath.
Remember – What were the things you used to love to do as a child? What are the hobbies you long forgot about? Take a walk down memory lane to help you recall and reconnect with your instinctive passions.
Play – Schedule in some play dates with yourself. Take your inner child to the beach, sit on a swing, write a story, ride a bike, sing, dance – have fun being free to reignite your creativity and passions.
New Outlets – Create new opportunities to engage with your true interests, whether it is by joining a local group, watching films, booking an experience or volunteering for an organization. Find fun ways to fulfill your true passions.
NB: If you think you may be suffering from depression consult your GP for further advice and information.
About Jayne Morris:
An expert in transforming lives from Burnout to Brilliance. Jayne’s one-to-one work, seminars, podcasts, articles and online posts have helped thousands of people around the world regain their sense of power, passion and purpose. She loves delivering inspirational talks and transformational workshops. Her clients include CEO’s, celebrities, leaders and luminaries.
Jayne draws on over 20 years martial arts experience and 15 years combined experience in international business, teaching, radio and television presenting. As a qualified Personal and Business Coach, Jayne is a member of the highly reputed Coaching Circle, National Council of Psychotherapists and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. She holds a BSc in Economics and International Business, an Advanced Diploma in Art Psychotherapy, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Personal and Business Coaching.
With a love for experiencing new places, Jayne has lived, worked and run training sessions in several countries including Japan, Germany, Spain and America. From tutoring groups of troubled teenagers to leading executive seminars for up to 150 professionals, Jayne has completed projects for various organisations including the BBC, Channel 4, Kent Business TV, CVA TV, Adidas, Thomas Cook, JET Programme and Teach First.
Jayne offers several services including VIP Days, individually tailored packages, plus intensive workshops, courses and retreats held in beautiful locations in the UK and abroad. Bespoke workshops and inspiring talks to meet your individual needs or the needs of your organisation are also available.
Jayne is resident life coach expert for NHS Online Health Sector and has been featured by leading publications including The Telegraph, Daily Express, London Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Scottish Daily Express, Daily Star, Woman’s Fitness, Red, Best, Women’s Weekly, Spirit & Destiny and Women’s Own. She recently appeared on BBC Breakfast TV with Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin, sharing her expertise on the benefits of power naps.
Jayne is the Author of upcoming title ‘Burnout to Brilliance’ – due for release October 2013. She has had articles published by The Huffington Post, Inspired Times magazine and Hay House’s recent release ‘More to Life than Shoes’. The power of Jayne’s work was credited in Beverley Jones’ book ‘Made it Thru the Rain’ in her account of how Jayne helped her overcome depression and burnout by focusing daily on her future.