Managing Your Time

What do you think of when you hear the phrase time management?  If you are a go-getter, you may hear those words and think of how many tasks you can cram into a single day.  However, I didn’t say task management; I said time management.

Healthy time management, meant to reduce stress and increase quality of life, includes more than merely scheduling tasks.  Time management means incorporating times to accomplish tasks, yes, but also times of rest, reflection, recreation, and communication.  Each of these is needed daily to advance priorities and goals.

If you are a stay-putter, you may hear “time management” and think of how impossible it is for you to get anything done, no matter how much time you have.  For you, time management means incorporating effort, progress, completion, and accomplishment into each day in order to advance priorities and goals.

Time — no matter how much of it you have — needs to be harnessed and controlled: each morning (or even the night before), decide what you goals and priorities are for the day.  If the day is a word day, then arriving to work on time and being ready to actively participate are going to be main priorities.

However, most people don’t work sixteen-hour days, so there will be hours in each day for other activities.  Decide ahead of time what those activities should be based upon what you want to accomplish as well as on the type of person you want to be.

For example, as you’re on your way to work, you might decide to listen to music or an informative or informational podcast.  You might decide to spend the time in quiet reflection, meditation, or prayer, depending upon your mode of transport.  At lunch, you might send a quick text, or place a quick call, to a friend or family member.  On your way home, you might catch up on the news and take time to disconnect from your workday.  If you don’t intentionally plan your day, your day will plan you.

If the day is not a workday, then you will have more time to harness and manage.  There is a danger in thinking that you have all the time in the world over the weekend, but how many Sundays (or the equivalent) have you gone to bed, realizing that you didn’t get done half of what you wanted.  Instead of being satisfied with the goals accomplished, you’re distressed about tasks left undone.  Now not only do you have the week ahead, but you’re also playing catch-up from the week just ended.

When it comes to time management, the challenge for go-getters is to balance time with reflection.  The challenge for stay-putters is to balance time with achievement.

Dr. Gregory Jantz is the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE  and author of 35 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety, and others.

Money and False Security

“In God We Trust” has been engraved on our coins since 1864. Somewhere in the intervening years, however, it seems we’ve shifted from trust in God to trust in the coin itself. This isn’t a recent phenomenon; it’s been happening for a long time. King Solomon, in his book of wisdom known as Proverbs, puts it this way: “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall” (Prov. 18:11).

There are many people today for whom wealth is their unscalable wall. They truly believe if they acquire enough of it, build up a high enough wall of it, the cares and concerns of the world will not be able to climb over. The problem, of course, lies in the fact that cares and concerns have very creative ways of mounting siege ramps against the walls of wealth and breach even the highest parapets. Insecurities also find ways to tunnel under the strongest edifices.

Money, quite simply, is not a secure enough thing to put your trust in. Again, from Proverbs: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (23:4-5). Money is a fluid, dynamic entity, and its worth is based upon factors out of the control of most people. A person’s wealth can be made and lost within a single year. How many people have won millions of dollars on a lottery one year, only to wind up losing it all within a short span of time? How many people put their trust in the wealth they committed to Bernie Madoff, only to lose every cent in his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme? Money is not an appropriate place to look for security.

Money is not permanent because it can be lost in the blink of an eye (or in the crash of the stock market, or in the devaluation of currency, or through theft of malfeasance or cooked books). It is not permanent in the here and now, and it’s absolutely irrelevant in the hereafter. Money may get you some traction when you’re alive, but it is useless to you when you’re dead: “Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him” (Ps. 49: 16-17). In cruder, present-day language: The hearse doesn’t come with a trailer.

Money promises to provide security, but it often creates the opposite: “A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat” (Prov. 13:8). The more stock you set in the things you have, including money and the things money can buy, the greater the threat of losing it all. Those who have much have much to lose. Those with little, sleep under a lesser threat of loss and can feel more secure.

Money can be a source of security, but it can also be a source of heartburn: “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep” (Eccl. 5:12). If you put all your security eggs in the money basket, then you must perpetually worry about eggs breaking and losing broth.

 Dr. Gregory Jantz is the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE  and author of 35 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety, and others.

 

The Power of HOPE

To understand the true power of hope, I think it’s a good idea to contemplate what the world would look like without hope. It is a world without anticipation, without desire or expectation—a flat, monochrome world with only a single what-is view. First Chronicles 29:15 calls it a shadow world.

Over my time in counseling, I have seen too many people trapped in this shadow world without true hope. I have seen them desperately reach for anything—harmful, dangerous, destructive, false—to try to provide some sort of color of hope in the shadow. Imagine my position—within their world without hope I have to tell them that the one thing they cling to for a modicum of hope really isn’t hope at all. I have to point out the painfully obvious: The hope they cling to—whatever it is—is false hope.

If this is all I did and all I could offer, I wouldn’t do it. It would be too bleak. I praise God, however, that my job isn’t just to point out false hope but to point toward true hope. This is hope that sings with a symphony of desire, expectation, trust, sweet anticipation, and even sweeter fulfillment. This is hope that sings with God’s voice. This is not a shadow world; it is quite literally heaven. And what I get to do is show people the way to find their own patch of heaven on earth, through an understanding and connection to true hope.

Now that’s a job I believe in. It’s why The Center I founded thirty years ago has become knows as A Place of HOPE. It is a place where people find the strength and courage to give up their false hopes and the joy to discover their true hope. Hope has come to color everything we do, from the name of our website to titles on my books to our theme verse of Jeremiah 29:11. People come to us riding on the exhausted, failing horses of false hope and leave soaring on the wings of true hope.

This is not an easy journey. It’s not even an intuitive one for many. Letting go of the reins of a false hope in order to place yourself within reach of true hope is very much a leap of faith.

I love the Indiana Jones movies with Harrison Ford. There is a scene in the third movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where in order to save his dying father, Indy must successfully navigate a series of tests to reach the Holy Grail. At one point, Indy reaches a place where he must make a proverbial leap of faith.

Finding himself thwarted on the wrong side of a bottomless chasm, Indy must leap out into the apparent nothingness of space in order to keep going. He steels himself and steps out into the air of the abyss, only to land on a thin stone bridge that was impossible to see before. Once he realizes the path is there, that it is real, he successfully makes his way safely across to find the Grail and save his father. The path across was there the whole time; he just couldn’t see it. The only way to see it was to trust it was there.

The leap between false hope and true hope can be very much like that step into nothingness. On the one side, the false hope seems so substantial, so present, so there. The false hope is a known quantity. Even though a part of you knows it doesn’t live up to its promises and you won’t get to where you need to go by sticking to your false hope, another part of you is terrified of the abyss you’re stepping out into in order to grasp hold of true hope.

You are terrified of the unseen. It is that unseen nature of true hope that requires this leap of faith.

With an excessity, you know what you already have. Hopefully, by now, you recognize that what you have really isn’t much and that you’ve been putting all of your hope and trust in a dead horse, unable to save you. It’s time to let go of the known—the seen—and reach toward something better, something unseen.

Hope, then, is a leap of faith. Hope and faith are linked. It takes faith to hope, and hope fuels faith. It’s time to place your hope and faith in something more reliable, more trustworthy, than an excessity.

 Dr. Gregory Jantz is the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE  and author of 35 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety, and others.

 

 

Overcoming Personal Barriers

It is time for you to be serious about your physical health so you can be better prepared to deal with your emotional health.  I’ve always believed in the concept of “whole person,” that you must deal with your issues from an emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual point of view, in order to enhance healing and recovery.  How you feel physically has a tremendous influence over how you feel emotionally.

Each person has a set of personal barriers to overcome in order to achieve the desire for better health.  For some of you, those barriers come in the form of chronic conditions or even disease processes.  For others, the barriers are psychological in nature.  For most, there are always spiritual components to any barrier.

Go through and identify your personal barriers.  Then, come up with action steps you can take today to assist you in moving past those barriers.  Below is a list of components to consider.  Think about each one and write down any barrier you have to attaining that goal.  Along with the barrier, write down a reason why.  Naming the barrier isn’t enough; you need to give a reason for why it exists.

If you have already achieved the goal as a regular pattern in your life, identify why this aspect is so important to you.  What are the benefits you derive from it and why are you motivated to continue?

Here is the list:

  1. Eat healthily
  2. Maintain a healthy weight
  3. Be careful what you put into your body
  4. Exercise
  5. Take a multivitamin
  6. Stay hydrated
  7. Get restful sleep
  8. Consider hormonal support

Maybe you have a barrier to eating healthily because your food choices have always been a way to feed your emotions and not your body.  Or, maybe exercise conjures up a picture of a huffing, puffing, sweaty person who is vastly uncomfortable, and even the thought of doing anything strenuous is daunting.

Go through the list and circle the numbers where you have not been successful in achieving your goals.  This is your barrier list.  You need to ask yourself why not?  When dealing with motivation, the why nots in your mind are often clambering incessantly to climb to the top of your consciousness.  Some of them are legitimate issues that need to be factored into your life and actions.  Others can be like whiny children, demanding your attention and validation.  Only you know which are which.

Even if a barrier is legitimate, like a physical handicap or condition, I still want you to meditate on ways to mitigate the strength of that barrier.  There are many people – society calls them heroes – who face significant challenges but refuse to quit in the face of them.  Instead, with determination and courage, they press on to their goal, like Paul says in Philippians 3:12-14.  More times than not, overcoming a barrier will require action; it will require pressing on.  This presents a picture of moving forward even through opposition.

It is time for you to identify one way you can press on toward each of these goals in your life.  I’m just looking for one.  If you think of others, go ahead and put them down, but start with one.  Start with one step toward the prize, and then when your foot is firmly planted going forward, move the other foot and take the next step.  Step by step, press on to your goal.

Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others. For more information about depression treatment, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.

Depression: Evaluating Your Activities

A familiar childhood fairy tale is “The Three Little Pigs.” Each pig builds his house out of a different material in order to protect himself from the huffing and puffing of the big, bad wolf. The house made out of straw is the one made of brick. Even though it takes more time and work, the brick house is seen as worth the effort because it provides lasting protection.

How does this relate to depression? By examining your life patterns and making positive changes requires your time and effort, but doing so is like building your personal house out of brick. By making changes, and understanding the need for those changes, you are construction—brick by brick—a strong, resilient house that can stand up to the huffing and puffing of life’s storms.

While constructing your house with brick, you’ll also need to remove some of the inferior materials you’ve used to patch weak spots. Remember, this restructuring process will not diminish you but make you stronger. Consider this process of taking stock of your life as your own personal remodeling project.

As you spend time thinking about the activities you are currently engaged in, and whether or not those activities are filling or draining, the key to these activities is in finding a healthy balance for you. This will depend upon your personality, your stage in life, and your unchangeable life factors. You may be the sort of person who simply needs more time to be inactive or still than others seem to need. Or you may be the kind of person who is energized by activity and interaction.

While it is possible to alter your personality to some degree, each of us has individual traits that we need to factor into our activities. We are not alike, and the same activity or activity level will affect us differently. Some of the many positive outcomes from overcoming depression can be a deeper understanding of your personality, insight into what characteristics you want to enhance and strengthen, and knowledge of what aspects you are ready to change or let go.

In balancing your activities, be aware of any that are negative and occur frequently. These are activities you will want to evaluate for change.

It may not be possible for you to completely eliminate a significant draining activity in your life, but it is possible to evaluate that activity and intentionally purpose to find ways to make that activity include filling moments. Sometimes the filling aspects of a draining activity come from the relationships you build with others as you go through that activity. Don’t overlook the silver lining of friendships in the storm clouds of life.

As you continue to evaluate your list of activities, look for filling activities that occur infrequently. Determine whether or not you are able to increase the frequency of these activities. Is there any way to engage in a similar activity that will also be personally filling? You may take an art class once a week that is personally rewarding but are not able to devote the time for another class. You can, however, get outside and walk through your neighborhood, letting nature’s canvas inspire you for that one class you can take. It is amazing how such small changes can add optimism, hope, and joy to your life. Moving forward doesn’t always happen in giant leaps. Sometimes, the most significant progress is made in a series of small steps.

If someone you know is suffering from depression, remember that it’s important to seek professional guidance when diagnosing and treating depression. For more information about depression treatment, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today. The Center • A Place of HOPE was recently ranked as a Top 10 facility in the country for the treatment of depression, and our team is standing by to help you and your loved ones.

How a Good Night’s Rest Affects Depression

A good night’s rest is not something you do; it’s something you experience.   Depression interferes with the healthy production and operation of serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters used for the body’s sleep-wake cycle. As you work toward recovery from depression, you will want to assist your body in any way you can to achieve this restful sleep.

Try intentionally preparing for rest. This means allowing your body and your mind time to transition into sleep. Far too many of us carry on a stress-filled day right up to the time we climb into bed and then expect sleep to automatically arrive. This winding-down period could consist of listening to relaxing music, reading for enjoyment, listening to soothing natural sounds on an MP3 player or CD, or quiet meditation.

Give yourself enough time to get adequate rest. Eight hours, granted, is an average, but be aware of when your body might require more sleep. Anytime the body is under stress, physical or emotional, it will require more rest to rebuild and replenish. Five to six hours a night is probably not going to provide what you need. Resting adequately may require you to make choices about activities so you can establish a healthy routine of getting to bed on time.

Establish a set time to go to bed each night, whether weekdays or weekends. Studies show that it is far better for your sleep cycle to go to bed and get up each day at approximately the same time. You are helping your body to establish a biorhythm. If you swing from ten o’clock one night to two o’clock the next, your body is under stress having to adjust to wide swings of time. Do yourself a favor and find a time that works well for each day of the week, and then stick with it.

Cut out caffeine in the late afternoon and evening hours. Caffeine, as a stimulant, can interfere with your body’s ability to know when it is actually tired. Instead of drinking coffee or caffeinated soda at dinner, drink some of your water or an herbal tea.

Reduce the activity, noise, and light levels as you go into the evening hours. Televisions blaring, lights blazing, and people running around frantically at ten o’clock at night is not conducive to rest. Start turning off lights, turning down volumes, and putting away activities as the evening progresses.

Another way you can help your body relax and ease into sleep is by not eating late in the evening. Evening snacking leaves food in your stomach that must be digested, and your entire body cannot fully rest if your digestive system stays up late to process your ten o’clock snack. One exception can be a small cup of hot tea, the kind that promotes a calming emotional effect.

Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 29 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.

Coming Out of the Darkness

One of the remarkable similarities of those who suffer from depression is the common image of darkness they use to describe their depression. In an effort to articulate the unexplainable, they speak in terms of feeling burdened, weighed down, and oppressed. The overwhelming reality of depression manifests itself in recurring themes of despair and hopelessness. Though each individual may take a different route into that despair, the description of a hollowed-out destination of helplessness is universal.

The whole-person approach recognizes these individual paths to depression, its universal signatures, and the reality of individual routes to recovery. In helping each person to identify and work toward his or her recovery, the whole-person approach acknowledges and addresses the common emotional contributors to depression. We are emotional beings, and whatever the reason for the depression, its expression comes through our emotional state.

When a person is depressed, it is vital to discover the emotional roots such as anger, fear, and guilt that firmly lock depression into a person’s mind-set. Something is arguing against optimism, hope, and joy. In order to address the emotional component of depression, the root cause must be uncovered, understood, and addressed in a positive, healing way.

Taking a multidimensional approach to recovery increases the rate of success. While some use medication alone to get a handle on their depression, research shows a higher degree of healing occurs when therapy is combined with medication. Therapy or counseling provides individuals with a safe place to talk about feelings and discuss past and current events in life that have contributed to who they are now. Therapists can also make suggestions about positive actions people can integrate into their lives.

At The Center • A Place of HOPE, we have found that when the whole-person approach is utilized, including an understanding of the body and the appropriate use of medication, the rates of recovery are further enhanced. We strive to include the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional elements of each individual into the recovery process. Also, because each person’s story and situation is unique, we create unique recovery plans for each person that comes to The Center.

If someone you know is suffering from depression, remember that it’s important to seek professional guidance when diagnosing and treating depression. For more information about depression treatment, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today. The Center • A Place of HOPE Depression Treatment Facility was recently ranked as the #1 treatment facility in the country for depression, and our team is standing by to help you and your loved ones.

 

Healing Depression with Whole-Person Care

Applying the whole-person approach to recovery can individualize treatment for depression. This approach is based upon recognition of the unique components of an individual’s life and how they interweave to form the whole person. Below, we will explain each aspect of the whole-person approach and how, taken together, they can identify real answers to curing depression.

Emotional Influences

We are emotional beings, and we choose to acknowledge or express those emotions in outward forms. We are never far from our feelings and emotions. They trip us up when we are stressed or tired. They sneak up on us at unexpected moments. They support our expectations, fuel our disappointments, and energize our victories.

When depression settles into a person’s life, emotions become confused. A promotion at work may produce thoughts of despair and fear. Minor daily irritants can become major life hurdles. The joy of others can become a gloomy reminder of inner insecurities. Even if life appears to be going well, our emotional balance can become tilted toward depression.

Environmental Influences

We live in a world where complexity greets us every morning. What are we going to wear? What are we going to eat? How are we going to arrive at work? Which task are we going to complete? What call are we going to deal with first? Should we answer our cell phone, our home phone, respond to our e-mail, reply to our voice mail—and in what order? From the moment we awake, the assault begins. We are overwhelmed. The assault demands a response, and retreating into depression can be that response.

Relational Influences

We constantly use our personal relationships to determine our position in life. We observe the world and people around us, and we make decisions about who we are based on how we believe others perceive us. We define our position by the people with whom we interact. Then, we use this information to triangulate our state of well-being, factoring in what we’ve learned or observed in the past, a view of our present circumstances, and the potential outcome for our future.

Depending on our ability to reason truthfully, these relationships provide us with a sense of well-being or foreboding. The uniqueness of our circumstances and our relationships can either help or hinder our ability to deal with these ever-present thoughts and emotions.

Physical Influences

In the past, the answer to a broken-down spirit was a pharmaceutical fix that relaxed the physical body. But as we learn more and more about the interworkings of mind, body, and spirit, we are discovering that the potential exists for our bodies to act as a partner in recovery, instead of as an opponent.

Spiritual Influences

Wrestling with questions of worth and purpose is a spiritual issue. Who am I? What is my purpose? Where is joy? When will this be over? Why is this happening? How did I get this way? The spiritual component of a person’s life can provide direction toward both the right questions and the needed answers.

At The Center • A Place of HOPE, we look at each individual’s emotional, environmental, relational, physical, and spiritual history and health. Together, these elements provide keys to understanding why a person is depressed and opens a doorway to his or her recovery. Whole-person care is the foundation of our practice. If you or a loved one are suffering from depression and are ready to find true recovery and joy, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.

 

 

Finding Purpose in Your Life

Over the years, it is possible for the activities and responsibilities of life to layer one on top of another. The combined weight of all these activities and responsibilities can be crushing. One of the first things to do in taking stock of your life is to look at what you are doing.

Think about all of the things that you do daily, weekly, monthly, and otherwise periodically. Think about your reasons for engaging in each of your activities. What are those reasons? Are they still valid today? Are your reasons for engaging in each activity the same today as they were when you started? Have the reasons changed? Have you changed?

This is an intentional, purposeful look at the activities that build up your life, including family, work, recreational, religious, and community. It is possible, over time, for an activity to become unhinged from its original reason. If your life is filled with too many activities separated from the reasons for doing them, then it is possible for you to feel that your life is futile. You might feel that what you are doing and how hard you are working and make little difference. Life can seem busy and burdensome yet without purpose.

This outlook can be a major factor in environmental causes of depression. As you look over your activities and how you are feeling about your life, what you are looking for is twofold: the first is the number of activities, and the second is the overall effect those activities have on your life. Depression can occur when the amount of activities are either too great or too small. If you are engaged in too many activities, your life can become a blur of motion without any real substance, and depression can result. Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not confuse motion with action.” If you are engaged in too few worthwhile activities, and have isolated and insulated yourself from outside relationships, this motion without action can result in depression.

Depression can occur when your activities are out of balance in the following ways:

  • You have too many activities, and the sum of them outweighs their individual value. When you’ve got too many things going collectively, you are too busy to enjoy any of them individually.
  • You may have activities but too few worthwhile ones. When the sum of your activities is draining, the draining ones interfere with the worthwhile ones.
  • You have too few activities in your life. When you’re bigger activity is inactivity, you rob yourself of the stimulation and engagement of purpose and people.

You may find that you are simply too busy. If so, you need to evaluate which activities to continue and which activities to let go. Or perhaps you have isolated yourself from meaningful, worthwhile activities and will need to stretch and expand yourself. This may mean giving up some activities so you’ll have time to integrate more worthwhile ones into your schedule. Intentionally changing the pace of your life can help you move forward in the recovery from depression. By evaluating the substance of your activities, you can make informed decisions about which ones to add, which ones to support, and which ones to let go.

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression caused by grief, The Center • A Place of HOPE can help. In addition to physical, mental, and emotional treatment of depression, The Center • A Place of HOPE offers Christian support to address the spiritual components and struggles in a person’s life that affect grief and depression. For more information, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a depression recovery specialist today.

 

Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Turing Your Down into Up: A Realistic Plan for Healing from Depression.

 

 

 

 

 

Whole-Person Approach to Depression Treatment

People arrive at the point of depression from many different places, indicating there are a variety of paths to recovery. In short, there is no one answer for depression and no single path to recovery. Just as the reasons for depression are a varied as the individuals who suffer from it, the paths to recovery will also be unique to each individual. In order to deal with an individual’s depression, his or her uniqueness and story must be heard, understood, and integrated into a personalized recovery.

Applying the whole-person approach to recovery can individualize treatment for depression. The whole-person approach is based upon recognition of the unique components of an individual’s life and how these components interweave to and from the whole person.

The major components to the whole-person approach are emotional, environmental, relational, physical, and spiritual. Together, these components provide keys to why a persona is depressed, and they can open a doorway to his or her recovery.

Emotional Influences

We are emotional beings, and we choose to acknowledge or express those emotions in outward forms. We are never far from our feelings and emotions. They trip us up when we are stressed or tired. They sneak up on us at unexpected moments. They support our expectations, fuel our disappointment, and energize our victories.

When depression settles into a person’s life, emotions become confused. A promotion at work may produce thoughts of despair and fear. Minor daily irritants can become major life hurdles. The joy of others can become a gloomy reminder of inner insecurities. Even if life appears to be going well, our emotional balance can become tilted toward depression, at the mercy of the dangerous balance act of anger, fear, shame, and guilt.

Environmental Influences

We live in a world where complexity greets us every morning. What are we going to wear? What are we going to eat? How are we going to get to work? Which tasks are we going to complete? What calls are we going to deal with first? Should we answer our cell phone, our home phone, respond to our email, reply to our voice mail, check and update our social networks—and in what order? From the moment we awake, the assault begins. We are overwhelmed. The assault demands a response, and retreating into depression can be hat response.

Relational Influences

We constantly use relationship to determine our position in life. We observe the world and people around us and make decisions about who we are based on how we believe others perceive us. We define our position by the people with whom we interact—online and off, which can be, and often are, two different dynamics altogether, as we tend to mask our real selves behind our virtual personas. We use this information to triangulate our state of well-being, factoring in what we’ve learned or observed in the past, a view of our present circumstances, and the potential outcome for our future.

Depending on our ability to reason truthfully, these relationships provide us with a sense of wee-being or foreboding. The uniqueness of our circumstances and your relationships can either help or hinder our ability to deal with these ever-present thoughts and emotions.

Physical Influences

In the past, the answer to a broken-down spirit was a pharmaceutical “fix” that relaxed the physical body. But as we learn more and more about brain science and depression, as well as the interworking of mind, body, and spirit, we are learning the potential exists for our bodies to act as partners in recovery instead of as opponents.

Spiritual Influences

Wrestling with questions or worth and purpose are spiritual issues. Who am I? What is my purpose? Where is joy? When will this be over? Why is this happening? How did I get this way? The spiritual component of a person’s life can provide direction toward both the right questions and the needed answers.

Whole-person healing has evolved over the last few decades to become an industry standard and highly esteemed approach to depression recovery. The Center • A Place of Hope continues to be a leader in whole-person treatment center for depression as well as for many other emotional and behavioral disorders. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, The Center • A Place Of Hope can help. Call 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you soon.

The content of this post was derived from Gregory L. Jantz’s book Turning Your Down into Up.