Welcome to your final week of the Postpartum Depression Recovery Program.
This week I just want to leave your mind with some very clear messages about how to look at your life from the perspective of reality thinking and not only overcome your postnatal depression, but continue on with your life thinking this way and understanding the true essence of what life is all about.
The whole Mind TRACK to Happiness process is about taking a journey, not trying to get your life right. It’s about teaching you how to consciously move yourself up the ladder when you have found yourself once again, sitting at the bottom feeling the emotions of stress, depression and anxiety.
Life is not about travelling along this one straight line of expected experiences (the peaks) without ever encountering any valleys.
And seriously, why would you want it to be like that?
If you walked into a movie theatre and watched a movie where a child was born to two perfectly happy parents, who never struggled with money, had the perfect house, perfect friends, were never angry at the child, or to each other, raised the perfect child with perfect grades who had perfect friends, never got into any trouble, went to the top university in the country, graduated with the top grades in the school, went on to become the top person in his/her field of work, got married, had children of their own (that were also perfect) and nothing every went wrong in this movie whatsoever, how much would you enjoy this movie?
I’m guessing you would walk out of that theatre saying to yourself, “What a boring movie. Nothing actually happened in that story. What was the point?”
Well isn’t this movie idea often what we expect to happen in our own lives? Do you think we would be content to have our own lives play out this way? I’m guessing, no.
Do you think, if everything went perfectly in your life you might be left thinking, “What’s the point?”
The reality is that you will never get your life right and you will never get life to always go to plan.
But you will always have an experience and these experiences set our life in motion. All of those ups and downs you have define who we are, push us to have other experiences, force us to learn and grow and then interact with others, influencing the way their lives unfold.
The bad times teach us new things that push us outside our comfort zones and make us feel invigorated, empowered or even just grateful after we have overcome them. They bring life to our existence just as much, if not more so than the experiences where life does go to plan.
You need to start embracing these challenging times. You don’t have to love them, you don’t have to feel the emotion of happiness in regards to them, but you do need to understand at some level this unwanted experience is going to add tremendous value to your life.
There is a huge distinction between a happy life and feeling the emotion of happiness. I believe that happiness is a healthy understanding of everything that happens in your life.
Happiness is not something that you will have every moment of your life because happiness is an emotion based on how we are rating a present situation.
There will undoubtedly be many times when situations will not make you happy and this is not a reflection on the quality of your whole existence. It is just one moment in your unique journey of life.
It is just one emotion among many that will occur in your life. You will experience love, elation, joy, happiness, laughter, tears, guilt, stress, sadness, regret etc.
Happiness is when you can put these emotions into the correct perspective. The joyous emotions are the fun times in my life, the unenjoyable emotions are my times to dig in, learn what I need to and find solutions that align with my bigger picture aims for my life.
When you find yourself feeling down about an unwanted event or series of events that have occurred in your life, you may want to sit in these feelings for a while. That’s okay, we all do that every now and again.
However, don’t stay there! This is where your emotions turn into psychological stress, depression and anxiety. It is when you allow your thinking to expand in the direction of conflict with reality and when you draw key conclusions about your life because of this situation (stress – my LIFE is not going to plan because of this situation; depression – why bother. I am a failure; & anxiety – I must control and prevent).
Once you find that your emotions are beginning to consume your life or take up a large part of it, it is time to realign your thinking back to the Reality thinking model, start setting goals again without attaching your self-worth to them and begin finding the solutions that will move you towards what you want.
This is the essence of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process. It’s not about getting life to go right all of the time.
Life will only ever go right all of the time when you have complete control over every single little anomaly along your path towards what you want and this is an absolute impossibility.
You cannot control how life unfolds so all you are left with is what you want, working on how to get there and then learning how to deal with, overcome and go around whatever comes up in your way.
This TRACK process not only applies to the challenges that occur in motherhood, but also the ones that appear in life.
In the early stages of you becoming a mother there is a huge adjustment period where you have to sometimes let go of the way you have defined yourself and embrace a new you, set some specific goals around what sort of ‘new you’ you would like to be and work towards that.
So much of who you are changes when you have a child and if you are stuck attached to the way it used to be then you will inevitably end up lost in stress and depression. In Chapter Eleven of The Happy Mum Handbook download you have access to as part of this program, there is a chapter on Loss of Identity. If you are feeling lost and resentful of the life you left behind and are struggling to redefine this new you, then I encourage you to thoroughly investigate this chapter.
Because you now have a thorough knowledge of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process, it is not necessary for you to read the entire book preceding this chapter, as this chapter will use the TRACK process within it and stands alone from other chapters (as does all of the chapters in part B of this book).
The essence of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process essentially reminds you of your true worth. This understanding will form the key to releasing you from your stress, depression and anxiety and whatever you can do to help yourself to remember your 100% worth, I urge you to bring it into your life, not just for you, but for your children to have a role model to copy for their own lives.
The more you learn to detach your self-worth to outcome, the more you will enjoy your life and teach others to do the same.
This week’s lessons will highlight for you some very important areas to keep applying these essential principles to, so you can walk away from this week and this program armed with the knowledge that you need to live the life that you want.