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How To Overcome Depression And Embrace Growth With 5 Practices

Written by: Sara Hegy, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


In this article, youʼll gain new actual insights about depression, and youʼll walk away with actionable strategies to implement to master jumping into performance gaps without the overwhelm and frustration that is often generated out of our desire to tap into the next levels of our success. If you are already experiencing depression, the information below will be a valuable resource to help you manage your depression episode, and if youʼre frequently dealing with feelings like anger and frustration, the information below will support you in dealing with your emotions in an empowering way.

The world around us is very fast-paced from one trend to the next, and the state of brain overload we experience due to the overwhelming availability of information out there is not making it any easier.

Unfortunately, all this is tricking our brains with the same experience as that of fleeing the lion and it gives our brains the illusion of being outrun by time and resources.. especially if we are hard workers and highly driven. All that fuels and generates our feeling machines with feelings of anger, frustration, and annoyance leading to thoughts like I wonʼt be able to finish, Oh my God, something is wrong with me, I'm so stuck; everything is moving around me but I'm not.

“When we talk about emotions associated with failure in performance, we address them as mental health problems, thereby envisioning an emotional crisis instead of a challenge to outgrow.”

Hereʼs a list of 4 reasons why leaders struggle to make actionable progress on the performance gaps.

  • Reason 1: When we talk about emotions associated with failure in performance, we address them as mental health problems, thereby envisioning an emotional crisis instead of a challenge to outgrow.

  • Reason 2: We are so emotionally triggered by our perceptions of the social world. We are not connecting, we are rather comparing our following, our experiences, our income, our resources, and our travel.

  • Reason 3: We are not trained or educated on how to process our anger, frustration, and disappointment in ourselves or others.

  • Reason 4: We are not trained or educated on how to communicate these feelings in a way that has us inquiring on how to be self-empowered.

But we are going to help you create a whole new context around failures in performance and how to process them in an empowering way! To start with, we need to define what is a performance gap. A gap is a wide divergence or difference; or disparity. We experience a performance gap when thereʼsa disparity between where we are and where we want to be.

Here's a how-to, step-by-step 5 new principles to live by that will unleash your power to experience growth and development.

Step 1: depression is a normal and a healthy phenomenon

This is life-changing if you actually get it! Creating a new healthy relationship with feelings of depression will revolutionize how you grow and develop. M.Scott Peck MD articulates this perfectly in his book The Road Less Traveled, saying that mentally healthy human beings must grow, and since giving up our past experiences or loss of the old self is an integral part of the process of mental and spiritual growth, depression is a normal and basically healthy phenomenon. Depression happens when our conscious is struggling to let go and enforcing “trying” to keep things the way they used to be but our unconscious in its wisdom knows that "the way things used to be" is no longer tenable or constructive. In other words, our unconscious is leading the higher end of our performance gap, telling us that itʼs time to grow but, the conscious is at the lower end of our performance gap struggling to jump into the space. Having said that, when we seek professional help, we must not seek to fix ourselves! Rather, we must get the necessary aid to support us in jumping into that performance gap to experience the next growth spurt in our lives. If we experience being stuck in a chronic state of being depressed, this means we are entangled in our past and unable to let go of our previous experiences and patterns of thought and perception, so we need to upgrade those patterns and behaviors to unlock that new growth and performance level.

Step 2: “We Are Not Thinking Machines. We Are Feeling Machines That Think.” – António R. Damásio

Most of us think that if we read some information in books, podcasts, or articles, this will be sufficient to navigate through our emotional rollercoasters. Wrong! We are wired to feel then, generate thoughts! Think about it, if someone stands in front of you in the supermarket queue, watch how you can be chill about it if your experience of the day is pleasant, or how you can be pissed off about it if your experience of the day is frustrating. By raising our awareness regarding our feelings and what emotionally triggers them, we learn how to experience our feelings and how to navigate through them. Hiring trained professionals to support us in getting in touch with our feelings, distinguishing them, and dealing with them will help us experience being more grounded and complete during our day.

Step 3: Turn your comparisons into bucket lists!

Oh my, too few know this secret! So many people make the mistake of navigating social media with little awareness about having intentional thoughts. Social media is so wild these days that if youʼre using these platforms unintentionally, youʼd end up with so much anger, frustration, and disappointment when you see the perfect houses, perfect incomes, and perfect relationships. But hereʼs a game-changing principle: start creating bucket lists with the content you consume on social media! When youʼre so into a content creator for example that you find yourself consuming their content heavily especially if they are many steps ahead of your self-development journey, rather than comparing yourself to them, ask yourself what attracts you to this specific content or person, whatever the answer is, it will unlock areas of your own personal growth. Asan example, I love women's entrepreneurial success journeys, and when I used to consume content on Instagram, for the longest time I will start comparing my success to theirs and have doubtful thoughts crawling like oh, Iʼm too slow in my growth, look how many followers do they have, will I ever make it? Then I trained myself to look at what attracts me in their personalities, how they showed up on video, and how they engaged their audience, and I started creating bucket lists for the different future trainings and skills I want to develop myself in to unleash my next performance gap.

Step 4: Antidepressants are no cure.

Unlike what most people think, anti-depressants donʼt cure depression. They are only used to manage some of the symptoms. The causes of depression are complex and multifaceted and they include biological, dietary, psychological, and social factors. While antidepressants may help manage some of the symptoms of depression, particularly if the root cause is biological, they do not address the root causes of the depression very effectively, as shown by many recent studies 1-4. Antidepressants work by changing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, known as neurotransmitters, that regulate mood, emotions, and behavior. In a healthy individual, the levels of those chemicals are tightly regulated, but when the individual gets depressed, the levels of those chemicals get out of balance, and particularly two chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine are decreased. That is what antidepressants do, they increase the levels of those neurotransmitters in an attempt to recreate the balance again. It is important to be informed that the aim of this article is not to medically give an opinion about the use of antidepressants but rather to inform and educate ourselves so we have proper expectations of using antidepressants to manage our symptoms and to direct our attention to our need for training and development to actually instruct change to our ways of thought, communication, acting, and behavior that have caused us to struggle to begin with. Hence, professional coaching, leadership development, and transformational education are very empowering and powerful resources that are undervalued by many. Utilizing these resources presents opportunities for growth and development amidst the stormy feelings of depression and sadness.

Step 5: Have systems that support your growth!

With every performance gap that we experience, we need systems to help us navigate challenges and elevate our productivity, even when dealing with our own emotions. I have experimented with many morning routines and I found my personal favorite to be Hale Elrodʼs morning routine which he calls miracle morning. The routine includes six activities, called the "SAVERS": silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (journaling). The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod (animated book summary) - How to Create a Morning Routine. These activities, when implemented throughout your day, elevate your effectiveness and your mood, and if you do them long enough, you can cause really powerful shifts in your mindset. When you start living by these 5 steps, your rhetoric about feelings wonʼt be the same. You will be powerful in dealing with the rollercoaster of feelings that the human machine generally generates.

Lastly, I invite you to rethink your underperformance gaps in areas of life that are important to you, such as your happiness, your productivity and your self-confidence as you would think of a company with a CEO and an executive assistant. Both functions are vital for the company. Youʼre the company, the CEO represents your journey of growth and development powered by change of thoughts, beliefs, ways of communication and actions. The executive assistant represents your dietary habits, your health, sleep and biological balance. Great executive assistance grounds the company in performance and a great CEO elevates the company's net worth and value. If you liked this article, youʼll love our Clarity Kit Journal, a powerful journaling structure that supports you in clearing your mind and your communication blocks to take more effective actions daily.

Which is available through our website! Let us know in the comments below what you are taking away from this article. This article talks about mindset, performance, leadership mental health awareness, self development.

This article was written by a pharmacist by education, a scientist by training, and a coach by development.

Medical Disclaimer: The contents of this article, such as text, graphics, images, and other material are intended for informational and educational purposes and not to render medical or mental health advice. The contents of this article are educational and not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Please consult your medical professional before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or medical regimen. lifestyle, and or mental health care.

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Sara Hegy, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sara Hegy is an award-winning scientist and a leadership coach who is dedicated to helping other leaders achieve their full potential while being fulfilled. She grew up in an environment where producing results is a measure of self-worth. Hence, she always struggled to apply self-development teachings until coaching helped her gain clarity on her struggles and gave her tools to overcome them. Through harnessing the power of her mind and taking effective action, she graduated with honors, won a scientific prize, and her findings raised a$2.7 million research grant. She's the founder of her coaching business that globally serves. Her mission: Passionate leaders who create massively and live a life that they love.



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