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5 Ways You Can Help Your Partner Cope With Their Depression

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Mental health can be a constant battle, especially in relationships. I’m lucky that I finally feel comfortable enough to break down my barriers and allow my significant other to see my struggle with depression.  Attending therapy with my boyfriend has helped him better understand my depression, and I’ve learned how he can best support me. Here are five ways to support your partner if they live with depression: 

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1. Let  your significant other process their emotions. 

If your partner has depression, give them space to express how they feel. You may not understand exactly how they feel or love how they share their emotions, but listening to your significant other shows them that they don’t need to bottle up how they feel. 

2. Celebrate your partner’s small victories.

If your partner has depression, remember that their progress in coping with their emotions is a big deal. Celebrate those “small” milestones with your significant other! Even if they seem insignificant to you, your partner will appreciate your support and may feel more willing to keep fighting through their depression.

3. Be patient with your significant other. 

Your partner’s depression can be difficult for both you and them, but try to stay as patient with your significant other as you can. Learn to accept that your partner will have hard days, and their progress won’t all happen at once. Showing empathy for your partner even when it’s difficult can help both of you strengthen your relationship.  

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4. Know what helps your partner cope with their depression. 

Your partner probably has certain coping skills that work well for them, and knowing what those are can really help you. Whether your significant other’s coping looks like spending time with you or taking a little bit of space, respect how they cope with their depression. Knowing how your partner deals with their depression can help you understand how to treat them on a day-to-day basis.

5. Have open discussions with your significant other about their depression.

Researching depression is a great way to start to understand your partner, but asking them what they go through also goes a long way. Knowing exactly how your partner’s depression affects them can help both of you cope with it. If your partner is willing to share about their depression, listen — not every person with depression experiences the same symptoms or handles it the same way.

Watching your partner go through depression can be difficult, but knowing how to help them will make your relationship stronger. Listen to your significant other, respect their needs, and understand that depression is different for everyone who has it, and you’ll be an amazing support system for your partner. 

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Which tip helps you and your significant other? Comment down below!

Featured Photo by Kate Kozyrka on Unsplash.

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Relationship

4 Inner Thoughts That Might Be Keeping You From Finding Love

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Over a cup of coffee and shared blueberry scone in a crowded Starbucks, my friend Megan recently confided that because she’s overweight and less than attractive (her opinion), she has been struggling with finding love.

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I love Megan dearly, and I can respect that this fear and assumption seems real to her, but I know it’s not really true. Why? Because I see all kinds of couples everywhere — of all different shapes and sizes, ages, and levels of attractiveness, even in my own family.

And the ones I know personally are madly in love and happily married. So obviously, there’s something else going on between them other than facial features and jean sizes. It could be an internal attraction — that invisible, irrational inner pull that gets the chemicals in our brain going and the heart galloping fast.

So why is my friend still single? She says she’s actively dating a lot, but somehow the ones she’s attracted to most don’t stay. How come she’s having trouble finding love?

What I’ve realized after years of working with my hypnotherapy clients (and on myself) is that it’s not about what we do, but about who’s doing it that determines the outcome.

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What I mean is that each of us has two aspects: One is mature, wise, confident, clear-minded, and knows that life treats us right. The other is insecure and fearful, with beliefs like “something is wrong with me,” ”life is hard,” “I cannot be happy,” “I must struggle to get what I want,” “I don’t have a say in the matter,” “I am not in control,” or “I am not lovable.”

So when that insecure part of us shows up on a date, we’re already in a mindset that can’t produce a positive outcome. Nothing personal, it’s just how life is: a gigantic mirror reflecting back at us our own beliefs about ourselves, people, and life in general. Like attracts like, as the law of attraction dictates. 

So if we want a different reflection or attraction, then we need to change our thinking so that our beliefs correspond to our desires. I actually find that very empowering, because to me it means that I am always in control over my mind and what it’s projecting forward.

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So what does my friend need to do to find love and find it soon? Just this: Address and diffuse the mental obstacles held by her insecure self, and that will result in clearing the path between her and… him.

Here are the most common insecurities single women face, which need to be transformed into positive statements of empowerment that will help them with finding love:

1. Being afraid of abandonment.

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via GIPHY

My father left me when I was very young, which means that I am not lovable and he doesn’t care about me.

Confident self: It’s true that he left, and it was difficult and painful. But in no way does it mean that something is wrong with me and that I’m unlovable. In fact, this experience sharpened my preference for a healthy and lasting relationship. And since this is what I want, I can have it that way. Besides, I can never lose what’s truly mine!

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2. Having a negative family influence.

My parents had a tumultuous relationship, they were fighting a lot, and I was helpless to fix their marriage so I could feel safe.

Confident self: Perhaps they did, and yes, it was frightening — but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t safe. Besides, it was never my responsibility to fix their problems; it was theirs, and they did the best they could. By removing this childhood fear, I’ll realize that I’m in control and can feel safe in a relationship. That puts me one step closer to meeting my future partner.

3. Being afraid to speak up for yourself.

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via GIPHY

My mother was very controlling over my father, and he lost his voice. And I’m just like my dad. I don’t want to lose my freedom and independence. 

Confident self: That was between them, and they both acted out from their childhood wounds. But I am my own person, free and naturally independent, whether I’m in or out of a relationship. I can relax now, knowing I’m allowed to express my needs and preferences openly, enjoying my freedom while welcoming a loving partnership into my life.

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4. Not having a good history of healthy relationships.

I had a really bad marriage experience. I was abused and mistreated before, so I’m afraid it will happen again.

Confident self: That’s not possible, because now that I’m updating my mind, and shifting my thinking to a positive mode, I’ll have a different outcome. Because when I make a new decision about what a relationship means to me (for example, to give and receive love), I can let go of the past and allow the right partner into my life.

It’s so good to know that all those insecurities born in childhood and stored in our unconscious mind no longer apply, because we are adults now — much wiser, experienced, resourceful, and in control of our mentality. It does take focus and practice to think maturely, but it’s a habit well worth developing.

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Remember: Like attracts like, so when you are your confident, lovable self, you’ll attract someone who feels the same.

It turns out that finding lasting love is more about developing healthy self-esteem than perfect looks. But it’s also true that when we feel good internally, we tend to eat healthier and exercise. Suddenly, we care about our health and well-being and our power and confidence shine through — the true source of our personal attraction.

And now your “one” is already on their way, meeting you on your wide open, unobstructed path because love is an internal emotion that radiates from the depths of your soul, crying out for its other half, pulling your true partner toward you with irresistible force. 

Originally written by Katherine Agranovich on YourTango

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Featured image via Valeria Ushakova on Pexels

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6 Surprising Lessons Yoga Taught Me About Divorce

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About 10 years ago, just after my divorce, a friend invited me to a yoga class. I hadn’t considered trying yoga, but I went anyways, and it taught me so much about marriage and divorce. Here’s what yoga taught me about divorce:

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1. Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s mind involves letting go of your expectations for how things were yesterday, ought to be today, or might be tomorrow. When you experience life events with beginner’s mind, you forget your opinions and desires and remain open to seeing things as they are in the present. It’s much of a stretch to see how “beginner’s mind” applies to divorce. Instead of stressing about what’s different after your divorce, the love you lost, and starting over in the future, “beginner’s mind” keeps your focus on your current reality.

2. Bearing Discomfort

In yoga, you sometimes hold poses long enough for them to become uncomfortable, but you ultimately learn that you can bear that discomfort. After you release each pose, you feel stronger because you accepted and worked through pain. Sometimes you even notice that you’re still holding a previously uncomfortable pose, and the discomfort has passed.

The thing about divorce is that the pain is never far away, no matter which side of the divorce you’re on. Whether you’re the abandoner or the abandonee, divorce is never a painless process. Divorce brings too many changes, upsets, and discomforts, but learning to bear that discomfort will eventually ease the pain – just like in your “downward dog.”

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3. Moderation

If you do yoga, you know that you don’t ever want to over-do it. Every morning, you do enough sun salutations to energize you but not so many that you exhaust yourself before your day begins. You need to find moderation, which looks different every day for everyone.

Similarly, when you start your post-divorce life, do everything in moderation. There’s no need to go out every night, make 20 new friends, go on a date every weekend, or take up 15 new hobbies. There’s no good reason to lose multiple pounds this week find the perfect house tomorrow. Knowing that you decide how much is enough for you feels good – both in yoga and after divorce.

4. Nonjudgment

Yoga can be demanding, and you can’t always be the best in the room. Some teachers advise that you not look beyond your mat in order to stay nonjudgmental of your practice. It’s best to think about your divorce in those terms too. Your divorce isn’t perfect, and it’s unlike anyone else’s – which is perfectly fine. It’s liberating to nonjudgmentally accept your situation as it is without believing that you have to grow faster or better than someone else does.

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5. Patience

Patience can take a long time to learn, but it’ll help you navigate both yoga and your divorce. You’ll nail that yoga headstand when you’re ready, and if you can’t, where you are in your practice is enough. You can still practice, but give those new skills time.

Similarly, patience can help you approach your post-divorce life changes. Some days, you’ll feel like you’re healing, and other days, your divorce will still hurt. But no matter where you are in the process, you’ll be fine with time. After all, when you’re healing, what’s the rush?

6. Commitment 

To learn yoga, you have to get to the mat, and just taking that first step is a huge commitment. Committing sincerely and wholeheartedly is a necessary part of practicing yoga. And the more you practice, the more committed you become.

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There are also many goals you might commit to post-divorce. First there’s survival – you commit to getting up every day. Then there’s flourishing – you commit to growing, thriving, and fulfilling yourself. Perhaps there’s even gratitude. With commitment, you’ll master all of the skills that you need to survive your divorce and continue thriving.

These six ways of being aren’t just for anyone who practices yoga – they’re also helpful for anyone who’s going through a divorce. These lessons from yoga can teach you how to live your best life post-divorce.

Originally published on YourTango by Judith Tutin

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Featured Photo by Dane Wetton on Unsplash.

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