Are You Depressed?

In the U.S alone, about 15 million people suffer from depression annually. Although majority are women,

almost two-thirds do not seek help.

  • Are you among the two-thirds?
  • Are you wondering if you are depressed?
  • How do you know if you are depressed?

Given the scary statistics on women, you can understand why I feel the need to do a post on depression and women.

WOMEN AND DEPRESSION

Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men. Almost up to one in four women is likely to have at least one episode of major depression at some point in life.

Meaning that

between you and three of your close girlfriends, one of you is going to have a major depression episode at some point.

Depression is common, depression is real and no it doesn’t just happen to ‘other people.’

Depression can happen to anyone, including you and me.

So then, what exactly is depression?

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

According to Webmd,

clinical depression is a serious and pervasive mood disorder.

It causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness.

Depression can be mild to moderate with symptoms of apathy, little appetite, difficulty sleeping, low self-esteem, and low-grade fatigue. Or it can be more severe.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

In women, symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiety, or a sense of ’emptiness’
  • Little or no interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too  little, middle of the night wakings
  • Loss of appetite &/ weight loss or overeating & weight gain
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling ‘sluggish’
  • Contemplation of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

WHY DO WOMEN GET DEPRESSION MORE OFTEN THAN MEN?

  1. BIOLOGICAL/PHYSICAL/HORMONAL

I. Women’s Hormonal Fluctuations

The fluctuations of hormones level throughout a woman’s life have been believed to be a major factor. Hormones changes are most evident during significant periods in a woman’s life.

  • Premenstrual stress can also cause depression, anxiety and mood swings one week before menstruation.
  • Pregnancy, infertility, miscarriage, unwanted pregnancy
  • Postpartum depression
  • Perimenopause and menopause

II. Health Challenges

  • Chronic illness
  • Injury
  • Disability
  • Dieting
  • Quitting vices/addictions (e.g. alcohol, drugs, smoking)
  • Medication side effects (E.g. birth control medication, hormone replacement therapy.)

2. PSYCHOLOGICAL

I. Feelings

Women are more likely to ruminate when they are depressed. We cry to relieve our emotional tension, have negative inner dialogues and confide in friends about our depression.

The thing is,

rumination reinforces depression
and can make it worse.

II. Environmental stressors

Stress from work, school or at home can affect women more than men. Studies have shown that women are more likely to develop depression from stress, as compared to men.

Also, the female physiological response
to stress is to produce
MORE stress hormones.

The female sex hormone progesterone does not turn off the stress hormone system the way it does in men.

III. Body Image Issues

Ah, this is the bomb for women. And often, it already starts in puberty. Not only does a young girl experiences the challenges and confusion that comes with puberty, she would have already been exposed to the implicit and explicit expectations of society about women, by  observing her environment and the female figures in her life. And of course,

the impossible perfect body.

3. SOCIAL

Social factors, lifestyle choices, relationships and coping skills can become potential breeding grounds for depression as well.

  • Marital or love relationships, balancing the demands of romance, home life and career.
  • Family duties, such as caring for the spouse, the young and the aging.
  • Work challenges or discrimination at work such as skipped for a promotion or even retrenchment.
  • Death and sickness of loved ones.

4. OTHER FACTORS

Factors that can increase the chance of depression in women.

  • Genetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Psychological or personality characteristics
  • Being a single parent
  • Family history of mood disorders
  • History of mood disorders in early reproductive years
  • Loss of a parent before age 10
  • Loss of social support system or the threat of such a loss
  • Ongoing psychological and social stress
  • Physical or sexual abuse

HOW TO COPE WITH DEPRESSION

As you can see, depression is common for women,

you are not alone.

While it is challenging to be enthusiastic about resolving your depression issue while in depression, you can start with baby steps.

Here are some suggestions on what you can do to slowly move yourself out of the black vacuum that you are feeling.

I will keep this short because I would like to do a separate post on techniques to cope with depression.

  • Find a friend who can be an open and non-judgemental listener for you.

    If there is none, there are always counselors and therapists near you whom you can seek help from.

  • Physical exercise

    Be it a slow walk by the park or a vigorous kick boxing session, exercise releases endorphins, that can make you feel good and better about yourself.

  • Quality sleep

    Have at least 6-8 of sleep. Do not shortchange yourself on quality sleep that can help you to rest, repair and rejuvenate.

  • Meditate

    Make time for stillness to centered yourself back to your core again. Breath works is great too. My favorite tool is Insight App.

  • Gratitude

    Just for two minutes every night, list down the blessings that still abounds in your life. Breath and expand the sensation of gratitude in your heart.

  • Hydration

    About 60% of the human body is water. Make sure you drink enough water everyday to stay hydrated and to minimize disruptions in the bodily functions/processes. Avoid or minimize alcohol or dehydrating fluids like coffee.

  • Spiritual guidance

    Whatever is your spiritual or religious beliefs, seek constant inspiration and draw strength from it. There must be a reason why this is your spirituality, anchor on it.

  • Sunlight is your friend

    Get outdoors, breath in the fresh air, and soak in the sunlight. It will do wonders for your body, mind and spirit.

    Better still, book a session of Open-Hearted Walk with me and you get counseling plus a refreshing outdoor walk, all in one! 🙂

  • Socialize

    Be involved in social activities, meet up with your friends.  Join a new social club or interest group!

  • Get therapy

    Explore psycho-therapy, energy healing. For example, Aroma Freedom Technique is known to be a quick process that helps you process past negative feelings and memories, so that you can let go of the past and move your emotional energy into a positive direction.

  • Challenge your thoughts

    When that negative voice starts again, challenge it. Don’t just accept it. Ask for evidence for what it’s saying and think of times/evidence when it was not the case.

  • Keep going!

    Even when you don’t feel like it, still get up and moving. Continue to meet friends, walk the dog, show up for work. Keep going!

So, are you depressed?

What jumped out at you from this post?

Use this depression quiz to determine where you are.

It is important to seek support and even professional help if you are depressed. First thing first, awareness. Use the depression quiz to gain awareness.

REFERENCES:

  • https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-women#1
  • https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-women.htm
  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/4-fast-mood-boosters-

Be kind to yourself today dear one.

Grab your depression quiz here.

*** If you would like to book for a coaching / counseling / Aroma Freedom Technique session with me, here is the link.

Namaste.

Story SMASHer,

Joy

~ Nurturing Resilience, Vitality and Self-love in Women ~

 

MeToo with AFT, NO to sexual harassment

When I first saw #metoo on social media, it immediately triggered in my mind, an episode from my childhood that caused a lot of grief for me as an adolescent. I know that its effects still have a hold on me today.

I also know that many women would have responded to #metoo the same way, with painful flashbacks.

After all, how many women had not been sexually harassed in some big or small ways in their lives, at least once?

I meditated on how, as a life coach and a story SMASHer for women, would I want to respond to #metoo. The easiest way would be to share that episode that I have carried with me for so many years.

That thought jammed my heart into my throat. Woah, that is a big move Joy. Very few people know about that incident.

Admittedly it took a while but I decided yes, that is the most authentic way to approach this subject, from my personal experience. I am grateful to #metoo, because it also reminded me that it was time to heal myself of that emotional scar.

Since it is from a very long time ago, there is nothing I can do now to catch the culprit. It would be impossible to do so. But what I CAN do is heal myself from the wounds it has created.

So today, I have done an Aroma Freedom Technique (AFT) session for myself, revolving around the topic of standing up for myself against sexual harassment.

Something that all women can do, heal ourselves, let go of the past hurts and set an intention to stand up for ourselves moving forward.

Coming back to this traumatic incident. It happened when I was about twelve years old. I was instructed by my parents to get dinner for everyone. So I promptly head off to the coffee-shop to order our takeaways.

Upon reaching my block, I pressed the lift button and waited. At this moment, a Chinese man in his late thirties appeared, strolling by with his bicycle.

I had been trained by my mother to keep a lookout for strangers, especially men. I was instructed to avoid taking lifts with men I don’t know. So yes you can imagine, I perked up, waiting to see if he is passing by or if he is also waiting for the lift.

To my relief, he walked right past me. But not before looking at me intently. My lift came and I hurried in, glad to be alone.

But it was not the case.

Just when the lift door was about to close, it started to move in the opposite direction. I was taken aback. Confusion and fear set in when I saw that it was the same man with the bicycle.

I was standing at the corner farthest from the lift door, and he parked his bicycle diagonally right in the middle of the lift, before he entered. I was completely trapped in a corner by his bicycle that took up the entire lift space.

I was too overwhelmed to react and he pressed the lift door closed. He looked intently at me. Again. I was drenched with a sense of dread. I felt

something very bad was about to happen.

He pressed and moved his hand across my chest, his eyes never once leaving mine. I froze. My hands were occupied with the takeaways, and I had no way to run. I felt a silent scream from within.

I wanted to die.

His floor arrived and he quickly exited. The lift door closed. My legs buckled and I collapsed onto the floor. I was a mess. My floor came but I did not exit. I sat inside the lift, completely blanked out.

At some point, I managed to pick myself up and went home. I feigned illness when I got home, and spend the whole night lying in my bed, tortured by the images from the lift and the molester.

I told no one.

For weeks, I was tormented by the episode. I felt dirty. I felt unworthy. I was ashamed. I was not close to my parents, and I was terrified of telling them.

I would be blamed for not following their instructions. I was the wrong one. I was the bad one. I must be a terrible person, that is why this is happening to me.

I was distraught and destroyed. Still, I did not tell a single soul.

I grew up carrying that unworthiness into my life, like a silent cancer.

Today, as a woman in her thirties, I am telling you, #metoo, this is my story.

What is yours?

Today I decided to put my brave on, and do an AFT session on myself revolving around sexual harassment. I must confess that I went into the session, with a lot of apprehension.

I am not looking forward to experiencing all that pain and horror again. Nevertheless, I went ahead.

This and other hurtful memories and feelings rose up. There is a common thread of unworthiness in the memories and feelings. I wept. I felt nauseous. The waves of pain needed no further encouragement.

I wanted to die.

I pressed on.

Resentment and shame turned into grief. Then my feelings took a turn. I started to feel a sense of determination. I was even feeling upbeat by the last AFT round, which surprised me.

By the time I was done with my power pose, I was invigorated. I felt cleansed and a sense of release.

What took me so long to do this?

  • What sexual harassment episode(s) is/are still haunting you?
  • What can you do about it?
  • How can you bring the culprit to justice?
  • Healing yourself is your own responsibility, what can you do to start the process?
  • What victim story have you been telling yourself &/ others?
  • What ‘poor me’ behaviour have you been acting out in the world?
  • Moving forward, how would you want to be if it ever happens again?

Do something, do anything.

Do something.

SPECIAL INCENTIVE

Book your AFT session and get a free e-copy of my autobiography book, From Zero to Shakti, a woman’s path to self-healing and empowerment. 🙂

P.S. Do note that Young Living oils have been recommended by Dr Perkus for the AFT process.

P.P.S. ~ Free coaching series for women at Shakti on Fire Podcast! 🙂

Namaste.
With all my Shakti love,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AMAZON ALERT!

Check out my brand new book ‘From Zero to Shakti’
A woman’s path to self-healing and empowerment.
Now available on Amazon and here.
Review on Amazon –
‘The author is very brave, disclosing her personal challenges and the solutions she created. I admire her unselfish sharing, and her courage in undertaking her personal quest.
She traveled a long distance to a special place, and even braved a fire walk–something difficult to imagine. She tells her story in an absorbing way. This book is charming.’

– Shearon B (Australia)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*** Take the first step to your GOALS here!

 

Aroma Freedom Technique (AFT)

The Aroma Freedom Technique (AFT) is a simple process designed to help you get from where you are to where you want to be.

  • Do you have dreams, hope and goals that you would like to achieve?

  • Do you sometimes feel stuck, confused, or hopeless about ever reaching your goals?

  • Have you ever encountered fears and resistance towards reaching for what you want and you did not understand why?

AFT can help you with all of the above.

The founder of AFT, Dr Benjamin Perkus is a psychotherapist in practice, trained in multiple psychotherapeutic approaches since 1995.

He has been using and teaching about essential oil since 2001. He is the author of the book ‘The Aroma Freedom Technique: Using Essential Oils to Transform Your Emotions and Realize Your Heart’s Desire’.

While the process will appear deceptively simple to you, it is firmly grounded in the practices of many schools of psychotherapy, such as

  • Jung,

  • Freud,

  • Cognitive Therapy,

  • Behaviorism,

  • Body-Centered Psychotherapy and

  • EMDR/EFT/NET.

AFT is also intergrated with

  • energy psychology and

  • aromatherapy.

The heart of AFT is to guide you to use

  • Awareness combined with

  • Essential oils and

  • Taking positive action.

The main premise for AFT is that the response to smell is powerful and automatic.

I will elaborate more on the mechanics behind AFT in another post.

There are 12 steps to the AFT process. Here I will explain briefly the first 10 steps.

BOOK YOUR AFT SESSION HERE.

FIRST 10 STEPS OF AFT

  1. Set your intention. Rate its likelihood (0-10).
  2. Listen to the negative voice that says why this cannot happen.
  3. Notice how you feel when you hear the negative voice.
  4. Notice where you feel it in your body.
  5. Drift back to your earlier time when you felt the same way.
  6. Focus on the snapshot while you smell the essential oil.
  7. See what happens to the image, thoughts, and feelings.
  8. Notice the new beliefs starting to emerge. Identify creative ideas related to your intention.
  9. State your original intention aloud. Rate its likelihood (0-10).
  10. Create an affirmation that expresses your new, positive belief.

If this is your first time doing AFT, you are strongly recommended to do it with a facilitator. Even for myself, I find it easier and more powerful to do my process with another facilitator.

Alternatively, you can read up on Dr Perkus’ book and follow the instructions in it.

The key here is to get started.

BOOK YOUR AFT SESSION HERE.

All feelings are messengers of love,

here to tell you something that you need to do to heal and empower yourself.

Receive the message, process your emotions so that you can set yourself free and clear the space to make way for more positive and empowering manifestations in your life.

All it takes is less than an hour

for you to release negative feelings, memories

that do not serve your highest good.

And the good news is, yes, it can be done face to face or via online platforms such as Skype/Zoom.

So book an AFT session today.

Let the beginnings of your Shakti life commence here.

BOOK YOUR AFT SESSION HERE.

SPECIAL INCENTIVE

Book your AFT session and get a FREE e-copy of my autobiography book, From Zero to Shakti, a woman’s path to self-healing and empowerment. 🙂

P.s. Do note that Young Living oils have been recommended by Dr Perkus for the AFT process.

P.P.S. ~ Get your free Step 1 of Let’s Step! Goal Setting Program and my latest kick ass updates here.​ ~
~ Free coaching series for women at Shakti on Fire Podcast! 🙂

Namaste.
With all my Shakti love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AMAZON ALERT!

Check out my brand new book ‘From Zero to Shakti’
A woman’s path to self-healing and empowerment.
Now available on Amazon and here.
Review on Amazon –
‘The author is very brave, disclosing her personal challenges and the solutions she created. I admire her unselfish sharing, and her courage in undertaking her personal quest.
She traveled a long distance to a special place, and even braved a fire walk–something difficult to imagine. She tells her story in an absorbing way. This book is charming.’

– Shearon B (Australia)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*** Take the first step to your GOALS here!

 

Shakti on Fire Podcast Ep 004 – The Four Pillars of Shakti on Fire Podcast

Check out the podcast episode here.

– Sharing the four pillars of Shakti on Fire Podcast so you know what to expect and how to look out for your favorite segments

– HEALING Segment

P2P, W2W #

Pain into Power, Wound into Wisdom

– EMPOWERMENT Segment

KICK ASS #

– SOF Sparks

SPARK #

– INTERVIEW Segment

SPOTLIGHT #

Check out the podcast episode here.

Check out the podcast episode here.

How would you like to be interviewed on Shakti on Fire Podcast?

Hi there,

I have started this new podcast, Shakti on Fire Podcast, healing and empowerment for women. 😍

This podcast is an extension of my book, From Zero to Shakti, a woman’s path to self-healing and empowerment.

I would like to use it as a platform to continue to explore further the universal themes running in the book because these affects everyone and we don’t always know what to do &/ how to go about it.

OPEN to –

1. Professionals/Practitioners/Authorities in the field of

– Healing and empowerment (e.g. mental health, psychotherapy, healers, etc)

– Women empowerment (e.g. different types of coaches in women wellness, etc)

2. Inspirational/exceptional women

In terms of showing authenticity, courage, power, divine feminine)

ADVANTAGES of being on my podcast –

1. Worldwide exposure to your products and services.

2. Add value to your branding

3. Positioned as an authority in your field

4. Your contact details will be made available in the show notes for listeners to contact you.

5. You are allowed and encouraged to give an incentive to the listeners to capture database.

Priority given to –

1. Authors with books in their specialized field.

2. Individuals with an attractive incentive for the listeners.

3. Individuals who have read my book and can bring that into the discussion.

4. Individuals open to be each other’s affiliates &/ joint products/services.

5. Individuals who is open to an extended second written or podcast interview (situational basis)

Let’s make this podcast a powerful platform, for women to find resources, to heal and empower themselves.

Send your message to iamshaktionfire (at) gmail (dot) com.

Please feel free to share it with anyone you deem suitable for the show.

Please note that selection will be based on my discretion.

Thanks with blessings.

Namaste,

Joy

~ Igniting Shaktis on Fire ~

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shaktionfire

Shakti on Fire (SOF) 19 – Developing the Wild Nature

Here’s to your soul elevation!

Thanks for reading.

*** The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is with yourself. I dare you to take on the Self Compassion 7 Days Challenge and check out my podcast interview at Love Is A Verb. Let’s start flexing our self-love muscles. Are you in or out?

Your Transformational Coach,

Joy Leng

~~~~~~~

‘Empowering heart-centered women since 2005’

“I met Joy and was immediately struck by her vibrant energy.

She is a compassionate person with a quick mind, and I found her coaching to be skillful and intuitive.

If you ever need coaching, I would recommend you see her: not only will she help sort you out, she will be your cheerleader every step of the way!”
– Rimi Yoshida

Check out coaching with Joy.

 

~~~~~~~~


P.S. Have you downloaded your FREE

Ready to serve if you
  • Desire momentum and accountability to achieve your life goals.
  • Want to take advantage of DiSC personality profiling to understand your/your team’s strengths and to maximize productivity and harmony.
  • Are looking for an inspiring storyteller sharing truths from real life experience..

Book a FREE 20 minutes Skype session at me (at) joyleng.com for

  • Yourself or
  • For someone you feel who is in need of an empowerment coach.

10% of my net profit goes to support For Our Children (FOC).

Authentic U 10 – This too shall pass

This too shall pass

Here’s to your soul elevation!

Thanks for reading.

*** The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is with yourself. I dare you to take on the Self Compassion 7 Days Challenge. Let’s start flexing our self-love muscles. Are you in or out?

Your Transformational Coach,

Joy Leng

~~~~~~~

‘Empowering heart-centered women since 2005’

“I met Joy and was immediately struck by her vibrant energy.

She is a compassionate person with a quick mind, and I found her coaching to be skillful and intuitive.

If you ever need coaching, I would recommend you see her: not only will she help sort you out, she will be your cheerleader every step of the way!”
– Rimi Yoshida

~~~~~~~~


P.S. Have you downloaded your FREE

Ready to serve if you
  • Desire momentum and accountability to achieve your life goals.
  • Want to take advantage of DiSC personality profiling to understand your/your team’s strengths and to maximize productivity and harmony.
  • Are looking for an inspiring storyteller sharing truths from real life experience..

Book a FREE 20 minutes Skype session at me (at) joyleng.com for

  • Yourself or
  • For someone you feel who is in need of an empowerment coach.

10% of my net profit goes to support For Our Children (FOC).

SoulFul 22 – Truman Duncan

Video –

http://tvnz.co.nz/20-20-news/live-tell-video-2671926

Truman Duncan was working as a railroad switchman in June 2006. He fell in the devastating path of two moving freight cars. Although he survived, he was not left intact. Duncan’s body was severed in half. His pelvis was sliced in two by the wheels.

He says he, “ended up falling off and when I did I stood up and the end of the car just hit me in the chest…I grabbed a hold of it and I was hanging on by the knuckle. And I had decided to actually run backwards and kind of just jump out of the way.” He still had the remarkable sense to grab his cell phone and call 911. “I knew all I needed to do was just, you know, wait until help got there and then maybe I’d have a chance.”

We call him Truman the Trouper because he waited a whopping 45 minutes for help to arrive. We can get a pizza delivered faster than that, or it’s free.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Living proof that human beings can beat impossible odds.

  • How great is your will to live?
  • How much greater is your will to live a quality life, whatever that is for you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Need someone to talk to? Seek clarity to your thoughts? Refocus on your life goals?​
​ Or to resolve a challenging issue in your life?
Contact me for a free 30 minutes session. You are not alone.
Email – me@joyleng.com

For information on my background

For Our Children (FOC) initiative

 

RECHARGE 3 – Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

Have you been breathing new life into you?

ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING is considered by the yogis as the best way calm the mind and the nervous system.

brea_alternate

Benefits

  • Improve sleep
  • Boost your thinking
  • Restore imbalances in your brain
  • Calm your emotional state
  • Calm your nervous system
  • Produces optimum function to both sides of the hemispheres – Optimum creativity and optimum logical activity.
  • Improves attention
  • Puts you in a more balanced states since both sides are operating optimally.
  • Quick pick me up
  • Revitalizes your energy level
  • Cleanses your lung
  • Great prelude to meditation

Scientific Research

Science is slowly catching up with what the yogis already know for a long time. That alternate nostril breathing has great health benefits.

How

  1. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do this in the span of four seconds.
  2. Immediately close the left nostril with your right ring finger and little finger, while simultaneously removing your thumb from the right nostril, and exhale through this nostril. Do this in the span of eight seconds.
  3. Inhale through the right nostril in the span of four seconds. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril in the span of eight seconds. This is one full cycle.

Breath your way to new life today and the best part?

It’s FREE and you can do it anywhere! 🙂

Say YES to good health!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Have you downloaded my free life coaching app for you?

Please rate it if you can. Much thanks.

ON your Joylight! 🙂
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Need someone to talk to?
  • Seek clarity to your thoughts?
  • Refocus on your life goals?​​
  • Or to resolve a challenging issue in your life?
Contact me for a free 30 minutes session.
You are not alone.
The sky is only the beginning.
Email – me@joyleng.com

For Our Children (FOC) initiative

 

 

REMEMBER your Goddess 3 – Free PAP Smear

Great news for Singaporean/PR goddesses!

Take advantage of the free PAP Smear screening thanks to Women’s Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Campaign 2015.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Take care of yourself first so you can take better care of your loved ones.

Learn more about preventive health screening.

Be kind to yourself. 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Need someone to talk to? Seek clarity to your thoughts? Refocus on your life goals?​
​ Or to resolve a challenging issue in your life?
Contact me for a free 30 minutes session. You are not alone.
Email – me@joyleng.com​

​For more information on my background https://joythemodel.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/joys-story/

For Our Children (FOC) initiative