Navin: How lifestyle and meditation helped him find mental health.
Almost 3 years ago, Navin experienced the most traumatic loss of his life: his mom died. He tells his story so that others with similar experiences might be lifted up and inspired to create a healthy lifestyle to support better mental health.
As Navin tells it:
It was shocking, unexpected, and left me shattered into a million pieces. I was delirious with sadness and didn’t know what to do in order to heal. The pain was so great that it became normalized in my life, and I didn’t see how much I had become a shell of my former self.
I didn’t know how to laugh anymore, I was just going through the motions. I lost the ability to love, and more importantly, make others I loved feel my love. I was depressed beyond words. Sadly, this was all happening while I had a wife and two amazing kids to raise.
I was more worried for others and tried to “be strong” and not let my emotions get to me. I didn’t want to be known as the “depressed guy” who could not get over his loss.
The worst thing about depression is that it impacts the people who love you the most, and you won’t even see the damage that it is causing to their hearts.
In my attempt to “be strong,” I unknowingly prevented anyone who loved me from being able to help. And it nearly killed them.
I had to do something.
Choosing to overcome hardships with healthy lifestyle choices.
My health had deteriorated greatly from the age of 30-34. The first thing I started with was attacking this very issue. I changed my lifestyle and it gave me a glimmer of hope I needed to put together the pieces of my broken heart.
I started to see articles about the ketogenic diet and became very intrigued. I gave it a try on my own, but soon realized I needed some expert help. I hired a health coach to guide me through my lifestyle upgrade, and I have never felt better. I was trained on not just getting into "ketosis" but also paying great attention to what I put in my body.
I make sure I am eating the highest quality foods; organic, grass fed, pasture raised, non-GMO, foods that are closest to their most natural form. This not only led to my weight loss, but also the restoring of my youth! I have lost count of how many people have guessed my age to be in the mid 20s. That feels pretty good considering I am now 36. The best part is, I have my youthful energy back, which my kids are very thankful for!
Don't hesitate to seek counseling.
The second thing was to seek help with a counselor. I underestimated the power of sharing my story with a “stranger.” My biggest issue was that I didn’t have anyone to really talk to about this, and the few times I tried with friends or colleagues, it always ended with them not knowing what to say or do. I always ended up feeling guilty for even trying to reach out. So, after a couple years of refusing and bottling all of my bad energy up, I got professional help.
For the first time in years, I began to understand how deep my trauma and sadness truly was. I was so deep in my depression, that I didn’t even know I was depressed. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it wasn’t until I began to heal through counseling that I realized that I had buried my feelings to a point that I wasn’t the same person anymore. This was extremely painful for my loved ones, and I didn’t even see it. Luckily, I was able to get help, and rediscover the true me again.
Incorporate regular meditation.
The third thing I implemented was a daily meditation routine before I start my day. I will spend at least 10 minutes of my day not doing anything other than listen to my own thoughts, and breathe out negativity. I can’t express how much this helps me get the day going on a positive note! I’m not saying this makes every day perfect, but I definitely have more of a level head when I encounter situations that previously would have derailed me.
I also implement guided meditations throughout the day to keep my inner peace. I’ll just throw on some Abraham Hicks or Wayne Dyer audios, and just let my soul be at ease.
All of these things have ultimately lead to my triumph over depression. But, my journey is far from over. I will always be looking for ways to continue evolving into my most current, best self.
Navin's final thoughts...
I have discovered over the past 3 years that health is more than just about losing weight. It is more about what you are doing for yourself in totality; mind, body and soul.
If you don’t take proper care of your needs, there is no way you can truly and fully care for ones you love the most.
If there is one message you gather from my story, I would want it to be: reach out for help. Whether it be your physical health, or psychological/mental, always be willing to learn from a professional/expert or at least someone who is in a position that you aspire to be in. I can't stress enough how much I have grown from doing this one thing. Getting coaching/counseling is really the way I have been able to get my life back and be able to be my best for the people I care about the most.
To be continued...