Breaking away from the dark hole

Jacintha Akkerman

‘Treat others like you like to be treated’

I can feel myself seep into a dark hole cause my mind becomes super negative. My mood changes. My self talk is horrible. I stay indoors more. I’m usually a carer, but I don’t want to help other people and try to avoid them. I take everything personally and feel attacked. I live in the digital world and scroll social media relentlessly.

My anxiety and depression are heightened. During this dark time it’s a horrible world to live in.

My usual self is full of beans. I love life and all the people surrounding me. I speak the truth and am kind to others.

My mumma always said to ‘treat others like you like to be treated’. Words I have always tried to live by.

So how do I switch back from negative to positive!?

Food

First of all, for me, my food intake plays a huge role.

The first thing I do is immediately cut out sugar, even the healthy kind like rice malt syrup, dates etc — and fruit.

You see, I have a sugar addiction. I LOVE sugar which is why I can’t have any.

I could easily demolish an entire block of chocolate in 2.5 seconds, then go back for seconds and thirds.

It’s a problem. And it’s usually triggered by something.

Like if something negative has happened, like an event I wasn’t invited to, or if someone said something that brought up a negative emotion in me.

As they say, we eat our emotions, and for me, this couldn’t be more true.

Then I cut out dairy, starchy carbs (including sweet potato and potato) and grains.

I also highly suggest cutting out alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant. At the time, drinking can be fun, but post drinking you can be taken on a emotional rollercoaster. I found that my excessive drinking was borrowing my happiness from the next day. I stopped drinking 2 years ago and it was the best decision I have ever made.

Doesn’t leave much choice, does it!? This might sound restrictive but I would rather float on cloud nine than live in a dark hole.

Meditation

I then ensure I meditate, every, single, day.

I use Deepak and Oprah’s meditation app.

Meditation can singlehandedly turn your dial from sad to happy.

Many people use the excuse “I don’t have time to meditate”. Start with your breathing.

If you feel anxious, keep your breath consistent and count to six when you inhale and exhale.

Breathing is a form of meditation.

Exercise

Next on the list is exercise. I ensure I exercise every day.

Boxing is my jam. Boxing is not just for fitness, it’s a meditative practice. I walk out of class in a cloud of endorphins. A boxing high as I call it.

I also turn to yoga. As a mum, a lot of the time I practice yoga at home before my babies wake up.

Yoga takes you to a place of bliss. It allows deep, dark thoughts to be released.

We are pretty damn lucky to have the ability to do yoga in the comforts of our home.

Tara Stiles is my go-to on YouTube.

Gratitude

Practise gratitude. We have all heard this word flung around. Be grateful.

There is a reason why this buzzword is doing the rounds — because it works.

Have you ever walked around and admired the beauty that surrounds you; the trees, the sky, nature!?

We are pretty damn lucky to live the lives that we do.

Paying gratitude to all the positive aspects in our lives can instantly lift our mood.

Friends, family, the fact that we have a roof over our heads, because many don’t.

Pay gratitude to the food you have in the fridge to nourish your soul. We have so much to be thankful for.

There are so many nuggets of joy surrounding us if we just opened our eyes to them. Let’s not take them for granted.

I have found writing in a daily gratitude journal and focusing on the positive aspects of life does wonders for my soul.

Nature

Then I get out in nature. Reconnect with the land.

This could be in the form of a walk. A picnic in the park. A visit to the beach.

Do whatever you can to be close to nature’s gift.

I am also a lover of indoor plants. They are my babies. My house is full of them.

Being a mum I can’t always get out in nature, so I bring a piece of nature to me.

Our moods can affect and infect others, and it’s up to us to decide whether that will be in a positive or negative way.

So to recap:

- Switch up your food intake — food is medicine and we underestimate the power it has on our moods. Quit or at least cut back on drinking.

- Meditate — singlehandedly, meditation can change you.

- Exercise in some form every day. Release those happy endorphins to the world.

- Practise gratitude. Concentrate on what you do have, not what you don’t.

- And reconnect with the gift you have been given — nature. It is a true beauty and so good for the soul.

Although sometimes it might not feel like it, you determine your own happiness.

So next time you feel down, ask yourself, do I want to live in the happy or sad!?

Love, light, and gratitude,

Jacintha xo

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or doctor. I am a human being who has found a better, happier way to live life. I hope to inspire you to do so too.

If you enjoyed this story you can learn more and connect via www.jacinthaakkerman.com or follow me on www.Instagram.com/jacinthaakkerman or www.facebook.com/jacinthaakkerman

Jacintha Akkerman

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Jacintha is a very proud mum. She is passionate about teaching people to live a fulfilling life. She quit alcohol and found a love of boxing, yoga, meditation.

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