Sometimes we over complicate problems and look for things that are not really there. I was reminded of this recently when a client was experiencing a reasonably severe bout of depression and attributing it to a lack of spiritual progression and personal growth. She felt stuck and had been feeling that way for some months.
As she told her story to me, I looked into her past and tried to find how her existential angst came to be. After weeks of inquiry and trying several strategies there was no sign of progress. Quite often it takes a little time to discern the underlying problem, but this seemed unusually slow. It was a barren method of proceeding which did not seemed to be resolved via normal methods.
This changed when I asked her to take a few pictures representing her life. It is an exercise I sometimes do with clients, where I ask them to take photos for a week which represents their life. I ask them not to think too much about the subject matter, but rather let the unconscious choose moments which resonates with them. It is a bit like opening a book to a random page.
As the client was showing me her life in pictures I noticed something unusual. Every picture of her house had the curtains drawn. It was as if she had boarded herself in and lived in a darkened cave.
Her depression lifted shortly after she began to allow light and air in the house. What she had unknowingly created was an atmosphere for Seasonal Affective Disorder which is sometimes known as Winter Depression. In some cases, not having enough sunlight can trigger depression. Consequently, for her it was important to help her understand the value of sunlight and how it can affect our bodies. The turnaround in disposition was rather remarkable even if I say so myself.
One of the points to remember is that we should be paying attention to what we have surrounded ourselves in. If we live in a drab and dreary environment then that is very likely how we will begin to feel in time. Changing things up, bringing in more light and brighter colours can have a profound effect on our physical and mental states. Our environment is frequently one of the last places we look towards for beauty, but often it should be the first.