November 13, 2016
First, let me begin by the classic definition of “Depression”, A miserable feeling… feelings of severe despondency and dejection. Now in English please… personally that doesn’t touch the surface. It’s more like drowning in a pool of black muddy water or “SOMEBODY TURN THE LIGHTS ON”. How about one better. It’s like one of those crazy dreams where your trying to move but you can’t. Whatever or however you describe depression it’s quite devastating and for that matter paralyzing. Somehow, all of a sudden or gradually no one speaks your language or you become invisible. Guess what, at that point you could give a damn because the last thing you want to do is interact with the world. You’re numb to everything you once loved or enjoyed. You’d rather stare at the wall. So how it happens can be dozens of variables from the loss of a loved one, your job, having a child/postpartum, or simply it can be in your “jeans” aka Genes. LOL. All you can do is get thru it.. My father always would tell me when I’d get myself into a jam or had an issue, “Sweetheart, There are sometimes in life you can’t get over it, you can’t go under it you just have to go through it.” Oh, how I would cringe when he would say it. But, I’d continue to find another way out. That was until I had become exhausted and realized he was right. So I’m going to give you five of my favorite ways to get through this age old puzzling issue. Grant you I’m no Houdini and everyone is different with a variety of other circumstances that can compound the solution. However, I will give you the suggestions and hope one or all of them can give you some relief.
1. BLOCK NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. In other words, while your depressed you become haunted with the most dismal thoughts. This of course is totally unhealthy and just accelerates the depression. Whenever you are plagued with these thoughts you must replace them with positive ones. For example, ” I am a failure at everything”. Replace it with something like “I am successful”. Almost simultaneously you must channel actual positive moments of success such as, moments in your life that you have completed a task even as far back as graduation. Think of that feeling and hold it in your mind. Now try to relive the feeling of completion and satisfaction with your accomplishment. See yourself smiling, happy you’ve accomplished a very important goal. Think of the others around you. Your peers, your family has a sense of pride towards you. No matter if you have to go back to a moment in time as far back as your childhood to fulfill a void, do it. There can even be a gift you received that made you filled with joy. Dependent upon the negative feeling, fill it with the direct opposite emotions. Another way is to ignore them quickly, control your mind into dismissing the thought just as quickly as it comes into your mind. Breath deeply, release. You are step by step controlling how you feel by how you think.
2. MOVEMENT. Moving is a powerful force not only with the body but, the mind. One of the issues with depression is that we stop moving. We stop exercising, walking, even dancing… not like the latter would be at the top of our list. Lol. Seriously, it is a scientific fact that when the body stops we can become ridden with atrophy. This is when our body begins to loose muscle and strength. If you think of any living creature that ceases in some form it becomes not only useless but, soon it will die. Being able to even force yourself with baby steps can start to remedy the matter. You can begin with stretching then gradually progress into such disciplines as yoga. Basically, any type of repeated movement can help you sustain a better quality of life. That is a even a simple form will commence to slowly channel your brains ability to flow in sync with the body. The brain becomes stimulated with endorphin’s and dopamine which are known as the “feel good” neurotransmitters. If we live without them we can’t feel good, these are even the same chemical reactions we experience when we are in love or making love. Beauty is this “magic bullet” that lives right in our brains. We don’t have to take a pill to obtain this metamorphosis although, we can. There are natural sources and chemicals in many prescription forms that can create forms of the same however, be aware you may need more and more or a constant supply to create any form of general contentment to be achieved. As all things moderation is the key. Let us not over accelerate the engine or we could have troubles ahead.
3.MEDITATE. So many times we hear this one, “Isn’t that what crazy people do in turbans and such?” No actually not. Meditation comes in many forms from Prayer to just being quiet. Quieting the mind so to speak. You’ve done it a million times without even knowing you could. Think back to the many childhood episodes in which you were told to sit in a corner and think about what you did. Funny? Not hardly this was a way to stay in the moment and acknowledge what we did and why. Then when we’d finally realize the answers to these questions and ask for forgiveness. Whether we actually were sorry was a whole other issue. The fact of silence in that moment compelled us to a higher consciousness. The activity of silence can slow down the ever hurling mind that can not only create chaos and confusion but, create things referred to as “anxiety” in which most of the time comes with the territory for some of us who suffer from depression. Getting to prayer, regardless of our denomination or beliefs prayer has been around for centuries. It is widely shown throughout various medical studies that both prayer and meditation are a reliable source to calm the body and mind not to mention the immense healing affects it has shown on both the human mind and body. So whether you chant, sing or silently pray it adds another positive relief to your depression at hand.
4.SOCIALIZE. Now again from personal knowledge this one is going to stir you up. Perhaps even “scare” you to some degree. The last thing we want is to come out of our caves. That is why it becomes essential, staying in one place, seeing the same as any other human being does and create not just a habit but a determent to any progress your trying to make. As, I’ve explained before little at a time. It can be as simply as inviting a close friend over for coffee. Notice and even diary how you feel after that visit. If you invited a kind and understanding soul perhaps, even with a sense of humor. It may help you connect with those feelings when you were in a better place. Gradually , to go forward we start to make simple plans to go out. Again, simple – to a store, to library, a place where you won’t necessarily come into direct contact with a lot familiar people that expect you at the same time and place. Again, inventory your feelings was it ok to connect and see what’s outside those doors. Does it give you energy or hope to connect? Does it give you awkward feelings that you have to return. Anxiety? This may signal if your ready to become more social like Church, an event like a party, wedding or whatever it is more than the usual amount including some of the friends you know and some you don’t. However you feeling is your own personal gauge until you can get to this ultimate goal and be happy and comfortable. If for any reason you try and try to no avail you may be better off in better hands speaking with someone such as a psychologist. He or she can help assess your personal needs and may even prescribe natural supplements to try or do more exercises. Or they may send you to a Doctor who can prescribe medicine based on your symptoms and needs. Be sure you’ve kept notes or a journal as this will also help the Doctor’s to pinpoint your issues.
5.HEALTH/DIET. Okay your saying, ” Is there a reason she left this till last?”. Very simply, “No”. I could have put it just as well first. A diet is essential to our everyday health and emotions. The fact that your diet could have too much or too little of one thing can raise some issues on the overall functioning of your mind and body. A great example can be “Sugars” . That doesn’t mean you can’t have any at all, everything must be balanced for our bodies to get the necessary vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and many more nutrients. If we want to have a general good picture of health we must pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies. Being careful of what’s popular is not always the best. A lot of marketing goes into many companies to mislead us on the goodness it has in it. Examples such as, energy drinks, fasts foods, candies, and even some workout solutions endorsed by your “faves”are dangerous to your health and your heart. Another major one is “alcohol”. It comes in so many flavors and savors it’s a wonder so many suffer from depression and addiction. Alcohol is also a depressant in itself over time and the consistent use can cause a lot of troubles and complications. It can even cause brain damage. You may be thinking how can that be when its the only thing that helps me relax, come out of my shell or just be a way of having “Fun”. This type of pleasure comes at a high cost from broken families to broken hearts. This is an example I use when speaking to adolescents and their families. So much of our culture is strained by searching for comfort remedies only to find empty promises and larger problems in their future. We must learn to connect the dots from mind, body and soul. There are so many innovative techniques available today and the true classic forms of meditation, prayer and deep relaxation. The combination of these resources will help us to be healthier thus, happier.
In summary these are just a few simple ways to get started alleviating your inner pain. I have barely touched the surface as to a solution however, keep in mind it is all in your power to change from sadness to joy. We must learn to motivate ourselves by ignoring negative thoughts, looking back, living in the past, remorse and guilt. Than overcome issues such as fear with LOVE. This single word can change a frown into a smile, move a mountain and definitely change negative energies around us. We must be true to ourselves asking for good to surround us and evil to leave us. We should also take responsibility for our happiness by invoking goodness, kindness, and love in all we do. We must search deep in everyday life for that seed of euphoria. Just making yourself smile to another in need can offset the electricity of love that heals all things. Remember time is a precious commodity we must make the most of it. Buddha once said, “Never let anyone steal your joy”. In my opinion “or nothing”.. So whatever fits your groove to lift you out of darkness, EMBRACE it. BELIEVE this is Temporary and it too shall pass. Look for the light through meditation, prayer, positive affirmations, good company and exercise. Whatever helps, force yourself to be happy. you may have a joyous memory to reminisce. Anything that brings joy to the soul. Do it now, no procrastination just move forward. Depression can be an intricate puzzle but, picking up one piece at a time can help you get to the solution … Remember if we didn’t have rain we couldn’t appreciate the sunshine…