There are no easy ways to battle depression. Sometimes it feels like trying to run a marathon with a ball-and-chain tied to your feet. Depression depletes our motivation and our energy. It literally sucks the fun out of everything. Though there are no one-size-fits-all answers to deal with depression, I’ll share some tips taken from my own experience and from a book called “Mind Over Mood” by Greenberger and Padesky.
Essentially, depression feeds off of negativity. Depression usually comes about as a result of difficult situations or even traumatic events. Those times challenge us in ways we may feel are beyond our ability to handle, and so we get overwhelmed by the problems and difficulties. Depression begins to set in when we lose sight of the positive in our life, and so we begin to see only the negative. Logically, negativity must be battled with positivity. Realistically, this is easier said than done because, as I’ve already mentioned, our energy and motivation are depleted. The key here is to reverse the process that got us into the depression state.
While I battled with my depression some eight years ago or so, I found that this process was effective but very gradual. At first, participating in activities that I would normally have enjoyed felt almost fake and little enjoyable, but at least I didn’t feel any worse off afterwards. After a while, I began to enjoy more and more these positive activities, and so the depression was losing its hold on me. True, the lousy circumstance that had started the depression cycle didn’t disappear over night, but I was able to battle through them. Today, though I find myself in new circumstances that would have sent me through a new bout of depression in the past, I am able to work through it with a positive spirit because my experience has helped me to learn to keep my focus on the prize and to not forget about life with all the blessings that come with it.
Here are some positive things you can incorporate in your day-to-day life that may help: take the time to admire the goods things around you right now, in the same room; take note of things that didn’t go wrong; think about people who are there for you and services that are at your disposal; make time for activities that are normally entertaining and fun for you; go outside; tidy up your environment; vent in writing then burn or shred the evidence; etc.
If doing any of this demands a little too much, ask someone you trust (significant other, friend, family) to help you. You may not have power over everything going on right now, but you do have the ability to change how you deal with your current situation. Just be patient with yourself as this could be a long journey to peace of mind.
Be a light to those around you today!