Depression is never an easy topic to discuss. I’ve suffered for most of my life; wavering from not feeling depressed to fearing suicide. When I say I know 5 ways to break free of depression, I am not referring to any medication, nor any specific professional advice that has been given to me. I’m writing about some of the things that have worked for me. And these methods, with practice, have become habits.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are where I was a few years ago. For some, depression can be in part caused by our own negative self-talk. We chide ourselves for errors we think we have made. The voice has been talking in your mind for so long, you may no longer hear it. Learn to hear it. It is not easy. When I began listening to the voice, my mental state actually worsened. I was stunned by the things that I was telling myself. Be prepared. Once you can hear the thoughts, stop them. Have the conversation in your mind, no one else can hear it. “Well, that was stupid, Sharlene!” is an example of what I would hear. “Whoa! Wait just one second! How was I supposed to know that? I know now for next time, but I had no idea. It’s okay not to know everything.” is an example of how I can answer that. Put the brakes on the negativity and change the thinking. No one else can change your thought patterns.
I don’t mean financially. I mean with time. Invest the time in you. Learn more about you. What makes you happy? What makes you sad? Do more of what makes you happy. Eliminate those things that cause sadness, if you can. Invest in personal development. There are so many great books; good old fashioned book form, e-books, and even audio books. Your options are limitless. I know people who listen to audio books during their commute to work. I’m still a lover of the feel of a book in my hands. I have learned that the investment in me is so incredibly worth it. I continue to learn and grow. Learning is something I thrive on; why would I stop learning?
Track your thinking. Very recently I have learned that if you want to make a change in your life you need to see what is actually happening in that area of your life right now. Darren Hardy, the writer of The Compound Effect, challenges his readers to pick an area of their lives they want to improve. Readers are instructed to track this area of their lives on paper. For example, if you want to handle your money better, write down everything you spend. Each spending decision is soon prefaced with the question, “Is it worth writing down?” When you have decided to track an activity, you are aware of your actions. The behavior begins to change immediately. He suggests tracking for 21 days.
I can write about the benefits of journaling every single day. It can be very therapeutic. You can share your thoughts and feelings without feeling judged by anyone, other than yourself. And don’t judge what you write! Don’t spell check and don’t worry about grammar. Dig deep when you write. Stop and ask yourself, “What do you mean by that?” And then write some more. Keep doing that to really broaden the scope of your thoughts.
Plan your future. Believe that you are in control of your destiny.If you want to be doing something different with your life, make a plan. What do you need to do to get to the life you want? Be realistic! Just don’t be afraid of making changes. You are alive today! Live your life the way you want to live it!
You don’t have to live with depression. I know it feels like it is insurmountable, in the moment. When you are in that state, the distance to feeling better is so incredibly large. Bridge the gap. The harder you try, the shorter the distance becomes. Decide, to feel better!
Til next time, do the next thing.