One of the best explanations for depression I’ve ever heard is “because reality doesn’t match what you want in your mind”. On top of this, it then becomes habitual.
When I reflected on it and my own depression, I found that it was a completely true statement. From the smallest thing to the biggest thing.
Once I understood it, it got easier and easier to overcome, because I realised then that the problem was with me and my thoughts and feelings about a particular situation, and therefore only I had the power to change it.
This doesn’t mean it was easy. Oh no, no. In fact, I still get depressed from time to time. But the episodes of depression are now very rare (compared to pretty much every day) and the length of staying depressed might be a few hours, sometimes even a few minutes (compared to weeks and sometimes months on end!).
I NEEDED SOLUTIONS, BUT I WAS TRAPPED IN BEING A VICTIM
That was what kept me drowning in that misery. I LOVED it. But it was of course, a love / hate relationship. I want to challenge you to look into yourself and see – do you really want to change, or do you love that comfortable, familiar feeling? I identified with it
When you realise it’s your own mind which keeps you imprisoned, then you can start to take back power and fight against it!
1) Meditation – the meditation of self-reflection, letting go, repetition. Reflecting on all the times in my life I felt depressed, the thoughts, feelings and places surrounding it, then discarding it from my mind, and doing this continuously. Not only do the thoughts and feelings fade away and eventually disappear, I had all sorts of “ah hah!” moments (like realising I actually loved that feeling and was addicted to it!)
2) Move – studies have shown changing up your physiology can alter your mood. I personally couldn’t do something like pretend to laugh or pretend to be happy, but getting up, moving (exercise) or even just trying to work gradually lessened the intensity of the depression.
3) Self awareness – knowing what the depression is and where it’s coming from makes it a lot quicker to detach from “when reality doesn’t match your mind”. Journalling helped a lot with this process to continue to detach from those thoughts and feeling.
4) Eating properly – I can’t understate this! I definitely noticed a pattern of poor eating with depression. The gut / brain connection is huge, and I think a lot of it also had to do with my feelings of a lack of control and the guilt.
5) Realising change is gradual, not instantaneous – whenever I felt depressed, it compounded the depression because of the “here we go again!” “no matter how hard I try!” types of thoughts I had. Take 3 steps forward, and 2 steps back, it’s OK. You moved forward. And that’s change. Bit by bit, 1 step at a time.
DON’T LET IT DEFEAT YOU
You can take control, bit by bit, and conquer this.
If I can do it, you can do it 🙂