TLDR: Today we talk about kicking depression in the butt. In this section, its choosing happiness and standing in our own power that helps us win the day.
Which is a major understatement.
Anyone who has ever gone toe-to-toe with the monster, knows just how daunting even just getting up in the morning can be.
While natural remedies for the problem is not always the answer, nor the complete answer, it can help us out. Whether we are on medication for it or are just fighting some seasonal blues, we can do little things to help our bodies and minds be happy.
No matter what’s going on.
Before you throw things at me, let me finish.
I’ve struggled with insanely awful major depressive disorder almost my whole life. I know how hard this is. I know how it feels. It’s crazy.
It seems like your brain is forcing you to just hate life. There is very little room for love or good feelings. And chemistry upset is not a choice. Obviously.
But your body does get used to those chemicals and those thought processes.
Your body gets addicted to sadness, stress, and fear.
That’s all it knows at that point.
So as hard as it might be. As fake as it might feel for so long. Think to yourself to choose happiness.
I’m going to keep hammering this throughout the sections, so get comfy with the idea.
Find the little tiny things about life that is awesome. They are there! I know it can be hard to see sometimes. But life really is a miracle and depression likes to try to block you from seeing that.
Whether it’s the way the sun hits the water, your comfortable bed, the company of a loved one, a show that makes you laugh, the warmth of your tea, the way your food tastes, a flower on the side of the road…really just try to live in the very moment you’re in and fall in love.
Live in this only moment that exists for certain, and focus on beauty and how grateful you are for those things.
I can’t tell you how powerful this can be when you’re spiraling out of control into your deep, dark pit of depression.
Having a hard time getting out of bed? Remember how beautiful the sun is and how good it feels on your skin. Think about how good that coffee is going to taste when you pick it up this morning. Picture how good that carpet feels under your toes. How grateful you are to be alive and have a body that experiences these things.
Consciously work from there and choose happiness even if your whole body is rebelling against it, and you just want to cry.
Stand in gratitude.
All you need to be happy is right in front of you
Time in life is limited. You’re probably thinking “well thank goodness for that” if you’re in the middle of a depressive war…I get that. I really do. But I can tell you, when you get to the point you can see clearly again, you realize that you have all you need to be happy, ever, right in front of you.
Yeah, you’re probably thinking I’m full of crap.
Maybe you have intimidating health issues. Recently you’ve experienced the death of a loved one. Maybe you’ve been so stressed out for the past year that you can’t see how you could be happy again because life sucks. You could be feeling post-partum depression and want to just quit.
Well imagine for a moment that something else tragic happens (generally we shouldn’t think or dwell on this but for this purpose it’s useful). Imagine something so awful that you just couldn’t be happy after that…
Now scale back and think about your problems now.
They probably feel a bit more manageable right? In your imaginative scenario you might have been thinking oh well…if only I could go back, and I only had to deal with that…then I could have been happy.
How many times have you done this? I know I’ve done it countless times…
Realizing that I hadn’t had it that hard…that it was manageable. That I could have been happy if I had just lived in the moment and seen things for what they were.
Yeah, you might be going through some terrible crap right now.
But I promise you…you really do have all that you need, right here and right now to be happy.
All you have to do is follow the couple steps outlined above and then let yourself fall into life.
Pain is part of life, suffering doesn’t have to be. Sadness is an emotion we feel, it doesn’t have to be a state of mind and life.
We cause suffering to ourselves be dwelling and giving in to fear and anger.
Take a firm grasp on life in the present moment, the little joys of being alive…
And don’t waste any precious moment you have.
You can always be happy…no matter what’s going on.
Depression makes you dwell in the past or fear the future. It traps you in rumination and what-ifs. Well guess what? That’s life!
Life. Is. Going. To. Happen.
Life is going to happen no matter what. People are going to be people. Your body is going to do what it does health wise. And at some point, death comes for us all.
Hard pill to swallow?
I know it was for me. Still is some days.
Ok maybe most days still.
But let’s take this further.
You can choose to be scared/worried/stressed/angry.
Or you can choose peace/kindness/love/forgiveness.
(Yep, I’m hitting all this again and again. That’s how important it is).
This is your life to experience. So experience it fully. Don’t fall for the trap of getting caught in your head.
One of the best ways to pull out of that is, like I said, focus on the present. Love the present. Be grateful for the emotions you are able to feel and the sensations and be happy you’re alive to experience them.
When it comes down to it…
We shouldn’t ever dwell on being scared or being angry or fearful. That’s a sad waste of time.
Depression will literally rob you of your life if you tend to it like a nervous nurse.
I think it’s been most important for me to just let life go.
Instead of trying to control things, I need to relax in the ebb and flow of life. Shit happens. Awesome happens.
We can bob along like a cork on the waves, out of control and a nervous wreck…
Or we can surf through life, ride the waves where they take us, enjoy the journey.
Control is an illusion. The only thing I believe you can control is your own mind.
The journey from point A to point B in life can be an emotional roller coaster, or it can be an awesome, smooth ride.
Life happens, but you get to decide how you react to it.
You can change
I believe in the plasticity of the human mind. I believe in our own power above chemistry.
As someone who is genetically “blessed” with this challenge, I believe that while, yes, it isn’t a flaw, it isn’t my fault, and yes, it is very, very hard…I still believe I can change.
You can change.
You are not doomed to a life of struggle.
Yeah, it takes a giant amount of effort, especially if you’ve been trapped in it a long time.
Maybe you need the help of medication and professional help to manage.
There is no shame in any of that.
Just don’t think that you can get a free ride on pills.
Trust me. Pills only work so far for a mind that is trained to focus and dwell on fear.
So work with both if you need to. But don’t neglect any of these important points when you’re working to pull yourself up.
You’re going to have days better than others, but I can speak from experience when I say that you’re going to be a lot happier, recover faster, and waste less time if you follow these points.
Is it always a cure all? No.
But so, so important to remember and practice.
Meditation can really help hone this and keep you balanced as well. So give that a try.
Most of all, never give up.
You can change. Life is always changing. And everything really is awesome!
Other resources to consider:
Live in the moment:
Meditation to cure depression: