Whether you’re happy or sad makes no difference. In the end, it’s only you who’s able to feel and change it.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog posts, you’re probably aware that I love to rant and often like to create ‘how-to’ posts with practical evidence on how to achieve the same results.
Today’s post is mainly going to be for people who simply feel like they have no solution to their problems and feel lost. If you’re at a stage in your life where you feel content and happy, then it’s best you skip this post and come back next week (I have an anxiety case study on the way). Today, i’m simply sharing what I wished someone had written years ago and advised me when I was feeling down and severely depressed.
In fact, most of the things i’ll be talking about were all a result of feeling down and having no other choice but to figure things out for myself. That one sentence alone should give you a hint as to how depression can be resolved, as most of the things we have difficulties with also have the most obvious and straightforward solutions.
Feeling depressed is possibly the most common thing all of us go through at some stage in our lives and mainly due to worries and anxieties that life presents to us on a daily basis. I can’t really list why It happens in order to avoid pissing people off. But what I will say is that it’s perhaps the most loneliest and vulnerable times you could ever experience.
You feel like there’s nothing you can do and despite your family and friends trying to support you, no one can truly feel or understand what you’re going through besides you. And yet you completely fail to understand a key point:
That it’s all up to you to get out of it.
It’s hard to understand even if someone tells you at that point because the feeling of depression isn’t really something you want and yet it’s the very symptom of how things are at that point in your life.
That one statement alone is very cryptic, but let me explain…
If it’s accepted that everything in your life is due to the choices you once made and the choices you continue to make, then logic should tell us that it’s the choices you made that eventually lead you to depression and the choice you made to make you feel it in the first place.
Thats why whenever I read questions from people asking how to overcome their depression, they’re simply unaware that it’s a decision they have to make in order to achieve it. A decision that begins with an understanding that all it takes is the decision to change their relationship between themselves and their circumstances.
The best way to recognise this is to give you a few typical thought processes that I went through whilst being depressed and to hopefully give you a light you can shine on yourself in order to help you reflect and come to terms with how you’re feeling and to hopefully give you the first step to changing your current situation.
1) “Where I am right now is all because of X, Y and Z and everyone seems to be against me”
Is that really the case? Sure you may well have come across a few individuals that gave you a hard time, but it’s very rarely their choice to make you feel and react to their behaviour towards you.
This was a concept that took a long time for me to personally figure out because the main focus at the time was the people around me giving me a hard time rather than the actions I had to have taken in order to stop it from happening in the first place.
You will inevitably meet with people who will not like you for whatever reason and deliberately give you a hard time. This is a given, but the best solution is to simply ignore it and to focus on your own path.
You will eventually find that the more you do this, the less of this you will experience since people like this tend to feed off your reaction and insecurities.
2) “No matter how hard I try, nothing seems to be working”
It’s very common to feel frustrated when you’re depressed since nothing seems to be working for you at that moment and seem helpless. But it also distorts your mind into thinking creatively and laterally.
Perhaps you have been working hard, but working hard on the wrong things. Albert Einstein had a great quote that “Doing the same thing consistently and expecting different results is the definition of insanity”.
Have you tried different strategies?
Avoid negative thinking and try different things to see what works. You may well find a solution that will stick and help you get out of your current situation.
3) “Maybe I’m a bad person and deserve to suffer”
The truth is, we deserve whatever it is we give ourselves. Understanding this one key point becomes empowering because you start to realise that in reality, no one owes you anything but yourself. So whether you’re suffering right now isn’t due to others decisions, but the decision you gave yourself to experience.
Make a decision from today to turn things all around because you can. All it takes is clarity, a decision and action to make it happen.
4) “Maybe things are the way they are for a reason and am here to learn something”
This is true. You absolutely learn things about yourself daily. And it’s usually during hard times when you realise what your flaws really are, which creates a huge dent in your ego. Your buffers are no longer providing a blanket to your insecurities and are exposed to vulnerability and emotional pain.
The question is, it’s not what you’re experiencing, but what you’re willing to do about it despite what you’re going through. I haven’t seen a more effective strategy to build character and strength of mind than in experiencing a streak of emotional pain and learning how to get out of it.
You may not realise it yet, but your situation right now is a blessing in disguise.
The harsh reality of it is, as much as the people that truly care about you could help you, there is nothing anyone could ultimately do to get you out of your situation. And worst of all… No one really cares whether you do or not!
In the whole grand scheme of things, we are nothing more but a small grain of sand in the whole universe that is constantly expanding. That is how insignificant we really are, and yet the only person who can recognise your worth is you… You are all you have!
Accept things for what they currently are
I may not truly understand what you’re going through right now, but the one thing I can honestly say that helped me with my situation was in learning not to battle with my problems but to simply accept them for what it was.
It’s the key to overcoming them as it forces you to focus more on the solution rather than the problem.
Become responsible for your life
No one ever said life will be easy. People will let you down and will be disappointed. The person you loved dearly will leave and it will suck. You will get fired from your job and feel unworthy. You will constantly see other people around you progressing and seem like a failure. But it’s the journey all of us will have to take in order to be happy.
The question then isn’t to ask why it’s happened, but what you will do from this point forwards in order to change it.
My main objective with this blog post is to help explain that whilst you might be going through a tough time right now, you will eventually come out of it a wiser person who will be better able to tackle the same problem if it arises again in the near future.
We are after all the sum of our experiences. But that is of course if you’re willing to step up to the plate and fail, to make mistakes and to accept it for what it is – A learning experience.
I’ll end it with a quote from Rocky, which boils everything I’ve said into a single sentence:
It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Onwards and upwards grasshopper!
Is there something currently holding you back? Please leave your comments below…
Photo Credits by Alex & Giuseppe Savo