3 Important Habits in the Battle Against Depression
Depression has always been a part of my life, one way or another. I began experiencing depressive episodes as a young child, and no one around me could explain why, much less help me get through them. I felt broken beyond repair, I felt worthless, and at times I lost my will to live. Almost thirty years later I have found a way to overcome, and I am still here, now, successfully battling the monster of depression every day, and winning the battle. Is there a strategy here, some sort of blueprint that others can follow to have an upper hand in defeating depression as well? I believe there is. Here are three basic but important habits to start off with.
Ever since we are children, we are trained to rely external sources for our sense of self-worth. We look up to others to like us, to love us, to accept us in their social groups. Our value is based on the opinions of others, our identity strictly tied to is. For this reason, when we feel alone, we feel abandoned when we are disliked, made fun of or even bullied by others, criticized at school or even our place of work. We become convinced that we have little to no value, and this correlates directly with becoming depressed, convinced that we don’t matter, not to ourselves or anyone else.
We must shift our focus and look at things in reverse. We have an insane amount of love and acceptance deep within us that we must learn to cultivate. We must know how to harness our own power; to embrace ourselves in an endless supply of love. Then instead of bringing love from the outside, we are offering it from the inside, to ourselves first, and then to others, which will in return make others attracted to us, since we now have something to offer that they don’t know how to generate within themselves, not yet.
Step One – Love Yourself First and Extend that Love to Others
Secondly, we encounter a huge conflict within ourselves when our positive outlook on the future diminishes. Let’s face it, there are many things in the world that discourages us from looking forward to things with excitement. This can lead us to losing our motivation for the things we previously enjoyed, and for doing those things that will push us forward. The world and our future in it is something that we cannot control for the most part, much less foresee. Worrying too much about it can cause anxiety, which can also lead to depression. But there is one sure thing that you do possess, and that is today, your present, the fact that you are alive, and that nothing, absolutely nothing can prevent you from smiling at this moment, which is intimately yours. Your purpose is not somewhere out there in the tomorrow; your purpose is here, today, because you have today, and that alone is an incredible gift. If the world ended tomorrow, would you have any regrets about what you didn’t do today? I guarantee you that if you answer no to that question, you will, no matter what, be a generally happy person.
Step 2 – Another sure way to fight depression: live in the present
Third, there are many people that, like me, have a lot more going on in their brains than simple sadness. My brain’s chemical imbalance ties me to a daily medicine regimen, one that I am grateful for, as it allows me to do what I need to do every day, and it gives me a real shot at being happy. If your depression is severe, do not be afraid to ask for help, visit a therapist or mental health professional that will help you find a treatment that works for you. Changes will not happen overnight, but you will start getting some of your life back, gradually. Talk to those around you and ask for support. Be honest about your condition with the people around you; do not be afraid to let them know. If a loved one doesn’t really understand what is going on, there are plenty of resources you can use to educate them on what depression is and how it affects you; make sure to give them all the pertinent information that will help them understand you better.
Step 3 – Do not be afraid to ask for help.
I hope that putting these steps in action will help you move forward and give you an advantage in fighting depression. Don’t forget that it all starts with you and your perceptions, then it’s all about the help you seek and the people you surround yourself with. Godspeed my friend; may you come out victorious from this battle in the end.