A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
- Albert Einstein
Today I want to talk about a topic that is very personal to me. Depression is a real thing, it happens to many people, it does not discriminate, and it can truly slow you down.
Overcoming depression can be a slow and difficult process. And because I have been there before, I feel that by writing about it, I may be able to help those out there that are going through it or know someone in that situation.
There are many signs of depression, some are visible, others not so much. For some people depression means insomnia, and for others it means over-sleeping. It is hard to know or even diagnose if someone has depression. But to make things simple, if you have been feeling down and not yourself, than you can benefit from reading this post.
I have gone through deep depression stages twice in my life. The first time lasted for a few years, and it took a lot of effort to get me up and going… the second time, is happening right now.
I know that my depression is not going to last forever, and I know I have the power to fight it and get my old self back.
So let me help you by giving you a few tips to help you heal yourself and overcome your negative feelings.
1. Don’t suppress your feelings
Putting your feelings deep inside and ignoring them will eventually backfire and cause you more pain than if you deal with them in the beginning. It is ok to cry and to let your emotions out. Even if society tells you that crying is a sign of weakness, the truth is that crying allows you to heal. Spend time thinking about how you feel, and find the root of those feelings.
2. Find the root of your sadness
If your sadness is related to your life and where you are at that given moment, then take some time to reflect upon the cause of this pain. Find the root of your depression and define why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Once you know, you will have an easier time getting your motivation back.
The hardest thing to do when depression strikes, is to get motivated and do something. Things that would normally be easy become difficult. Things that would normally make you excited don’t make you feel anything. Everything becomes bland… The world looks gray instead of pink and even the food you eat will lose its taste.
The next step to overcoming depression is actually fighting it. Use the little energy you have in you to say “I will NOT let you win”. In your mind, you have the power to fight for yourself. Do not dwell for too long, feeling sad is normal but don’t pity yourself and dwell on these feelings. Become a tough warrior that knows when it’s time to let go and get up.
4. Talk to someone close to you
Overcoming depression alone is certainly possible, but if you have someone close to you that is willing to listen, by all means talk to them. Having a support system is an old trick that many psychologists will tell you to find, and it is true. Humans are social creatures (even us introverts still need one or two friends). It is important to have someone to talk to and express how we feel, this will allow you to make your feelings real and be able to tackle them with real actions. I have been blessed to have a close group of friends that will listen to me and help me get back on track, without them, this journey would have been much more painful and difficult to overcome.
5. Know that everything is temporary
Reassure yourself that this too shall pass. Life, as I’m sure you know, is a huge rollercoaster. A life of only happiness is not possible. I dare sound cliché, but I do believe that sadness is needed for us to truly appreciate happiness. If you realize that there is an end to this, then you will have an easier time overcoming it.
6. Do what makes you happy
Even if you don’t feel motivated, or even if you don’t get the same great feeling, still spend time doing what you love. If you are an artist, don’t let your brush get dry. If you are a musician, don’t let the room get silent. If you enjoy the simple things in life, don’t let them go unnoticed. If you are a writer, don’t let the page stay blank. Who cares if you paint a crappy painting or write a lousy story, the world is better simply because you are not giving up.
If you stop to smell the roses and they don’t smell like anything, shove your face in them until they start smelling good again. Those feelings will come back eventually; you just have to push yourself through them.
If I can tell you anything at all, it is to simply trust yourself. Life is tough but it is also very simple. Sometimes our minds tend to overcomplicate things and it is easy to become the victims in our own story. Overcoming depression or sadness is just another one of those things we have to do, it is part of the human experience and it serves a purpose. Some of the greatest works of art have been made by people going through depression. Do not wish your life away, and appreciate every moment of being alive.
Feeling sadness can still be a beautiful experience, it means you are alive, it means you are still here, and you can fight back!