Learning to live with depression is a challenge. Because depression drains all of your energy, whittles away at your hope, moves your from drive to park which makes it difficult to do what you need to get done and do what you need to be healthy again. There is no straightforward cure for depression and each path taken involves soul searching and help. The good news is that you can make it to the other side and move forward from your sadness and focus on getting better. The number one myth is that you can get better just with sheer will power – you can’t do it – wanting it to go away does not work. You are in control of the situation though because you can choose to fight to have a positive mental attitude and push through to positive thoughts. That is where the will power comes in because it is the will to move beyond the sadness and focus on the good in this world. This Pali word “avijja” is a negative term meaning “not knowing completely” but it does not mean “knowing nothing at all.” This kind of unknowing is very special and not concerned with ordinary ways or subjects of knowledge, for here what one does not know are the Four Noble Truths, one does not see them clearly in one’s own heart and one’s own life. That is the key you know what is happening because it is happening to you however not knowing why it is happening is not a problem.
Time is a key factor in dealing with Depression, you must take the time to understand yourself and what it is that causes your depression. We believe that there are many factors that when brought together lead to depression and a sense of despair. Some a bio-chemical in which certain chemicals needed for a healthy mental state are low or too high. This imbalance leads to mood swings however those swings would not be there if there was not an issue that is not dealt with that give the pendulum a push and allows for the swing. You can make a significant shift in your depression with simple lifestyle changes such as exercising every day, avoiding the constant urge to isolate oneself, challenging the negative voices and thoughts in your head, eating a balanced and healthy diet of food instead of the junk food that you crave, and carving out time for rest and relaxation specifically yoga. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day and draw on the support of others.
The secret to recovering from depression is that it involves and requires action. But taking action when you’re depressed is very challenging. In fact, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like going for a walk or spending time with friends, can be exhausting and you have not left the couch. This is the rock and a hard place of depression recovery. The things that help the most are the things that are most difficult to do and we know that to be true as we have all experienced it. However there is a difference between difficult and completely impossible.
Dealing with depression on a day to day basis requires that you start small and stay focused. The key to depression recovery is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there. You have to leverage all of the resources you have at your disposal. You may not have much energy, but you probably have enough to take a short walk around the block or neighborhood or pick up the phone to call someone you love.
Getting all the support you need plays a huge role in dispersing the fog of depression and keeping it away each day. On your own, it is extremely difficult to maintain perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. However that is the trouble with depression is that it makes it difficult to reach out for help when you need it the most. The biggest failure comes from forcing your self into isolation and loneliness which will make depression even worse, so maintaining your close relationships and social activities are important.
Here are 10 helpful tips for reaching out and building relationships
- Talk to one person about your feelings.
- Volunteer your time – not a lot but a little.
- Go for a walk with a friend.
- Have someone check in on you every day.
- Go to a public place with a friend – have them pick the destination.
- Call or email someone you know will get back to you.
- Go for a walk with someone who has a dog.
- Plan a weekly dinner date.
- Meet new people by hanging out at recreation facilities.
- Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.
The challenge of dealing with depression is that depression in and of itself puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself, the way life treats you, and your perspective for the future. You cannot break out of this pessimistic and negative mind frame by “just thinking positive thoughts” you need more. Happy thoughts or wishful thinking will not suffice but what will work is replace negative thoughts with more balanced thoughts.
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