Have you been feeling depressed lately? Join the club. With everyone’s paychecks going down and responsibilities going up, a lot of people are feeling the blues. Whether it’s money worries or relationship issues or just life in general, it can be easy to let the dark cloud of depression engulf you. After all, it robs you of all of your motivation and energy, so what’s the use in fighting back, right? Wrong!
I know depression feels like this huge thing that has swallowed you whole, and now you’re stuck in this miserable place with no way out. You wake up to the same bleak reality day after day, and all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep. I completely get it! Here’s the thing though—depression tends to feed on itself. The more you let it get you down, the farther down the hole you fall.
I’m not telling you that you can get rid of your depression altogether in one fatal swoop. That’s a tall order, and a lot of pressure too. There are some small things you can do each day, however, that can put a smile on your face-if only for a moment. If you do these things every day, whether you feel up to it or not, then those smiles are bound to add up, and I promise you that pretty soon, you’ll wake up to a new and beautiful world—one that you’ve created for yourself! Sound like a plan? Good. Now, here’s what you need to do:
1. Talk Yourself Up
As kids, we’re taught that bragging is a big no-no. It’s just not polite to talk about how great you are all the time, our parents told us. Well, that may be true if you’re talking to other people, but when it comes to self-talk, bragging is an absolute necessity. Low self-esteem is one of the major causes of depression, and it’s one of those pesky cyclical situations that just perpetuates itself. The worse you feel about yourself, the worse your depression becomes, and the worse your depression becomes, well you get the rest. The only way to stop this vicious cycle is to counteract it with positive self-talk. You can give yourself a pep talk out loud (if you don’t mind people staring ), or you can say it in your head. Either way, pump yourself full of kind words and commendations throughout the day, and you’ll feel your depression begin to lift. If you’re concerned about something in particular, like money worries, for instance, use this as material for your self-talk. Say things like “I am competent and resourceful,” and “I have everything I need.” Of course, it helps if you really believe these things but even if you don’t, keep saying them until you do.
2. Allow Negative Thoughts
If you’re in a depressed state, then negative thoughts are going to sneak into your head. That’s just the facts. If you’re like most people, you do either one of two things when these thoughts creep in: you either accept them as fact, or you fight against them. Unfortunately, neither one of these defense mechanisms are going to help you beat depression. Obviously, believing negative things about yourself or your circumstances is only going to make you feel worse, and as for fighting back, remember that whatever you resist persists. There is another way, though. Try simply allowing the negative thought to be there. Don’t accept it, and don’t resist it. Just say to yourself, “Oh, there’s another one of those terrible thoughts,” and go about your business. Try it, and you’ll find that if you ignore negative thought patterns, they will eventually go away.
3. Do It Anyway
When money worries or other stressors have you down, it’s easy to feel like just staying in. You might find yourself avoiding your friends or regular activities and even neglecting your own hygiene (don’t worry; we’ve all been there!). If you find yourself in this slump, adopt the “do it anyway” mentality. I know you don’t feel like it; it’s probably gonna really suck and all that blah, blah, blah, just do it anyway, ok? Trust me when I say that you cannot beat depression in your pajamas.
There it is—your three-part recipe for being depression free. I’m can’t wait to hear about how much better you feel after using these three little tips every day.