Admitting that you feel jealous or resentful is a hard thing to do, but if you’re struggling to beat depression like so many of us are these days, then fessing up to these negative emotions is a necessary first step.
Depression is a heavy word, I know. Since it’s a mental health diagnosis, lots of people are in denial about even being depressed in the first place. After all, who needs a label to go along with all of the sadness and frustration, right? You may even think that if you attach yourself to this term, you might start feeling depressed about being depressed!
Unfortunately, whether you call it depression, or the blues, or being down in the dumps, etc., etc., the signs of depression or (insert your own term here!) are the same:
• Decreased energy
• Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
• Trouble sleeping
• Weight gain
• And of course, that terrible sinking feeling that makes you feel like someone is sitting on your chest!
Yes, I know the signs of depression because I’ve battled this dark monster myself. But I’m living proof that you can beat depression. And the great news is that there’s a way to do it that does not involve medication, hours of psychotherapy, or even gallons of ice cream (well, ok, the ice cream is optional =)). I’m going to show you how to not only conquer the signs of depression, but actually beat depression once and for all.
But first, let’s get back to what’s actually causing these symptoms of chronic sadness. While it’s so easy to blame these negative feelings on your life circumstances, has it ever occurred to you that it might actually be the other way around? Have you stopped to consider that instead of your circumstances causing your negative mood that it may actually be your mood that creates these undesirable circumstances? Novel thought, huh?
Now I know you’re putting up your mental defenses right now. You’re thinking, wait just a second, are you telling me all the crappy things happening in my life are my fault? Well, no, not exactly. But I am telling you that the negative thoughts that cause those negative emotions can also manifest negative scenarios that play out in your “real life,” and once they do, guess what happens? That’s right—they create even more negative thoughts and emotions, and before you know it, the vicious cycle begins to spin out of control.
Although there are many different varieties of negative emotions, two of the most toxic are jealousy and resentment. These are actually very related feelings, and if you’re having them, there are two things you should know: 1) you’re completely normal, and 2) you have complete control over these emotions.
Everyone (including me!) feels jealous and resentful at times. We feel this way because there’s a little ogre living in the back of our heads holding a megaphone, and all day, he shouts: “me, me, me…what about me?” Have you ever had any one of the following thoughts:
• Why do I have to do everything around here?
• Why can’t my life be more like hers?
• I wish I had half the free time he does.
• Some people have all the luck.
If any of those thoughts sound familiar, then your little ogre is trying to hijack your thoughts and your mood. Don’t let him! While it can be ever so easy to slip into these negative thought patterns, succumbing to this temptation will only make you feel worse and could make those signs of depression the “D” word creep back into your life. When the urge strikes, use these 3 easy techniques instead:
• Say thank you
To God, to the Universe, to your dog, or a complete stranger. Being grateful for what you do have, whether it be the things we all take for granted like clean air to breathe or a warm home to live in or the simple things like a flower blooming or a child taking you by the hand can remind you how awesome life really is.
• Do something
I have a little tough love for you. You know those people who love to sit on the sidelines and complain but do nothing to solve the problem? Well, when you entertain thoughts of jealousy or resentment, that’s exactly what you’re doing! Instead of begrudgingly picking up your husband’s socks off of the floor for the billionth time, leave him a “helpful” note in one of his shoes, telling him that his socks seemed to have slipped away again. He’ll get the message, and hopefully it will be a memorable one! Whatever the situation, the point is that it’s far more productive to take action about something that’s bothering you than to let it eat away at you and keep you from enjoying life.
• Treat yourself
There’s no better way to beat depression than to do something nice for yourself. Whether it’s a manicure or an hour snuggled up with a good book, it’s hard to feel resentful or jealous of anyone when you’re doing something you love. Just be on guard for another pesky emotion called guilt that loves to sneak up on us during “me time.” Remember, it’s not just ok; it’s necessary to take some time out for yourself every day.
Whatever you’ve decided to call your nasty mood, none of us are strangers to the signs of depression. It’s natural and human to feel sad at times, but if you think you have to stay in this state of mental and emotional anguish, you’re so very wrong. You can take control over your mood and be happier, healthier, and more successful.