The world we live in moves at hyper-speed, often moving so fast we get lost in the process.
Or rather, we lose ourselves in the process. We can start feeling numb to it all – it happens without us even knowing why, and the worst part, most people don’t know what to do about it.
A few years ago I’d struggled with depression, an inescapable pull to sleep, the drained feeling, folding the clothes was a chore in another dimension. The hours and hours of inaction and feelings of worthlessness. I’d ask myself ridiculous questions like “what’s wrong with me?” (hint: the answer was actually nothing – when you ask a question with a negative inbuilt into the question, you’re going to get a shitty answer). Sometimes I’d be so mentally exhausted that I wouldn’t be able to find the strength to lift my hands to wash my hair.
I don’t feel like that anymore, my mindset has changed entirely, but it wasn’t a blink and you’re better kind of deal – overcoming the black dog was with continual improvement and effort. Clicking your heels three times and saying just ‘be happy’ doesn’t actually work.
To get yourself out of a funk, you need to get into the habit of doing it, so next time you feel crappy and down you can get out of it with more ease, you can be more ‘in the habit’ of putting yourself in a good place, and you’ll get better at it just like any skill in life.
Often we’re in the habit of getting ourselves into a state of feeling bad or depressed, but we don’t do the opposite – why is that? When things happen beyond your control (which let’s be honest, can be most of the time) you need a process and steps you can take to get yourself back to feeling good. Its one thing to set plans and make contingencies so you won’t feel bad about something, or maybe you’re trying to avoid something you know will make you feel bad, but eventually something will occur outside your control. A gut shot that comes out of nowhere, that catches you off guard. And you need a strategy to deal with it.
In your life so far, if I asked you, what advice would you give if you were to bottle up everything you’d learnt in life up until this point? What have you learned about yourself?
For me – if I was to write out a few things on a piece of parchment, roll it up and slide it into a bottle topped with a cork and float it out into the ocean for someone to find, without any extra context – here’s a few things I’d note down.
These are lessons from others that I’ve adapted and used myself, to shift beyond overwhelm and depression.
Here’s your prescription:
1. Learn to love yourself. Spend time with yourself everyday, an hour of power walking, meditating or just giving time to yourself to do something you love ?
2. Focus on gratitude to drive out fear. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for everyday. Gratitude isn’t an attitude it’s a practice ?
3. The stories we tell ourselves might be wrong. Focus on saying I can, I will. Catch yourself when you say things like “I can’t” or “it’s not going to be good” or “Its too hard”
4. The future isn’t written in stone, the prophesy will only be fulfilled if you believe it. Are you in a pattern that’s not serving you? Interrupt the patten and develop some ways to do this, eg. Meditation, deep breaths, practice gratitude, shake your body out, focus on empowering emotions.
5. Don’t avoid pain in your life. It’s a part of our human experience. We will do far more as humans to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. If you try and protect yourself from pain your body will try and protect itself by going numb, but we don’t want this because it blocks out joy too. Think of pain as an indicator or motivator to change something. Remember, we become what we think about. You have to decide right now that you control the focus of your mind.
6. You are always in control of how you feel. Nothing controls you but you. Listen to your emotions and appreciate the message, usually they’re just telling you to change something. Turn disempowering emotions like anger, fear, hurt, guilt, regret, hopelessness or depression into empowering emotions like love & warmth, appreciation & gratitude, excitement & passion, determination, flexibility, vitality & contribution. Stop indulging in negative emotions.
Don’t build the bad habits, build and strengthen the good ones. It’s not enough to just read about it, gratitude, self love and hearing our own internal monologue are not just an attitude, they are a practice. So practice, practice, practice and you’ll be the master of your own fate.
And, know that you are a divine, spiritual and beautiful being that is eternally loved. You’re going to do some incredible things in this world. Love to you beautiful being ?????