I think there are a lot of websites out there which talk about depression as if it is a disease which needs to be immediately eradicated, as if a shadow of darkness has been cast upon it. For a change, we shall try and see it in the other light and see how we can make the best of being depressed.
We all know that it is never a nice feeling to be depressed, everything seems so dull and dark. There seems to be a lot of black and white out there. The environment is morose, there is no motivation to fit in with a set of people who seem to be having a good time, there is a general tendency to avoid everyone and withdraw into a shell. And there are also other behaviours which make most people classify the depressed state as a disease.
Let us set the expectations clear – we are not going to give you a set of 5 tips which makes depression vanish. We do appreciate that it is a deeper feeling than that and we shall try not to make light of it. However, our approach has always been to understand what the emotion means and how we can best utilise it to align with the goals we have. So, we are going to try the same approach here as well.
1. What does it mean?
The first question whenever we have any emotion is – what does it mean. We realise that each emotion is a call for action, it is a signal trying to tell us something.
We are not interested in the stupid answer which says ‘I am stupid’ or ‘I am unlucky’ or what not. We are interested in the answers as to what it actually means such as – ‘The approach was not right’, ‘I relied too much on someone else’.
Try to make the responsibility yours as much as possible – not that we want to make you feel worse about yourself, but to ensure that you can find a way out.
2. What else can it mean?
This is something most of us rarely do. But do it any way. Try and put a positive story on it and say – what else can it actually mean?
Does it mean that you have to be more careful, does it mean that you have to be more sensitive to the details, does it mean that it was a wrong goal in the first place?
Try and find alternatives – you don’t want to get sucked into the feeling of self pity.
3. What opportunities does it bring?
Rarely do people think of this but it can be a very powerful tool to get you out of the depression faster than usual. If one door is closed – what are the other opportunities that can open up?
It can be very easy to get sucked into depression and feel free from responsibility. That might even give you some sympathetic ears. But the question is what you want – solution or sympathy?
4. Quick Fix
The more you look at quick fix, the less you will see a direct answer. You got to convince yourself about the longevity of every success and effort. Things will always pay out in the end and you will have to believe me on that. Not because it is the universal truth but because it is a better lie which makes you stop feeling sorry for yourself and actually do something.
5. Notice the right things
It is a natural behaviour to observe everything wrong when we are down. But try and do the opposite thing. Try and observe what all in life is good.
I am sure that the initial feeling is to say ‘Nothing is good’. But restrain from it, take a moment and actually be thankful for all the things including the challenge that has put you here in the first place.
Like Steve Jobs said – you cannot connect the dots looking forward, things have a way of working out when you look back. Be a believer and you will realise being depressed is just a small detour.
6. End Game
This is what you have to define for yourself. You cannot set yourself to lose and say that you lost. You got to set a goal which you are going to achieve and build yourself from successes. Failures are lousy and they feel awful. But the beautiful thing is that they are not the end of it. They are a good starting point to make something happen.
So… Why not?
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