FEELING PAST DEPRESSION
#1: Question Your Thoughts
In my hometown of Orlando, Florida, there used to be a tourist attraction called, The Mystery Fun House that had a dimly lit mirror maze. In the maze, because of its opposing mirrors, you couldn’t trust your eyes; and because of the way sound bounced off the mirrored walls, you couldn’t trust your ears. Even worse, the endless reflections made it impossible for your mind to create a map of where you had been or how to get out. There was a trick, though, to beat the maze. All you had to do when you entered was reach one hand out and stay in contact with the wall. Because all the walls in the maze were connected - including the one next to the exit - if you felt your way through the maze, you would get out quickly. Chronic depression is a torturous mirror maze for many people. Life circumstances, societal norms, and even mass media can cause us to lose sight of what is important in life and what’s true about ourselves. Our minds can easily begin to believe the distorted reflections of our environment. And without stopping to question our thoughts, these distortions appear more and more real. Unaware that this world of delusion is being created in our heads, we start shadowboxing with a head full of lies. And just like an actual mirror maze, it’s difficult to think ourselves out of depression. To feel our way out, it is essential to wake up from the mistaken perspective of our negative self-talk.
#2: Feel More, Think Less
When combating depression, remember this: Thinking fuels depression; Feeling cuts off fuel for depression. Here are a few examples… By resigning to negative conclusions, you can think your way into despair, or by stopping to notice what you take for granted, you can feel your way into gratitude. You can think that all hope is lost, or you can feel that love and connectedness are all around you. You can think yourself into a stressful perspective that the world is on your shoulders, or you can feel the guidance and support of life’s inherent intelligence that is much bigger than you alone. And when life takes you by surprise, you can have fearful thoughts of loss, or you can feel your way into embracing change and its inspiring possibilities. To navigate these voices in your head, remember that thought-based fear is heard as yelling inside your head… but feeling-based wisdom is heard as a whisper. The key is to quiet your fearful inner voices so that you can hear and feel your own intuitive whispered wisdom.
#3: Balance Your Day
We all have responsibilities. For many, there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. But we are no good to others if we are not first good to ourselves. To avoid falling into an unhealthy lifestyle that can lead to depression, it is critical for you to maintain your own balance and sanity. To do that, you must carve out just a little time every day for “re-charge activities.” These are things like… very simple exercise, brief meditations, listening to relaxing music, engaging the arts in some way, or just a little time spent in nature whenever you can. Remember, your life rests upon a tripod of a mind, a body, and a soul. You can’t expect your emotions or your life to be stable without nourishing all 3 of these. Balancing your days with this in mind will help you make depression a distant memory.
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