My Thoughts on Depression and Mental Health

August 24, 2014

My Thoughts on Depression and Mental Health

In the past month, we’ve been exposed to a lot of depressing news and situations. We’ve discussed dealing with negativity in life, but sometimes there’s more to it. Life is challenging, there’s no doubt about that. When it seems like nothing can go right and the world is set against you, mental health begins to suffer. Although the world is now a bit more open to it, free discussion of mental health has been somewhat taboo. In the past, you’d be considered weak if you need to see a therapist or something’s wrong with you if you have a chemical imbalance. In reality, mental health is something to be taken extremely seriously; in fact, I’ll go so far to say it’s on the top of the list in prioritizing your health. Being in the health and wellness field, I’ve read countless books, studies, and theories about mental health and I truly believe that your mind must be “right” to live a “healthy” and “happy” life. I put those words in quotes as you can define them in this instance as you see fit.

We’ve seen many beloved people in our culture succumb to their diseases concerning mental health, whether it’s depression or even addiction, and it’s always devastating. Sometimes the brightest outward souls are some of the most tortured inward souls. Those who give and give and give to the world sometimes don’t give back to themselves. What could have been done to prevent such loss? I go out on a limb when I say that I think we all, at some point in our lives, have experienced a sense of despair, uncertainty, loss, or even a desire to just call it quits. It is this fact that puts us all in the same boat, and allows us to have compassion for all people that truly go through real heartache in their lives.

Depression can place you in a hole so dark you feel that you will never see the light of day, and that is why I believe so many get buried under. It takes serious, extreme, work, diligence, and dedication to pull yourself out of it, but when you do, it’s oh so worth it. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

I think my blog this week can apply to anyone, even if you’re not diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or addiction. What can we do for ourselves when the outside world shuts us down? I’ve put together some thoughts that have always been helpful for me, but would love to have an open conversation about this in the comments below.

  • Find something to be grateful for every single day. When there’s a list a mile long of things that go wrong, find the tiniest thing in your life that is right. Own that positive part of your life, and have gratitude for it.
  • Make things happen for yourself. Is the Universe not giving you what you want right now? Act as if it is and make things happen! Create small, meaningful joys in your life, things that you can look forward to, that will help lift you up in times of struggle.
  • Find your own practice of physical and mental health. Get your body moving in a way that feels good to move. Let your mind be still so you can find clarity in your thoughts. Discover your practice, master it, and make it your new best friend.
  • Practice self-care daily. Honor yourself every single day. Get in touch with your needs and make it your priority to make sure those needs are met on a daily basis.
  • Cultivate meaningful, supportive, relationships. This is a piece I know is challenging for many, myself included. We are all on the quest for our “tribe”, those people that we can rely on, feel safe with, and trust unconditionally. If you don’t have that at the moment, set out an intention to bring that into your life. Be that best friend that you so desire, so that you can attract the like-minded people you crave.
  • Know that you are loved. The ego mind likes to tell us that we don’t matter, especially in a depressive state. Don’t allow those thoughts to come into your psyche. Even if it seems like the whole world hates you, I promise you, there is at least one person who absolutely needs you in this world…remember that.
  • Seek outside support whenever necessary. You can follow steps one through six and still feel totally blue, and in that case it’s necessary, acceptable, and vital to seek help. There is no weakness in asking for help. I am indebted to the people in my life who have helped me throughout the years, and so if you feel completely bogged down; find those resources that will be there for you unconditionally.

I hope these thoughts can shed a bit of light on a dark subject. Life is meant to be joyful, but we also need to recognize that there is work to be done to move past troubling times. I look forward to connecting with you in the comments below, I’m always here as a support or friend for all of you!

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK

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