In many cases, gratitude is the most overlooked thing in the world. People are too busy, or they just forget how fortunate they really are. They can’t see beyond their “bad” circumstances or “bad luck” - they only see the glass half empty. I get like that sometimes, and when it starts knocking me down a few notches, I have to be reminded of what I do have, not what I don’t have. Just like focusing too much on the past or too much on the future, we forget the most important thing: the present. It’s human nature and once we give into that little whiney voice in our heads, “I want I want I want”, then maybe we can truly see what’s in front of us right now. Materialistic things won’t change who we are or get someone out of a depression.
I find for myself, whenever I get into a depressive state or just not feeling ‘myself’, I do these breathing exercises that really help me. Usually, relaxation techniques like these help anxiety, but just picture depression as “anxiety without the energy” -because that’s exactly what it is. The worry from the anxiety has lost hope, leaving us to feel depressed. That’s why so many doctors and psychiatrists recommend antidepressants for people with anxiety. They both go hand-in-hand, although I personally don’t believe in medications such as antidepressants, but whatever works, right?
“Worry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” ~Erma Bombeck
Believe me, I’m still taking this advice myself. How can you not worry? I tried figuring that out for a long, long time. I’m starting to realize that the things we worry about the most are the things that rarely happen. Even if you have the most hectic schedule in the world, take at least 20 minutes before you get ready for work and just meditate (pray if you’re a believer) and do these breathing relaxation techniques every. single. morning. List ten things that you’re grateful for in your life and really focus on them - what you have “now”, what you enjoy doing “now”, what’s right in front of you “now”. When you’re grateful for the little things in your life, like a good cup of coffee in the morning, a beautiful rainstorm or even just a walk outside, you’ll realize you’ll be super excited about the bigger things that will come your way. You’ll begin to notice the small blessings that God puts in your life instead of taking them for granted, which I find I do often.
This may sound dreary, but time alone, by yourself, can be the key to figuring out the mess inside your head. Some say it’s not good to be alone if you’re feeling down, but I say you first have to be alone to figure it out before you can be around anybody else. Doesn’t that make more sense? And I don’t mean shut all your blinds and sit in the dark all day listening to sad songs----go outside and walk if it’s nice out, sit by a lake and just ‘think’ or write it all out---even if you’re not a “writer”. Make a private journal for yourself and see your progress. You can flip back and see what’s really brewing underneath. Another helpful thing I did in my life was eliminate toxic people who seemed to really bring me down. I said my goodbyes to a few people who made me feel less than perfect, in fact, made me feel belittled and awful about myself. Forgive them, forget what they did and just move on.
I’m only speaking from my own experience of what helps me. Maybe you know different techniques that you can share with me. I still go through my own turmoils, but I expect and I ‘will’ handle them better the next time around.