Depression forces you to look at aspects of your life that are not working for you.
Depression and confusion are the great decision-makers. They are there to get you in touch with what you want and do not want, the options of a potential situation. Look at them as a committee formed by you to debate the sides of an issue for you.
With confusion you might see a whirlwind of options wheeling into your life with no apparent answers – only questions. Instead of looking at the options as they are presented to you, you allow the options to inundate you and cloud the issue. Your thoughts go round and round, spinning all together in confusion that eventually covers your insights.
This way you can stay confused and not take any positive action. On the one hand you feel as if your life is “hopeless” (but you don’t know where specifically) and on the other hand so is not taking action to do anything about it (whatever that’s like, because you don’t seek out what to do either).
What you do is endlessly talk about the generalities and therefore the problem – putting all your energies there – into the problem. This way you can have more problems. So long as you remain confused, you can, of course, escape doing anything about it.
Eventually depression comes in to amplify your negative feelings and hopefully save you from feeling hopeless. Now you really see how difficult life can be! Now you also really see how you hate feeling alone and lack enthusiasm or energy. You can really feel these things and they make you more miserable.
Depression is forcing you to look at the aspects of your life that are not working for you. Now you are really confused and depressed. It is getting harder to evade a decision.
Confusion and depression are the great deciders. Let them help you decide what you want to do next – not reduce you to hopelessness.
Symptoms of Depression
- A persistent sad, anxious or “down” mood
- Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or weight gain
- Restlessness or irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment (such as headaches, chronic pain, or constipation and other digestive disorders)
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulty with concentration, decision-making or memory
- Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
- Thoughts of death or suicide
8 Ways to Alleviate Depression
- Engage in physical activity – of a type you have found enjoyable in the past. Physical activity boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, and has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants. Exercise to great music.
- Get together with friends and family – people who support you. Positive people who can help with your well-being. Focus on building new friendships with people, accept invitations.
- Pet an animal or two – this boosts levels of the feel-good hormone Oxycontin and decreases levels of stress hormones.
- Don’t let feelings of hurt and anger smolder inside – learn to express them appropriately. If you don’t know how to do this, let a counselor help you, they can and want to help.
- Take some risks – reach out for new experiences and relationships you need if you are to be happier. Watch how often such risk-taking brings you the things you had hoped would occur by chance.
- Don’t forget to laugh and don’t be afraid to cry – laughing relaxes and comforts against chronic stress, it helps regulate your autonomic nervous system. Crying is cleansing, it helps you release negative baggage and improve your mood.
- Notice gratitude at the end of each day – look back and find “what went well”. Reflect on them as you write in a journal.
- Set good intentions at the beginning of each day – spend time in prayer, spiritual practices, or meditation to anchor your day, as many studies have shown this improves mental health.
I’d love to hear from you! What are two ways you can alleviate your depression that are not on the list?
Other insights or stories you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below.