How your mind tricks you into feeling Depressed!
‘I am depressed’- this has become one of the most widely used millennial phrase and it just got me thinking of how people have been misusing the depth of this grave disease only to exaggerate their current state of sadness.
I came across this very interesting TEDx Talk by Sarah Liberti a couple of days ago and you will be surprised how 8 out of 10 of us are casually suicidal when we talk about our day-to-day lives. This is really alarming!
Previously, we lived in a world where the society did not understand the seriousness of mental illness, and now with the overload of information, we have just become insensitive to the actual state of being depressed.
“It is just a Bad Day… Not a Bad Life!”
No body told you that life is going to be only about sunshine and rainbows. On some days the clouds get dark and the storm sets in.. but that does not mean that you start to lose your mind on it. Often, the mind tricks you into thinking that you are depressed. But in reality, you are just going through a phase where your mind is ‘figuring out’ the next step.
Yes, you may have days when you wake up with anxiety, some days you feel like just curling up inside a blanket and not doing anything. It is exactly during these times that the daemons inside your head trick you into believing that you no longer have it in you to be brave and face things. This is exactly the moment when your mind is plotting against you and waiting for you to fall into its trap. Scary isn’t it?
So what do you do when life is not the scenery you thought it would be?
- Be mindful of your vocabulary
The very first step is to pay attention to the words you use to describe your current situation or state of mind. Don’t call your friend and say that you are ‘depressed’ just because you had a breakup or a bad week at work. It’s natural to feel sad but make a conscious effort to pay attention to your vocabulary. I am not going to give you a lecture of positive affirmations, but don’t feed your sadness with self pity.
2. Embrace your sadness head-on
Feeling sad is not a measure of weakness. Don’t shy away from your human instincts. It is natural to feel sad and overwhelmed when things don’t go as per plan and when life decides to surprise us in a not so pleasant way.. but here is what you can do — Accept it! The power of acceptance minimizes the effect of sadness over time and it slowly makes you believe that This too Shall Pass!
3. Do at least one thing that scares you everyday
Yes.. I used ‘scare’ instead of ‘motivate’. You are bound to feel anxious and probably even chicken-out at the last minute when you think of doing something that scares you, but trust me this will only empower you! There is nothing more exciting and fulfilling than the feeling of getting over your fears.
So, whether it is enrolling in acting class, or cycling in heavy traffic streets, or adopting a pet, just do one thing that scares you. You will no longer worry about failing or being judged and you will start to enjoy and cherish experiences!
4. Have a daily reward system for yourself
We all like some treats don’t we? And it becomes even more important to keep this reward system going when we are not in our finest of spirits (pun intended :)). Whether is involves a luxurious spa treatment, shopping or just binge -watching your favorite TV show, do it! You will slowly realize that these small acts of self-kindness instantly boosts the levels of dopamine and you start feeling happy and energized.
Having said all this, depression is real and it is definitely something you need to address in the long term. But don’t be so insensitive and trick yourself into believing that you are depressed when life doesn’t seem so high spirited!
Sit back and Be your own sunshine!
And if you still feel like you need some assurance that life is good.. then listen to what wise men have to say :)