Depression is a highly unpleasant state to be in. If you’ve ever been depressed before, you know that you lose interest in everything you do. Activities and hobbies that bring you joy and happiness no longer satisfy you. Likewise, there is a surging emptiness within you sucking up all life, causing fatigue and lack of energy.
We all know the symptoms of depression. Many of us went through it. It varies in frequency and intensity from one person to another. To be honest with you, I believe that depression is a normal part of life. You can learn a lot about yourself when you are depressed. However, many people are incapable of this because their emotion becomes who they are.
If you can’t discern your emotion from who you are, then it is very easy to be taken for a ride. You don’t know what is going on because at some point you have allowed the external situation to control how you should think. This means that on a certain level, your brain is on autopilot. You are thinking accidentally without your consent.
So what does this have to do with depression? Well, depression, in a sense, is an emotion. It is very easy to let depression control your life. You can do this by simply paying attention to the negative circumstances in your reality.
In truth, it is only your attention in the direction of what you don’t want that causes depression. Negative situations and circumstances can only induce depression when you focus your attention on them. If you take away your attention, then your negative circumstances have no effect on you.
For example, if you are chronically depressed, you are already experiencing what you don’t want at this very moment. Nothing needs to happen right now for you to feel despair and hopelessness. All you need to do is simply notice what you are already receiving.
This is why depression is a trap. Once you get to the level where you are experiencing what you don’t want, and you keep paying attention to the fact that you are experiencing what you don’t want, your depression becomes self-sustaining. The depression reinforces itself and doesn’t go away.
If you truly want to break out of this destructive cycle, then acceptance is a good starting point.
Accept Where You Are
Depression takes a lot of hard work. It takes serious hard work for you to reach the point where you are chronically depressed. First, you have to destroy your spirit. Next, you have to cripple your confidence. Then, you have to sabotage the body’s resiliency to bounce back from adversity. Finally, you arrive at the point where you can be depressed!
All joking aside, it is true that depression takes time and hard work. You have to understand that people don’t choose to be depressed all of a sudden. It takes chronic reaction and action to reinforce depression so that it could stay in your system for long.
The negative circumstances in your life could be family drama, relationship issues, financial debt, deteriorating health, or whatever. There are countless things that can make you upset, just as there are countless things that can make you happy.
If you spend days, months, or years thinking about your negative circumstances, then it is certain that depression would be the number one quality of yours. There is no contest. However, if you spend days, months, or years on thinking positive thoughts, then you’ll be floating on cloud nine right now.
You have to understand this. Depression is your own undoing. You make yourself depress. No one else can. If you firmly believe that it is someone else who makes you depress, then I’ll tell you to look again. It is your reaction to other people or situation that makes you depressed. It is your continued reaction in the same direction that keeps you depressed. And it only you who can decide whether or not you want to stay in that state.
As I said earlier, acceptance is a great starting point in moving beyond depression. You see, depression takes effort to build up. So it is a no brainer that happiness takes effort to build up. You have to invest in yourself.
The point of acceptance is to stop reacting to depression. When you accept that you are depressed, you no longer resist it. It’s true that you would still be depressed, but there would no longer be an extra layer of depression because you are no longer fighting it. Remember, whatever you resist, persist. If you want to move yourself away from this state of unpleasantness, then you must accept that this is your current state.
If you can accept depression as your current state and you truly want to move out of it, you will find a way out. You will look for support from others. You will seek help. You will use your mental faculties and imaginations to visualize what you want. You can change the way you look at the world. All of these are possibilities.
No one in the world can help you if you aren’t willing to help yourself. This is true on many levels because if you aren’t willing to help yourself, no amount of help can get you out of depression. Instead, you will interpret other people’s good will as resistance to you.
When you are depressed, negative thoughts and emotions are prevalent in your system. Your views are greatly distorted, so situations are misinterpreted. Someone wants to help you, but you take it as an attack on your character. Someone refuses your company because he has something important to do, but you assume that he hates and loathes you. These are all potential reactions.
When you accept that you are depressed, your mind can finally rest and take a break. The reason this is so is because when you are depressed, you are actually expending a lot of mental energy resisting reality. There’s a constant internal struggle and the struggle consumes a lot of your energy. Depression drains your energy, so you always feel tired and unmotivated.
If you can accept your situation, you can finally forgive yourself. You realize that you had no control over what you were thinking. There was no need to resist reality. Reality is as it is. It cannot be otherwise. There’s no need to fight what is. If you do so, then you are fighting a battle you can never win. It’s simply better and far more intelligent to expend your mental energies elsewhere. If you can do this one step, then depression will no longer have its grip over you.
Improving Your Situation
So how does accepting depression and removing your attention from negative circumstances actually help in improving your situation? Well, the results are simple.
We all know that depression and negative emotions are disempowering. We also know that positive emotions are empowering. When you are depressed, you dwell on your problems. You don’t care about solutions or at the very least don’t think it is more important than your problems. You just want to complain and whine about your situation.
Tell me, have you ever seen a depressed individual tackle his problems more effectively than someone who is happy? A depressed person thinks of problems as a stumbling block. A happy person thinks of the exact problems as a stepping stone. The only difference, as you may have guessed, is the way we perceive things.
If you overcome your depression, your situations will improve. There is no argument. If you feel better, you’ll be more motivated to tackle your problems. Your situations will improve in some ways because now you are actively seeking for solutions. Even if you did absolutely nothing, your situations will still improve.
The reason this is so is because you have worked on your inner reality. You’ve changed the way you perceive things, so negative situations just no longer have their effects on you. When this happens, everything that was such a big deal to you becomes no big deal.
Reaching what I described above requires a certain level of awareness and consciousness. If you are unable to do that, that is fine. Just take things slowly, one step at a time.
You are not going anywhere and situations will be whatever they are. If you unconsciously and unintentionally took the time and effort to make yourself miserable, then surely you can do the opposite. Take the time and effort to build up your inner reality. It’s worth the effort no matter how long it takes.