They say that people who laugh easily at the silliest of jokes are the most depressed. It’s because we use laughing as a way to cope whenever things aren’t going well. When we’re depressed, it’s difficult to get up and do things. Depression is a grave version of sadness. It is sad in the fall. It affects millions of people worldwide and is, therefore, a serious matter that we can, fortunately, deal with. Here are some of the best Strategies to Fight Off Darkness and Depression.
Being Sad, Being Depressed, and “Depression”
Depression is a clinical term. Being “sad” is natural. Sadness is a known human emotion similar to the expression “I’m feeling depressed,” or we described someone as “being depressed.” The term “depression,” however, is a diagnosis. A biochemical change in the brain causes it. When something isn’t balanced in our neural hormones, it affects how we feel, making a person feel deep despair and see a black hole in life. When you’re sad, you can still laugh after the moment that had caused you to feel sad had happened. The feelings of sadness or being depressed about a particular thing would fade away through time, whereas being diagnosed with acute depression is more serious and considered an illness, not an emotion. The cause of what you’re being depressed about affects all areas of your life. When you’re sad, you know that things will be alright eventually as you know you can do something about it instead of being depressed and further “depression,” you feel doomed.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Suicidal thoughts – “I want to die.”
- Feeling restless – “I don’t have time for myself.”
- Feeling worthless – “I am a nobody, I am useless, I am unfortunate.”
- Feeling guilty – “I want people to be free from me.”
- Feeling hopeless – “The future is bleak. There is literally nothing left for me.”
- Sluggish and low in energy – “I’m so tired.”
- Have difficulty focusing or thinking clearly – “I am fine. I am rapturous. Leave me alone.”
- Weight fluctuation – “My diet habits are chaotic.”
Causes of Depression
When our chemical system affects us, there are many reasons why that change of chemicals occurs. It can be genetics or anything out of the blue. There are external risk factors that can trigger and affect the way we feel. It can be a divorce that seems world-shattering. It can be the loss of something genuine for you. It can be true worries about the future. It can be feeling lost in your career or direction in life. It can be because we suffer from low-self esteem or too much stress. It can be conflicts with other people that are causing the vexation. Or something that even goes way back in childhood. It can be a lack of acceptance or feeling neglected. Traumatic events or things in the present that we feel we cannot correct.
Depression and Purpose
People who find themselves in a lack of purpose are at a higher risk of falling into depression. The purpose is linked with happiness, whether that’d be to provide for your family, having a good cause for Earth, living a successful life, maintaining meaningful relationships with others, go traveling to other places, etc. We need to seek, if not, remember what our purpose is and our goals. Having a purpose in life is said to be a strong fighter against depression.
What are tunnel vision and its relation with depression?
Tunnel vision is seeing life from a narrow-minded perspective. All you see is yourself and what your sole purpose could only be. We may also fall into slight depression when we only focus on one thing. But as a person and our life on this planet, we don’t only have one purpose. We have a wide array of dreams and visions that we see for ourselves. “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” they’d say, but it’s not just a dark tunnel; it is actually a beautiful and wide landscape that we walk on where along the journey, we pass sights that we can have a response to or not. Our purpose as human being is to live a good life. How? Don’t lose your sight.
Worst strategies to deal with depression:
- Overeating or not eating
- Doing drugs or leaning onto drugs
- Drown in alcohol or other sugary drinks
- Spending money mindlessly
- Excessive working
- Making others feel bad
- Deciding never to go out of bed
Best strategies to deal with depression:
- Realize your depression.
Depression is not that easy to spot. There will be others who deny that they are depressed. Others do not realize that they are actually depressed because they don’t know why or what’s causing their depression.
You can try to read a lot about the illness and the healthy ways in which you can do to cope if you indeed feel that you are, in a way, depressed. Realizing your depression is the first step to treating it, as you may ask yourself why you’re feeling this way and therefore seek professional help or treatment.
- Pinpoint the reason why you’re depressed.
It is difficult for us to explain our depression because most of us are usually afraid of being vulnerable. It is essential to figure out the possible reason we’re depressed first to talk about it further and more clearly with your doctor or anyone who can cheer you up, like a close friend or a family member.
It’s normal, to be honest with yourself and what you’ve been through.
- Be mindful that even the people you hate and envy have their own struggles.
We will feel that we are inadequate sometimes or feel rather angered by everything. And yet, it’s not the end of the world. We are all basically having a tough time. There are things we don’t know about others. You still got yourself and what matters is that you pick yourself up by the bootstrap because you need to keep going in time.
- Believe in yourself.
It sounds very cheesy and even aggravating, but it is true. Despite being born with some inauspicious fortune, the reason why you’re in this state doesn’t mean that you are defective in some way and that there is no better tomorrow for you. There are ways in which we can turn our lives around. There are ways in which we can live a life where our potential is utilized. To realize is a step-by-step process.
- Change your habits.
- Get enough sleep.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, take a break from too much fast food. We find that our mood is better when we get enough sleep. We feel better because our bodies are not tired from dehydration. We feel bad if we eat too much junk food. We feel better and lighter if we stuff ourselves with clean greens, fruits, and other whole instead.
- Learn more about developing and promoting good habits.
- Wake up early to see the sunrise.
- Stop ruminating about “the past”
So they, and now you have made a mistake. Now what? We learn from our actions instead of moping about the past. We can’t change the past. We got the present to work on it. Why keep focusing and depressing about the past? Instead, decide to make a good choice this time by finding ways to improve and follow the right path or strategy to overcome life’s difficulties.
- Set yourself small goals.
Even just tidying up your room will make you feel better. If we have the will to get up and take the trash can out, it will make us feel a lot better.
- Accomplish something.
When we’ve accomplished something such as a difficult task, we get a boost in our self-esteem and help us get it altogether more easily. We do not want to ruin ourselves further if we believe that we are not in any way useless. You will observe that Beth Harmon from Queen’s Gambit didn’t get stuck in her depression. She had a purpose and recognized that she is good at something despite knowing that she needs more training to attain her main goal.
- Take a break from social media or smartphone use.
Spending too much time on social media or staring at our smartphones all the time can make us feel wasted. Not only does it give us a headache, but it increases our risk of falling into depression. Social media is filled with many stuff that we don’t know whether it’s right or healthy for us. We may hear or even dangerously follow a lot of noise. We may compare our lives with others or get influenced by the wrong people.
- Get up and give yourself a power stretch.
Just get up and do a big stretch. I’m not asking you to become a yogi or that you should do cardio right now. However, I do highly recommend that you start exercising more constructively. It will make you less tired and more energized because your body feels right. It will strengthen your body. There are a lot of workout and stretching videos out there that are free. We take our pick.
- Reduce the stress. Do not put too much pressure on yourself.
A lot of things can cause stress—noise, clutter, additional dreadful work. We feel good when the load is off our shoulders. So get it all done at your pace so you can relax. Manage your workload, do not bite off more than you can chew. Clean the surroundings to reduce stress. Massage the part of your body that’s been sore or aching. Put on clean, fresh clothes and put on clean sheets.
- Spend time with nature.
Try to head out for a breath of fresh air. You’ll feel better. It’s essential to know that being with mother nature is invaluably remedial. It may be one of those things that we end up neglecting because of too many crazy thoughts that spin in our heads. Those thoughts need to take a break, and you need to calm down.
- Be uplifted and inspired by your friends and idols. Just do what you want to do at your pace.
Your friends are also superstars who do their best to win the struggle of life, and they do care about your well-being. They don’t want you hiding things. Even if you feel alone at this hard time, remind yourself that you will not let the bad things haunt you and take over you. You have the ability to make good decisions. You can decide to uplift yourself by watching David Firth animations or The Try Guys show. You can watch music videos of your idols. You can listen to your favorite playlist, play relaxing video games, or spend time with the people who genuinely motivate and cheer you up.
Remind yourself that you are loved and are lucky to be alive. You’re in the present moment, it may be dark for now but the Sun will still rise tomorrow.
- Remind yourself of all the things you want and think about how you’re going to get them.
This will give us a bit of motivation as to why we need to cheer ourselves rather than continue to mope. Look back into your vision board and the things you would want to acquire or achieve. Or that idea that has always been in your mind but you weren’t able to do yet. There’s a good practical solution to everything; it’s not hopeless.
- See a good doctor who you consider your friend.
A therapist or coach will help you think outside the box. They will help you cope and elaborate on the source of your depression. They will listen to what you’re going through and help you figure out the practical steps or solutions to alleviate your problem in baby steps.
- Remind yourself of the things that you love that you have right now that you’re truly grateful for.
Reflect on the things that you are grateful for. Sure, it may not completely reverse your depression, but it will remind us of what’s in front of us and what we need to do to preserve the things that matter the most, like love, money, friendship, health, and the people in our life that we bear to love.
- Remember that this is all progress.
Let’s face it. This is a life wherein we all have to be compelled to improve and adapt, fill in the holes where we lacked knowledge. It’s not to be who you’re not, but rather it is to be a better you by “being” a person, pretending to be happy or feeling empty for a very long time.
We know we can’t snap ourselves out of the heavy feeling of depression, but we can console ourselves. We can heal for the sake of ourselves.
- Express your emotions through art or skill.
You can dance, you can play the piano, you can bake a cake, you can write a novel, you can take a swim or visit the craft store, you can watch a movie that’s aligned with how you feel, you can design t-shirts, you can play chess, you can make comic strips about your life, you can adore pins on Pinterest, you can develop your dream wardrobe, or express yourself through fashion, express how you feel through photography or painting.
- Let’s make the world a happy place.
It’s difficult to accept the world’s imperfection and possibly our lives, but there isn’t much that we can really do to change everything. The world is as it is. In time, we will learn to understand and gratefully accept the imperfection and flaws as ‘beauty,’ or the phenomena that we call ‘reality.’ We are all working towards a better world for all.
Human beings’ perplexity and chaos will be here to stay; it is how things came to be at this point but do note that you can strive to make the world a better place like your heroes or role models. You are your own hero who’s a hero for others. Your efforts are a source of light. Try not to take life too seriously; put a genuine smile on your face. Live your best life.