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Feeling Depressed? Here Are a Few Things You Can Do

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Do you have knots in your stomach? Do you feel the sinking of your heart? Do you get negative thoughts in your mind frequently? Do you get suicidal tendencies? Then you are under depression.  Depression is a major challenge globally leading to deaths and suicides. People are unable to cope with it and express it with others when they are under depression. Even eminent celebrities have depression leading to suicides.

Depression is a state of mind. It is a momentary mental disorder. It involves negative self-talk thus draining energy and enthusiasm. There is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is for a short period while depression is for a long period. Sadness is a momentary feeling while depression is a negative feeling which is recurrent and beyond human control. Hence, depression can be defined as an extension of sadness. It is an unchecked stage of sadness where people recurrently think about their unpleasant past or experiences. Here are some symptoms of depression: feeling worthlessness and helplessness; doubting abilities, decreased energy levels, loss of interest in work, feeling irritation and isolation; eating disorders, and sleeping disorders to name a few. 

Causes of depression

Depression is adversely affecting millions of people globally. Most people don’t disclose for fear of losing their social status or being ostracized by society. They hesitate to unveil as people might be excessively sympathetic to them which is not appreciated by them. As a result, they suffer from depression silently.  

There are innumerable causes of depression. Here are some of them. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) are some of the major causes. Most people are comfortable with certainty. Hence, they remain in their comfort zone which doesn’t lead to human growth. When people are ambitious to grow, they encounter lots of challenges. They find it difficult to manage to lead to depression. 

Rapid growth in technologies is another reason responsible for depression. People have become slaves to technology. They don’t use it judiciously. When people compare with extraordinary achievers, they get into depression for their inability to grow. They hardly realize how much the extraordinary achievers have endured to come up to such a level.  It is also due to genetic reasons where the person gets depressed due to family history.

“You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.” ― David Mitchell

How to overcome depression?

There is nothing wrong with depression but failing to identify and take appropriate timely measures is wrong. Depression is a state of mind where people are confused with negative or unpleasant thoughts. If they take remedial action timely by converting their negative thoughts into positive thoughts they will be able to overcome depression. Here are some ways to overcome depression:  

  • Be confident and optimistic. Faith is the force of life. Hence, have faith in yourself. 
  • Don’t be oversensitive to problems because problems are part of life. 
  • Don’t feel shy to express your depression with others. Talk to friends and relatives to express your inner emotions and feelings.  
  • Don’t get into a vicious circle. Instead, associate with positive people. A person is judged by the way he or she makes friends and wears clothes. Hence, choose healthy friends and wear comfortable clothes to create positive vibes. 
  • Do things that make you upbeat and energetic. 
  • Set your goals and focus on them religiously. Break them into long-term and short-term goals. And break short-term goals further into daily goals and work on them regularly. It helps you stay focused on your goals thus avoiding depression. 
  • Spend some time with nature. 
  • Pursue creative hobbies. 
  • Prefer physical interaction to virtual interaction.   
  • Participate in social activities and group activities. Contribute through nonprofits to serve society during your leisure time. It gives you immense satisfaction and meaning to your life. 
  • Do meditation regularly to control your emotions and thoughts. Meditation controls your emotions and stabilizes your mind. 
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. 
  • Do breathing exercises every day. When you inhale and exhale deeply more oxygen goes to your mind thus relieving your tension and anxiety.
  • Exposé yourself to sunlight every day for some time. It gives you vitamin D and strengthens your bones.  
  • Give adequate rest to your mind by sleeping. 
  • Use technology judiciously. These days technology is essential to update and upgrade yourself. But don’t get addicted to technology. Make it as your servant but don’t become a servant to it. 
  • Don’t worry about failures as they are the stepping stones to your next success. And don’t worry about the results as long as you have contributed your best. 
  • Don’t compare with other achievers. For some people, success comes early and for some people, success comes late. Success is sure to come when you work hard and put your efforts relentlessly. You are a unique person and a God’s gift to this world. Hence, don’t compare with others. 
  • Develop a positive attitude toward facing challenges. Accept the fact that many things are beyond human control. Hence, there is no point in being overly concerned about the factors that cannot be controlled. Accept the fact that everything takes its own time to resolve. Only when the time comes, certain problems can be resolved. Until then, focus on your productive and creative activities. 
  • Develop the attitude of gratitude. Thank the people who helped you and laid the ladder for your success. 
  • Have a big heart to forgive others. Revenge ruins your life while forgiveness elevates your moods in life and makes you taller in the world. 
  • Avoid workaholism and wed spiritualism. 
  • Ensure work-life balance.  
  • Follow the philosophy of health first, education second, and wealth third. 
  • Consult a professional mental health practitioner, if you think that it is difficult for you to handle, and if you get suicidal tendencies frequently. 

A strong family connection is a key to the success of great people. Family stands by you during your trials and tribulations by giving you emotional support. Technology cannot replace the power of family relations. Technology gives you temporary excitement but your family gives you permanent peace and happiness. Additionally, an empty mind is like a devil’s workshop. Hence, engage your mind productively on your passionate tasks. It helps you overcome depression and gives you productive results. 

Depressed people need a shoulder to cry on. If you come across someone who is depressed, spend some time with them. Lend your ears. Use humor carefully. 

Health first, education second, and wealth third

People often give wrong priorities leading to several challenges. They must learn to balance their personal, professional, and social life to provide meaning to their lives. In my personal life, I emphasize health first, education second, and wealth third. Only when you are healthy you will be able to acquire education. When you have both health and education, you can acquire wealth easily. 

Life is full of highs and lows. Every fall has a rise and every rise has a fall. Understand this fact and lead a balanced life. Don’t get dejected by failures and don’t get overjoyed by successes. Handle depression with a cool, calm, and composed mind. To summarize, depression is a curable temporary mental disorder. You can overcome it easily by identifying and taking appropriate timely remedial measures. To conclude, improve your attitude toward your life to overcome depression to lead a happy and pleasant life.  

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: https://www.amazon.com/See-Light-You-Spiritual-Mindfulness/dp/1949003132. He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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