How to Beat Depression: My personal journey of the way out
So many people spend years or even most of their lives struggling with depression. The truth is we can overcome problems like these. We can learn tools that in 10 to 30 minutes will transform how we feel and help us to truly overcome depression.
One of the #1 reasons people are experiencing depression, even in a lot of cases where they are told it is 'clinical' depression, is that they are disconnected with their true self. Over time, this disconnection becomes more and more painful and the individual floats further and further away from who they truly are, further fuelling the cycle of depression.
I too went on a journey with depression once. The reason I am writing about it now is because I found a way out - for good - of the black downward spiral that so many get trapped in. Unfortunately, many fall so deep into the trap that for a time, they cannot receive the inspiration that will empower them to take that first action toward seeking help. If you are reading this article, then you are ready for the next step out. You are ready to take a step forward, I am excited for you :).
When I had depression, I didn't understand why. I just knew I felt depressed. I felt little motivation, clarity, or enthusiasm for life. I'd go down into that spiral, come back up, go down again . . . I went down enough that experiencing depression had a very negative effect on my entire life. I couldn't make decisions on a job to take and when I had one, I would quickly leave it. I would meet someone I really liked and when they saw this depressed side of me, they were out the door for good. I moved homes a lot, constantly uprooting myself until eventually I wasn't even excited about the home I lived in. I was at a time in my life that could have been so exciting - I was young, I had just graduated from a great school with a double major . . . I could have been establishing a career, learning new things, continuing my education, making money . . . yet I rarely had the inspiration and focus to do so. Depression does not fuel creativity. For many years I easily made art at any moment but with depression, I did not make art, even though someone had commissioned me to do a painting. Even though a piece of art I'd placed in a gallery was written about and the gallery owner requested I expand on the piece, by making 9 more, and putting them back in the gallery - an amazing chance for a beginning artist - I quit the project midway through.
When we don't know why we are depressed, the depression has the power. We give it all the power. The power to sabotage our life, the power to dictate all of our choices. So how did I get out? How did I take the reigns of my destiny back after giving it over to a black hole?
The way out all started with one small step. Each small step I took toward doing something that connected me to my true self also connected me to inspiration. These steps included a weekly yoga class, which led to attending a talk about a book on spirituality and then reading that book, which led to starting a weekly ballet class, which led to learning about medicinal cooking and starting to care for myself with food . . . Inspiration is the other side of the coin and eventually, I completely flipped the coin so that instead of looking at depression, I was looking at inspiration. This inspiration was possible because I took one step and then another. And each step connected me more to my true self. Our true self is always connected to inspiration and with this core connection, depression just dissolves - it simply cannot exist in these moments. Eventually, as I continued to take more and more steps, these moments came closer together, as I also became more connected within myself, and suddenly, I was simply inspired. Depression was a faint memory.
If you have experienced trauma in your life, your depression is likely connected to this experience. Be aware that you will likely need a body-mind therapy to help you overcome the power the memory currently has. Talk therapy alone is not known to produce results for overcoming trauma.
If you look at my small steps, they all incorporated a form of self care, and I know that the ways that dance provides joyful exercise, the way that yoga changes the body's inner and outer composition, and the way that a spiritual talk and book forms new pathways of thinking, all took an integral part in providing a link; where each time I connected more to the core of my being which held the spark of inspiration. Today, I continue to do amazing practices that spark joy, inspiration, and vitality. After exploring yoga for some time, I really connected with Qi Gong which is one place you can start. How about the Inner Smile practice? I can teach you this and I also have an audio for it: Inner Smile Meditation
What small step can you take today? Please share it with me in the comments below.