Depression is a form of suffering that typically is referred to as a type of mental illness.
The reality is that depression is a state of helplessness created by self-doubt, focusing too much on ourselves, low self-esteem, low confidence, and becoming a victim of life’s circumstances.
Let’s begin with describing what happiness is.
We are happy when our life conditions match our blueprint which is basically our expectations of how things should be. So, when our life conditions do not match our expectations, we are unhappy.
If we are unhappy, we are faced with three options:
- We can blame events, others, or ourselves.
- We can change our life conditions.
- We can change our expectations.
We sufferwhen our life conditions don’t match our blueprint AND we feel helplessto do anything about it.
So how do we get in these states anyway?
We can typically get on these states when:
- We lower our standards.
- We create a story.
- We get in our head.
- We get tired of life.
- We stop trying to accomplish more.
- We are afraid of failure or change.
- We believe like the world is against us.
- We focus too much on everything that is wrong and fail to see what is great.
- We stop making progress.
- We fail many times in a row.
- We are shocked by a life event.
- We lose hunger to create and become complacent with how life is.
- We lose passion and control of our lives.
- Among many others.
All of these behaviors are choices that we can control.
The first story we like to tell ourselves is that we don’t have any control.
To eliminate depression or suffering, we need to stop focusing in ourselves and focus on something outside ourselves.
For example, helping those in need will give you a different perspective, it will make you grateful for what you have in your life, and it will give you a mission beyond yourself that will keep you motivated to wake up every day with purpose and meaning.
There are many other ways to make this happen: follow a dream, a hobby, a passion, get away from the environment, go on an adventure, do something that makes you feel alive, get to know people who has gone through the same conditions and you will find out that maybe your issues are not so severe as you think and you can support each other through this process.
It also helps to understand how is it possible that people with far worse life conditions than yours are happy and fulfilled? How do they do it? Get perspective and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Change your state:
First your physiology (run, walk, have a power talk, exercise, organize your home, swim, take a cold shower, whatever it takes).
Second your focus (direct all your thoughts and attention to what you can be grateful for, create a better story, examine those individuals that you would like to model, design a new you).
Third your language (this means break the story in your head and think at the level of your heart, what is great about this situation, what can you learn, change the words that you use, re-frame the story, identify what doesn’t empower you and replace it with what does)
Depression is not something that happens to us, it is a state that we allow ourselves to be in. The essential solution is to break the pattern by defining the problem in solvable terms and taking control for our lives.
If you feel taking control and responsibility for your life is difficult, recognize your short comings and seek support from a coach that can help you push yourself beyond your current limits.
Taking responsibility means you do something now and not just stand by and watch as you get overwhelmed by problems you can’t solve on your own. The problem is never about a lack of resources but about how resourceful you can be.