If you are thinking how to deal with depression then you are not alone. Everyone around you is either struggling with depression or stress. Most of us don’t know how our mind works and we fall for our society and try to overcome anxiety with ineffective solutions. Depression can be dealt easily if you don’t pressurize yourself.
Debunking myths of Happiness
Getting rid of negative thoughts is must
Many people believe that – so to be happy you should get rid of all of your negative thoughts and feelings to deal with depression or anxiety. This is a common myth among the people. You can’t deal with all the thoughts crawling over your head. One can remove some of his/her thoughts but this is not the only solution to be happy in most of the cases.
We can control our feelings and thoughts fully
No. You don’t have a control over all of your thoughts and feelings. That’s not possible even for Zen Masters. If you start giving attention to negative thoughts you will be focusing on them forever, your mind creates thoughts continuously. There is no end to your thoughts and feelings and most of them are not true or vague in reality.
It is bad if one is not “happy”
Again not true. Because of our wrong beliefs on the happiness, the conclusion we make on our life, create hell lot of problems. If the foundation is bad how can one expect a building to be in good shape? Categorizing feelings into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ may give more trouble to deal with depression.
Happiness is natural for all
You might say “People I see daily are happy then if I’m sad how can you say that its not bad?”
The answer is people around you seem to be happy. But they also have same problems as of you. They hide it and only show their smiley face to the world. Majority of the people only show their best moments or sweet memories to the world but they hide their negative and boring life moments.
The meaning of happiness
If you go on asking people about the meaning of the ‘Happy Life’ you will run out of ink and paper. Everyone has their own perspective on the happiness. Most of them are partially true, so are their methods to deal with depression.
The illusion of control
So why do you think we have the ability to control our thoughts and feelings? If you look around you everything seems to be in control of the humans – electricity, traffic, electronic gadgets, company / organization, economy, animals and birds etc the list is never-ending. So it gives a feeling that we can control our feelings and emotions. But it’s not so. Yes, we can control some thoughts but most of them we cannot so if we try to, we may not overcome anxiety. Buildings, animals and birds etc are different entities (external) and our feelings and emotions are completely internal.
Are thoughts real?
That’s a fascinating question. It’s scientifically proven that our mind is a great story teller. Our brain is expert in creating it’s own fantasy world. If you observe it carefully most of them doesn’t make sense. Thoughts are just words crawling in your mind. The best example is thriller books – while reading a book you may notice we can ‘see’ or ‘hear’ characters and scenes. We feel like we are actually there in the spot observing the play. When a character gets into danger our heart beat starts to raise but we know that these are just words and are not true in reality even though we feel like it’s real and is currently happening somewhere in the world.
Why some solutions doesn’t work?
For example, if you are studying for your exams or preparing a project you might get frustrated and feel like doing some time-pass stuff. Then you may watch Television, play games, talk to your friends or even sleep – its completely okay. But if you do it excessively it may create problems for you. Excessive use of solutions may not help to overcome anxiety.
Using where it doesn’t work
Consider you are having an important exam next month. And you are anxious because you haven’t studied anything. To overcome that fear you start to study but you cannot concentrate so you decide to go out with your friends and they will tell you “dude nobody has started yet”. So this might relieve you from the tension but eventually it will not work.
How to deal with depression?
6 ACT techniques (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
- Thoughts are just words but when we come across any thought or feeling we believe it as true. Next time if any thought tries to throw you off just think – ‘I’m having a thought that …’. For example if you came across a thought like ‘I can’t do it’, think it as ‘I’m having a thought that I can’t do it’.
- Why horror movies are scary whereas it’s spoof movies are funny. Because that’s how it is presented. Turn your negative memories into something funny but don’t alter the story.
- Defusion is not a control strategy. In defusion you accept the thoughts rather than struggle from it. ‘Deal with depression’ doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to fight against it.
- Even if you cannot concentrate on your work check out this post – How To Avoid Distractions And Concentrate On Your Studies And Goals – for some distraction avoidance techniques.
It means accepting the reality rather than feeling terrible and wasting time and energy on negative thoughts. For example take stage-fear. It’s a common anxiety and even people who give public speeches, daily, experience it. But if you try to overcome anxiety you will fail and feel more miserable because you couldn’t control it. Thinking is very time and energy consuming process. If you try to think on a negative thought it will drag you more to the negative world and you will be bombarded with more painful thoughts and feelings. So why not use your precious time and energy onto something useful?
It’s connecting your senses to awareness to the present moment i.e. reality. This method is of related to observing rather than thinking. You observe each and every moment of reality. Connection is not about thinking on the thoughts. Thoughts are just words.
You are not thought, expression, feeling, emotion or images. They are part of you, they do not constitute who you are. Thoughts and feelings change continuously but ‘you’ is constant. Realize that and you will very easily deal with depression.
Defining your core values and goals can eliminate most of the unwanted thoughts and feelings. Values and goals are different. Goals have a destination like completing homework or earning or getting married. But values are never ending for example, I will reach my office early, I will be creative. Values are like compass which gives you a clear path to achieve your goals.
Stop procrastinating and take an effective action. With the values and goals and necessary resources you are ready to sail towards your goal. But always remember your journey is more important than the goal. That’s why we set core values in our life. We should lead a value-focused life rather than goal-focused life.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – MARK TWAIN