To be human is to have the capacity to express all types of emotions. I’ve come to realize the following:
- It’s okay to be sad or depressed. I’m inclined to believe everyone is a little bit sad. You cannot see what lies ahead of you and on some days, something tragic or terrible happens. Everyone will be affected by depression at some point of their lives. No one is immune to sadness. One in four people suffer from depression in some form. Struggling with depression and feeling at your lowest of lows is just another part of life. It doesn’t mean you’re broken and there’s no quick and easy solution. Whether it lasts a day, a month, or years depends how you deal with it.
If anything, being sad humanizes you. Being able to feel sadness means you are just has human as the person next to you. It’s a normal human emotion that’s part of life. There are some, like my best friend who chooses to numb all his feelings with drugs and alcohol. That’s no way to live and likely makes the road to recovery that much more difficult. Being aware of your behaviors makes all the difference. I recall one time, while he went through a very hard break up, he essentially drown out his sorrows with alcohol. He went as far as to trash his place — even with his mom home. You can say he didn’t take it so well and I don’t blame him. I (meaning we) should have not let him have alcohol.
What Helps With Depression
- Talk About It: I do this all the time with my group of friends. Being able to vent out my frustrations with the world gives me a brief, but satisfying feeling of relief. Does it completely remove all my lingering negative thoughts? No, never. It’s not easy opening up to someone, even if you’re close to them. You have to willingly open up and it shouldn’t be forced. It’s worlds better than keeping to myself and having the same thoughts on repeat all day. Your greatest enemy is your own mind. For days I don’t feel talkative, writing makes a difference too. I only publish 1/3rd of all the things I write about, but putting words on paper is another avenue to help with sad thoughts.
- Good Habits: I’ve noticed good healthy habits are essential to a happy life. Smoking and drinking feels great, but the health risks outweighs any momentary feelings of sedation.
1) Exercise is important and is often my way of distracting myself from intrusive thoughts. After every run, my mind is clear and it’s incredibly satisfying to know I got a few miles in. Runner’s high comes is real and it’s well-worth it.
2) Eating right: Reduce your sugar intake, reliance on processed foods, caffeine, and switch to food made of real ingredients. There’s that saying “You are what you eat” and it’s true. People with a high sugar intake are more prone to depression. Switch to fruits or vegetables for the road to recovery. My friend suggested I completely stop eating out to see if it helps with my mood and my God — it did work.
3) Positivity: I like to think my optimistic view of the world helps a great deal. My one friend is the definition of a Debbie-downer, so I stopped talking to him for a couple weeks. Bad news and people who can’t see the bright side negatively affects you. Take a break from all the terrible things the news or internet tells you everyday and focus on yourself. That’s not to say I think every day will be a good day. Perspective is everything and you shouldn’t go about your day blindly.
4) Laughter is good for the soul. Whether it’s a video of someone falling over or the hundreds of mini pig videos I have bookmarked, find something that brings you joy. Spend time with someone who makes you laugh and watch your favorite funny movie. Everyone needs a good laugh even if you’re not depressed.
5) Enjoyment: Do something you enjoy. For me it’s running, reading, and watching old black and white films. My hobbies are niche — if you consider stocks and investment tips niche. Taking walks around my favorite city costs nothing, but I find it incredibly relaxing. Some days I take photos of any interesting subjects or scenery I see and go back to them to marvel at the natural beauty around us.
Getting out of bed some days is a monumental challenge. Whether is going to a job you cannot stand or the dread you feel in having to put up a smile for everyone, get out of bed. You can either dwell on your thoughts and be a prisoner of your own domain or go outside and experience the world around you. With enough time, sadness fades. It may not be gone completely or perhaps make a return in the future, but three things are certain. Everyday, the sun rises and sets, and with every month, there’s a full moon to gaze up at.
Everyone will suffer. Everyone will be sad. Happiness is illusive. The road to feeling better is met with bumps and cracks, but don’t never give. Hope is within reach and never think otherwise. You’re not invincible and can be quite vulnerable, but there are friends and family who care about you who’ll lend a helping hand.