It’s been said that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Finding our purpose is what guide us and gives our life meaning. It is the antidote for harboring a depression that can often cripple us and become a stumbling block to our own well-being. Depression can also indicate an anger that we feel we do not have the right to have. A sense of hopelessness develops due to the inability to change past events or situations.
Aside from organic mood disorders, most depressions are situational due to a divorce, job loss, trauma, or other life event. We experience a behavioral shutdown that instinctively leads to avoidance and withdrawal. The constant negative filtering leads to self-doubt and an inertia that robs us of the ability to live our lives with purpose and conviction. Living in the past and nursing a loss or old wounds, feeling guilty about a hurt we’ve caused or a regret we still feel only serves to feed our despondency.
Remember there is no instant replay for past events! They are frozen in time. We can only control our current thoughts and commit to live in the now with purpose and intent.
So how do we break the cycle of depression and negativity so that we can move forward and enjoy a full life?
Recognize your own innate strength and power to overcome negative filters and live your life with purpose.
Accept the past, let it go, and commit to living in the here and now. You cannot change anything that already happened.
Limit exposure to negative media stories and news cycles.
Adopt a shelter pet.
Increase physical activity and exercise. Sit in the sun.
Practice your faith.
Find sources of social support.
Incorporate healthy coping skills to build resilience to life’s vagaries.
Keep your immune system strong with vitamin A, C, D, and Zinc.
Get a massage.
Play with a child.
Think beyond yourself! Reach out to a lonely person, volunteer, make time for relationships.
Explore mental health therapy to process negative life experiences. Join a support group.
Lastly, in order to counteract the constant mental negativity that defines depression, start the New Year 2024 with purpose. Fill an empty jar with notes about good things that happen. Then at the end of the year, empty the jar and reflect on all the positives that happened that year. Shifting your perception about life will go a long way in healing and balancing your emotional state of mind so that negative situations won’t have the power to control your life and how you live it. Use your depression as a stepping stone that affords you an opportunity to renew your life’s purpose with conviction and hope.
“I now go beyond my limited thinking to create my best life”
Irene C. Lebbad, MSW, LCSW
The Center for Intrapersonal Wellness, LLC