Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stay Positive, Avoid Depression, Be Fearless

I don't know about you but going through life without having major bouts of depression, doubt and fear about our lives and our futures is impossible. In fact I admit that depression is one of my biggest struggles. Whatever it truly is I have refused to treat it with any sort of medication as I strongly believe that pharmaceuticals only numb the pain, they don't heal it. While there are days that I can't get out of bed, and days that I wonder why I even bother to a point that, yes, I have contemplated what it would be like to simply move on to the next adventure, the better days always prove to me that there is a reason to fight those dark thoughts. And the only way to have better days is to make better days yourself. You and you alone are in control of what you feel and how you let outside circumstances affect you. I also understand that there is no absolute cure for sad feelings, there will always be rough days but it's how you come out of those days that can influence your entire life.

Here's a list of ways that I stay positive and avoid depression that can be so crippling to my life.

Be proactive about LIVING - Figure out even the smallest things that bring you joy and make them a part of your daily life. Be unafraid to explore, discover and BE the unique and beautiful person that you are. Force yourself to get out of bed even if it's just to read a book or make a hot cup of tea. Life won't wait for you, so don't waste the beautiful opportunity you've been given to live it.

Listen to Music - I find that music has great sway on my mood and so I choose the music I listen to on my more down days very carefully. Upbeat tempos, exhilarating classical music, epic soundtracks. All music that brings uplifting and positive emotions and make me want to face the world head on. 

Stop Putting Yourself Down - Stop looking in the mirror and seeing imperfections. Remember that you are a unique and beautiful individual capable of great things. You don't need others approval and the less confidence you have in yourself the less respect you will have for yourself. "The moment you accept yourself you become Beautiful" - Osho. Live by that.

Work Out - Not only is it scientifically proven to reduce the feelings of depression it's also just damn good for your confidence. Don't overkill it but definitely get to a point that you are active for at least 30 minutes a day (go for a walk, do pushups while watching TV, etc.) You'll get to a point after you've pushed yourself for about a week (mind over matter) that your body will crave the workouts! 

Take Pride in Yourself and your Skills - Self explanatory. Be prideful! Not annoyingly so but don't let anyone put you down, show off your skills! You deserve to be praised every now and again. No one should feel ignored in life. Compliment and praise others too! Karma baby!

Be Patient - Oh man, my bane. Learning to be patient is excruciating at times. And "good things come to those who wait" can bite my ass. But the truth is that bad things can't last forever and neither can good things. Learning to be accepting of that truth and waiting it out while focusing on being happy in either situation is essential. 

Equanimity - Buddhism speaks on equanimity which basically means that "one realizes the basic equality of all sentient beings; others want happiness, just like I do. Others make mistakes just like I do. Others are confused, angry and attached, just like I often am. Is the other person happy in this situation, or just struggling like I am?" Realizing that you are not alone, and that others experience pain as well will make you a more compassionate and open person. Don't be a victim. When you can share in the pain of others instead of isolating yourself you will begin a  powerful healing process. 

Splurge - This is not to say be irresponsible with your money or be wasteful. But on those days when you feel like nothing is going right, spoiling yourself a little bit with a new blouse or a bouquet of flowers  or a new book reminds you that you are so so worth it, and that you are capable of taking care of yourself. 

Don't Stop Learning - Don't ever let your brain be stagnant. Keep yourself occupied and keep yourself learning. If there is something you're interested in find a way to learn something about it. The internet is a vast resource as are books. (Read a book damnit....) The busier you are bettering yourself the less reasons you will have to stay in bed. 

Eat Healthier - I can't express the importance of this one enough. You are what you eat. Absolute truth. If you're diet consists of sugars, and processed foods and soda etc. your body is not going to take care of you and you are not going to feel good. Changing even the smallest bad habits to good ones i.e. eat a piece of fruit and muesli for breakfast can make all the difference in your mood throughout the day. 

Cry and Vent - I mean it, I actually think doing so is good. Telling someone you trust how you feel and how difficult life seems to you is freeing. Usually someone out there is going through the same thing or can offer some sort of shoulder to cry on. If not a someone, write it all down and have a good cry. I've realized that some of my worst days came when I was holding in my frustrations at life and once I cried my eyes out, things improved. 

Be Grateful - See the beauty in everything. This one takes time and effort. Start a journal where you just write one thing a day that you are grateful about. I have a few friends who swear by this method, that their outlook on life changed drastically after they began to see the good present in their life. No matter how bad things seem there is always something good. Whether it's your family, a good meal or a flower blooming on the side of the road, there is always something to make you smile and appreciate what you have. 

Meditate - Find a few moments every day to sit, breath deeply and focus on healing your soul. Those moments of quiet contemplation allow you to fill your mind with positive love, compassion, and wholeness. 

These are just a few things that I focus on particularly when I can feel depression looming. It's not easy and it takes work to really turn a depressive mood into a fearless "I can take on the world"  attitude. But I promise you, you can do it. You are loved, you can love yourself and you can make it through the worst of days with the promise that no storm lasts forever. 


  1. I too at times battle with these emotions, it is most certainly difficult arise in the morning and progress through the day. I like your list and will keep them in mind for when I feel gloom.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! It's always encouraging to know that we aren't alone, everyone suffers and everyone can use a little love.