Every year The World Health Organization tackles what is ailing society. Did you know that depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability world-wide? The statistics on depression are staggering. Over 300 million are known to exhibit depressive tendencies, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some powerful ways for you or someone you care about to make depression a part of the past.
Situation to consider: Life events and sudden changes that are swept under the rug often show up at the most unexpected times and suddenly depression sets in. For example, when you were seven you were at the beach with your family for a vacation and you all had to leave early because your grandfather was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack.
Everyone was anxious on the trip home.
Now, decades later, as an adult, you are at a business off-site at a beach resort and depression overwhelms you. There are no outwards signs of problems. In fact, you are presenting to the leadership team and doing a great job. Yet, there you are with overwhelming feelings of sadness and fear. Depression sets in.
It’s so often counter-intuitive to look at what happened when you were seven and connect it to a present situation that seems so far removed in the past.
What to do: Combat depression by seeing the connection with how the past impacts the present.
Situation to consider: Being the star of the show. You were crowned the special sibling in the family, always getting A’s and being applauded by family and friends. You’ve gotten every promotion and always expect admiration at work. Now, there’s another super hero who is making your star shine just a bit less brightly and it’s impacting your moral. Depression sets in.
What to do: Pay attention to finding out why you are so driven to be number one all the time. Who are you pleasing? Who are you really competing with? How can you align with others rather than need to get all the attention all the time? Become a creative collaborator and let go of that obsessive need to be the one and only.
Situation to consider: Seeing the glass half full. This is often a family pattern that goes back generations. While you are secure and safe, you have that grass is greener on the other side mentality. There are always others who have so much more. The jealousy becomes an addiction. Often, no matter how many cars, houses, degrees, nothing is ever enough. The yearning to stop the unquenchable thirst is exhausting. Depression sets in.
What to do? Begin a quest to look past the brick and mortar areas of life and start the journey for experiences with those who matter to you. Every time the self-talk of not-enough-ness comes over you take a five second breath and count, yes count your blessings. Talk back to that negative voice and give yourself a few months to see the change from stuff to e-nuff.
Much depression can be handled through taking an active role in your own changes. Eating right, exercising and meditation are three core areas to help you get out of stuck in the ditch sadness and hopelessness.
The Japanese have an amazing practice called “forest bathing” that is simple and known to be effective. It isn’t about hiking or having a picnic. It’s merely being surrounded by trees. Being in nature will reduce stress and limit depression. No tree hugging, unless you want to. Know that outer nature reflects inner nature and take the time to put a dose of tree time into your life regime.
Look at some of the specific situations that happened as you were growing up and make the connections. There are also power processes such as EMDR and Brain Spotting as well as acupuncture and deep tissue massage that can get you from sad to glad.
The big issue is not to wait. The minute the darkness starts to disrupt your day find a coach who can help you delve into the melting pot of life happenings and direct you to the road from hopeless depression to hopeful expression.
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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.