Just making some goals and plans doesn’t seem much solace for someone seriously caught in the middle of a really bad depression attack. They can be the worst thing you could imagine. Being dive-bombed by eagles could be more appealing. And what’s worse, depressive attacks may have gone on for years and years…
Well, firstly don’t disregard our first trick. Without plans and goals we are much more likely to be lost in depression. They can also help us start to get back on track.
But, most importantly, we should do something else we haven’t done much of before:
Simply, we should let things be.
I’m sure it’s the one thing you haven’t tried. People with depression usually try everything else but.
As hard as that sounds. The trick – or cure – for depression is simply to let ourselves feel depressed.
It sounds counter-intuitive. To try not to make yourself feel better. It sounds crazy, but it really is the answer.
It can work though, because when you look forward to something, you can’t really fear it. They are contradictory impulses. We can’t welcome and fear something at the same time. Welcoming usually wins.
We should get to the point where we understand what is going on, and really request that the negative feelings hang around for years.
Another thing to realize is, once you welcome depression, welcoming and fearing it cancel each other out. You don’t push it away with the same amount of energy. By, not pushing it away as much, you don’t give it as much energy to bounce back and affect you.
When you feel anxious or depressed, try welcoming it.
What are the specifics about how to go about such a thing?
Well first, consider you are not welcoming something that is really there, like a wolf or a shark. In reality, anxiety and depression are formless, substanceless. They have less substance than flavors or smells.
They can’t harm you in reality. As terrible as they feel, they are not going to give you an actual heart attack. You will likely just feel really shitty and want to flee.
Let things be. Know that there are limits to how bad things can become.
If you let your depressive feelings stay, something might just occur – that might be the strangest thing. Perhaps it is something you haven’t felt since you were a child.
You might just find bad thoughts wander off, all on their own.
Phrases that might help you might be:
- I’m happy for this depression to last three weeks, if it needs to.
- I am creating these feelings by my own desire to be rid of them. Huh!
- Hello, old friend. Stay around, I don’t mind.
If you have to, try saying these things again. And again. Keep trying for six months, or a year. Don’t look for quick fixes.
If you truly understand what’s going on, you won’t merely use this as a strategy to get better. You will know trying to get better is itself the problem.
We all naturally feel bad at times. Feeling bad is feeling normal.
Equally – nothing lasts forever. Good and bad things come and go.
The only thing you have to fear is the desire to get better.
Meditation can help you to learn these types of acceptance skills. It is a learning to let feelings be. One simple place to start learning meditation is the website MeditationInstructions.com. Practice, practice and practice this. There are also some good books you can read on meditation too (I’ll add some here soon).
Truly accepting depression will take a while. I guarantee you will start off doing it just to try to get well. You will check if you’re better. You won’t really clearly feel much different. But you will have planted a seed. And once you have mastered the idea, you will have really seen around the edges of the problem. Depression really can be a thing of the past.
I and many others are proof that it can go away. And when it comes back, welcome it as an old (but probably much quieter) friend.
Thank you for reading this, and good luck.