How to fight depression: Understanding your mind and gaining that mental strength

Depression is an illness. You don’t just ‘get over it’. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the world.

Dying for a Degree is a documentary aired on BBC one in 2019. It shows that there is an academic mental health crisis at the moment and how the support isn’t there for many people. Looking after your Mental Health is a skill that we must develop.

We must each learn individually How, as humans we operate and How to Manage Our Mental Health.

Here is a quote from Ned Vizzini that will make you think. “I didn’t want to wake up. I was having such a better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” You don’t know what people are going through so always remember to try and be nice.

In the past number of years I have lost two very good friends from college to suicide, and Tim Bergling aka Avicii 2018, which hit me on a deep level. This just shouldn’t happen. Life is too precious. To paraphrase Alan Saporta: The best way to escape a problem is to solve the problem. There are three thoughts that I and others have found beneficial for averting the unavoidable ups and downs of life. These have helped me from thinking and behaving self-destructively.

A brilliant quote from Nietzsche: “A man who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”

1. Depression is part of life. It happens to us all and is necessary for a whole life.
Everyone goes through times of happiness and sadness. Energy and vibration, curiosity is cyclical. You cannot be happy all your life – even though we would love to be. There are times when your body needs depression like symptoms. These symptoms of depression often just reflect a system undergoing routine repair and maintenance.
Focusing on the symptoms of “depression” is what can lead to a downward spiral. Don’t make assumptions. Having periodic downcast phases is normal. Overthinking about them as unnatural is what can cause the damage in the long run. People make devastating decisions from overthinking and this is what does the damage.
The best way I have found to combat negative thoughts is not to reject them but to identify them as they occur. Negative thoughts uncovered disappear! A great way to do this is through Morning Meditation.

2. Look after your mental health
Just like your body you have to manage and maintain your head. For example do you suffer from Anxiety? A simple technique I use is to focus on “what is..” rather than “what if”. “What if” can create bad images in our mind and brings me to dark places. I therefore must look at ways to calm my mind down. So when this is happening I just ask myself, What is true..
When I get stressed or in a bad place I always go for a run. This is my way of dealing with things in my mind. I find it clears the chatter and increases endorphins such as Serotonin. These give your body a natural boost and make me instantly feel better.
Don’t forget it’s not all about your job, your care or money! In a absorbing study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, by Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was frequency of eating with friends and family.
So maybe if you have to pick one action to harvest an emotive improvement, start having lunch/dinner more often with the people in your life who make you happy.

3. Gratitude training is essential for improving Mental Health
It is alarmingly easy to grow cynical and pessimistic thoughts and lose prospect of the fantastic gifts and successes in our lives. We focus on getting that girl or that degree or that promotion yet there is so much that is out of our control in these situations. One should not rate ourselves on what we have but on the kindness we portray.
Change your outlook, and avoid too much focus of self-image in one area of life, with weekly or daily gratitude exercises one can life a happy and abundant life.
Journaling – Write down three things every morning for which you are grateful for. I do this every morning and yes sometimes I do right done the same things that I have done before but that just reemphasis’s how important that is to me.
Say to the people you love how you really feel. Like is too short and we all do need a bit more love in our lives so lets TALK! ‘Dad, I love you and really appreciate everything you have ever done for me’. This will go a long way. Not only will it make your father smile but in turn it will make you happy.

Finally remember there are plenty of resources out there now that can help. Get in contact with them! They are there to help.

Need help?
Ireland: 116 123
Samaritans SMS: 087 260 9090
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English
Website: www.samaritans.org

Books to Read:

A Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

One thought on “How to fight depression: Understanding your mind and gaining that mental strength

  1. This is a great post – informative but also with easy to implement suggestions. I really am glad I happened upon it. I am going to use some of your suggestions, plus I am going to share this with some others. Thank you.

    Like

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