when people are depressed, lonely, homesick, etc. . ., the most common advice is to run away. Of course the people who are trying to help do not say this directly, instead they tell you to “get your mind off” of whatever is depressing you, or try to distract yourself by going out, working out, or find another out.
And these prescriptions are incredibly effective. . .for the day(if you’re lucky). And just like any other drug, when the pill wears off, what do we do? Take another one. And before you know it, you build up a mental resistance, on top of your depression, and then you either get more depressed, or you start back on square one. So instead of running away from the issue at hand, you need to deal with it personally.
Now in Stoicism, there is a saying,
“The Obstacle is the Way”.
Now if you’re reading this, then most likely you’re obstacle is depression or some form of it. And today, we are going to live this quote. We are going to defeat depression, not by going around it, but by going through it.
Now in the most basic sense, depression is just another emotion. Another facet of who we are, and it disables us from doing anything because it takes away drive. We become depressed because of one thing, our beliefs.
When the world goes against our beliefs, or what we expect from the world, and we feel as though we have lost or going to lose something that we believe to be important, we feel helpless, and ultimately we feel(you got it) depressed.
So how do we fight it effectively?
Well if we are going to fight an emotion, a sense of being, we are going to need a dog of our own in this fight. And his name is gratitude.
If we wish to destroy depression, we cannot simply erase it, we must instead change our physiology and our mental state by allowing it to feel something else. And we don’t accomplish this by blocking things out of our mind. Instead, we change our focus, and give ourselves mental clarity to see things that were right in front of us.
Be grateful. Tony Robbins, a famous life strategist, teaches the gift of gratitude, and how it has rapidly changed his life. It is impossible to be angry, depressed, or lonely AND grateful at the same time(his words paraphrased).
Take a look at what you can be grateful for. It doesn’t have to be grand, it can be as simple as a cup of hot tea in a cold morning, a stranger’s friendly nod or smile, ask and you shall receive. Everything you need to change the quality of your life is within you.
Go out and get it.
For a quick video to help you be grateful, watch this~