Beating Depression

It is at this time of year that I tend to reflect on my life more than usual – I think deeply about who I have been, who I am now and why.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a very different person than I am now – In fact, almost three years to the day I was lost… lost in the fog and mist of depression.

You might know about my story, I have mentioned it in other posts… how I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, 50lbs overweight and utterly miserable – these were just the outward signals of the dark disease which was growing inside me.

I cannot accurately describe how I felt during this time… it was as though a cruel, oppressive and hurtful entity had been absorbed in every pore of my body and mind.

It felt separate from the “real” me, yet it was all consuming. I felt like I was drowning. It was scary and there didn’t seem like there was anyway out.

However there was a way out. I did escape, I haven’t fallen back, I never will – and I learnt some important lessons:

  1. Depression is very real and has to be taken very seriously. It is a disease and we should treat anyone caught in the midst of it with the same compassion and care as we would with any other physical disease.
  2. It is possible to recover from this disease.

If you have been caught by depression, please get some professional help – I can offer my advice on how I recovered and hopefully it can help – however, nothing can beat professional support, especially if depression’s claws are in deep.

The way I managed to free myself will sound simple – I decided I had to change and I started taking positive actions everyday.

I realise this will sound over simplistic and unrealistic, but it is true – I was in a desperate situation – I had to change, otherwise the consequences would have been the darkest possible.

When I made the decision it felt impossible. I had no idea what to do or where to start – what possible action could solve something as big as depression?

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The thing is that is what depression wants you to think – depression wants to grow – and the perfect conditions to grow are in a static, absorbed and defeated individual..

On the contrary… I found that depression cannot grow when positive action is consistently taking place.

Success is “consistency”

It is not about one grand action that will rid you of depression forever. That is unrealistic and will make you give up when it doesn’t happen immediately.

Instead it is about momentum – lots and lots of small but positive actions to improve your situation. They can be tiny steps, but when you keep on adding more and more, the momentum becomes unstoppable.

Going for a walk in nature, writing down some goals, making the call, reading the chapter of a book, meeting with friends, seeking professional help and applying for a job… keep taking small actions.

None are the antidote to depression on its own, but together they will slowly remove the conditions for depression to grow.

As the momentum builds, so will you and so will your mind – The fog will start to lift and the oppression will be defeated.

Take positive action – any action, no matter how small… just do it consistently, don’t expect immediate results and you can change your life… I did.

Become free of the limitations you create

Joy and energy are items that can be attained – they are powers that are always inside you. The trick is finding out how to unlock these powers.

When you do, it will transform your life forever.

However, this is not a simple process. You will have to be prepared to look within yourself and work to release all the blocks and barriers that you have created throughout your life.

It is worth it though, because when you do, you and can experience absolute joy and fulfilment.

If you desire ultimate joy and freedom, then you will need to break down the following barriers:

Fear

Fear gets in the way of your dreams and goals.

You have to identify your deepest fears and then clearly surrender them. They do not serve you and your fear is a choice. Let go of fear.

Guilt

What do you blame yourself for?

You have to accept the reality that these things happen. You cannot let guilt cloud and poison your life. You cannot change the past and if you genuinely want to be a positive influence on the world – you have to forgive yourself.

Willpower

How have you let yourself down? What mistakes have you made?

It is vital that you accept and allow all aspects of yourself – even the mistakes and disappointments. Understand them, learn from them, then let go of them… they do not define you now.

Grief

Lay all of your grief out in front of you – in whichever form it takes.

Realise that love never leaves… never. You have to allow the pain to float away and re-birth love.

Love never leaves, it just changes form – allow this.

Denial

Be honest – what are the lies you tell yourself? What are the rules of life you create to protect yourself?

It is important to embrace your own nature and be happy in your own skin. You are imperfect, but that is okay – you don’t have to hide away or put on a mask – embrace the authentic you.

Connection

We are all connected, but often we see through divided eyes. Open your eyes and recognise that we are all the same – we all struggle.

When you can truly see we are all one life, you can understand others’ struggles, you won’t judge and you will be able to forgive – because you will see yourself in everyone.

Putting it all together

You have the power to live a life of ultimate joy and happiness – it is within you. Look deep within, release the barriers and become the best version of you.

Like this post? Then get my FREE ebook that will help you become the best version of you & design your destiny CLICK HERE NOW!

How to believe in people again

Almost everyone has, at some point, been hurt, rejected, dismissed and treated badly. When this happens many of us then find it hard to believe and trust in people again.

If you have ever felt like this, then here are 4 strategies that will allow you to stay positive and get the best out of all of your relationships... Even if it seems as though you are surrounded by people who have hurt you, let you down or broken your heart.

Trust is a biological need

The science is clear… Trust and connection are critical factors in human existence. This is not my opinion, this is proven scientific fact. We are literally biologically forced to connect with others, because we are stronger together.

If you allow a few people to make you lose faith in that, then you are only hurting yourself.

Branding the entire human race as cruel and nasty because of a few people is ridiculous. Think about it… there are 7 billion people on this planet – all of which have a biological need to connect with others. Don’t let a couple of idiots ruin your perception of how many great people there are in the world.

Acknowledge people are just like you

everyoneWe only ever get to see our perspective of life and it is easy to think we are alone in our struggle. The truth is everyone struggles.

Some find it hard just to get through the day, others are frustrated because they can’t chase their dreams, many are worried about how they can support their families, scared of what others think about them. The lists are endless, but the ultimate truth is that everybody is struggling somehow.

It is so important that you understand this. If you ever get to a place where you think your situation is so special and unique that nobody can ever understand you – You are in a bad place and, more importantly, you are wrong. You have more in common with others than you realise.

By saying that nobody could ever understand you, all you are doing is freezing yourself out of relationships.

If you freeze yourself out, then nobody will understand you because you won’t let them, NOT because they can’t. That is your doing… not theirs.

Stop building walls

Once you have been hurt, it is tempting to create emotional barriers and walls to stop you getting hurt again.

Been hurt in love? Create barriers that make it difficult for you to fall in love again… so in theory, you won’t get hurt again.

Hopefully you can see the problem with this tactic. Barriers and walls stop you feeling positive and wonderful emotions. Emotions you need and desire.

Barriers and walls keep the bad guys out, but they also fend off the good guys too.

Walls solve nothing, they just deny you what you want most and they also hurt other people… good people.

The brave thing to do is to brake down your walls and allow yourself to live. I can’t promise you that you will never get hurt again, but by allowing those positive emotions in, it does mean you will experience 10x the love, joy, happiness and trust than you would if you lock everything out.

Most people have walls… break down yours, break down theirs… with love, with joy, with trust and your life will become abundant.

Birds of a feather

141159769539890017_cyh5thwj_cThis last strategy is so simple, but also the most effective – Remove negative people from your life and increase the amount of positive people.

Positive people are supportive, caring and helpful… There are billions of these types of people across the world, literally billions!

They will help you grow, develop and become the best version of you, so seek them out.

Yes there are mean people in the world, but they are not the majority… You don’t have to have them in your life. It is a choice, make one that improves the quality of your life.

Putting it all together

There are mean people and when you get hurt, it is tempting to turn your back on the world and lose trust in people.

Don’t, mean people are in the minority.

You have a biological need to connect with others – If you deny yourself this, you are only hurting yourself.

You are not the only person who is struggling. Understanding this truth will allow you to have more empathy for those around you.

Stop building walls – You deny yourself the emotions you most desire when you create barriers – don’t deny yourself love, joy, happiness and trust.

Choose to build relationships with positive people. There are loads of them out there!

Care About What Others Think And You Will Always Be Their Prisoner

A friend of mine was asked to change a presentation by a senior leader within her business, because he didn’t like a particular section… It wasn’t feedback to make the presentation better, he just wanted it removed… The presentation wasn’t even for him.

What would you have done?

Even though the removal made the presentation worse and although the section she was asked to remove linked directly with her personal values – she changed the presentation.

Her desire to be liked was greater than her belief in her presentation.

She is not alone – We all have an innate desire to be liked, especially by those who appear more important. In fact some of us have such a deep need for approval, that we will act against our own self interest in the hope we will be seen in a more attractive light.

It is okay to want to be liked, it is a normal human need… but when it penetrates our values and actions in a way that doesn’t allow us to be ourselves, that is simply wrong.

What if we could live in a world where the most authentic and best version of you was all you ever needed to be?

“I will never let anyone walk though my mind with their dirty feet”

Gandhi

The Problem

When we desperately seek approval, we are solely focused on other people’s agendas and being seen as someone whom they approve. In basic terms we try to fit in by thinking and acting like them.

However we are kidding ourselves -you are not just like them. You can only ever be just like you.

When we try to imitate and replicate others, we will end up feeling drained of energy because attempting to second guess what someone else is thinking is ridiculously hard. Not only that, but you will likely fail in your goal of being liked – rather you will be perceived as unauthentic.

The Truth

Nellore-Kungfu-Training-919849465401-Indian-Shaolin-Wushu-Camp_8We need to come to terms with the fact that the only thing in this universe we have control over is our thoughts and our actions.

Absolutely nothing else is within your control – especially the thoughts of other people! The bottom line is that you cannot force anyone to like you.

You can be authentic and they will choose to like you or not.
You can try to trick them into liking you and they will still choose to like you or not. The only difference is, if they like the false version of you, what do you think will happen when they discover you deceived them? How will you feel having to live a lie?

What to do

There is no magical formula I’m afraid.

I wish I could create five steps to be liked by everyone and anyone, but I can’t.  Nobody can – it doesn’t exist.

I can offer my advice:

Aim to be the best version of you.

  • Live your values in everything you do.
  • Allow your voice to be heard – what you have to say is of equal value as anyone else in the world.
  • Be true to who you want to be – the best you. You have access to that person right now, you just have to choose to step up, feel a bit vulnerable and show who you are.

This advice is easier said than done. It will feel scary, you will feel vulnerable and it will be challenging. But when you represent your authentic self fully, the connections and relationships you build from that will be the most magical and special of your entire life.

There will still be some people who don’t like you. Even the best version of you!

Don’t worry about these people – really don’t! Just think about these people for a moment… people who don’t like you for being you…do you really want that type of negativity in your life?

You are worth more than that – shine like the light that you are, the people that matter will be drawn to you!

How Will You Measure Your Life?

When you reach the end of your life, will you be able to look back and say you lived a fulfilled life? A successful life?

Will you know?
What measurement criteria are you using?
Are you measuring yourself by that same criteria everyday?

This video asks all of these questions… and offers some ideas to help you ensure that when you do look back, it is with pride, achievement and joy.