Three Mindful Ways to Overcome Depression
Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder how you are going to make it through the day? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with sadness, depression, anxiety or loneliness that you sometimes ask, “What’s the use? Is this all there is to this life?” Perhaps you even have thoughts of ending it all. I know I did. Seventeen years ago, that was my life, every day, and I was ready to quit.
No one around me knew the turmoil I was in. From the outside, it looked like I was living the perfect life. Successful chiropractic business. Living in Santa Barbara. Engaged to someone everyone thought was perfect for me. You know, living the “dream” – or at least the dream others said was valuable – and I was miserable.
After months of being miserable, after trying modality after modality, practice after practice, I was done. I was going to take my life. I had a plan. I set the date and I said to the Universe, “You’ve got 6 months. Either something changes or I am out of here.” And I meant it.
Something did change. Actually, everything changed and seventeen years later, I am alive and happier than I have ever been. Every day I wake up with gratitude for being alive. My life is a grand adventure and it just keeps on getting better. The best part? It’s possible for you too. No matter how far down you feel, you are not alone and the tools that changed my entire world can change yours too.
Here are my top 3 tips for overcoming depression, loneliness and thoughts of suicide:
- Start every day with asking a question.
The next time you wake up with thoughts of depression, rather than spiraling down into those all-too-familiar feelings, ask a question. Asking questions can empower you to change anything.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What can I be or do different today to move beyond this depression?
- How does it get any better than this?
- Universe, will you please show me something beautiful today?
- What else is possible here that I’ve never considered?
One of the problems with depression and sadness is that we don’t see any other options. When you ask a question, even a simple one such as, “What else is possible here that I’ve never considered?” you open the door to new possibilities opening up that you couldn’t see before.
- Stop trying to fix you
When you feel depressed, when you have thoughts of ending your life, when you can’t seem to find that happy feeling no matter how hard you try, often times you decide that there is something wrong with you and you start desperately seeking to fix it. What if there’s nothing wrong with you? What if you don’t need to be fixed?
We spend so much time judging ourselves and our bodies and we are so used to believing that we are wrong, wrong, wrong. Would you be willing to let that go? Would you be willing to consider that you’re not nearly as messed up as you’ve decided you are? Try asking this question every day, “What’s right about me that I’m not getting?”
I wonder how much lighter you would feel if you weren’t in constant judgment of you?
- Move your body
You may be wondering what moving your body has to do with depression and suicide. Actually, a lot! Moving your body has a physiological effect on your body. Endorphins are released which can immediately affect your mood.
How does your body like to move? Swimming? Running? Pilates or Yoga? Taking a walk in nature? Take the time to move your body in a way that’s fun for you.
Regardless of where you are right now, you are not alone. You are a gift and a contribution to the world and no matter how you feel, joy is possible. Adventure is possible. LIFE is possible. Recognize that you are not wrong and you are not broken. Keep asking questions. Care for you and your body by moving each day, even if it’s only 20 minutes. New possibilities, and an entirely new reality are available to you. Keep going and please… never give up, never give in and never quit!