If you could consciously observe your thought when you’re depressed, you’ll realize that no matter how hard you try, there is a flush of negative emotions erupting from somewhere within your brain. You want to stop feeling sad, bad and guilty about relationships, your choices, the decisions you made some time back and how your life is going nowhere. Is this what you keep thinking all the time?
The only way to get out of this situation is to help yourself, and even when you’re completely not in the mood, take that first step anyway. Whether you’re ready or not, you got to do something to cure it, because research suggests that our thoughts are contagious.
Researchers at Notre Dame University recruited over 100 pairs of roommates just starting off their freshman year. Roommates at the large Midwestern university the researchers studied, by the way, are randomly assigned to live together via a computer selection system. People don’t pick who they are going to live with and all freshman are required to live on campus.
The researchers asked both roommates to complete measures of cognitive vulnerability (basically their tendency to focus on their negative mood and to ruminate about it), measures of the occurrence of stressful events in their lives, and questionnaires intended to capture their depressive symptoms 3 times over a six month period. The first time the roommates filled out the measures was within one month of arriving on campus.
So, what did they find? In short, a student’s level of cognitive vulnerability three and six months out was significantly affected by his/her roommate’s cognitive vulnerability at initial testing (and vice versa). And, the more someone increased in cognitive variability across the school year, the more likely they were to develop symptoms of depression in response to stressful life events. – (Source)
The first step is to look around you. Whether you want to cure depression or improve at anything in your life, this is how you should start. Observe your surroundings, the people you live with.
The best way to improve at anything is to find the right people to be with. As you notice and change the people you decide to accompany, you’ll find your life taking the right turn.
Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary have an argument that one of the most basic human natures is to belong. You want to be there for someone. And the feeling has to be mutual. The very reason a lot many teenagers live a depressed life is because they don’t feel the emotion of lovingly being owned by someone. They feel the lack of freedom in not being called for in the first place.
Lack of belonging causes undetermined effects on health and happiness too. In fact, Baumeister and Leary say that it causes mental illness to the extent people suffer from physical and mental illness and they’re even more prone to accidents and even suicide.
If you are depressed, or if one of your loved one is, here is what you can do for them – belong to someone and make people belonged to you. Respect them, support their ideas, their dreams and pursuits, appreciate them, and tell them how much you love them.
Well, on second thought, when you do this, you’ll have an equal surge of energy raging back towards you and pull you out of your lows right away.
Many people are depressed because of their chaotic way of living. An organized life is much less likely to take you in there than an unorganized life. Some people go into depression because they can’t find a way out in life. They want to pursue something, just that they don’t know what to. Prolonged confusion about life matters can be depressing.
Keep a journal. That’s the best way to get around a situation like this. All you got to do is make a list of all the things you did from morning till evening. Make two columns. In the left column list the time and on the right column, list down what you did during that time.
Once you’re done, observe the list and categorize the activities. What are the activities you must stop indulging in right away? What are the activities making you procrastinate? What are the activities you feel excited about? Depressed about? What are the activities you should be doing right now to achieve some positive results in the future?
Now that you know your priorities well, painfully put yourself to work if you have to but get the most important activity done in the first place, each day.
When you achieve a positive result, you will automatically feel the flow of positive energy from all around you. People will appreciate you, you family will support you, there will be people congratulating you for your success and that will eventually pave a natural path for curing your depressed state of mind.
So, here’s what you can do when you’re feeling depressed. Get out and take a little walk. Stop procrastinating and do something that makes you feel good. Interact with people. Pull the lever and appreciate people for what they are. Or simple start appreciating randomly. Make them belong to you and you’ll belong to them. Get away from people who make you feel depressed as much as you can.