Are you trying to overcome depression? Perhaps you suffer from seasonal depression that is just starting to lift as the spring months approach. Whether you are a person who experiences low grade depression (like a chronic virus) or a deep unrelenting sad mood that seems to stretch over the horizon, it is likely you are here, seeking ways to lift that ton of bricks off your shoulders.
In our quest to “feel good”, we sometimes lose the forest for the trees and stop allowing ourselves to feel down. If we do not have a period of mourning, however, we cannot bust through to the other side of our depression to the joy, where contentment lies.
I often speak to people who have had a significant loss either through a death, a divorce, a relationship ending and yet they will not allow themselves to experience the depression they are feeling in their quest for abundance and positive mood which is often not authentic but a mere mask or facade.
As human beings we are deeply interconnected, we love deeply and when those connections and relationships suddenly grind to a halt, it is not surprising that we experience depression, sadness, loss, anger, and negative mood – sometimes for prolonged periods.
If we were not supposed to experience pain, depression, or negative moods, we would not have been born with the capacity to experience these low feelings, rather we would have been born only with the capacity to feel love, joy, happiness. Some people try to skip this deeply sad stage by avoiding depressed feelings and try to skip to the happy moods which can compound their feelings of loss when it backfires on them.
Rather depression can signal – sometimes bluntly that there is inner work to address, that there are sad feelings that need to be looked at, acknowledged, accepted before we can move on to the good stuff. Long-term studies look at this now and recognize that medications can take you so far but the support and assistance from a therapeutic relationship is the key to transcending your sad feelings.
Yes, feeling painful feelings is probably the most difficult experience you will have and yes, many run from this stage into addictive distractions – anything but look at those dark emotions.
Sometimes the pressure to “get over” it and move on is a secondary wounding in the experience of depression, many wonder why they can’t just “snap” out of it living lives of quiet desperation. With training, you can learn to change the way you are thinking about your life – the key to emotional wellness.
Remember that good feelings and positive emotions are fuelled by your thoughts. It’s what we are thinking and flooding your brain in the form of thought 24/7 that will determine good or negative emotion. Change your thoughts, your inner critic, your self talk, the way you judge important events, the beliefs you hold about yourself, how you interact in society and you will also change your life to experience new perceptions that will bring those feel good emotions. Tapping into your head chatter and paying attention to the words that are running around your brain by writing it down and learning to re-think and re-script your inner voice will bring improvement in mood. Learning to be more objective and less negatively emotionally charged will also improve depression.
Learning to change the way you think about yourself, your life, your beliefs may mean that you need to radically slough off old, ingrained ways of viewing yourself and your life to bust through depression and sadness. Once this is achieved, however, there is no limit to the joy, love for life, and abundance you can experience in the wake of depression.
Julia Sorensen, MA, RPC, CBT is the author of “Overcoming Loss: Activities and Stories to Help Transform Children’s Grief and Loss”
About the author:
Need Help? Free resources at http://thecbtcoach.com Julia Sorensen, MA, RPC, CBT is an integrative Cognitive Behavioral Therapist/Coach who can help you switch your thinking patterns around to experience joy through depression. Julia is also author of, “Overcoming Loss: Activities and Stories to Help Transform Children’s Grief and Loss” published through Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
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