Get Out Of Jail
As a teenager I suffered from severe angst and depression. My parents threw me into intensive therapy which only made matters worse, and I went deeper into my negative thoughts and hopelessness, and my life spiraled out of control. Not until maturity (late in life) did I find relief from depression and a way out of circling down the drain of despair.
Depression can feel like you are living behind bars of a jail cell, in your own mind. The bars are wrapped around your head, and you feel as if there is no way out. Anyone that has suffered from depression will know exactly what I am talking about.
The trick to this trap is to take one bar off at a time with patience, practice, and compassion. How do you remove those bars? It is done through finding small things that bring you joy. Write five things down that lift your spirits. Put the list on you fridge or in your wallet, and implement them daily. It could be as simple as having a cup of tea with a friend, taking a walk on the beach barefoot in the sand, or watching a comedy on your computer or television. Take tiny steps to elevate your mood through tiny actions that feed the spirit daily.
Only in the last couple of decades have we studied what makes us happy. Previously, our culture has been focused on what makes us sick. In the research they found that negative thoughts seem to be like velcro in the mind, while positive thoughts are like teflon in the mind. As a culture we are obsessed with illness, diagnosis, afflictions, and problems. We have to use extreme cognitive effort daily to focus on the good in our lives, and velcro them into our daily thoughts, and make them a habit, like brushing our teeth.
The biggest remedy I have found for my healing from a deep depression was to find a way to discipline my mind to find thoughts, feelings, and actions that literally elevate my consciousness. Here are a list of ways that I have found to elevate my consciousness daily, so I can live a life that keeps me from living in that jail cell of negativity, despair, hopelessness, and helplessness:
- Walking 2 miles a day (no matter what) for serotonin.
- Avoiding negative and mean people
- Watching my thoughts. Erasing the negative thoughts immediately, and replacing with thoughts of gratitude.
- Doing something for someone else, without getting found out.
- Taking a bubble bath with candles almost every night
- Being kind to myself, my family, and my friends.
- Finding qualities that I love in myself and those around me. Compliment often.
- Remember that I may fall back into my old behaviors and know that it is a practice and I can begin again.
The key to having freedom of the mind, body, and spirit is to do things that elevate your thoughts and feelings and do them daily. Joseph Campbell said it so succinctly when he said, “Follow Your Bliss”. Don’t rehearse all the wrongs that have happened to you or will happen to you. Find what brings you joy now, and implement it.
If you need to see a therapist for your depression, seek help. But remember that you may want to find one that studies happiness, as well as the DSM-IV.
Remember to always choose the path that will lift your spirits and you will soon find that you are a magnet to positive people, circumstances, and behaviors. It’s a discipline, and once you master it, you have the master key to unlock the jail cell of your own mind at all times. Enjoy your freedom.