Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fighting Depression with Baby Steps

By Randy Tracy

It may seem like a silly question but how are you feeling right now? No, do not stop to think, don't wonder who might read my answer and what should they like to hear; now is the time to be honest with yourself if you really want to make some changes in your life.

Let's see if you are really ready for change: imagine yourself at the grocery store and the person bagging your groceries is rude to you. Are you going to be rude right back, complain to the grocery store clerk, or hold your tongue with the thought that "hey this person must just be having a bad day"? Fight or flight is the natural response to these kinds of situations, however when you are confident even if it was rudeness directed right at us, we can leave knowing that we are ok and not let incidents like this put an angry cloud over the rest of your afternoon.

When you lack self respect, you will find that clinging to every morsel of respect you can get from other people becomes habit and that is not a habit you should want to continue because it brings on feelings of feeling threatened and unmoored if they are not kind. On the other hand if you have an internal reservoir of dignity and self-acceptance you won't be begging others to fill it, and when your beliefs change so will your behaviors.

One of the best ways to make a change is to gather up as much information about the change you're hoping to make, this helps break any myths, or mantras that say that it can't be done. For example if you are wanting to get rid of depression but it runs in your family, look up all the ways to break that chain from family member to family member with you being the first.

By pushing yourself out of your comfort zones you open yourself up to new opportunities to live differently and better. You will find that when you expand your friendships and or find new ones you will get better at adjusting your approach about yourself.

You are going to have to push yourself out of your comfort zones and open yourself up to new opportunities, by pushing yourself you might ask: who will be a good resource as I prepare to make this change? Who will be my support and who will sabotage me (intentionally or not)? After answering these questions you might find that its time to expand your friendships and or find new ones that will help you with the goals you want to reach.

If you recognize that the changes you have made did not change anything emotionally and there are still negative thoughts roaming through your mind then it is time to meet and discuss your concerns with a health professional. Remember you are not alone; in fact more than 15 million in the United States have depression, so there is nothing to get your self down about.

Take the time now to empower your life, reflect on the end result, put a mantra together if that helps- "I can do this", for example, and journal your progress if that helps so you can keep your goal clear in your mind, and don't forget as I said before to celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments. This is your life today; you are only given one so make it your best!

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