“No matter how many people surround you, depression is a lonely, solitary place filled with funhouse mirrors. Your world is twisted and distorted, pain reflected back from every direction.” – Unknown
There are times when life feels unbearable, and it’s hard to find the will to go on. The door has slammed shut, and the key’s been thrown away. You’re in a prison cell and there’s no way of escape.
At least, that is how it feels right now.
So what can you do when you feel like this?
1. First, acknowledge how you feel. Be aware of your emotions and your state of mind. Don’t try to ignore, bury or repress the pain. You need to respect it. You need to honour it. Denial doesn’t help. In fact, it only makes things worse.
2. Don’t try to rid your mind of negative and painful thoughts. Being mindful means noticing the different thoughts you have. You are simply an observer; there’s no judgment here at all.
However, it is also important that you don’t dwell on these thoughts. Just let them come and go … like clouds that float across the sky.
Also, writing down your thoughts can sometimes help with letting go. It somehow frees us up, and helps us feel somewhat detached.
3. Have a tool box of strategies that help to calm your mind – and then actively draw from this range of strategies.
Examples of useful strategies might include: slowly counting your breaths; focusing on feeling your chest rise and fall; repeating calming thoughts, or a Bible verse, or prayer. Try different things to find out what works best for you.
4. Take steps to nourish your body and mind. Drink some cool water. Get outside; go for a walk; and feel the fresh air on your skin and face. Focus in on nature; notice birds, and flowers, and trees. Smell the flowers and grass, or watching the waves upon the shore.
Also, check your blood sugar and prepare healthy meals using foods that are rich in nutrients. There’s a close interaction between body and mind.
5. Don’t withdraw and isolate yourself. Making conversation, or putting on a mask can feel extremely daunting when you’re low on energy. But maybe you could simply hang out in a coffee shop, or sit on a park bench and watch the children laugh and play. Just being around people often helps us feel alive.
Following these steps can help to soothe and calm the mind. They can help nourish the body and infuse us with new strength.
Perhaps you will find it was worth the try.