The D Word : How To Know If You Are
You let out a deep sigh as you exit your car to walk into your job of the last three years. At work, you feel undermined by your white colleagues. You have been denied a promotion two times. You feel targeted at work and in society. The media constantly perpetuates images of individuals that look like you as predators. Your level of stress drives you to drink nightly and you’ve recently become socially disengaged. The things that once bought you pleasure no longer interest you. You wonder where it went all wrong. You often flashback to when you woke up and felt motivated to tackle the day.
- Find Support: When facing difficult situations emotionally, it’s common to reach for coping strategies that numb the pain. Drinking, drug use, and even sex are distractions used to try and momentarily relieve stress. Unfortunately, these strategies can become self defeating and do not solve overall problems. Reaching out to a professional provider such as a therapist is ideal, but if you aren’t ready for that step, finding a trusted source of support is beneficial. Find someone that you can be honest with in a nonjudgmental environment where you can express yourself.
- Master Your Energy: Mindfulness encourages the mind to live within the present. The mind has a tendency to relive painful emotions or create irrational fears for the future. Breaking negative patterns of thought helps with overcoming depression. Let your mind meditate on positives you can find in the present. Start of by developing positive affirmations that you can meditate on each morning or in moments that trigger depressive thinking. Direct your energy to a more positive state instead of allowing negative thoughts sink your energy level.
- Take Action: When experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s common to isolate or spend time sleeping. Depression makes you feel that you can’t accomplish anything. Instead of letting your life succumb to inactivity, involve yourself in activities than can facilitate change. Try identifying both short term and long term goals for change. Commit to an action plan regarding achieving those goals. By engaging in this momentum, you will transition yourself mentally into a healthier state.
In addition to the above steps, remember to love yourself. Embrace the positive and negatives of life and use those lessons as a foundation to build upon.
If at anytime this process begins to feel overwhelming, know that you are not alone despite what your mind tells you. Never lose sight of the light that shines within you even during your darkest hour.