“Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.”
For reasons I discussed in the video below, there is a world of difference between someone who is a bit down in the dumps who says they are depressed, and someone with a real diagnosable illness.
Real depression requires real treatment, so I don’t want to be irresponsible and make it seem like it’s all the same. If you aren’t sure which you have, check the video.
In fact, watch the video below either way!
For now, I want to talk a bit more about depression, and how to get a handle on your ‘negative’ emotions.
I’ll let you in on a ‘secret': there is no such thing as negative emotions.
Some of them feel better than others, of course; but they all have their place.
So I’d like to talk here, about why it is you feel depressed in the first place.
I said before that gratitude is all about what you choose to focus on. If you want to feel grateful, and by extension bring more good things into your life, you just have to focus on what IS working rather than what isn’t.
Depression, however, is choosing to focus on what is NOT working, and by extension you bring more of what is not working into your life.
In the above quote, Pythagoras is saying that what we are concerned about should move us into action, not into depression, and he is absolutely right!
But not only that, he has given you the solution to cure your depression: ACTION!
I have said many times before, that your emotions are your navigation system, they are designed to let you know when you are and aren’t on the right track. So they don’t really have any deeper meaning than that, even though we often attach all kinds of extra baggage to them.
And it’s the same with depression. Let’s assume you feel bad about something, if you take it to mean that you are moving in the wrong direction, what can you do to fix it?
I’d like to take a slight detour here, and share with you a message I recently sent out as a part of my email Coaching service, but I think it is relevant here:
“In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I have talked many times about being ‘committed’ without being ‘attached'; what that means is to be able to give your all to something, with having no expectations about how it will turn out.
See, it’s not what actually HAPPENS to us that makes us happy or sad, but how we *react * to what happens to us.
So the question is: when is enough, enough?
When do you get so fed up with something that you just HAVE to change it?
It can be easy to interpret being committed without being attached as saying you should always take everything Life gives you without getting upset about it, either way.
And to SOME degree, this is true.
But it does NOT mean tolerate people and situations that aren’t working. You still have to know what it is you want, and create it.
Whenever you are faced with a difficult situation, or something you are unhappy with, you have TWO (2) options:
1.Deal with it.
That’s it, that’s the menu! Stay in it and complain without doing anything, is not a choice.
Decide what it is you want; if it’s your job, your relationships, anything; YOU choose what you want, first. THEN decide if it is possible to create it where you are, with who you are, or if you need to move on.
And then decide when enough is enough, or to quote Popeye: “when it’s all you can stands, and you can’t stands no more”.
I don’t suggest you tell your boss, significant other, or whomever that you have decided if things haven’t changed in a week/month/year or whatever then you’re leaving, since they will only see it as a threat or ultimatum, and probably not handle it too well.
But the key is YOU know. And when the time comes, if things haven’t turned around, or aren’t turning around: move on.
It’s all too easy to stay stuck in unworkable situations, and you’ll look up one day and 10 years have passed and life has passed you by. And I can tell you, life is both too short, and waaaay too long, to settle for anything other than true happiness and fulfillment.”
So to bring it all back together, if you are feeling depressed about something (and you’re sure it isn’t Clinical Depression), look at what you have done and haven’t done, and what you can do to change the situation and then DO IT!
Once you are in motion, I’m sure you find your ‘negative’ emotions start to take care of themselves.
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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