It’s great to be involved in a Twitter community that comes together to serve the greater good, rather than take the p*ss out of Love Island celebrities!
Trending this week was #HowIFightDepression, an inspiring list of helpful suggestions on how to fight depression from people sharing their personal struggles and motivations to keep going.
My mental health journey has been a lot less austere than Gaz’s (see his story here); however, from the reading I have done and the conversations I have had, there are a few things that seem key in the fight against depression.
Before people get on their high horse because I’m not an expert and have never had depression, it’s important to realise that our sons and daughters may need advice some day!
I don’t write this as a scientific journal. I write it to clarify my thoughts, to assist you, assist them and assist me for years to come.
Perspective and depression
Putting life into perspective will help you tackle depression.
When you realise how truly special you are and how little negativity matters, feelings of gratitude outweigh any depressing thoughts.
Not everyone is blessed with a positive perspective, that’s why communities like ours are around!
Put yourself in environments where like-minded people care for each other and provide support.
Find a tribe that you can rely on and enjoy.
If you don’t know where to start, contact us!
Perspective can also be trained.
In our Ultimate Meditation Guide (coming soon), we introduce a technique called “framing” which is a very useful psychological hack that you can use to focus on situations from a different angle (usually a positive angle, hence the phrase “positive FRAME of mind”).
Just think about how precious your life is…
If you don’t believe in an afterlife, then you [should realise] that this is such a short and precious life, it is really important that you don’t spend it being unhappy. There is no excuse for spending most of your life in misery. You’ve only got 70 years out of the 50 billion or however long the universe is going to be around.
– Naval Ravikant in Tools of Titans.
You are a miracle!
- Your heart beats around 100,000 times per day, 36.5 million times per year and over a billion times if you live beyond 30!
- All the blood vessels in your body laid end to end would reach about 60,000 miles. About two-and-a-half times around the circumference of the Earth!
- Your intestines are 6.5 metres long. Nearly as long as a double decker bus!
- If you can see the dim, large grey “cloud” almost directly overhead in a clear night sky, you’ve naked eye has just spotted the giant Andromeda Galaxy which is 2.4 million light years away! That’s 140,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles!
- Your thigh bone is stronger than concrete.
- Your mouth uses 75 muscles when you speak!
You don’t need to prove anything to anyone, you are a masterpiece, a work of art!
Live your life in a manner that you enjoy and do not waste it; after all, you only have 70 years out of the 50 billion or however long the universe is going to be around!
Some people would love to have your privileges…
Blind Dave Heeley hasn’t been able to see since he was a teenager, yet he’s achieved amazing feats like escaping from Alcatraz and running 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days!
Sam Harris was diagnosed with Progeria at the age of 2, yet he achieved his dream of playing in the Foxboro High School marching band, before he died at just 17.
What’s your excuse?
Don’t get me wrong, there will be times when depression catches you out, as Jenny Lawson puts: “with it’s terrible lies,” but perspective can turn those tough times into reasons for living because, once you crawl back out, you will be stronger, wiser and more humble.
Remember that depression tells terrible lies. They are so believable when I’m in that dark place, but whever I crawl back out I can see clearly. You are so needed. Trust me. #HowIFightDepression
— Jenny Lawson (@TheBloggess) June 19, 2019
Just be aware that depression is something very different from feelings of sadness, grief and upset. These are feelings of circumstance which Jim Carey brilliantly refers to as “weather” (see video in next section below).
Sometimes you’re not going to be okay, you will fail and you will grieve but these are all essential parts of the human experience. Without them, you wouldn’t understand feelings of love, joy and pride.
We all have to weather these storms. I had to watch the only hero I’d ever met die before my eyes (see video in final section below) but there are techniques to help you thrive during these periods.
Creating meaning from my loss, studying stoic philosophy, practicing fear setting and reading The Obstacle is the Way, Antifragile and Discipline Equals Freedom all helped me, maybe they can help you too!
Progress, perfectionism and depression
The whole premise of My Home Vitality is that a balanced life is a healthy life!
Depression sometimes arises from a desire for perfection…
The perfect body, the perfect performance, the perfect business, the perfect family, the perfect relationship, the perfect lifestyle, the perfect diet, the perfect workout – the list goes on.
The thing with perfection is, it can never be attained!
There will always be something better, something new, something “more perfect.”
Continuous learning and personal development is key for living a healthy balanced lifestyle; however, the yardstick should not be perfection.
It should be progress – to be the best version of you!
People struggle with this advice because it’s very cliché, unexplained and difficult to define.
My definition of this is to find what you really enjoy, deep within your soul, and become good at it!
Follow your passions, your curiosity, your inclinations and ultimately your heart (more on your purpose later).
It does not mean following “perfections” thrust upon you by modern society and social media.
Buying £1,000 bottles of champagne, having the roundest booty or starving yourself within an inch of your life to show your muscles and gain more Instagram followers does not constitute a better you!
People who seek this external approval are developing avatars for themselves; characters that they play for public acknowledgement and riches.
But riches do not make you wealthy!
The race becomes exhausting.
You start to feel empty.
Constantly chasing things that are not fulfilling or wholesome is the very reason why some people get depressed.
If you find yourself in that situation, depression may be just what you need! You need “deep-rest” from the unwinnable race that you’ve found yourself in.
If you want to get out. Start again. Go back to your childhood. Follow your passions, curiosity, inclinations and heart.
What are you curious about?
What gets you going?
What fascinates you?
For me it’s martial arts, meeting awesome people, improving lives, laughing with friends, writing, being out in nature, cooking, reading, meditating and much, much more!
Although I’m not world class at any of these things, I aim to enjoy and improve on each one, ultimately becoming a better version of myself.
This keeps me mentally, physically and spiritually fulfilled and it can for you too!
Purpose and depression
Following your passions, curiosity, inclinations and your heart also gives your life purpose.
As you start to make contributions to these areas and see yourself progress, life becomes enjoyable and you find yourself becoming part of a community.
As mentioned in our article Understanding Mental Health, being part of (and contributing to) a community has been hardwired into our psyche since the beginning of our species!
It gives us purpose and compliments our natural instincts.
That’s why it is important to find your purpose and get involved with something that you can contribute towards.
That’s exactly why I started My Home Vitality…
The hardest part of this is to just start!
I had to lose my grandad and destroy my house before I realised I needed to start My Home Vitality.
Maybe depression is the wake-up call you need to serve your medicine to the world (or community) and really make a difference.
You always have a purpose! Just going through this struggle puts you in a great position to help others feeling the same!
I promised myself in my fear matrix that if I ever become paralysed, sick or disabled I will create a purpose from the issue; not just to help serve others but also to help myself cope with the tragedy.
So if you’re struggling for solutions, make that your mission!
How to fight depression
My tools for fighting depression include the three P’s…
- Progress over perfectionism
Hopefully, mastering these things whilst balancing your lifestyle, will help you on your journey towards a happier, healthier life!
What do you think?
Please share this with your friends and note any comments in the box below!
Your opinions matter!
Also, feel free to get in contact! Maybe we can work with you to help others via My Home Vitality! Afterall, that is what we are here for!