Curing Depression

Mark Twain once said, “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” He couldn’t be more right. If you finally accept yourself and your flaws, your life will be much less burdensome.

So what is the antidote to self judgement? We think it is the art of radical self acceptance. Accepting who you are and building on that. Self-acceptance is the ability to accept yourself as you are instead of how you wish you were, or how you wish others percieved you. It frees you from an overly high concern with what other people think about you.

Why is Self-Acceptance important?

The feelings of shame and unworthiness are the source of many problems we experience with our relationships, careers, and creative endeavours. Self-acceptance is the feeling of satisfaction with yourself despite your weaknesses and regardless of your past behaviours and choices. It’s necessary for good mental health.

When we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves — not just the positive parts. Self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life, yet it’s the happy habit many people practice the least.

In one of our favourite books, “Happiness Now”, Robert Holden talks about how self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of.

For many people we know in our life, self-acceptance is truly a great struggle. They consistently doubt themselves. And with more doubt comes even more negative thoughts about themselves. And more negative thoughts can quickly become your reality.

The bitter is, we will never be free of the feelings of despair, or self-loathing. The good news is, we don’t have to identify with these emotional feelings. You can accept them and still focus on being the best version of yourself.

Let’s now understand the perspective of experts on self-acceptance.

Jeffrey Sumber, Psychotherapist, says that it is vital that we set an intention for ourselves that we are willing to shift paradigms from a world of blame, doubt and shame to a world of allowance, tolerance, acceptance and trust. It’s not possible that self-loathing or poor self-acceptance will lead to a satisfying life.

Fortunately, self-acceptance is something we can nurture. See it as a skill you can practice versus an innate trait you either have or don’t.

Learning self-acceptance teaches you to focus your mind to provide self-pardon, rather than repeating fear-provoking habits self-judgment.

If you are having a tough time accepting yourself, hone your strengths. Pay more attention to things you are good at.

You can even go a step further by writing your abilities down. This puts things in perspective for you. Start with something basic like “I’m a kind person.” If you are having trouble coming up with things you are great at, ask your friends and colleagues to help you. Sometimes, the people close to us are better at noticing our greatest strengths. Don’t force to write everything at a single sitting. Typically, lists evolve with time. Another kind of list is a list to boost your confidence and appreciate how far you’ve come. Make a list of all the hardships you’ve overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.

Remember, reading about making lists and thinking about making lists is not the same as ACTUALLY sitting down and makings lists.

Why is it important to remove self-loathing out of your system?

Negative emotions generally require more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones. Typical human behaviour focuses on negative qualities. People who judge themselves harshly process negative emotions more than negative ones. That means they spend more time contemplating the bad stuff and less time on the good stuff. We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths. This can easily become a cycle that becomes difficult to break.

Getting through life happily requires us to understand the balance of positive and negative emotions and work towards accepting ourselves and still become the best versions of ourselves.

Practising self-acceptance requires that you develop more self-compassion. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is self-acceptance.

In the words of psychologist Tara Brach: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing. The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

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Acedia the lesser known twin of depression

Are you suffering from depression?
Or are you dealing with it’s lesser known twin – Acedia.

Crisis comes across multiple stages of life. You may be worried everyday about what you are doing with you life, you procrastinate whatever you want to do, and end up doing nothing anyways.

I will be prepared for my work at the start of everyday, meetings with my clients, answering emails etc.

“Anyway, I will end up doing none of it. I do not do any of the work, just spend time on Netflix and regret it later. I want to develop myself spiritually and physically. But, I never manage to do any of that too. This is my everyday pattern of self-destruction rather than construction. I go into a spiral of negativity and it goes on forever. I think I am in depression.

This was the conversation that we most heard repeated when taken a consensus of 20-30 year olds.

Well, good news for anyone going through this phase of life. Be assured but, you are not suffering from depression.

The midday demon – Acedia, was coined by monks in the 4th century, such has been its existence. Acedia was one of the most severe problems that is out there today because of the despair and absolute disdain for life it produced in a human being. It’s a shame the word has been lost to ancient textbooks and is no longer used, because acedia’s effects carry far more weight in today’s cultural environment.

In Kathleen Norris’s book, Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life. In the book she quotes a monk who states:

“The demon of acediaalso called the noonday demonis the one that causes the most serious trouble of all…He makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all, and…he instills in the heart of the monk a hatred for the place, a hatred for his very life itself.”

Let’s see what their life was – In the morning they were excited and completing their chores. But by mid-afternoon they gave in to the despair of the repetitive nature of their tasks. Sleeping increased and so did they laziness. Eventually, they despised life itself as they spiralled into a dark hole. The old feeling of apathy and indecisiveness where spirals further leads to numbness, only to spiral further out of control and further despise being alive.

Combatting Acedia
Now that we have stated the symptoms of Acedia, we understand how we can combat it, because it is very much possible to do that.

To push through acedia, the monks found joy after they had completed tasks at work even though sometimes the drudgery seemed insurmountable they pushed through and praying — even in short bouts — they were glad they did. For everyone in this life, discipline often becomes the defining fire by which things like talent or goals become an actual ability. It is indifference and believing it will always be this way that keeps us stuck. You may be tempted to think, “this is just another way to call depression something else” but consider that there’s always been a power in naming things or knowing your enemy to fight them.

Understand what you are going through. Fix it.

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Ways to Beat Depression

Depression is a state of mind. This devious one, whose side-effects can often discourage you from taking actions or seek help for recovering. People in depression experience lack of energy, low self-esteem and excitement levels that are taking a plunge on a daily basis.

For anyone going through anything relatable, understand that depression is curable. Just like taking medicines to kill off your diseases, understanding and reflecting on your mental state is how you’re calm your mind, and thus your body from depression.

Here are some ways you can curb out depression out your system :

1. Understand Self – Attacks

Depression is the time when your mind is on the attack mode on the self. You are made to believe that you good for nothing, or you are physically fit or a hundred possible attacks on the self.

WRITE THIS DOWN. Yes, write down each and every attack on the self.

Understand if these attacks on the self is fair. Understand if there is reason going behind these attacks. Understand if these weaknesses that you believe actually will make you weak in real life or is it just in your head?

If you understand that this voice inside of you is simply a sadistic version of yourself, then kill it immediately. It’s your true ENEMY.

2. What should you be angry at?

For many out there, depression is the lack of feelings. They don’t feel happy, angry or sad anymore. This happens when one spends too much of their lives suppressing some of the feelings which they were not comfortable feeling. This cycle leaves you with only one emotion and that is anger. Anger aimed at someone else or an event in your life, for which you are angry and disappointed with yourself.

Understand by going in deep about yourself, asking where this anger and negativity is coming from. Going to the root of the cause and getting a closure on it, can make a massive difference in your everyday lifestyle.

3. Things you used to do?

Used to love playing football everyday in the evenings? Shut in your room because you are depressed and hardly feel any energy to play?

Get out and play.

Doing things which you used to loved to do, is a great way to fight depression. Understand that it is state of mind and that it can be altered. Go out, breathe some fresh air, do what you love and replace the bad vibes with good memories. Things ALWAYS turn out to be for GOOD.

4. Watch a Funny Movie or Series

Don’t brush this away immediately. Nothing is more immensely powerful that this. Convincing your mind through laughter and smile, you are cutting your brain off the depression cycle it is going through. Do it enough number of times and your brain will be tickled with laughter, and out of depression.

5. Work

This is one of the best advices that one can get. Throw yourself at a passion of yours during depression. Vent your anger through it, beat yourself everyday at performing better than the previous day.

Go ALL OUT on your passion if you believe you are going through depression. When you do this, you are shifting all your focus onto it, drying out your brain to do the harmful self-talk and cutting yourself off the depression cycle.

None of these methods to cure depression will be of enough help, unless one understands that depression is a state of mind  and that it can be altered. Eat well, exercise and even though hard, try to get some sleep. Sleep can be a major problem during depression, thats why we suggest your exercise in the evenings and mornings- 15 min each. This routine can help you sleep in the night easily.

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