How To Get Through Depression
Tai Feb 13, 2016
Are you sad, lonely, or depressed?

It seems normal, but the human life naturally comes with bad days.

Well, there’s bad news and there’s good news.

The bad news is that the tremendous emotional pain you feel is coming directly from multiple regions of your brain. Your brain is literally pumping your body full of “pain-alerting chemicals”.

The good news is that pain might serve a purpose for you.

Think about it. What causes your sadness? It's often somehow the outcome of a world with seemingly endless choices. You decide to go left when you should have gone right and a whole set of events unfold in front of you. And maybe you don't really like how it turned out.   

You break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, you get divorced, you trust the wrong person, you choose a career you realize later that you hate. You procrastinate and miss a big chance. The person you love stops loving you back. Your mom or dad gets cancer.  

I'm not a psychologist. I don't know the "cure" for depression, sadness, or regret.

But I do know that you and I have to become bigger than our emotions if we want to do anything great with our lives.  

Happy, sad, worried. These emotions are like the spray of the ocean water over a sailboat. It's always there. It's part of the journey on the ocean of human experience.

But you have to still steer the damn boat. Even when the waves are getting bigger and bigger and knocking you off course.

My first mentor, Joel Salatin, told me, "You have to force the ship to go where you want it to go."

If you leave it to chance... your emotions, whether it is sadness or depression, will take you off course in life if completely unchecked by reason.

But, research shows that depression and sadness can be helpful in three main ways. Let me quote the famous evolutionary psychologist Dr. David Buss in his textbook Evolutionary Psychology.

“Although the experience of depression can be incredibly miserable, this emotional pain might serve helpful functions.”

1. First, a depressed mood helps us to disengage from a hopeless strategy, conserve energy, use cognitive resources for focusing on complex social problems, and consequently motivate new paths to solve adaptive problems

You have to harness your depression and sadness and make it work for you. To increase your creativity on how to not repeat your mistakes.

2. Second, it deflates our “blind” human optimism, thus allowing us to more objectively reassess our goals.

Sometimes it's good to have our bubbles popped so we wake up to reality.

3. Third, depression might function to send a needy signal to family, friends, or romantic partners that elicit investment, care, and help from others — a “cry for help”.

So never be afraid in your weakest moments to find those one or two people who have always had your back and share your pain.

Harness this time in your life. It's important that it’s not just wasted working yourself into an absolute hole of sorrow and despair.

Try something proactive.

If you’re sad, start writing. Many of the world's great writers were depressed. Start making music. Most of the iconic lyrics came out of the writer’s pain. Learn an instrument. Write poetry. Go do a good deed. Go see a therapist. Learn a new religion. Travel to a far away country to get out of your comfort zone.

Use the time to try something new since your pain is telling you that your past way of doing things hasn't been working so well.

Remember what Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.“

So don't proceed down the path of repetitive insanity like most people.
Adapt quickly.

Life is short and then we die. Some of that life will be spent sad and depressed. That's okay and even normal. Just don't let it get out of control and dominate years and decades of your life.

Oh, and one last thing. If you’re sad and depressed double check your social circle.

In my experience, 9 out of 10 problems can be fixed by getting better at quickly filtering out the bad people (even if they are your blood relatives), the ones who will use and abuse you, and double down on the time you spend with your true friends.

I'm no expert but I hope maybe this helps a bit. Good luck out there.

Stay Strong,
Tai

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