I recently shared a blog post stating, “I am depressed.“
Many people offered words of encouragement and support. Many people were kind enough to share their personal stories.
I responded to each person, and I remain thankful for their wisdom and well wishes. 🙂
Yet some may have missed that my depressive episode was recorded nearly a year ago.
The “Lucid timestamp” was originally documented on June 25, 2018 during a multi-minute writing session – where I entered the page while depressed – but through the writing process – I was able to depart the depression.
I became lucid in the moment by viewing two choices:
1. Keep obsessing about negative thoughts for an unknown time loop.
2. Keep creating and move forward by authoring a new story in my mind.
Of course, I chose the latter.
The simple act of creativity empowered me to shift my thoughts from sadness to a new form of positive expression which I carried beyond the page.
Why I am reinforcing how I cured my momentary mental virus?
Because I want to help you remember the choices at your disposal.
I seek to help you expand the possibilities you possess.
I desire to encourage you to explore positive paths on the daily.
Because life is a constant crusade for lucidity.
Because many weeks, I battle thoughts attempting to spiral my mind down dark rabbit holes. My reasons are typically silly and unwarranted.
Because I am blessed beyond comprehension. In fact, I handwrite why I’m grateful every morning in my journal.
But I still find opportunities to meet heartache and poke hopelessness.
I would imagine you’ve encountered similar incidents.
So I would like you to consider practicing and applying the following methods to avoid or escape episodes distressing, ruining, and/or rocking your psyche:
1. Be Aware That Time Travel Is Possible
At any time, you can journey across time and space.
It begins with you staring through a wall or gazing into nothing, but it can quickly become you projecting haunting memories, and these projections can position your consciousness inside mini or major episodes of depression.
Maybe you visit a setting from the past.
- The disappointing presentation. The selfish response. The exposed gossiping.
Or maybe you transport yourself to a future scene that does not yet exist.
- The death of a loved one. The loss of a job. The big dream remaining unattained.
Whether the memories are from the past or future, you are momentarily experiencing these waking nightmares as if you’re actually there.
So what can help during these descents into despair?
Practice your presence.
Just days ago, I looked out my bedroom window before slumbering, and entered a tunnel of terrorizing thoughts.
But I pulled myself out of melancholia by simply being aware of the different timeline I was traveling.
I remembered to be present.
“Be present” is a cliché, but clichés exist for a reason.
And in my case, I leveraged the cliché to my benefit as I consciously recalled that my embarrassing moment occurred in the past, and I was actually laying in bed replaying a memory.
Suddenly, I snapped back to the present.
I’ve found the best way to be present is to practice presence when you don’t need it.
So I recommend you pause a few times throughout each day, look around, and identify the many occasions that you are not being tormented by depressive thoughts, and purposefully recognize your presence within these moments.
So please, practice awareness inside all timelines you visit to help yourself during the descending ones.
2. Go Out of Your Mind
As previously shared, I recorded my mental state as I spiraled.
I discarded my surroundings and wrote without recognition of how or what I documented on the page.
The piece was short, but effective, because it helped me go out of my mind and exit my mini episode of depression.
Many people may say it’s troubling to “go out of your mind” but I contend it can be healthy – because once you go outside of your mind, you can more clearly see it.
But what’s the best path to accomplishing this?
Recalibrate your psyche using creativity.
Insert your choice here. 🙂
All of these creative expressions can help you compartmentalize the depression long enough to witness its impact, and consciously escape its despair.
Because in many cases, just as creativity is bound by your mind, so is depression.
So when you create, your core priority becomes the creative process, and the depression can be a secondary focus which permits you to view it through a different lens.
And once you go outside your mind during the creative process, you can often re-enter your mind without the depression dwelling alongside it.
Give it a go… Reboot your brain using creativity.
3. Brainwash Yourself
You’ve been told brainwashing is bad.
You may have come to believe it’s evil and manipulative – except it’s done to you every day.
Yes, outside forces are always influencing your mind.
Marketing tells you that you aren’t enough and you need more to become whole.
Work tells you that just a little more is required due to fewer resources, and then you’re trained to become accustomed to contributing more all the time.
Family and friends tell you how you should be less weird and more normal when you go against the hive.
Everything around you tells you who you are and how you’re supposed to act.
Come on, you’ve been told who you were since birth starting with your assigned name.
So why not actively brainwash yourself?
But how do you reprogram your mind?
Be grateful and force feed yourself positive thoughts.
The bookends of your days are also the bookends to your nights.
What you think about and consume prior to bed can carry into your dreams (even if you don’t remember your dreams).
And what you think about and absorb within minutes of waking can carry into your day (even if you don’t realize it).
So these two bookends to your sleeping and waking lives are critical (consciously and subconsciously).
Each evening, I plant and instill positive thoughts in my mind.
My family and I pray together by giving praise and thanks for all we have. We ask for good things to happen to ourselves, friends, family, and all people on earth.
I repeat positive thoughts, goals, dreams, and desires in my mind over and over as I fall asleep.
And if my mind still tries to go toward negative tracks, I’ll read or listen to positive and inspiring words. (Jim Rohn and Dr. Myles Munroe are a couple positive voices who compel you to reconsider who you are and what you’re capable of being.)
And in the mornings, I write in my journal.
I document my dreams from the previous night. If I identify negative dreams, then I know something is haunting my mind and I must pay extra attention to it.
Next, I document my thoughts. I make quick notes of where my mind’s at so I know my day’s starting point. Then I write at least five things I’m grateful for.
Then I listen to more positive words to make sure my day begins in the right frequency. (Les Brown serves as my current morning mentor via YouTube.)
Yes, all of this is programming.
But it works for me.
Just last week, I woke up worried about something. Within an hour, I was shining after aligning my mind.
So I shared some gratitude with my wife, and she said, “You’re getting really sentimental.”
“I know. It’s way better than other places I could go,” I said.
“Yes, that’s true,” she said.
Yes, it’s true.
Don’t go to other places.
Train your brain to go to grateful.
4. Expose Yourself
I told my wife, “I don’t like talking.”
“You’ve said that before while talking,” she said.
Then I replied, “But I don’t understand why people love it so much.”
Blah, I’ve been exposed – because I was still talking.
But exposing my thoughts and mind to others has often saved me when I’m crashing into self-destructive thought patterns.
Because I am open to broadcasting my internal concerns with people, typically my wife.
She usually offers reasonable and encouraging words which stabilize and ground me before final takeoff.
Who or where do you go to share your challenges?
Communicate with anyone who will support you with kind, thoughtful feedback.
Of course, I recognize others may not have a special someone who they implicitly trust.
I also understand some people have a hard time opening up to others.
But sometimes you can’t help yourself, so you’ll need someone else’s help.
Text a friend.
Call a family member.
Yes, it may be obvious to text, call, and/or email someone for support, but sometimes the obvious options need to be reinforced.
The point is to reach out and share your issue(s).
But maybe you are still hesitant?
Well, maybe I can help.
Yes, I am not a trained psychiatrist or counselor, but I am willing to listen and help the best I can.
So if you’re feeling down or need feedback or simply want to share your thoughts in the hopes of escaping negativity, then please email me at [email protected]
Although, if you’re having darker thoughts or maybe even thinking about taking your life, then I encourage you to immediately call 1-800-273-8255 which is the U.S. based National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis.
For those outside the U.S., then the International Association of Suicide Prevention HERE offers many resources and options to contact someone.
Bottom line, connect with someone and let them know you’re having a hard time.
You are not alone, and we all experience moments of depression.
So again, please feel free to connect with me at [email protected]
Yep, depression is a serious matter, and I recognize a spectrum of depression exists inside many minds.
Some may consider mine to be among the mild kind.
And while my case is not clinical, I’ve still experienced real deal breeds that almost left me wrecked.
But I know firsthand these approaches work, so I wanted to share them.
Except it’s interesting because even now as I finish writing this post, my mind’s trying to get negative by thinking that only a few people may read this piece, but then I remember:
– I’m present – and I’m just worrying about a future unknown.
– I’m creating – and I enjoyed writing this piece – and it helped me focus on being my best self.
– I’m grateful – because I am blessed with friends, family, and community that resonate with me.
– I’m exposing myself – and I’m willing to share my worries, concerns, and issues.
Peace and positivity all around. 🙂
* Disclaimer: Please recognize that while I have jokingly called myself Dr. Dave in the past, I only play one online, and I encourage you to seek legit professional assistance as/if needed.