Depression is Simple

Depression is when your favorite feelings go on vacation without you.Here’s the simplest & most helpful explanation of depression you’ll ever read:

Depression happens when life tips too far away from the light for too long, and your heart and mind take a partial vacation.

Depression is a safety valve, like when you turn on too many appliances in your home and blow a fuse. If your system didn’t partially shut down, your overloaded circuits would have experienced a worse melt down later on.

Here’s a partial list of common “dark” things that add strain to your system and may eventually drag you down into depression and/or extend your heart’s “vacation”: loneliness, emotional wounds, poor health, unhealthy diet, clutter, stress, thinking distortions (read the entire list if you haven’t already!), inactivity, fear, major life changes, loss, unresolved grief, bullying, rejection, betrayal, anger, frustration, addictions, expectations and social pressures, negative subconscious beliefs, etc. {Got more items for this list? Share them in the comments below!}

This explanation is so helpful because it reveals exactly how to treat depression – simply reduce/remove as many dark items from your life, add/increase as much light as you can, then hang on as the pendulum slowly, steadily swings back toward happiness.

Here’s a partial list of ways to add light to your life and support recovery: LOVE! (Love is magic. When it comes to you, let it in!), exercise, soak up some sunlight, get enough rest, spend time with friends, be honest about your feelings with people you trust not to judge you harshly or minimize your condition with trite phrases like “Don’t worry, be happy!”, finish grieving old losses, get professional help and clear up draining thoughts and feelings, be patient and forgive yourself for imperfections and limitations, watch a sad movie and let yourself cry, watch an action movie and get your adrenaline pumping, improve your diet, take a *real* vacation, read uplifting books, talk to God and ask for help, use your talents, do whatever makes you feel alive and positive and peaceful, believe in yourself, turn your focus outward sometimes – have an adventure or anything to take your mind off your feelings, clean something or do anything to make your environment more pleasant, etc. {Got more ideas? PLEASE share them in the comments below!}

You will experience immediate results as you re-balance your life toward the light. You will begin to feel lighter and even catch glimpses of your former happiness. It’s important to give yourself credit for every tiny step you take in the right direction, which increases your confidence that you can take yet another step, then another, and another.

On the other hand, don’t worry if completely escaping depression takes time. It usually does. It usually takes time to learn the lessons and develop the habits that may have prevented depression in the first place, but without a slip into the dark side, you may not have realized how much you needed to learn/acquire them.

Recovery usually happens slowly, like the changing of the seasons. Like sap slowly returning to tree branches after a long, dreary winter. Tiny green leaves steadily unfold, rolling slowly out of bud, and drink in the sunlight. Then one day, seemingly abruptly, you open your eyes and discover that days have grown longer and warmer, and spring has arrived.

Until then, keep on tipping your balance back toward the light any way you can, and share this article with any friends who could use more light in their lives.

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