When you feel sad or depressed, the world looks like a terrible and hopeless place. That doesn’t mean it truly IS so bad, but it is very hard to be hopeful and optimistic when you’re viewing life from a sad and hurt point of view.
It’s important to remember that the world that now looks and feels so hard and hopeless, is the same world that once looked hopeful. Perhaps it looked hopeful just a couple days ago. Our realities are largely based on our moods. When we’re in a bad mood, the world is a hard, lonely place. When we’re in a good mood, it’s full of opportunities and joy. But, remember, it’s always the same world. If you can remind yourself that your bad mood is influencing your hope and opinion of the world, it can help you get through the rough times.
There are ways to get through bad moods, but it’s important to take time and effort, and work with a therapist so that you develop enough self-esteem to prevent yourself from being knocked down during those hard times. By that I mean, it’s important to know who you are and love yourself, so that no matter what happens, you’re never defeated. You may be sad, but if you can hold onto who you are, no matter what happens externally, you’ll be able to be sad, but you’ll still be able to function in your life. For example, no matter what happens, I know that I’m a good person who is trying to help people. If I didn’t have qualities about myself to hold onto no matter what, when I felt sad or hurt, the sadness and hurt would take me over, rather than sitting beside me. The sadness that leads to thoughts of, “I’m not good enough,” or, “people won’t like me,” or, “this always happens to me, something is wrong with me,” and so on, would take over. But, if you know who you are and hold onto those things, failing at something or being rejected will hurt, but won’t define you and won’t add to a negative view of yourself (low self-esteem). So, having full confidence that I’m a good person who is trying to help people, is just one example of a quality people can appreciate about themselves, and hold onto during hard times.
It’s important to let yourself be sad when you’re sad. People try to push through, and then feel bad when they don’t do their best or succeed. When I feel down, I let myself feel it, and give myself a pass on the quality of my work (or whatever I’m attempting to do) because I know that when I’m in a better mood, I’ll be back to my normal, productive self. I also know that the world will look and feel better again, and that I have to fully embrace my pain in order to get back to my normal self. We can’t move on from our pain until we embrace it; we can’t go around it; we can’t push it away from us. We can only allow it in, let it weigh us down, let ourselves fall, and then pick ourselves back up bit by bit. When we allow ourselves to fall, getting back up is much easier. It’s much harder to walk around carrying our sadness, trying to ignore it. It’s always there until it is acknowledged, embraced and accepted.
The way to move away from pain is to move through it. Carrying it around is a heavy burden. It takes time and someone to help you learn how to embrace pain, how to fall without allowing yourself to be completely destroyed and how to heal. No one is born with that knowledge. Some people learn from examples, but for most, they need help from a therapist to learn how to handle over whelming emotions.
Below are three tips to handle your sadness and/or depression and develop your self-worth and self-esteem. Applied in combo, these tips will definitely help you come through the hard times:
- Ride the Waves: Imagine your emotions coming in waves. Pay attention to the times the pain is less. Ride out the waves when it is more intense. Remind yourself it will subside.
- Breathe: Difficult emotions cause disturbances in breathing. If you can notice the way your breathing fluctuates, and force yourself to breath normally, you’ll be able to better handle your emotions. Breath is healing, nurturing. Notice when your breathing changes, and try to get back into the normal rhythmic flow of your breath.
- Self-care: Give yourself what you need, to the best of your ability. If you’re feeling terrible and have a vacation day, take the day to sit in your bed. You’re not letting anyone down. Practicing self-care is not the same as being selfish.
Be kind to yourself, realize that in everyone’s life there are ups and downs, know there is hope for you, and people who can help you if it is too much to handle on your own.