“I’ve always felt this way, ever since I was a child.”This is a common statement spoken in the counseling office.
October 11th was National Depression Screening Day.Don’t worry; if you missed it, you haven’t missed the boat.
So many things in life are relative.We all have different tolerance levels of things.What one can tolerate, the next cannot:The temperature at which we set our thermostat, what we think is funny, what we think is offensive, the amount of income that we feel comfortable with, what type of weather we prefer, the amount of sleep we require, the music we enjoy, things we fear, personal interests, political interests, the amount of affection we like to receive or to give, etc.
We see life from our own framework.Therefore, in no way can we define one normal. If that is true, then defining happiness can also be difficult.Some people don’t know what makes them happy, or even what happiness is.By the same token, I have met many people who really don’t believe it is safe to expect happiness.In fact, they really don’t believe it can exist.I believe that it has not been safe for them to feel or think any other way.Indeed, their current thinking is self-protective in a sense.
The truth can be that a person can be living with depression for many years and feel that this state of mind is status quo. It’s just the way it is.
The challenge is to consider a new way of thinking.That may be difficult if you stay inside your own head.It may require coming out of your house and changing your routine to talk to someone who thinks differently from you. This idea may be daunting, but the truth is, you can expect more from your life.You really don’t have to take it on your own.
There are some people who have the ability to reach inside to find the answers, energy and understanding of how to change one’s thoughts, behaviors, and actions.Yet, there are also some who are truly suffering from an inability to tap into these things, especially if they have been buried under years of oppression.Should you be the latter, you may want to consider reaching outside of yourself to assist with the change.
In John C. Maxwell’s Failing Forward, he lists many ways to change the course of life by allowing one’s failures to be stepping stones.One of his many great suggestions is to start giving yourself.To get moving forward, sometimes we can pour ourselves into helping someone else.
Don’t think it can work?You might want to just try.And oh by the way, you might want to practice it for a few years.I’m guessing you’ve put at least that many into practicing your current techniques.
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