The gifts of depression are often ignored these days. It seems to be the easier route to take anti-depressants to numb out what our feelings are trying to convey. Fortunately today more people are talking about how they have discovered the gifts of depression by finding their own way out of it. Of course some cases do require medication. But my experience is that many individuals can find useful alternatives to address their depression.
Indicator of imbalance
Depression is often the result of internalised feelings of anger and helpless. I have seen how individuals become depressed when they feel helpless to influence a situation. It may be that they have no control over the outcome. Alternatively they experience a period of immense uncertainty until there is a clear result.
Other individuals become depressed because they find it really difficult to express or assert themselves. Consequently it is easier to give in to pressure from others. Furthermore, many women are taught from a young age to be submissive or to put others’ needs before theirs. As a result they focus on keeping other people happy even if it comes at the expense of their own well-being. It takes years then for them to realise they have a right to take care of their own needs.
Often individuals, who take on too much, become depressed. So they feel over-loaded with responsibilities. Such an individual sees it as personal failure if they are to speak up. Instead they rather suffer in silence. Years later this imbalance manifests in depression. Some of the gifts of depression therefore can be the need to set boundaries or to speak up.
Spiritual awakening is one of the greatest gifts of depression. Perhaps for years you felt a deep sense of restlessness, dissatisfaction or unhappiness. It may take feelings of depression to awaken you to the fact that you no longer enjoy your work. Or perhaps you are in a relationship that no longer brings the best out in you.
On the other hand, you may begin to wonder what life is about. Possibly little seems to be working out in several areas of your life. This can potentially throw you into a deep depression. So one of the gifts of depression is to bring you back to your true self. Who are you? What kind of life do you want to lead? What work will feed your soul? What will make you passionate about living?
Finding your way out of depression
There really is no one solution for everyone. Take time to explore the true cause of your depression. Medication often numbs emotions which makes it difficult to find the underlying cause of your depression. Here are a few alternatives to consider:
Healthy habits: Cut out all sugar, preservatives, caffeine. More and more is being written today about how what we eat contributes to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. With this in mind find a functional or integrative medical practitioner if you do choose to see a doctor. These doctors deal with the cause of imbalances and assess the whole person.
Therapy: Find a psychologist who has a good reputation. There are amazing techniques to help release suppressed emotions. A good psychologist listens deeply and identifies the core issues to address. Moreover, they will empower you to develop positive coping strategies for challenging times.
Alternative therapies such as energy healing (reiki, healing touch, cranio sacral therapy, etc.) are also effective in dealing with depression.
Do a right brain activity such as art, movement, dancing, clay work, creative journal keeping, taking part in local drama, photography, etc. Our right brain helps us process issues at a totally different level. These activities also help us to focus on something outside of ourselves while our subconscious is working.
Exercise helps to boost serotonin levels which are low for someone with depression. So 30 minutes of exercise four to five times a week will most certainly make you feel better.
Time in nature is particularly healing. Being in nature takes us out of our head. Allow yourself to just be in nature and notice and absorb the beauty around you. You will be surprised one day to notice that there have been some inner shifts.
Meditate as a way to quieten your mind and stop negative thinking. There are some wonderful free guided meditations on the internet.
Depression is not a life sentence. For many individuals suffering from depression there are very effective and workable solutions. However, be willing to take the time to explore options or follow your intuition to find what works for you.
If you want to explore some of the underlying gifts of depression, find a good psychologist in your area.
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