Thursday, November 19, 2015

Remaining Joyful In A World Filled With Things That Can Easily Depress You

by Abeni Bamidele

Let's face it. This world is in a heap...I said a heap of trouble. There are obstacles all around us which could very easily place us in deep depressive states if we allow them to. Many people cope with the challenges they face in a variety of ways. I've seen folks submit to their depression ranging from behaviors of alcoholism, shopping addictions, sex addictions, suicidal thoughts, and yes even suicide itself. Sound morbid? It is.

I've also encountered those who smooth over their depression, by becoming obnoxiously fanatical in varied interests anywhere from excessive partying, overly dressing wearing mounds of make-up, chattering non-stop with people with superficial discussions to camouflage emotion and additionally those who make grandiose purchases of things that can not be afforded, just to name a few. But wait! There's more... This sounds odd but over-achieving or overly-educating one's self to the extent that nothing nor anyone else matters and a well known behavior exercised by many... becoming holy, sanctified, fanatical and literally "lost in the blood of..." Well you can finish that sentence.

The point is, camouflaging hurt, pain, anguish or down-right challenging situations are only momentary fixes. While there is no disputing, that we are all in the best and worst of times, we absolutely must preserve all that is good in this world. In other words...focus on what is good. I know...that seems easier said than done, yet it is possible. It all begins with the mind.

I'll name a few things that can be done, yet what I will mention surely won't be the final compilation of resolution to remain joyful, yet it's a start.


1. Meditation/Reflection/Prayer

Start from within, recognizing that there absolutely is a higher power. This higher power lives within us all. Tap into the strength within you that will propel you to keep going, no matter how challenging the fight...your mind and thoughts will be your guide in remaining steadfast and strong. Banish any negative thinking immediately by thinking of something that you like or enjoy, and breathe............

2. Find A Quiet Place Of Beauty

This would be a place or space that is pleasant to your eyes and ears. Even if it is a small space where an alter is placed, lit candles, a photo off your favorite place or person. The idea is to take moments in time to look at something that gives you rest.

3. Live In The Moment

You have heard that tomorrow isn't promised, I'm sure. And that is just the truth. Since that is the case, minimize spending precious moments of the here and now in capturing what has happened in the past. While planning for the future is both important and necessary to an extent, take time to smell the roses within each day. I don't care if this sounds cliche' or corny...just do it. It works. Even when a day seems to have gone wrong, find one bright spot within the day that aids in you pushing forward.

4.  Give Thanks

Be thankful for what you do have and change those things that make you dissatisfied, one step at a time. Small achievements can result in strength of the mind and overall being.

5. Turn Off Those Things That Make You Dumb

The television; particularly the news can depress you. Social media can depress you. The radio can depress you. These platforms and more program the mind to think in ways that erupt negative thought and emotion, with an added encouragement to take drugs to serve as a quick fix, after having saturated the brain with things which can serve to influence your thinking. Don't engage in it if it changes your pattern of thinking and make you feel angry, sad or anxiety ridden. 

6. Eat Well, Remain Active.

Healthy well balanced meals and exercise will get those endorphins working, which are some of the brain's chemicals serving as neurotransmitters which transmit electrical signals to the nervous system and fights stress. You will become even more motivated to remain positive. 

7. Help Someone.

Contrary to popular belief, we were not placed on this Earth to simply be receivers of good fortune and great situations. There will always be elements of pain, sorrow...sadness. This energy should be utilized to strengthen us to reach new levels of existence. One brilliant way in doing so, is to help someone. Within the constructs of our own sadness and of what we see in the world that makes us overwhelmed underlies an opportunity to make change. There is always someone in a less fortunate situation than our own. Wouldn't it be wonderful, if we took that negative energy...turned it around and helped others? 

Bottom Line: Selfishness has no place in the heat of a depressive state. While it is difficult to do for many, I challenge you to focus on someone else, by taking part in their life in a positive way, and in turn, this will change your own circumstances and thought patterns.

A Relaxation Meditation Below: