One of the keys to overcoming depression is to honestly and realistically evaluate your life and determine whether what you think you know is really the truth. As much as possible, develop a plan to accept those things that are unchangeable. Also, formulate a plan to change areas where you have the ability to do so.
Please recognize, you may be reluctant to do this for fear that it will make you even more depressed. Remaining tied to false truths and half-truths may seem more comforting than living life in the glare of intellectual honestly.
If you feel that way, aren’t you tired of living your life while feeling like a spectator instead of an active participant with the power to choose your own course? Unless you take action, chances are that circumstances won’t force a change to the positive?
It’s time to take control of your life and look at where you stand. It’s time to actively and intentionally participate in the direction of your life, shoring up your intellectual integrity. Understand and accept the truths of who you really are.
If you have developed a pattern of tying self-worth to activity, you may find it difficult to let go of some of the things you are doing.
If you have developed a pattern of believing in your own incompetence, taking on new activities may frighten you with potential failure.
If you have developed a pattern of being afraid of making mistakes, an honest appraisal of why you are engaging in an activity may be uncomfortable.
You need to have the confident to press on! Don’t let any initial hesitation stop you from being honest with yourself. Your perspective on life is based on what you “know.” These “truths” are often forged in childhood. If what you “know” is framed in negativity, your perceptions and expectations may also be negative.
Another way to think of this “knowledge” is as a filter through which you view your life. In depression, life is viewed through gray-colored glasses. Life appears negative, oppressive, and filled with shadows.
If you “know” that life consistently treats you unfairly, then the inevitable ups and downs of life are filtered through that perception. If you “know” that life is always to be smooth sailing, the ups and downs can cause tremendous anxiety. Down times are not put into a proper perspective, because you don’t consider them to be legitimate. Down times are supposed to happen to other people, but not to you. If you’re unprepared to deal with these challenging times, frustration and depression can result.
If you “know” that you don’t really deserve to be happy, you will filter the events of your life to make sure you aren’t. Good things will be met with suspicion, and bad things will be accepted as inevitable.
If you “know” that the only way for you to be safe is to be in control, you will have a heightened sense of anxiety over life events. This perpetual sense of unease can lead to anxiety and depression.
Life does not always flow smoothly. Circumstances can alter the most carefully constructed life. Traumatic events will be part of each of our lives. We cannot change this. What we can change, however, is our response to those traumatic events.
If the fundamental foundation for what we know about life is based on negativity, we will have little hope and support when challenging times occur. But, we can use intellectual integrity to identify and replace false and half-truths. When we do this, we have a more complete understanding of ourselves and what the world is truly able to offer.
Making changes in your life requires a certain level of optimism. If you find it difficult to replace false truths in your life, consider working with a caring professional. Oftentimes, when evaluating our own life activities is done with the help of others, their vantage point offers unique perspectives.
Originally published at medium.com