The Beauty of Being Depressed

How using the remote control in our mind can shape the way we feel.

Experiencing a difficult situation can be used as a benefit. Never having that push that will make you think twice about your life is even more dangerous than being depressed, as you have no motivation to change. You may be cruising through life on autopilot, not quite unhappy, but not being happy either.

Being depressed doesn’t mean that you are the type that lies in bed all day and cries most of the time. Nowadays, everyone is depressed to some extent, and you just can’t tell, as we manage to hide it well.

I wish people knew that a depressed person is capable of fake laughing for two hours through a dinner, only to go home and have dark thoughts wishing they can press a button to die. Depressed persons are the best actors due to the deep feeling of shame, and it can be practically impossible to pick up on.

Experiencing severe anxiety followed with depression, many times I had asked myself; “Why is my life like this, and how much longer will I be in this phase.”? Contemplating on the past, I realized, if my life weren’t difficult, I would have never tried to change anything. It opened the door to knowledge and the desire to do something greater with my life.

No one can understand what goes on in this period of change unless they went through it themselves, it is the dark corner of hell. To face your demons, it takes courage, and it is never pleasant, you can fool yourself to have a happy life, building walls, and bumpers.

Then you start looking within and face darkness you can’t believe it exists within you. We all carry it, the side product of toxic thinking and collective consciousness. There is really no clear map to get out of it, but suddenly you just wake up on the other side. Or you don’t.

Finding your way towards light.

Scientists from Max Planck Institute in Germany recently conducted a study where they succeeded to identify brain systems that help us recognize if an external event/situation is emotionally positive or negative.

The conclusion of the study is that our brain almost works as a remote control, creating reactions based on which area is activated. STS area of the brain is responsible for positive reactions and IPL for negative. Making decisions which part of the brain will react to a specific event is based on our preconditioned beliefs.

Recognizing which beliefs or “life situations” are hurting us, we can focus on making a decision which buttons to push on our remote control.

In my example; once I sat down and gave myself the time and to quietly process my emotions, I realized that my happiness will always be at risk if I tie it to someone or something outside of myself.

External sources of contentment, for example, promotion, a love interest or the approval of another, can disappear as quickly as they come. They are stolen pleasures artificially created to take away the sadness temporarily. The loss then leaves us in pain and empty.

For years I did a great job avoiding any obstacles (people, situations, places, etc.) that could prevent me from being happy. It is simply not possible. It is not our purpose in life to always be “happy,” meaning having rushes of joy and laughter.

Instead, happiness that comes from within is far more stable. Once I became at peace with who I am and satisfied with what I do or don’t have, it felt like I actually started living just then.

It surprises me to see, at the age of Google Maps, calling a friend and asking which train they should take? Why do we depend on other people to do things for us, and provide answers? Why do we call a handyman to unclog the drain, instead of ordering a tool on Amazon for 4.99$ and fix it ourselves?

Why can’t I change a tire, make marmalade myself, make a dress or simply control my thoughts? Because the thought does not occur in our mind, it’s simply not trained to be independent. In some situations, our thoughts are automatic and habitual.

The mindset of challenging your beliefs, accepting the fact that you don’t know everything and even the things you do, might be wrong, will always push you forward in life.

Read, meditate, be curious, explore, learn, grow, and you will see that things eventually get better. Once they do, it is out of this world. You will live a life to its fullest potential because you will know how to cherish it, especially knowing what is on the other side.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

If you would like to know more about the tools I used or read more articles like this one, feel free to e-mail me, connect on LinkedIn, or follow on Medium.

Originally published at medium.com

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