How I Stop Feeling Depressed

Alexandre Chambon

My alarm was sounding for 9 minutes before I realized it was ringing. I thought it was the background noise to the dream I was having.

I couldve gone back to sleep but I didnt.

The first 10 minutes of today was tough.

Its 7:18 a.m. now. Ive been up for just over an hour. Its slowly getting easier.

An hour ago I didnt want to do anything today. It was a weird feeling, it was depressing.

I began questioning myself, why would I be feeling like this?

Maybe, but I got at least 7.5 hours.

Im loving what Im learning right now, that cant be it.

I realized trying to find a reason may take longer than what its worth. It could be just one of those days. I can accept that.

I put on a mask on sometimes. I become extremely positive and energetic around other people to maintain my always happy image.

The majority of the time I dont require a mask. Thats generally who I am.

Ive worked out a few things that I can do to shake the depressed feelings. They will never go fully away, they cant. Its the yin and yang. You cant have positive feelings without the negative. Simply being positive implies that theres a negative.

 

I fight this war every day.

Heres how I win.

People

When Im surrounded by other people, I feed off their energy. The majority of the time Im an extrovert. So I draw my superpowers from being around other people.

As soon as I enter a room with like-minded people, the yang (Chinese for Sunny-side) takes over.

Be careful though, people can have the opposite effect of what you want. If youre surrounded by the wrong people, the yin (Chinese for Shady-side) will take over.

The relationships you have with others are the number 1 thing that will influence how you feel. Knowing this, I surround myself with the right people and work tirelessly to maintain and improve those relationships.

How do you find the right people? Theres no right way, youll know when you do.

Move

This is what I did this morning. I made myself move. Getting out of bed was a struggle. 100 thoughts entered my brain as to why I shouldnt do anything today.

So what did I do?

I literally started to walk away from them. Being still in one place has worked for me in the past (meditation) but not today.

I put headphones in and started walking down my street. I walked towards the waterfront not far from my home.

It was one of the clearest mornings Ive ever seen. Depressed feelings starting to fade.

I listened to a podcast from Gary Vaynerchuck. Hes positive all the time, listening to him helped. Surround yourself with the right people, even if its virtual.

Aside from the endorphin release and lymph circulation brought upon from moving (both mood boosters), walking is fun.

We spent thousands of years evolving to be able to walk on two legs. Its no surprise that using them for 20 minutes feels good.

Any movement can do. Before I went walking I did 50 jumping jacks.

Change the body, change the mind.
– Tony Robbins

I changed my body.

During the walk, I said good morning to a half dozen people. Remember, I draw my energy from being around people. I was leeching their positive morning vibes and using them to build up my own. Surround yourself with the right people. Anyone disciplined enough to be up and moving first thing in the morning is who I want to be around.

Read

When I got home from walking, I started reading some Stoic philosophy.

Circumstances are what deceive us you must be discerning in them. We embrace evil before good. We desire the opposite of what we once desired. Our prayers are at war with our prayers, our plans with our plans.
– Seneca, Moral Letters, 45.6

This quote is from The Daily Stoic. It speaks directly to the internal battle I faced this morning. Whether or not to do anything today.

Reading this taught me that Im not alone, even ancient Stoic philosophers experienced this kind of battle. It never ends. The waves of the ocean will never go away, we can only learn how to build ships and to ride them.

Write

This is exactly what Im doing now. Im 750 words into this post and its changed how I feel.

Im winning the battle now. Writing my problems down and reflecting on them makes them become much less significant.

Theres still no answer to those questions.

If youve never written anything before, try it. 100 words of nothing. The benefits are immense, trust me.

Create

This ties into writing. One of my favorite speeches ever is by Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art.

For me, the main takeaway of the speech is that the solution to all of your problems. This piece of advice has never let me down.

The feeling of creating something and sharing it with the world is something everyone should experience.

Even right now, before Ive even posted this, Im feeling the benefits.

You may think, I cant make good art. Art is subjective. Make it for yourself.

Im selfish, this post is really for me but Im putting it out there in case it manages to help one person. Even if it doesnt, its helped me.

How do I feel now?

Im a totally different person. Going through everything above has changed how I feel.

I just helped my dad get a splinter out of his foot. I helped one person today. Thats another thing, helping someone else will make you feel better.

Heres your challenge for the next time you feel down. Find the right people. Move your body. Read something. Write something. Create something. Help someone.

Its worked for me.

Today is going to be a great day.

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