A big game changer in my life; emotions come in waves. They always go away again. And accepting what you feel instead of trying to fight it off often helps the “wave of emotions” pass faster.
One the negative cycles I always got into was feeling bad, stressing about feeling bad, getting angry because I didn’t want to feel bad, which all just made me feel worse. I always thought fighting off depressive thoughts was the way to go, always. But then I learned it isn’t. Accepting that I had a bad day (or a bad week) and that it would eventually pass again made me feel better way quicker. This realization was truly a significant moment in my healing journey. I needed to learn that accepting the way I am includes accepting that I have negative thoughts, bad days, bad weeks and sometimes bad months.
Some things I repeat to myself over and over when I have a bad day are things like this will go away again, this too shall pass, you’ve survived all bad days, weeks and months you have before so you’ll get through this one as well. And this accepting part is hard, however it made a big difference for me as at least I wouldn’t get into that cycle of being angry that I was feeling that way, or being upset that I felt that way which made it worse. I just let it be there, knowing that it’ll go again.
Now this doesn’t mean that I think just simply accepting something will make it go away, it won’t. But it is a start. And it was a great start for me. I have to work hard every day to keep my depressions away, I need to keep training my brain, I need to stick to my work out schedule and so on. But I have been without a depression and without medication for 5 years now, and the accepting was the start of it.
Depression is heavy and fortunately not everyone suffers from it. But this accepting works for very many smaller things as well. When you are in a bad mood, instead of fighting it accept it. When you feel sad, accept it don’t fight it. If we feel a negative emotion come up, accept that it’s there and move on with your day. Often you will forget about it and the negative feeling will be gone before you know it. While if we kept fighting it, it keeps our minds focused on it and it will stay. Don’t let your mood become your mind set.
Something I read once which I think is a pretty cool trick is to instead of saying I am angry; say I feel angry. Angry is not who you are, it’s how you feel in this moment. And the moment will pass again. And angry is no longer how you feel. You are so much more than just your emotions. The emotions are just something you feel right now. Reminding yourself that emotions come in waves and it will always pass again is a powerful tool.
PS Depression is an illness. An illness that needs treatment. And it is very important to find professional help when you need it. I am sharing some of my experiences in dealing with negative thoughts and my depression in my blogs, as maybe these could be helpful to someone else and mostly, I’m sharing them because I wished I had learned these things sooner. Not because I think that my experiences can replace professional help, they don’t.