EVERYDAY WAYS TO BEAT DEPRESSION: PART 2 (continued from March 21st)

8.  Get Adequate Sleep.  Poor sleep appears to worsen every mental
health condition — from anxiety, to depression, to concentration and
impulse control issues, even psychosis.   Consider your own
experience:  Are you more likely to be moody and irritable, easily
overwhelmed, hypersensitive and easily discouraged when you are
sleep-deprived?  (Hint for women readers: think postpartum depression).

Contrast this with times when you were well-rested.  Getting adequate
rest can make a huge difference!  Don’t cut corners with your sleep.  If
you are trying unsuccessfully to get a good night’s rest, do a little
research; there are many simple practices to help most folks sleep
better!  If you are still not successful, see a professional.

9.  Talk it Out.  Some of us have heard the phrase, in referring to
our relationship with the Savior, that “you are His hands.”  Perhaps
nowhere is this more true than in matters of the heart.  A good friend,
one who listens without judgment, with a heart to understand — and
not a compulsion to fix — can lighten our burdens in amazing ways.
They can be the conduit through which we feel the Savior’s love when
we might not feel it otherwise.  Simply sharing with them can provide
us a fresh perspective.  (I am so grateful to have such a relationship
with my Sweetheart).  And though such sharing involves a real
emotional risk, this is also what ultimately makes life rich,
meaningful, and fulfilling!

10.  Do not Self-Destruct:  I have not met anyone lately who really
loved pain.  My clinical experience tells me that even individuals
with masochistic tendencies only inflict pain in order to escape a
greater, spiritual-emotional pain.

It is natural for all of us, when we have some pain or discomfort of
some kind, to seek an escape — a means of avoiding or numbing or
covering up that uncomfortable feeling.  Consider if you have recently
done any of the following: procrastinating, over-eating, sugar or
chocolate-seeking, focusing your time and attention on an “alternate
reality” (i.e. TV, Internet, pornography, romance novels, video games,
Facebook), avoiding your spouse or children, binging or purging, compul-
sive behaviors, isolating, workaholism, compulsive exercise or dieting,
and the list could go on and on.   All of these behaviors have one thing
in common: they are characterized by a short-term escape, followed by
long-term spiritual, emotional, and relationship consequences.  Though
they may work for us in the very short-term, their indulgence will ultim-
ately and inevitably create more of the very things we are trying to avoid.
If you are unable to break such a habit by yourself, seek the help of the
Lord. If necessary, seek professional help as well. Instead of seeking
an immediate escape . . .

11.  Re-Commit to Values.  Ask yourself this question:  When I am old and
on my deathbed, when I look back on my life, what would I like to see
in myself? In my life?  What kind of a legacy do I want to have left?
When all is sad and done, what would it take for me to be able to say
that I have no regrets, that I have really lived a life worth living?
See if you can capture your ideas on paper.  You will likely notice that
much of what you have written is focused on things of an eternal and
spiritual nature.

When you and I focus our attention on avoiding the pain of the moment,
rather than living our deeply-held values,  we sell eternal treasures
for a mere mess of pottage.  Are you really willing to put the beauty of
purposeful living on hold while you struggle to avoid emotional pain?
When we commit ourselves to love and live life to the fullest in spite of
our pain, a remarkable thing happens: our lives begin to fill with joy
and our suffering diminishes!

More to come!

Warmest Regards,


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