“Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Relationship problems or loss, substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to risk for suicide. Firearms were the most common method of suicide used by those with and without a known diagnosed mental health condition.“- https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0607-suicide-prevention.html
In my opinion, one of the easiest mental condition to hide is depression. I think that more and more people are getting depressed and they are getting better at hiding it. Depression can be subtle and it can get stronger if not addressed early.
We always get surprised when a happy soul commits suicide or attempts suicide. We get surprised when successful people get depressed.
Famous actors and actresses, successful people, and even wealthy people battle through life’s challenges that could result in depression, and in extreme cases, suicide, even with all their fame and success.
On the other hand, a lot of, if not all, successful and wealthy people got through their own battles and challenges in life before reaching their level of success. Most had to experience multiple failures and hardships. Some of them are still dealing with their own battles that we may not know about.
We’ve heard of stories when a rich man becomes poor because of his poor decisions or a poor man that becomes rich for making wise decisions.
What does this say about life? It pretty much says that no one is exempted from the hardships that life is consisted of. The challenges and stressful circumstances that it throws. Life can be difficult at times and there is no changing that. What matters is what do we do about it. It is time we take action to take care of ourselves — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We should accept the fact that dark days will eventually fall upon us. This is unavoidable. This is part of life. What we can do is prepare ourselves for these difficult times.
An amazing ability that each of us have is the ability to bounce back when the going gets tough. The ability to get back up again and keep moving.
We need to be prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually for the difficulties and challenges that are inevitable, so that we may be resilient and rise against the circumstances that we find ourselves in.
Mental Health Awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of our mental health, here are some activities, or challenges that I listed for you, that you can try and practice to beat depression naturally.
Depression often develops when an ideal in a person’s life is not met.
When a person dislikes an aspect in his life, there is desire to change it. Acting towards changing this aspect is where it gets challenging due to different circumstances everyone has to face with their lives.
We can give up quickly and easily, or we can fight it. We can sit around and not do anything because it is easier, but will not trigger progress, or we can take the challenge to improve ourselves and develop a strong positive personality so that we may progress and rise against inevitable adversities.
Robert Anthony said, “You can only have two things in life, reasons and results. Reasons don’t matter.” (Law of Cause and Effect)
Extreme dissatisfaction and hopelessness, in the worst cases can lead to suicide. To end everything in suicide means a person has given up, has lost all hope and positivity in this world, and/or with himself/herself.
The following list are challenges to practice in life. They are challenges that the successful and happy often talk about. These may not work for everybody. It worked for me so I thought I could share some of my insight with you and hopefully it makes sense.
I believe that if these challenges can be practiced up to a point where it can be done naturally and masterfully, it would be quite impossible for you to feel depressed. If developed, these skills may happen as second nature and can be used as weapons to battle life’s negativity.
The list is not easy, but what challenges are if not achieved with difficulty?
Remember, we most of the time do not understand why tragedies hit us when it hits us, but it is when we get through it, that we understand why these events had to happen. It is when we get through it that we grow.
Chances are, you’ve already heard it before. “You can do it!”, “The change comes from within you”, “You have the power.”, “It starts with you”, “You always have a choice” and every affirmation that you ever heard, you probably know by now, only has one message.
If 100% of the time they say this, that it comes from within, that you can do it, then I suggest that you listen to them. There’s probably truth to these phrases.
These are facts. No one else can make the decision for you. You are still making a decision by not making a decision.
So I ask you, challenge yourself.
“You can alter your life by altering your attitude”. -Zig Ziglar
DEVELOP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE — 7 Challenges to Practice
I know, I know. You’ve heard it before. You’ll hear it again. Having a positive attitude can help you get through dark and trying days. Understand that having a positive attitude can make challenges easier to get through and achieve. You don’t have to have it and still get things done with a negative attitude, but it is quite easier to do these things with a positive attitude or in a positive mood. Wouldn’t you agree?
Here are some skills I practice to help myself have a positive attitude consistently or to stay in a positive mood.
The challenge is to still remain positive even when the going is tough. It is easy to be positive and stay positive when things are going your way, but when it gets difficult, and it will be, that is when it is most important to stay positive.
Practice these qualities so that you may arm yourself with these weapons to beat depression naturally.
1. Gratitude (Law of Attraction)
– Be thankful. Be grateful. If you include gratitude as one of your positive qualities, you can use this to battle against depression.
Practice being thankful every day, so that you may master it. Master it so that when the bad days come, and they will surely come, you can use this to spark off positive energy from within you.
It is easy to be thankful during the good days. When things are going your way, you automatically feel gratitude to the good energy coming your way.
It is when the times are tough that we need this the most. When life is throwing us negativity, or tragic times, this is where feeling gratitude is most important.
For when you get through these times there will be growth! When you get through these times you will feel like you can do anything. Because you can, and you will. Be thankful for life.
Where there is great challenge, there is great growth.
How can we practice this everyday?
Be thankful even for the little things! Say “Thank you” to the person who just gave you service. This person may have served you lunch today. Or emptied your trash bins in your office. When a person holds the door for you, or something was done for you even if they didn’t have to. A lot of times people forget to say thanks to a person who just gave them service. We now live in a society where “Please” and “thank you” are rarely spoken and it is considered common to be rude.
So dare to be different. Dare to be the one to initiate politeness and gratitude. Give first, before you ask, and see for yourself how good it feels to have something to appreciate and acknowledge.
Gratitude works because when there is gratitude in our hearts, there is appreciation and acknowledgment for something good, for something positive in life. Gratitude can spark off positive energy that battles against the negativity that depression brings.
When the days are at its darkest, even the tiniest light can brighten up the whole room.
There are universal laws that exist to help us live our life to the fullest. If only we can understand it and its purpose. Some of these laws you’re probably already familiar with. The following laws — the law of attraction, the law of abundance, the law of opposites, and the law of cause and effect — are connected to each other and work for each other.
I’m going to try to explain by using gratitude as an example.
The law of attraction states that energy attracts like energy. I think we can all agree that gratitude can be classified under positive energy. With the law of attraction in mind, positive energy will attract positive energy. This is also true when the law of opposites is applied — negative energy will attract negative energy. Negative being the opposite of positive.
The law of abundance says that everything multiplies. When the positive energy you created through gratitude attracts more positive energy from yourself or from someone/something else, it is already following the law of abundance. The positive energy is multiplying.
Now, the more challenging part. The law of cause and effect. To reach results, or goals, action must first happen. Otherwise, you will not reach your desired goals. It starts with a decision and the rest will unfold before you.
“The universe works for you, not against you.”
I hope I explained it in a way that can be understood. My point is if you are feeling thankful all the time, there will be no room for the negative energy that depression brings, hence, subduing depression. Subdue because we cannot truly eliminate depression for the reason that we will always have our weak moments. During these moments are when depression and other mental conditions are strongest to attack.
The connectivity between these laws also apply to some of the other challenges listed here. See if you could identify some of these laws, and other laws that you know of, to the rest of the challenges.
2. Decide to Act. (Law of Cause and Effect)
– Think back to a time when you were facing a problem. A big obstacle you had to get through. To a low point you had in the past.
Now think back to how you overcame it. How did you get over these challenges? Your first heart break? Your first “F”? Your first day? Your first loss? What action did you decide to take to move on?
That’s all it takes. The decision you make to take action in facing the circumstances life throws at you.
Remember, by not making a decision, you still make a decision. You always have a choice.
As cliche’ as it sounds, it’s true. Choose wisely.
Some people had to lose everything first before taking action to change. Some people had to undergo extreme stress and tragedy before reaching their great potential. Some hits rock bottom and yet, they get back up.
Everyone is different. We are unique. Your problem while important to you may not be as important to another. This is life. No one is exempted from facing adversities. It’s called life. We should live it to the best of our capabilities.
What if you can prepare yourself when these dark days come? What if you can react and deal with these challenges better when they come? Would you give it a try?
“Upon us all, a little rain must fall”-Led Zepellin
Every successful person can tell you a story of when they failed. They can tell you these stories by the dozens. All of them. Try asking a person that you look up to or who you think is successful, “What kind of challenges did you have to overcome to be where you are at this time?”
You can be motivated and inspired, full of energy and optimistic, and this is the best time to take action towards your dreams. You have to start somewhere. Invest in yourself. You have talents you haven’t discovered yet.
A wise man advises us to work hard at our jobs….but work harder on ourselves.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Little victories like making your bed, not being late to work, or giving service to other people (among many others), accumulate to a successful life.
Each of us has a different definition of success. Visualize yours and work hard towards it.
Do not wait for opportunities to come to you, you might miss it while waiting or it might never come. Instead, create opportunities for yourself.
Your decision is responsible for your success and happiness. Decide that you will always win against depression and other adversities. It will be easier dealing with these blocks with a positive attitude, rather than the opposite.
You are strong and you deserve all the happiness life can bring you. You have the power to be a master of your emotions and the captain of your ship.
Be excited for who you can be in the process of achieving your goals.
It is easy to be inspired and motivated, and to be positive when things are doing good, but as Les Brown said, when things are going bad, when you feel like you are about to give up, that is when it matters the most. That is where a major part of growth is going to happen.
It is how you react to these challenging moments that matter. The good news is, you can control how you react. You can be a master of your emotions and reaction. This is because you are strong and more powerful than the darkness inside of you.
“You can only have two things in life, reasons and results. Reasons don’t matter.” – Robert Anthony
3. Setting goals (and focusing on them)
-We need to set goals in life and act towards them.
Think of a ship for example. If a ship is set loose on the sea without a destination and without a captain, the ship will just drift off the vast oceans with no direction. It might even sink at some point or get stranded on some distant land somewhere.
But, if we put a captain on that ship with a specific destination, the captain can navigate the vast and often rough seas towards it.
You are the captain, life is the open sea, and your goals are your destinations. Be a captain of your own ship. Set sail to your destination.
Visualize who you want to be. Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve and how are you going to do it?
This will put you in the direction towards your goal.
Write down your goals, whether short-term or long-term. By writing them down, it has already started manifesting itself.
Goals serve as guidance for where we want to go.
The universe works for us if only we can understand how it works.
4. Listen to music.(The Law of Harmonics)
– Really, listen to anything that makes you feel good. However, I strongly advise against violent music for the simple reason that these might send the wrong message. If anything, listen to some easy upbeat tunes that picks you up. That makes you feel happy and relaxed.
The idea is to listen to something positive, inspiring, or relaxing music. In with the good vibes, out with the bad. There is a thing called the law of harmonics, where everything is vibration. This means, that energy, such as electricity, has a certain vibration to them. Energy can be measured by frequency of waves.
During meditation, people sometimes chant “Om” to help with their focus in clearing their minds. This creates vibration that is sent through the body and helps calm the nerves.
Listen to music that makes you feel good. Listen to motivating and inspiring music or speakers. Fill your mind with positivity so that it may help you battle the inevitable challenges to come.
Listen to music and let the good vibrations flow!
5. Appreciate yourself.
-Give yourself a pat on the back. If you haven’t hurt anyone or stepped on anyone, caused anyone deliberate pain, you are
already better than the majority. If you’ve made someone smile today or helped someone today, you have also given service.
We have to strive to keep improving ourselves so that we may keep moving forward, towards our dreams and goals. You are so much better than what you think you are. What anybody else thinks is none of your business.
There will be times when it would feel like no one appreciates you or no one understands you. These are crucial times when you must appreciate yourself for the good that you do. We can’t change how other people think or feel, but we are responsible for our own emotions. Because emotions can be strong when not controlled, and it can lead to life changing decisions that we might later regret.
When you appreciate yourself, you don’t even have to verbalize it because it will be visible. People will be able to see the energy you emit when you appreciate yourself. They will then start to appreciate you for things you do for yourself. They will be curious to see what keeps you going. And you can show them. Some still won’t see what you see, but the ones who matter always will. We can’t reach everyone if though we want to. Expecting to do so could lead to disappointments and dissatisfaction. Negative energy that we want to stay away from.
You can be happy even just by yourself. Believe in your value. If you can be happy on your own, everything else that do will come as a plus and pleasure, and will be more appreciated.
6. Breathe. Meditate
– Meditate. Free yourself from the surrounding electronics. Disconnect for a moment from your surroundings and listen to yourself, your thoughts, and to what other people might call, your higher self (or higher voice).
Take even if for just five minutes in total silence. Heighten your mind. Breathe. Deep breaths help calm the nerves. It can lower your heart rate and decrease anxiety. After a few deep breaths, your focus will be increased and new ideas can be created. Use this to clear your mind once in a while.
The world is moving so fast that we neglect ourselves a chance to pause for even a little bit for ourselves. Stop for a while, and breathe. Practice to include meditation into your weekly routine. It’s easy to get angry, and much harder to remain calm.
You think more clearly with a calm mind. It gives you insight to make wise decisions.
Try meditating if there is something troubling you. The answer is within us most of the time if we only listen to our higher selves.
Most of all, when things get overwhelming for you…breathe.
7. Pay-it-Forward (law of multiplication)
– Have you heard of the story about a man going through a drive-thru coffee shop, and decided to buy/treat a cup of coffee for the next car? Interesting right? How uncommon is that? What is even more interesting is that by buying the next car a cup of coffee, the driver of that car also decided to buy the car after him a cup of coffee. This triggered a chain of events that went on for hours and hours.
This is a good example of a Pay-it-Forward system.
Do you ever sometimes notice when you hold a door for a person, that person holds the door for the next person too? It doesn’t often happen but it’s always nice to see when it does. You know, little things.
Some days, you should try small experiments.
Greet people at work with different tones and different voices. Try it with energy and without energy. See how many people would act differently. Most of them though, will try to match the energy you are emitting with your greeting.
“GOOD MORNING!” as compared to “good morning…”
Next thing I tried was to smile at people. I work at a place where the majority feels overworked and underappreciated. You can just see it on their faces. So one day, I tried smiling at these people. And again, almost everyone responded with a smile of their own. I say almost because unfortunately, we can’t get to everybody.
Some are just so miserable beyond smiling that they seemed like they’ve lost any kind of excitement for anything. That they almost can’t believe that someone is smiling at them, or even acknowledging their work.
We need to have a sense of humor. Otherwise, we’ll be mad most of the time. Time and energy that can be spent elsewhere.
Sometimes, seeing somebody do a good deed will inspire others to do good deeds also through the day.
Initiate the movement. Good deeds tend to circle back to those who started it. “Karma goes around”. The challenge is to pay-it-forward without expecting anything in return. That being able to help or give service to anyone in need and willing is a reward on its own.
BUILD UP YOUR SELF-ESTEEM/SELF-CONFIDENCE: 5 Practices that Contribute to Increasing Confidence
8. Support System
– Have a good support system. This could be your family, your friends, or your significant other. It could be one person, and that is all you need.
Having a support system that understands and supports your decisions is important. I would rather have my friends tell me what I need to work on or point out my mistakes and offer their point of view rather than anybody who has to pretend to like me or won’t tell me what they really think.
Support system who are blunt to help you develop your character.
We must understand though that they are not responsible for our happiness or for how we feel, but they sure do contribute to it a lot.
I had friends tell me my faults to my face. I didn’t like it but I reflected with what they were saying and realized that it was true. I was short tempered and the little things upset me. Because they pointed that out, I feel like I react a little better to difficulties now. I took a negative comment about me and turned it into one of my strengths that I use when facing challenges at work, and at home.
9. Exercise (Be Active)
– Go outside. Walk around the block. Even aimless walking could spark up the creative mind. Keeping your body active, keeps your mind active. Endorphins are released with physical activity. Endorphins are your feel good neurotransmitters. They are released automatically when certain actions are being done, such as exercising, or simply being active.
You’ve probably heard of the runner’s high or endorphin rush. This happens when runners suddenly feel good after running for a distance. They get in rhythm. They get in the flow. Endorphins are released and for a moment, you don’t feel tired or feel any pain. These endorphins are our natural painkillers.
If you know how endorphins rush feel, then we could probably agree that in order to break through the tiredness and the pain from running, effort and energy must first be exerted.
Including exercise to your routine will help boost your confidence. Make it a habit and it will do wonders to your mental and physical state.
When times are rough, I find exercise can have a positive impact in how you deal with stress and negative energy.
The same thing applies to life. We have to put effort and energy to get what we want out of it. If we want positive energy to come to us, we must put off positive energy as well. Everything has a price.
Exercise can be used to beat depression naturally. We could literally exercise anywhere. The challenge is how to use it to our advantage.
10. Small victories matter. Enjoy the little things.(They Add Up!)
– Enjoy the little things. By this, I mean the little things that make you smile. Even those little feel good moments that nobody sees but you.
I smile to myself when I see parents play with their children. When old couples act like they are freshly in love. When I witness another person help another person. When I see a selfless act being done, without expecting anything in return.
I notice the little things that start out big events. The small victories that amount to huge success.
We already live in a negative world. There is so much negativity around us, it’s unbelievable. This is why the little things must count. If we don’t count the little things, we might not have anything to count at all.
Big events can happen any day, but not every day, however, small victories happen every day.
The little things matter.
Failure does not happen overnight. Success does not happen overnight either. Life is a cumulative process of little failures and successes that make up a failure story, or a success story.
Little things like making your bed in the morning, or waking up a little bit early and not rushing to go to work can set the mood for the day (and many others). It gives you a sense of accomplishment. If you include these your small wins, it can boost your confidence throughout the day.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re driving home and listening to a good song that you particularly like, and as soon as you get home and put that car on park, the song you were listening to ended. Doesn’t that send a good feeling to you? No one else was there to witness it but you felt good because you were there for it. These are my kind of small victories.
I am easily fascinated and pleased. It takes the smallest things to make me happy. Mostly, it is because I am grateful to be present to witness a spectacular event, even if I’m the only one who knows about it.
Sometimes, when we witness another person do something good for another person, it motivates us to do something good for that day as well. You didn’t spend money, you didn’t know those people, but still it motivated you to do something nice for somebody else.
A little thing, starting out a big event.
11. Do something you enjoy. Be creative. Draw. Paint. Write. Create.
– There’s a saying that goes “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can be transformed”. This simply means that the energy that you are feeling right now, however high or low it may be, is not going to go away. Instead, it will transform into a positive or negative energy, or it will remain the same.
When you gather all that energy and harness it to create, you will feel good about yourself. We are meant to create and invent.
Think about all the great artists before our time. Vincent Van Gogh suffered depression, and he transformed his energy and communicated with us what he saw through his many paintings. Today, his work is appreciated by people all over the world.
J.K. Rowling was going through depression as she wrote the Harry Potter series.
Oprah Winfrey suffered through a lot of pain and loss, before she became the successful woman that she is now.
Robert Downey Jr. was battling addiction, and went to jail, before becoming Iron Man.
There are stories of people with no arms that can paint with their feet, or play music with their feet.
There are people who are considered disabled who can run more than you can, and faster than you can.
You have skills and talents that you have yet to discover. Do not give up.
Instead of competing, we must create.
There are people who are waiting to hear and see what you have to say and show.
12. Read (especially if you enjoy reading)
-Reading a good book can take you places. It can give information. It can inspire. It can literally make you feel like you are in another world — the world of what you are reading.
Read about the people you get inspiration from. Read from successful people and study them. Learn from their expertise.
Read about the industry that you want to be a part of.
When reading (or listening), Robert Anthony advises us to “Understand what is being said, without the necessity of believing it.”
We all read a certain piece of information, and we all interpret it differently. It affects us uniquely. This is how ideas are formed — we have the capability to look and interpret things our way, up to the best of our knowledge, and also, if explained well, we can view other people’s viewpoints without the necessity of believing it.
Growing up, Harry Potter was a favorite of mine. I enjoyed the world J.K. Rowling introduced us. The imaginary world it showed me were extraordinary. The places it took me, all wonderful. My imagination was running freely. It made me realize that anything is possible if you put it in writing.
Be a wide reader, my dad would always say. Be a wide reader.
Read a wide range of intelligent books. The rest will follow.
Stressors are everywhere. We can use our reading skill to reduce stress or to help us deal with stress. Reading can be used as a stress reliever. It can help us through the information we gathered from a reading material, and applying it to our personal lives.
Read (See what I did there? lol) about it here.(Reading as Stress Reliever — Why it Works!!)
I believe that if these challenges can be practiced and mastered, it could greatly contribute to our personal development and our happiness in life. It can be a huge advantage in becoming successful, and used as weapons in battling against conditions such as depression, and other mental health issues.
If mastered, these developed skills can be used to battle depression naturally, and other life challenges that are thrown at us.
As you move on in developing yourself, “Remember that there are only two things you can have in life, reasons and results. Reasons don’t matter”. Also, “You can alter your life by altering your attitude.”
So let us strive to improve our attitude in life, and develop a strong character so that we may battle adversities with an advantage, when they come.