“Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.”
— Proverbs 25:20
Understanding your depressionRELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
It was a dark night. I was alone in my room with a lot of pain in my heart. Negative — even suicidal — thoughts were in my head.
Three months earlier, my life had been good. I was a regular person with the same desires as anyone else. Then it happened; I lost a loved one. I thought this could only happen to famous people, a neighbour, or a co-worker, but I never thought it would happen to me.
I had never lost a loved one before. After three months I discovered that things were even worse than I imagined.
Living in silence with depression
So there I was in my bed, feeling demons around me reminding me that I deserve the pain, that if I had made better decisions in my life, it would have been different. Even though the light was on, the room felt dark.
In silence with my depression, I started asking myself questions that I would never forget: “Why is everyone happy and I’m not?”, “Is there is something wrong with my life or are people good at faking their lives?”, “Did my decisions put me where I am? Or is everything that’s happening merely coincidence?”
A new beginning
These questions felt like a ray of light entering my room. I picked up a self-help book that I had superficially read a long time ago and which was collecting dust in my room. This was the new beginning of my new life.
After three years of researching and fighting against negative thoughts (or demons), I finally overcame my depression. I found the answers to all my questions.
These days, I study psychology in college and do my own research as well. Many people believe that depression is a genetic disease or can be caused by altitude. Others know that depression is a state of mind, that it’s under our control and we can manipulate it.
Have control over your depression
I choose to have control over depression. I know that I’m not mentally lazy, and I’m not going to let other people or events control my life and thoughts. Genetics is only a suggestion for me.
I learned that we enter into state of depression when we lose someone or something valuable. This can range from a loved one or pet to a part of our body or sensation to material things such as our house or money.
Sometimes even our status in society can lead us into depression: We can lose our jobs, get demoted or lose our fame or popularity. Also depression can be triggered when we lose control of our surroundings or things that can affect us.
Control your thoughts to overcome depression
The truth is we can’t control our surroundings directly, but we can control their impact by controlling our thoughts.
There are many steps I followed to overcome depression. One of them was talking to God. That is how Mother Teresa describes it, but Buddhism refers to it as a “connecting with the universe.”
When I was depressed, all I wanted was not to suffer any more over my loss. I was drinking and listening to sad music. While it made me feel good for the moment, those behaviors were like drinking sea water when thirsty: It actually makes the problem worse and soon will kill me. The human mind can be deceived when we are not consciously aware.
The affect music has on our minds
Things went on like this for three months until the night I decided to change my life and make conscious decisions.
I learned that our minds respond to what we are listening to. For example, the more sad music we listen to, the more sad we feel. Nevertheless, our mind and heart enjoy such music.
I have noticed when I listen to sad music, I get depressed, and people who are depressed listen to sad music.
Nevertheless, sad music is not a bad influence in ours lives.
There are five stages of grief. These are the stages that we go through when we lose something or someone that is very meaningful for us:
We don’t know if it’s real. Sometimes we even ignore it. We start contemplating all the details about how it happened and why it happened. Sometimes we look for someone or something to blame.
We are angry with the world, God, people, events, life and whoever or whatever we think is guilty for the results. Many musicians create songs based on this emotion and express their anger through music.
This is the reason we empathize with many of them and listen to their music. It helps us to understand this stage, but if we want to heal, we need to get to the next stage, which is…
We ask for forgiveness from people, the Universe and ourselves. We accept our mistakes and we are willing to make our lives better and not make the same mistakes any more.
However, we are looking to go back in time and change the event. Our hope is to restitute our lost. What we need is to come to terms with the loss.
We have an internal battle. Having overcome the three past stages does not mean that we are going to climb out of the five stages. Many of us make wrong decisions and unconsciously go back to the denial stage.
Or many of us stay here since we “enjoy” depression: We like to feel victimized. Many people have created the best art in their lives in this stage, including musicians. Here is where we love listening to sad music.
Listening to sad music when we are in this stage can help us. When we listen to sad music we feel that someone understands our pain. The words resonate with our event, thoughts and life; we feel empathy.
We also feel less alone in the world. Nevertheless, if we want to heal, just as in the anger stage, we need to become mentally strong and get to…
We discover that there’s no one to blame and that things happen the way they’re supposed to happen. We learn to live with the loss and leave the past in the past. We understand that thanks to the loss, we become a stronger, better person and have learned something because of it. That without that specific event, we could not become better.
Personally, after my loss, I started to empathize with people. I understood that I was made to serve others and make this a better world. I started listening to people and not judge them anymore. That specific loss made me stronger and now little things that used to bother me are easier to overcome.
Thanks to my loss, I have found real happiness and I’m doing my bit to make this world a better place. My success is thanks to my loss.
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