The Worst Thing you Can Do if You are Depressed or Anxious and Why You Need to Leap

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Motivation / Personal Development / Productivity

Being stuck with your thoughts. Wallowing. Rumination. This has been my default response over many years of dealing with setbacks and negative thoughts.

My life has changed since making the leap.

That leap did not feature a therapist.

I don’t know whether I’ve heard any success stories of people who have been to see a therapist who were cured of their problems.

Talking about your problems can help in the short term in the sense that you are offloading negative concepts in your mind out into the open, but if a therapist isn’t telling you to actively go out and take courage in the world, your meetings are ultimately pointless.

Anxiety and moderate depression happen as a result of rumination on thought.

As a note, more severe forms of depression I have not experienced, and as such is not the focus of this post. I do however believe that clinical depression stems from allowing more moderate forms of depression and helplessness to run too far, if you haven’t already addressed such problems with dietary changes, like adding more Vitamin D.

The more we focus on the voice inside our head (whether it talks sense or not) the more out of touch with reality we become.

Rumination is not restricted to our own minds either. Talking about what’s ‘wrong’ with you with friends and therapists is also contributing to – and building on – your problem.

You can’t analyse your way out of a psychological problem.

If you are depressed from external reasons, like a grievance, that’s a genuine sadness or sense of loss, not depression, but it can turn into a depression if you ruminate on those negative thoughts and wallow in the negativity.

You have to make a conscious decision to make a leap. This is a leap that might need to take place hundreds of times a day.

It is a leap that could make you feel vulnerable because they have gotten so used to identifying as a victim, trapped in the past, thinking that you can use your thoughts and your self-analysis to set things right.

The leap is to consciously move from being a victim to being an owner. The leap is from being reactive to creative, from irresponsible to responsible, from mind to body, from asleep to awake.

The leap is a habit that you build into every day; every hour; every second of your existence. Over time leaping will become more and more automatic.

Those that stay depressed never leap.

You create your future and you create your ‘right now’. You create every time you make that leap.

You might have had a crappy personality in the past. That doesn’t matter. What  matters is who you are working on becoming.

You can be whoever you want to be. Most of us think our genetics and ‘introversion’ or whatever mean we’re forever trapped to be a certain way. Apart from your gender, this is absolute nonsense.

We think that we can’t change because lasting change takes work. If we’ve spent thirty years of our lives being anxious and in victim-mode for most of the time, it will take hard, conscious, courageous daily action to heal our minds and become the person we want to be.

That’s why it seems as if we’re trapped in our old ways. It’s a gradual, but doable effort. If you want to change strongly enough, you will do what you need to do.

You do this through doing what is uncomfortable but necessary, and it doesn’t need to be big.

You already know what’s necessary for you.

Being strong does not have to be for the top 10%. If you understand how easy it is, you can join them too.

If you are in a cycle of rumination, you need to break that cycle. Get out of the house and do small things that challenge you. Get busy and take action.

Move from victimhood to ownership. Walk tall even if you feel small.

This can be hard to do if you feel awful. So you need to be courageous.

I had this problem for many years, but am now able to turn things around a lot quicker by focusing on what’s good and what can be done, than focusing on how shit I feel.

Soak up the small wins, even if it is just walking to the postbox down the street. No challenge is too small.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with challenges that are over the top for you. Start minuscule and build on the results of those actions. Being strong is nothing more than the accumulation of having taken many tiny, doable steps in the right direction.

You need to flood your daily schedule with positivity, movement and taking action – anything that smothers the chance for you to ruminate.

Everyone has the capability to move out of anxiety and sadness and depression by making a simple decision: leap.

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The Author

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

1 Comment

  1. fred says

    Man I usually enjoy your thoughts on freelancing and whatnot, but telling people who are suffering that talking about their problems with loved ones or mental health professionals would make their problems worse is fucking stupid and irresponsible, frankly.

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