Stop Depression and Enjoy Your Christmas

Depressed people deserve to have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year too!
From Lauritta in shutterstock.com

December might be the most loved month by children because they expect to receive gifts, by adults because we love to receive the Christmas bonus, and by seniors because they are eager to see the whole family reunited once more.

People give a smile when they greet in the street, you can feel it in the air, the music, the food, you can sense everything been more cheerful around at this time of the year.

It’s a happy season for everybody or at least that’s how we usually see Christmas and how we feel it should be.

Not everybody feels like this is a happy season. To be honest, for quite a time I’ve been feeling the Christmas spirit to be lost in many ways.

Maybe I’m wrong about this but I feel like, as a general rule, once you gain more knowledge and consciousness with what’s going on around the world (especially the negative stuff), it will get harder to keep something like the Christma’s spirit to be alive.

I can’t talk for everyone else that thinks this way, but in my case probably it was just a natural process that came with growing up from childhood.

Depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness could have played a big part in feeling lonely, sad, and frustrated especially on Christmas for a lot of people.

You may put a mask of being happy in this time of the year to not feel too alienated and to not chase away the people you care in this world. You may dance, talk, and smile to keep the appearances around people, but what happens when you find yourself alone? Are you ruminating back to the shadow realm in your mind? Did you ever leave?

Having to fight against them, don’t leave you with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to enjoy Christmas and as much as you don’t want to end the year feeling like this, you simply don’t know any better.

While everybody seems to be having a Merry Christmas, you on the other hand are feeling anxious and probably crushed by depression.

Just Stop!!

I really mean it, just stop!!

Feelings of depression cannot be easily stopped just by desiring it. But you can stop trying to pursue happiness on the outside, you can stop resisting and/or hiding your true emotions when feeling things are crumbling inside, and stop trying to keep up a mask so you don’t feel becoming a bummer to others.

Christmas is an especial season to reach out and connect with our loved ones, being in depression and trying to mask it will cut our opportunity to have stronger and authentic connections with them because – as you may guess – you’re not being authentic in building that relationship.

Following this line of thinking, I could say that it will get very hard being able to enjoy Christmas or anything in life if you cannot find a little pinch of authenticity within yourself.

Instead of focussing on resisting, masking, hiding, and negating what you are experiencing, hone in your ability to accept what’s happening inside with what you feel and think and then give yourself permission to do little positive acts that make you feel better.

My advice is not to give up but to accept what you’re feeling and let it out. It is through acceptance that you can acknowledge what steps need to be taken to start improving this condition.

Another point I would like to mention is that if your peers and loved ones only are with you in the happy-easy times, then you need to surround more frequently with people that are going to stick with you in the hard times too.

This will create a big difference in your life. People that support you and want you to get better from depression won’t care if it’s Christmas when you open up to them.

Stop hiding, when you’re opening up don’t seek validation or attention with those people but rather a relationship based on truth and honesty. This is how you can build up your strength to stop depression and start enjoying Christmas.

With that said, I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

The Root of Wisdom & How it Helps Battling Depression

From Johan Swanepoel in Shutterstock.com

Doing a quick search on Google I found the following definition for wisdom: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships.

Before moving on in giving my own point of view about wisdom and how it helps to battle depression, I want to cite several interesting angles for understanding what is wisdom.

“From the Latin Sapientia, it relates to intelligence, in the opinion, common sense, prudence, knowledge, science, philosophyWisdom is commonly used to describe the character of that which is reasonable, or to exercise moderation in desires.”

In www.the-philosophy.com

“… To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.”

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Wisdomsapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.

Wikipedia.org

“The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the branches thereof are long life.”

Ecclesiasticus-1:20

When we see someone doing or talking about something, we intrinsically can tell if that person knows, has at least an idea, or completely lacks keenness of mind in the matter. We already have a general understanding of what wisdom is.

Reading the quotes and definitions above, however, will make you have a better grasp of what I’m about to tell you.

Our way to learn things and understand them better is by relating them with something we already are familiar with. The new connection with the “dot” we know, would be the interpretation of the new “dot” we are trying to learn. (That’s how we have learned to speak our native language BTW).

Knowing this, we could try to connect those little dots and find out a deeper insight about wisdom.

Several keywords come to mind when we talk about it, for instance; Logic, precaution, a clear mind, good judgment, acumen, fear of God, awareness, and even empathy.

To measure good judgment, to be aware of something, and develop a clear mind, we need to compare it against something and that would be an objective reality (the truth). Without this correlation, measuring wisdom would not be realistic and become pointless.

At this time, I’m comfortable defining wisdom as; the ability to perceive something for what it really is in an emotional, physical, and practical spectrum.

The root of all wisdom would be something like – with that definition in mind – the skill to perceive and connect seemingly unrelated and veridical dots that give us a new interpretation of reality with the possibilities that could match the objective reality.

Why Is Important to Seek Wisdom?

We have defined wisdom by contrasting what we know and believe to be real with the objective reality that surrounds us. Remember, what we think is real could be just a manifestation of the lenses we have and hence, could be too inaccurate – even totally opposed – with what is real.

The way of the wise one would be learning to identify the difference between its subject reality against the objective reality. How the dots can be connected to what is real and then acting of that truth.

If someone is able to change its perspective about something despite how he sees it, that would be called a wise man. The importance of having wisdom is because it gives us a wide perspective on things that causes us to open up our minds so we can find and accept the true meaning of something based on facts.

How Being Wise Helps Battling Depression?

Don't give up. Great things take time.
From Inspirational Universe in Shutterstock.com

I would like to clarify that I’m not referring that the mere fact of being knowledgeable about depression will make you able to cure it as a snap with a finger.

Accurate and truthful knowledge is great to have under the bell but is only part of the equation.

Depression tries to blur our judgment by giving us a lense of bitterness, discouragement, misery, grief, and sadness by making us feel that things are worthless despite having the knowledge of what’s right and beneficial to us.

One of the strong reasons for dealing with depression it’s so hard is because it attacks the way we see things (our ability to connect the dots accurately) and the motivation to act on doing something.

It’s quite a problem to live with depression and any little improvement is kindly appreciated. The problem is that everybody experience depression in it’s own unique way.

This is why the best person who should know what is best for yourself is yourself. Things get harder however when our minds have roamed for too long in the shadow realm.

For too many reasons we should seek wisdom and for somebody suffering from any form of depression, it’s paramount to become wiser because even though if he/she cannot see exactly how things would work out, being wise will let you see what needs to be done to get the tools, support, and resources for starting to see and reach that light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite how hard is to fight depression whether you are free from it or you are grinding to the teeth against it, the way to solve all kind of problems is working on becoming wiser every day.

There is a quote that resume this insight very well…

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”

Albert Einstein.

Vices, The Longtime Friends of Depression

A man standing in it's logic while vices try to catch him.
From Alberto Andrei Rosu in shutterstock.com

What is a Vice?

Having depression is hard enough to deal with for one life, but sometimes that depression causes people to have some really negative habits they can’t easily change.

A vice is precisely a deep ingrained habit of doing something harmful to our body, mind and soul that we have a hard time changing or stoping it.

Once we understand why we do it and how we have fallen for it, doesn’t necessarily mean that we can suppress, eliminate, or at least control it with less hardship.

What we lack to understand is that this is not just an issue of knowing what’s happening, this is something that needs to be tackled from an emotional perspective in order for us to be able to change those habits.

Why Vices Help Dig a Deeper Hole Into Depression?

A person trying to quit smoking says to himself “Ok, I’ll have these 3 last cigarettes for today and starting tomorrow I’ll quit smoking once and for all”

Next day comes and if that person started with a strong resolution it probably will resist the urge to smoke for that day and a few more days until that craving becomes so strong it feels like a need and can’t be controlled any longer.

This is why he fails in quitting and because he feels being a failure he falls into the habit of smoking once again, making his self-trust and self-worth take a hit, which will set him to dig a deeper hole into being depressed.

Being depressed creates the “need” to search some sort of relief and that’s how a person picks its own preferred poison that provides the instant and too fleeting satisfaction.

Quite a simple way to explain how the vicious cycle works and why it’s so difficult to break it.

What Can I Do to Overcome a Vice and Feel Less Depressed?

Vices do provide some relief indeed but because of the nature of the relief, we can say this is a short term solution for a long term problem that surely will show us how it will backfire when we see our life from a holistic perspective.

Big problems like these are difficult to handle but I think there are some simple practical techniques you can use to manage the craving and even eliminate these negative habits.

For instance, in the situation of trying to quit smoking, instead of using the willpower to stop, remove the resistance and accept the feelings of desiring that and continue smoking cigarettes.

Now comes the tricky part of the equation, rather than opening a pack and have a cigarette to appease that craving right there, select one place selling cigarettes 5 miles away from home and walk there to buy just one (this is key), then go back walking home and smoke it as you please.

Repeat the process of walking 10 miles again before smoking another one.

Practicing this for at least a few weeks will completely change how you feel about the cravings of any vice you may have. And will also have the positive side effect of doing some exercise.

Conclusion

Despite how good it feels at the moment, a vice sooner or later will backfire in life by manifesting conflicts and struggle in your relationships, financial situation, career, personal development, physical and mental health.

As a vice foster a negative self-image over time and only helps to relieve stress momentarily, it won’t help to create in us the confidence and mindset to fulfill the need for happiness and accomplishment in the long run.

There are several simple – but not easy to apply – practices and mind-tricks to help you achieve a free-depression-life more easily.

While I know that this is not a one size fit all method to control a vice (either for the kind of vice or the particular situation of the person) I hope you can put in good use the one that I’ve shared here and that it can serve you well in your journey.

How Believing in God and/or Something Bigger Can Help Fight Depression

A man seeng the stars
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Sometimes we like to wonder about this vast space containing all the stars we see, all the planets, solar systems, black holes, galaxies, and who knows what else other things we even can’t start to imagine.

When we invest our gray matter into this kind of thinking, we would inevitably ask ourselves about how everything on this tiny planet we call earth, feels meaningless.

I know it’s not encouraging and it can even sound a little sad… but this is one of the conclusions from that train of thought.

Going in this same line of thinking we could even get depressed about how pointless can feel our actions, experiences, relationships, and even our own life itself.

In fact, there are people who believe because of this and that we came out randomly from little microscopic organisms after millions of years, is getting people angry/depressed and starting mass shootings.

I’m not taking these concepts from a hat, you can follow this link and do your own quick research if you want to know more.

Reading about these things and letting our minds wander a little more, we could see the logic but I’m not completely convinced about this being the reason for the increase of mass shootings.

Just consider this, why is it that most mass shootings occurs in USA?

In all over the world, it has been for quite a time that people have been told and taught that God doesn’t exist but the vast majority of people deciding to go outside with a gun and start to kill other people are apparently in the American continent.

Maybe I’m getting a little off the topic and I don’t want to get conspiranoid with this, but what I see is that not believing that we are being taken care of by God it’s something brushing the line of being depressive for our sake.

And that’s something that I have made peace with!

Personally I believe that our actions, our experiences, and the way we interact with each other in this world, (for better or worse) has meaning and regardless of us not understanding the reason why, I know there is a why for our existence.

We sometimes think about all of this and when we believe that there is an all-powerful God instead of getting depressed, we don’t get discouraged by these thoughts and we strive to live and experience life in it’s fullest according (in some part) to our definition of it at that moment in our life.

The reason behind this it’s that besides believing God is taking care of us, it’s because we also believe that he has created us in his image and likeness giving us a soul meant to be joyful, and full of life.

Living and having depression is something far more difficult (or it should be) when we believe in God than believing in natural selection and that we came out of chance.

It is very likely that you already know the obvious reason why this works. I will mention it anyway for those of you that are not 100% sure of what I’m implying here.

The reason is believing in God gives us purpose in life. We also feel gratitude in our hearts for receiving life and appreciate everything that surrounds us on a deeper level.

If there is something that I want you to take from all of this, is this;

When you look up to the stars and wonder how big all of this is and how little is this world, and when you think that your experiences, relationships, and your soul are just meaningless, when you start to feel depressed and overwhelmed by the futility of your life in this vast space, just remember to be grateful and realize there is a purpose for everything that happens and everything that is.

Believing in God makes it a lot easier for us to be grateful and finding purpose in our life.

Gamification, a Tool to Beat Depression

A kid playing Donkey Kong Arcade
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Some weeks ago I stumbled upon a certain word that grabbed my interest (and is still keeping it) that I didn’t know about but in a certain way already had used throughout my life.

I’m talking about “Gamification” which on a simple definition is just the “action to game” something.

Nowadays is very well used among online marketers in ads for us to engage in playing some sort of game so they can redirect us to the webpage and download what they are promoting there (which ironically tends to be an app for a game).

A clear and easy way to use a form of gamification is when we create a scoring system around the completion of certain activities to ensure we achieve some sort of bigger goal.

Let’s see it from another perspective.

By using educational gamification a teacher can use elements of a game to teach students while maintaining an improved sense of enjoyment and hence the engagement and learning/teaching experience will be more smooth and effective.

How to Beat Depression by Using Gamification

Beating depression is not something we can do “accidentally”, we cannot just go with our lives “BAU” expecting that in one day depression will just disappear (that’s pretty obvious, right?)

What is not so obvious is how to battle that depression if we cannot fully trust our minds.

I mean, where would we start? What can we do?

Being honest, I’m not an expert in using this tool of gamification but at least I know where you could start using it to stack the table in your favor against depression.

The one thing I would recomend is to use a list of the things you need to do in a day (and/or week) and assign some fair points to the tasks.

I’ve written about how to use lists before, you can go and check it out here:

Once you start rolling the days completing at least the bare minimum you could add some more difficult tasks to the list that can have (though little) a meaningful and positive impact in your life over time.

Doing it like this will like beating the game… the game or recovering back your life from the claws of depression.

Conclusion

There are more things to know about gamification and this technique (or way of thinking) is very deep. And I know this can sound too simple to use and be considered something effective to fight depression, but in fact, the way to apply gamification is very simple and I truly believe in making things simpler to understand.

Depression is not something that you can defeat overnight, it is well known that time will be necessary to heal this condition and improve your life, that’s why I think using gamification as a way to see this fight like a game you can win, could create a new perspective on how to deal with depression and lastly to succeed in the game.

The Fear Factor in Difficult Times

What Causes Fear in Us?

Two fingers in a hug seeking comfort against fear and depression.
Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

The heart starts to pump blood at a faster pace, our hands and body get humid by sweating, the hearing and seeing senses get more alerts to our surroundings as the brain sends the signal to gather more info from it.

We know very well that stitch in the spine and that shivering in our nerves when we confront something that is well… scary.

Fear can be triggered by a lot of things but we usually know fear when we get stunned in front of something that we don’t know what to expect and can create some kind of harm to us.

Saying it in simple ways, our primitive fight or flight response gets activated because we are perceiving something dangerous nearby and we need to respond accordingly.

It would be a way too long of a shot to define what causes us to feel fear in a 100% accurate way in all situations but we know when we feel it and we know that we want to avoid the situation so we can “survive” another day.

Healthy Fears & Unhealthy Fears

Knowing that fear works as some sort of mechanism to keep our survival, we can conclude with a simple look that fear is something healthy to have. Right?

Well… yes and no.

Let me clarify this better.

In the sense previously described then yes!

But fear is unhealthy to have when A) there’s no real threat or harmful situation to our being and B) we hold to the feeling longer than we should.

For instance, I would say that a lot of phobias enter in the category of “no real threat” as examples I can cite:

Carcinophobia (fear of developing cancer when we don’t have any signs to it), Coulrophobia (fear of clowns), Trypophobia (fear of small holes conglomerated in clusters), or the #1 phobia in America according to Washingtonpost since 2014 Glossophobia (fear of public speaking).

It is unhealthy to have fear of something that cannot represent real harm to us because our safety is not being compromised (at least not in a physical way), hence it doesn’t support our “drive to thrive in life”.

The Side Effects Created by Fear

Now, things could get even worse when we hold to some kind of fear longer than we should.

But why?

Very simple, when the threat (or the belief of the threat) has already passed we still think that danger is nearby and we don’t go back to our relaxed normal way of being.

The sense of alertness provoked by fear to respond to danger is good. However, when we are overly cautious and alert most of the time it can create anxiety, irritability, concentration problems, insomnia (troubles with your sleep), and depression.

In a physical way, an unhealthy fear can lead to problems with our digestion, fertility, weakens our immune system and even can accelerate our aging and lead us to premature death.

Fear can be humanity’s most deadly poison (or virus) in all history and a lot of us are still learning how to deal with it. Even worse, there’s no vaccine or cure to fear and the stress it creates.

The Present Situation with COVID-19

A don't panic message with a Cloth Face Covering to avoid the faste spread of the Coronavirus.
Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

If you look up the news, the statistics and the information that is being spread about COVID-19 without being in constant “panic” or being terrified by them, you should be aware that to this bug you are summing a weakened immune system and all the problems fear brings.

Better it would be to turn off the news for the sake of your health and whole being. (I know it sounds counterintuitive but you can see my point).

Listen, I’m not saying you should not be afraid of anything and be courageous to everything, but I’m saying that we should not make things worse by amplifying problems by holding a feeling of fear.

We must learn how to let go of fear! That’s the key.

Learn to be cautious by feeling fear of something but don’t hold to that feeling longer than must be done after it has accomplished its purpose.

What I think is the antagonist feeling of fear is not courage or bravery, I think we can defeat the fear of any kind by having gratitude of everything in our lives (even the perceived negative situations).

I hope and wish the best for you and your beloved ones in this difficult time we are living due to this Virus and also that can find the way to be grateful for everything in your life.

See you soon!

Magical Words to Win Over Depression

Is it possible we can win over depression with a few words?

Being able to do this, means those words would be worthy of being known as “Magical Words”.

Recently I’ve written another post about how words and our expressed intentions in some way or another, can affect water. As a big percentage of our body composition is water, this implies that we can use words to our advantage or disservice in the fight against depression.

If you are familiar with that post and its content, then you probably would guess what the Magical Words to Win Over Depression are.

But if you haven’t seen it and want to read it…

I want to widen the idea that our intention and beliefs can make wonders to help us beat depression because it would be amazing that with only a few words we can increase dramatically the chances to overcome this mental illness.

What Do We understand for Magic?

Magic is something we define and know as a force that can create, move or destroy something.

Is magic real? I would say is not as real as portrayed in movies and series, (or maybe it is… I don’t know) but the emotions created in us after hearing a beautiful song is something “magical”. And that’s the definition I’m taking of magic in this post.

Maybe you don’t like music, haven’t felt and can’t understand what I’m referring to. In that case, how about an adorable evening with your loved ones? A long time expected kiss with your secret crush? The memorable smile of a stranger that made your day?

Can you see now what I mean by magic?

Supposing that magic exists and it is the emotions created within people that can alter something either for good or for bad.

A Magical Word then would be the word that when expressed will move feelings to make a change in someone.

Simple as that! Right?

And the Magical Words Are…

Magical words that can help us fight and win over depression and mental illnesses are those that help us to change the depressive state depression wants to create within us.

We already know those words! We know they have magical properties but sometimes it is a game changer that someone makes us remember them…

I Love You

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr

It Can Be Done!

“It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.” 
― Richard M. DeVos

That’s Great.

“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.” 
― Angela Watson

Good Job.

“In this world, you do your job, a good job, and that’s what counts.” 
― Francois Nars

Thank You!

“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. ” 
― Alice Walker

Just use them everyday with the intention they are conveyed with and although it could take a while to notice the big chance, remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step!

Why Motivation Can’t Beat Depression

Motivation can beat depression any time and any day. Period!

I haven’t misspelled it. I know what it’s written in the tittle, and surely you will find this to be contradictory. Please, bear with me while I expose my case!

Let’s understand first what motivation is:

Motive + Action = Motivation

By definition from the most renown world-wide-web dictionary (google) 😉
is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Motivation is (with my own words) the “why” we take action toward certain things. Plain and simple.

Divided by its nature. There are two kinds of motivation; one is intrinsic and the other is extrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is the one that comes from the outside. An external factor that can create undesirable or desirable conditions for us to do something, or avoid doing something.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables I’ll be mad with you”

“Go to that party and you’ll be grounded younglady!”

“Not going to my job today and I might get fired, better to get dressed”

Intrinsic motivation is the one coming from the inside. An internal incentive that propel us to do something.

Take this quote from Steve Jobs as way to understand it better.

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli from Pexels

Quick fact! When we generally speak about motivation we are talking about intrinsic motivation.

Quick fact #2! When I wrote about how to cure depression with motivation I didn’t know that I was actually talking about intrinsic motivation.

But the question still hasn’t been addressed, can motivation beat depression?

Well… Yes & No.

I know, I know, let me explain…

Extrinsic motivation which we will identify better if we call it fame, peer approval, money, etc. CAN’T beat depression.

The reason for this might be related with all of this serving a purpose outside of the realm of ourselves. We cannot manage what others may think of us, identify ourselves with that approval and then expect we are going to be at our best.

Same principle apply to money, if we don’t have “enough” or if we lose a lot of money, we then perceive ourselves to be a failure.

Living with extrinsic motivation not only can’t help us to fight depression, it also creates the perfect recipe for having a life full of misery, anxiety, gloom and desolation.

On the other hand Intrinsic motivation which we recognize better as fulfillment, accomplishment, purpose, mastery, etc. CAN beat depression.

The big difference here (you might have guessed already) is that it operates within the realm of ourselves. We have control of what we can try to achieve and after trying our best to achieve something (no matter how small or big) we identify ourselves to be more successful.

A new question has arisen!

How can we use intrinsic motivation to win the battle against depression?

Discipline is key!

Doing our best and keep committed to fight every single day for what we want to accomplish.

Basically, that novel won’t get finished if you don’t sit down to write at least a few paragraphs everyday.

Six-pack abs are the result of sooo much exercise. Not by being content without the workout and sacrifice.

Fulfillment and wealthiness (not same as money) won’t come to you if you don’t put the necessary work to earn it.

Happiness is also something that we need to strive for, and even defend sometimes.

If we want to achieve something in life, we need to understand that in spite of not having the feeling to motivate ourselves of doing something, the best thing to do is start doing it anyways, without waiting for the motivation to come to us.

Keep doing it every day and eventually (with intrinsic values in mind and heart) the motivation will incubate and hatch inside you.

Last thing I’d love to say is:

Go and live your life with the values of intrinsic motivation, and I bet one day you will beat your depression!

Isandy D. Sanchez

5 Qualities of a Successful Life Out of Depression

I want to express the qualities of a successful life (and not of a happy life) because happiness is the byproduct of being successful. Happiness is easily achieved once we perceive our lives to be a success, or at least in continuous progress towards that success.

Once you instill and learn to apply the qualities to have a successful life, depression will not have a chance to crawl over you and consume your being. The strategy to get out of depression here is quite simple to understand, apply the qualities of success for happiness to follow you and depression automatically will lose ground in your life.

1. Patience

Not to be confounded with hesitation, indecisiveness and lack of taking action. The skill of waiting is; knowing with certainty, deciding with conviction and taking action without hesitation.

Patience it is believed to be something that either we have or don’t have. Like you either were born with it or not. I think this is a big misconception, because patience it’s something we all have to a certain degree.

I claim this because I’ve found that the most successful people out there will tell you it’s something practiced, something you need to develop. And this skill well learned and used, will always create a favorable outcome in any given situation.

2. A Long Run Vision

A long run vision is the capacity of watching how things will unfold in the far away future. It is how a strategist see the things in its head.

It helps to have this kind of vision vs the short term one because in the short term vision you are focusing in how things are right now, and what can be done to completely change the things today.

It helps to have this kind of vision vs the short term one because in the short term vision you are focusing in how things are right now, and what can be done to completely change the things today. Having the expectancy of big changes and doing something significant “at the moment” usually lead us to a wrong path.

On the other hand, having a long term vision focuses in the gradual change of things, it focuses on what little (often perceived as insignificant) details we can adapt today to see the big change in the future. And usually lead us to conclude we need to sacrifice certain things and make an effort if we want to achieve our long term goal.

3. Discipline

Discipline is one of those words we all can hear preached repeatedly by all kind of successful people. And yet most of the people still keep failing of fully applying it and sometimes even understand it completely.

Let’s put it in this way. Have you ever flight or have seen a kite flying? Do you know how they can keep flying?

There are several parts of a kite; the sails, the cross spar, the line, the spine, the tails, a swivel for the line and the bridle. Each one of them do their part to make the kite able catch the wind and fly.

Pretty obvious is that cutting the line will make the kite lose it’s stability, go nuts in the sky for a little time and then crash down to the ground or some building.

Discipline is that line of self-control that make us to have the capability of going as high, far, and in whichever way we want in the flight of our lives. Just as the line of a kite, without discipline we will lose our stability to the emotions, won’t have a set course of flight and lastly we’ll crash.

4. Responsibility

One wise man said long ago that “we like to take responsibility of winnings, but the loses, we even don’t want to see them” (if it haven’t been said, then I’m saying it right now!).

Being responsible in a sense, is taking ownership of the good or bad things that are happening or have happened, and we have certain grade of involvement in those things happening.

Clarifying, responsibility is making ourselves the owners of bad or good things happening in our lives. When things go the wrong way we usually want to detach of those things, but when things are going positive we want to take ownership because we’d like to believe we’re doing a good job.

This happens because we want to tell the story to ourselves and others that we are doing our best effort and thanks to that, this is the outcome (positive) or in despite of that the circumstances and external factors cannot be managed (negative).

Knowing that you’re doing the best you can and be humble (more on humility for another time) to accept things as they are, no matter how good or bad, this is how (I think) responsibility starts to develop.

5. An Open Mind

Open mindedness is being humble enough to accept you could be all wrong about something (again, more on humility for another time) and you have the capacity to change your standpoint at any given time.

All of this is proven by the constant evaluation of our thoughts, perceptions and mindset to be molded by new ideas and the possibility of adapting those ideas.

This could be one definition or the definition of having an open mind. To fight depression effectively and having a successful life out of it, an open mind will help us to constantly evolve the way we think, see, and perceive things.

Realizing that we can be wrong and accepting the possibility that other ways of thinking can be more certain, lead us to not be so fixed on our own ways, to not believe that we have all the answers and everyone else is wrong, and that is ok to seek help from others.

Conclusion

To have a successful life out of depression you need to work things out, it is not something achieved in an instant from the night to the morning. Anything meaningful in life needs to be worked out and applied constantly in a daily basis to see the big change in the future.

When you have an open mind and a long run vision to see a better version of yourself in the future, you make yourself responsible for attaining that change and work it out with discipline and patience every day, you’ll have an amazing stepping stone for a successful life out of depression.

Your True Identity & The New Beginning Ahead!

Last year has ended, and a whole new year has begun. The loud music, parties, the food along with the alcohol has most probably ended for a lot of us by now. The time to go back to “the normal life” has already started and with the coming of a new year most people (pretty sure that at least 99.99 %) has some thoughts about starting something new and ending something negative in their lives. 

Well, I know that some people sometimes won’t recognize what they’re thinking about, but the truth is that with the end and the beginning of a year, we feel a little hesitant about what we’ve accomplished and what we want to achieve in our lives. By thinking in this way, we’re giving a little perspective of who we are and whom we want to be!

Your True Identity

By its definition on Wikipedia (in psychology’s terms); identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person (self-identity) or group (particular social category or social group).

“A person’s identity is defined as the totality of one’s self-construal, in which how one construes oneself in the present expresses the continuity between how one construes oneself as one was in the past and how one construes oneself as one aspires to be in the future”.

Weinreich, Peter (1988) [1986]

Everybody knows what identity means but I wanted a valid definition to point out something about it. Looking at this definition and relating it with what I’ve said, we can rephrase this understanding as; at the end/start of a year we sense a cycle has ended and a new one is starting now. In this change of a cycle we give perspective to our qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions.

Now, for those people who suffer from depression it can feel as a very negative experience because they usually think and feel bad about that if they think this way, then there must be something wrong with them.

So what do they need to do? How do they define their identity?

The New Beginning

The First Step to Take it’s Defining Who You Really Are.

First thing first, realize that your depression (or anxiety) is the one who wants to create confusion and lead you to thinking you are wrong. What I want you to understand is that thinking about who you are and finding your self-identity is a normal process, and is even more common when we are at this time of the year.

Another point I want to remark is that you really care about your identity, if you really don’t care, then why giving so much thought? This search for your true identity it translates in a new beginning in your fight against depression, maybe a new beginning of a business, a healthier lifestyle or even starting to write a book.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

Laozi, Chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching.

It doesn’t matter when you’re going to start but what you want to accomplish must be aligned with your beliefs, qualities and personality. I know this could be hard, but in reality, you always need to start with the first step to begin your journey.

Going Deeper Into Depression

I get that depressed people can’t do anything without feeling… well, depressed. Or not feeling like doing it anyways. If this is the case in you, then depression is deeply rotted in your identity because it lead you to believe it is your true identity when you look at yourself.

Depression got this roots inside because it’s very tricky, believing that you can’t change you’re identity is another trick, a false belief created by it. To start a new beginning you’ll need to take responsability of defining (and redefining everyday) you’re true identity to erase the false depressed identity, keep committed to the identiy you’d like to have and everyday will become a little more your true identity.

Conclusion

Around this time we all make plans and set goals to better ourselves. We feel that a cycle is ending and a new one is beginning, so we perceive our lives must do the same. My advice will be then that we take the perspective of who we are and who we want to be, and align it with what we want to accomplish. Having in mind always that depression is not our true identity but something that wants to create confusion of who we really are and we can change the false identity created by depression.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter when we’re starting a new beginning. But what really matters is from where, and that place must always be who we are today and who we are going to become if we accomplish what we’ve set our mind to accomplish.

Hope all of this makes sense to you… Happy New Year!