News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™
Joy, Love, and Peace for 2020
October 2020 Feeling Depressed
"Discouraging data on the antidepressant."
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I am pleased to announce the reprinting (and slightly edited) version of Attitude Reconstruction.
It includes a revised "action" chapter, full Blueprints on the inside front and back cover, and little futzes here and there. Available, signed, sealed, and delivered for only $15.00 (includes tax.).
Great for these times for all those special people in your life!
Praise for AR and the newsletter.
"It's so good to see you are keeping up, keeping people engaged and smiling, while sharing wisdom for life. Of course the character I immediately thought of from the "Good Enough" latest issue was Stuart Smalley from SNL years ago. His opening of "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and dawg on it people like me," always made me smile. I have shared your newsletters with many friends over the years for the wisdom and humor you share. The feedback is great.
Take good care and thanks again for the newsletters!"
Greetings dear ones,
This is my pitch with clients and friends about these tumultuous times. Focusing on "what ifs" or what might happen, are for the most part, a waste of time. In terms of our upcoming election, dwelling on our outrage and what "he" does is guaranteed to bring us down.
By entertaining worst-case scenarios, we're sacrificing our health and more importantly, our sense of well-being. When I hear about some of the behaviors our President engages in, I get an awful inner feeling. Since I can only do what I can, I've learned to shift my thinking to something that supports joy, love, or peace, rather than allow myself to go down the rabbit hole. "I'll do what I can and the rest is out of my hands." "Watch the cosmic show." "All things must pass."
Consider taking action by supporting campaigns you believe in financially, and/or taking action to volunteer locally. But worrying and having endless conversations about how we can't believe what is happening does nothing to help us enjoy our lives.
Most black and white cartoons borrowed from Cartoonbank.
Definition of Depression
Dr. Vasant Lad, founder of the Ayurvedic Institute, defines depression as characterized by "a loss of pleasure and interest in life... accompanied by a sense of pressure, hollowness or emptiness, and low self-esteem." We all can feel down sometimes. But when it becomes our dominant attitude, it can feel hard to overcome.
According to Attitude Reconstruction, we can become depressed when external as well as internal events happen and we don't confront and handle the emotions we feel at the time. These unresolved situations add up and before we know it, we can feel overwhelmed and lost. Feeling depressed could be due to an accumulation of crazy politics, financial worries, health concerns, or relationship breakdowns and disappointments.
"Nothing will ever happen to you."
What To Do If You're Feeling Depressed
There are concrete actions you can take to combat feeling so blah and stuck. I know this because I've worked with people who believed their depression would never lift, and I've seen them take action to turn the corner and find the peace, love, and joy they'd been yearning for.
There is hope. You can dig yourself out of this over or under whelming feeling. Here are seven ways to do it.
1. Reach out to someone safe for support. Don't be alone
with your feelings of hopelessness. You only have one perspective: yours. Two heads really are better than one, and other people can help you find new opportunities, solutions, and insights that you might not have otherwise seen. There's always someone out there--a family member, friend, counselor, or support group--ready to LISTEN. Sometimes it's easier to seek support from a stranger, and that's exactly what community hotlines are good for.
2. Take care of yourself.
Get up and be active. Do regular spiritual practices, such as yoga, regulated breathing, and meditation. Eat fresh foods. Avoid negative behaviors, such as excessive alcohol, drugs, staying up late at night, fasting, and frequent sexual activities.
More Suggestions to Help with Feeling Depressed
3. Focus on specifics and take little doable steps. Don't lump all your woes together. This is called globalizing, and it will cause you to feel overwhelmed. Try not to use words like "always," "never," and "everything," as in, "I always get into this fix, and it never works out. Everything in my life is a total mess." You'll only sink deeper into despair. Instead, deal with one challenge at a time.
Write down specific issues you're bummed about: relationship, job, death, made a mistake, health, not having friends, no money, etc. This will enable you to deal with one specific loss, hurt, regret, injustice, violation, or threat at a time. It may take some time, but the progress you make in one area will help in other troublesome areas.
4. Embrace your emotions. When you deny your emotions, you start to create blocks that will deplete you. Soon you'll be spending all of your energy trying to act differently from how you really feel--and avoiding the sadness, fear, and anger that is trapped inside of you.
Get that emotional energy out of your body physically (even if it feels like the last thing you want to do) by crying, pounding, and shivering. Make sounds to voice your emotions. If you're crying about a loss, say "Good-bye!" to what you lost while you cry or just say "I feel sad." For feelings of anxiety, shiver while saying, "I'm feeling scared." Acknowledge your rightful anger by pounding the heck out of something inanimate, like a mattress, while just making sounds (like growling, for example) or saying, "I feel so angry!" Ultimately, you'll feel so much better.
5. Wage a battle against downer thoughts. Don't let negative thoughts go unchallenged. Practice interrupting old spin and stretch your brain to find something positive from every interaction. Take control over downer thoughts, such as "There's no hope" or "Life is bleak."
Interrupt and replace future-oriented thoughts by repeating a statement such as, "Be here now. I don't know the future. What's one positive thing I can do for myself today/right now?" Quickly replace thoughts of unworthiness with "I'm doing the best I can. I'm a good person. I'm whole and complete. My job is to take care of myself."
"No. It's my night to be despairing and hopeless. You get
3 Additional Helpful Suggestions
6. Abandon "waiting."
Don't wait for someone to rescue you. Pulling yourself out of despair can't happen until you acknowledge that you need to take action. Behavioral and emotional change has to start with you.
Work to give up unfounded hopes or waiting for others to change. Write down all the things you wish were different, then take the first statement and put the following before it, "I give up all hope that..."For example, "I give up all hope that my parents will ever understand me," or "I give up all hope that Trump will see the light." Keep repeating the statement, constructively express any anger or sadness that arises, interrupt destructive thinking, and focus on what you are saying. Soon you'll be able to see what's true for you and what's in your control to do right now about each item.
7. Refocus on connecting to yourself. Don't judge yourself harshly. It may have taken many months or even years of accumulated disappointments, missteps, and life circumstances to get to your current state of despair.
Ask yourself, "What's my purpose? What are my goals?" Keep asking daily. Write your answers. Persist until you come up with ones that resonate as true. Then remind yourself of your goals and purpose daily. Set out a series
of small steps to get to your goal and just do one or two little steps daily.
8. Be open to medication.
Don't judge yourself for needing help. Depression can deplete your energy and erode your health. It's a very real, physical condition, and there's no shame in admitting you can't heal yourself. Medication may help--even if it's short-term, to get you through some rough times. When you're feeling really bad, it's good to consult a doctor to determine if medication might help you manage these intense, down feelings that won't seem to lift. And know it might take trying out several before you find one that works for you.
Recovering from feeling depressed is not out of your reach once you decide you want to feel differently and start to implement some of these suggestions. Start small. The prognosis is good if you do your part to heal. This time will pass and you'll be on the road to a better future.
Thanks for reading this newsletter. May you maintain a peaceful attitude during these unusual times. By the time you receive my next newsletter, we will definitely be in a different place.
If you have any suggestions about a newsletter topic, or general comments, I love to hear from you. It inspires me to formulate my thoughts so I can spread the word of Attitude Reconstruction.