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Don't Just Exist! Be Alive!

Updated on June 24, 2011

Sadness or Depression?

You can feel the emptiness like a huge gaping hole, a chasm that sucks all other emotions into it. You try not to acknowledge it, because it's scary. You try to remember how you ever felt happy before, but you can't. It seems like you'll never be happy again, like even trying takes too much energy to even think about.

It may be hard to remember what made you happy in the past, even if the past was just a few days ago. You may have difficulty remembering the activities that made life enjoyable. In your present state of mind, there exists a kind of clarity in which life seems so black and white, no colors cloud your judgment and you can understand clearly how some people begin to feel that life is so hard that it's almost not worth the effort.

Whether it's a just a case of the blues, or a serious depression, there is a chemical imbalance in the brain that is making it hard for you to overcome those negative feelings and self-talk. Climbing out of that hole can take a lot of mental and physical energy. According to one source,, some 17 million people of all ages are diagnosed with depression every year. 20% of the population gets diagnosed with a serious depressed condition before adulthood. Is there a way to stop those feelings and start feeling normal again?

Take Control of your Feelings

Yes, there is a way to control those negative feelings so that you can start enjoying life again. You will need to make yourself believe that things will eventually get better, because right now it sure doesn't feel that way. Talk to your doctor. There are medications that can help you cope with the pressure and stress of whatever life is throwing at you right now. But medications are not the entire answer, and they are not a long term solution. If you have a good friend to talk to, talking is helpful. There are online communities that you can join and find relief in communicating with others who are going through stressful times too.

People who are experiencing depressed symptoms often engage in negative self talk. Overcoming this habit is very difficult, and like all bad habits, you won't be able to break it in just a couple of days. It's going to take a while. You will need a way to remind yourself every day. Using a calendar just for this purpose is useful. Sticky notes also work, if you live with understanding people. Write notes to yourself such as: "Just for today, I will be kind to myself." , "I deserve to be happy." , and other statements that are meaningful to YOU.


Be Kind To Yourself

Keep a Journal to remind yourself of the things that matter most to you. Write down the things that bring you joy, things that make you smile, your bucket list (things you want to accomplish before the end of your life). Write down the things you have already accomplished. When we are feeling sad and vulnerable, we feel like a ship with no anchor being tossed about on a stormy ocean. This journal can help remind you of the times you have been happy, it can be your anchor.

One more exercise: Look in the mirror and say out loud: "This will pass. I will be happy again. I deserve to be happy." Look yourself in the eye and say it like you mean it! I've been there, and it's hard to convince yourself you deserve happiness--but you do. You are feeling sad or depressed right now, like you are just existing. Take control of your feelings and you can be happy and joyful again. You can feel alive!


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