When you’re depressed, I find it’s best to just be…depressed.
Happiness returns more quickly when you give yourself permission to be blue…or any shade of black you need to be.
I understand that for some people, depression can be so severe as to be life threatening. It can grip a soul for decades. The kind of depression I’m addressing here falls somewhere within the category of disparaging life passages to profound melancholy…which is to say, likely manageable without drugs and positively surmountable. But I will go on record to say that, while I think meds for depression can be a viable option to break a cycle and regain one’s footing, I think we’re a culture overly prone to numbing out. And in doing so, we not only deny our own power, we carry our demons with us far longer than we have to.
HOW TO BE DEPRESSED SO THAT HAPPINESS HAS A BETTER CHANCE OF RETURNING — SOONER RATHER THAN LATER
1. Give yourself full permission to be pathetic (for a short period of time). In fact, relish the pathetic-ness. Enthusiastically wallow in self pity. If people let themselves have downer days more often, there might be fewer heart attacks and road rage. Being a total loser for a morning or a weekend isn’t the slippery slope to despair. It’s a direct route to what your emotions are trying to tell you…feel, heal, know thyself. And move on, more empowered than before.
2. Watch or read something depressing. Rent a some heart wrenching documentaries like, God Grew Tired of Us or War Dance and ball your eyes out. Chances are that your life will be looking pretty damn good in comparison.
3. Be incredibly, sublimely gentle with yourself, like you might be with a child or dear friend whom you deeply adore.
4. If someone who loves you asks how you are, admit to being blue. When a girl friend calls, let her know that it’s a dog day afternoon and that you’re happily in despair.
5. When the novelty of being depressed is starting to wear off, shake your arms above your head like you’re being saved by the Almighty Holy Spirit itself, turn on some loud Opera music, and shout, “I’m depressed! I’m sooo depressed!” Gauranteed: you will start laughing smirky giggles to deep belly laughs and you will decide to listen to the rhythm of your blues and keep on walking…more empowered than before.
6. Break your happiness fast with a treat. Write a kind note to yourself about how brave you are for being still in the dark, for standing down a monster or two. Dress up even if you work from home. Bring a plant to work and water it. Freshen up. And give yourself full permission to just be … deeply happy.
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About Danielle LaPorte
Danielle LaPorte is the author of the book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed "the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality."
You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @daniellelaporte