Depression: Why It Is So Pervasive and What Can Be Done to Lessen Its Effects

Sad WomanGreat sadness, anger, anxiousness, irritability, and angst. That is what someone in the throes of depression experiences on a daily basis. Often, those feelings take over the mind effectively pushing out all thoughts of peace and happiness. Those who suffer with depression wish they did not. They want to feel happy and carefree, and to enjoy life. Unfortunately, when someone has experienced a great deal of tragedies over a long period of time, happiness can seem elusive and hope can seem lost. The human ego, which is the parent of all of our fears, looks for opportunities like this to take over an otherwise happy soul by feeding it with fears, regrets, and worries as a way of challenging the soul’s inherent beliefs about peace and contentment. To do this, the human ego persistently repeats negative thoughts like a music CD skipping on a scratched surface and repeating the same lyrics over and over again. It is up to each individual to learn how to hit the eject button on that skipping CD in order to repair it or replace it with a new soundtrack.

Slogging through the Mud

Depression is tough. I know this because I have experienced it many times in my own life. Sometimes the challenges we face become overwhelming, especially if there have been significant and ongoing struggles with little sense of relief in between tragic circumstances. We become worn down and tired of the constant effort it takes to fight off negative thoughts and feelings that threaten not only our happiness, but also our personal existence at times. It is during these times that the human ego senses our weaknesses and seizes the opportunity to ramp up the negativity. To a person suffering with depression, it can feel as though one is stuck in a mud pit trying desperately to climb out but the slippery slopes cause one slide back in again and again. It can seem like an exercise in futility. Even though the person suffering knows there is a way out because they have risen above the muck before, the human ego with its pervasive power does its best to block those thoughts. Due to the great challenge of trying to see beyond the negativity in order to get to a place of hope and more positive feelings, many people succumb to depression and, at times, tragically take their own lives.

The good news; however, is that depression is a temporary state of mind. There are few guarantees in life; however, one of them is that change is inevitable. It takes strong efforts and great love to free oneself from the grip of depression, but it is possible and, sometimes, it is necessary to receive professional help. If you think you are in need of help, you can contact your primary medical doctor as he or she may be able to provide recommendations for reputable mental health professionals.

Warning Signs and Professional Help

Part of the problem with depression is that those suffering from it often isolate themselves from friends and family members. They either hide their feelings or withdraw from relationships because they feel no one cares for them or loves them. Often, they may purposefully destroy relationships in an attempt to proactively protect themselves from the pain of rejection and loss they believe is inevitable through human relations. In addition, getting extremely upset over the smallest of issues is a red flag that someone is having a really hard time dealing with issues in his or her life. It is a sign of stress overload when someone has little tolerance for anything that upsets the status quo. It is like placing one more rock on a pile which sends them all crashing down in a heap. Excessive sleeping, as well as the abuse of drugs and alcohol, are also red flags that someone is gripped in the throes of depression because they are employing these mechanisms to shut out problems. In their minds, it is a way of providing relief from problems in which they believe there are no satisfactory answers that will help them overcome the issues.

If someone is struggling with deep depression, professional assistance from a counselor, therapist, or in-patient mental health services may be needed to help the person who is suffering. If they are suicidal, it is imperative to take those threats seriously and try to get professional help for him or her by offering to help them find a therapist. Additionally, provide him or her with the national suicide hotline number, 1-800-273-8255, which will provide immediate crisis assistance and put them in touch with mental health experts in the area. While it is good to do what you can to help someone by giving them love and lending them an empathetic ear, deeply rooted problems are best left to those who have extensive training and expertise in dealing with critical or life-threatening issues. You can lend your support and follow up on someone’s progress; however, it is good to recognize when significant problems require professional intervention.

There is Hope for a Brighter Future

There are less serious cases of depression which can be resolved with love, determination, and a strong base of support. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own happiness and unhappiness. Taking an honest and objective look at the circumstances in your life can reveal why you may be experiencing great sadness and angst, as well as what you can do to rise above it. When you do this, you will not only see the positive benefits of negative circumstances, but also the paths you can take to mitigate or deter similar problems in the future. For instance, you may find yourself in a relationship in which you have been giving much more than you have ever received. This imbalance may be causing a serious imbalance within your emotional and spiritual wellbeing. If, after discussing the issue with the person involved, there are little to no positive changes over a sustained period, it may be time to end the relationship because it is causing more harm than good. It may be challenging to end such a relationship because you may have invested a lot of time and energy into this person; however, your energies would be better served by taking care of yourself instead of constantly feeding into the other person’s wants and needs. Remember, you are important, too. You can ask Archangel Michael to help you to cut the cords of past and current relationships in order to help you move forward into healthier relationships with a balance of give and take.

Actions You Can Take for Yourself

When you find yourself struggling with depression or strong negativity, there are many actions you can take to help yourself heal, to correct situations out of alignment with your best interests, and to move forward into more positive experiences for your soul. Here are a few I utilize when I find myself being overwhelmed by negative thoughts and feelings:

  • Call on Archangel Azrael to help transition negative thoughts to positive ones
  • Call on Archangel Michael to give you the strength and the courage to move forward with confidence in your path
  • Provide self-care for yourself, as it is important to take care of you, especially when feelings of anxiety and angst are taking over
  • Take stock of all that you do have and express gratitude for the comforts, relationships, and love you enjoy on a daily basis
  • Halt the negative thoughts and emotions by examining the present. In this exact moment, know that you are safe and loved by those on earth and in heaven. It is often fears and worries that get the best of us, because we are envisioning the worst – let it go and refocus to the present moment. Take each day one moment at a time until the negative feelings pass. You will see how you have come through it with better options than you thought possible.
  • Talk with friends about what is going on. Most of us have experienced times of darkness when negative thinking seems to block out all of the good in our lives. It is healthy to talk it out with trusted friends and family members. They may offer helpful advice or a different perspective that allows you to see the problems within the problem. Think about what they said and examine it in the context of your own life. Then, decide for yourself which ideas have merit for you. Listen to your truths in an objective way.
  • Step out of your environment and see or do something new. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. A change in our routines may help clear our minds and open up new vistas and opportunities.
  • Take a nap. Not every day or excessively, but when the anger and frustration has reached unprecedented levels and you are having a hard time releasing it. It sometimes helps to take a nap once in a while to give yourself time to reset. As you go to sleep, ask the archangels to help uplift your mood and heal your heart while you are resting.
  • Play soothing music as a form of meditation and allow yourself to concentrate only on the sounds and your breathing. Once calm, you can take yourself on a meditation journey to meet with your loved ones in heaven and the angels in order to bring healing and love to your life.
  • Get moving by taking a walk, by participating in yoga or exercising in ways that bring you joy and helps you release excess emotions. Exercise is a natural way to release endorphins, which are happy hormones in our brains.
  • End relationships that are hurting you. Be honest with yourself about whether someone is truly hurting you or supporting you. Think about whether someone is adding to your life or consistently taking away without any concern for your welfare.
  • Clear out old tasks and tidy up your environment. If tasks seem overwhelming, focus on a little at a time. Set mini-goals such as tidying up one room or task at a time. Once that is done, you can move on to the next. Give yourself credit for each task completed, no matter how big or small.
  • Recite these Reiki energy healing principles when you wake up in the morning in order to start your day off with positive intentions:
    • Just for today, I let go of anger.
    • Just for today, I will not worry.
    • Just for today, I am filled with gratitude.
    • Just for today, I am committed to my work.
    • Just for today, I will be kind to myself and others.
  • Upon waking, tell yourself it is going to be a great day – and mean it.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you would be with others. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, stop and replace them with two positive thoughts about yourself. Negative self-thoughts are hurtful. When you replace them with two positive thoughts, you are working on changing your thinking through kindness and love. Be kind to you. Life is hard, but you know you have triumphed over tough circumstances in the past and will do so again – with style and grace.

Regaining Hope

Depression is a serious problem for many people. This world can be very challenging, and anything we can do to help ourselves and others is a plus. As much as they would like to, most people struggling with depression cannot just “snap out of it.” It takes time to heal the heart and spirit of those who have been hurt or damaged by negative circumstances. By taking small steps each day, depression can be overcome, even in cases in which it seems hopeless. Those who are suffering from extreme cases of depression would most likely benefit from professional assistance. Help them, if you can, to find the assistance they need to live healthy, happy lives.

Positively Taking Your Life Back

There may be times when depression threatens to upheave your life; however, you do not need to let it take over. Take small steps each day to show appreciation to yourself and know that you are loved by those on earth and in heaven. Remember, change is inevitable, which means the challenging circumstances you may be facing are only temporary. When you get through to the other side of the issues, you may be able to see the positive reasons for the occurrences. Even if you are having a hard time seeing why events have occurred, keep looking and you will find even negative circumstances have positive reasons for occurring. Often, our frustrations arise from circumstances not going the way we wish they would. By learning how to recognize unhealthy patterns and how to see the positive reasons for negative circumstances, we give ourselves the opportunity to move beyond deep disappointment into a higher understanding of situations and better conditions for our lives.

With Light and Love,
Karen T. Hluchan

Spirit Medium, Motivational Speaker, Reiki Master, & Author of How Have You Loved?

www.HealingSpiritWithLove.com

Karen T. Hluchan is a spirit medium, motivational speaker, Reiki master, and author of How Have You Loved? Through her mediumship practice, Healing Spirit with Love, she devotes her time to the healing of spirit on earth through her connection with heaven. Her passion for her calling is shared through the spirit readings, demonstrations, and workshops she provides, as well as through her writing, Reiki, and fine art spiritual paintings. All of her work is inspired by the divine light that is within us all. She has a great love of nature, people, and the planet, and she enjoys her connection in spirit, both here and in heaven.
 
Click here to learn more about Karen’s upcoming events.

When and How to Say No

Confident WomanLoving who you are and believing in yourself means that you value yourself enough to know when to say no to someone who wants to take advantage of your kindness or who wants you to do something you really do not want to do. People who were raised to always be polite or are looking for approval and acceptance from others can have a tendency to agree to certain actions that they do not want to participate in because they are afraid of being perceived as rude or they are afraid of being rejected.

It Starts with You
Love and respect comes from within you. You must respect and honor yourself and your feelings. If you do not, others will not respect and honor you either. The person or persons who do not respect your right to say no may not have your best interests at heart. If they continue to push you, they are most likely trying to force their own agenda onto you. Some people may have legitimate and honorable reasons for doing so; however, if there is something you do not want to do, then you should not do it.

Own Your Personal Power
It is also important to note that when you say no, you do not have to give reasons or excuses. This may be tough to do at first because societal conditioning regarding excessive politeness and strong desires to fit in or be liked may prompt you to want to give an excuse to garner approval. Excuses are like weak links in your self-esteem, they give someone more information that they can use as a way of breaking your resistance to their request or demand. Your reasons are your own, and you do not need to explain yourself to anyone. If someone continues to aggressively push you, you have the right to step away from the situation. Again, anyone who tries to push you that hard is most likely focusing on an agenda that will not benefit you, especially if they are asking you to compromise yourself or your values.

How are You Treating Others?
On the other side of this, if you are aggressively trying to convince someone to do something that they do not want to do, it would be best to respect their decision. It is possible to open up a dialog that could result in an equitable compromise; however, each person involved must be in agreement as to how to proceed. The solution should not overly tax one person’s resources over another’s, nor should you have to compromise your values or yourself in order to achieve an equitable agreement that supports all parties involved.

Healing Begins with Dialog
Saying no to someone just to be spiteful or taking actions against someone out of spite is another matter altogether. This type of behavior is vengeful and is based on a desire to hurt someone. If you find yourself doing this, you may want to take a close look at why you chose to respond in this manner. If someone has hurt you, answering their misinformed behavior by attempting to deliver pain will not bring about healing. It will only escalate the painful situation even more, and may bring about disastrous results for both parties. A healthier way to handle this situation would be to discuss with the person or persons involved the actions or behaviors that brought you pain. Give them a chance to explain why they acted the way they did. Sometimes, people are not aware that their actions hurt you. By talking about it, you are giving yourselves the opportunity to foster understanding and healing through open dialog.

What to Do if Conversation Is not Possible
If a conversation is not possible because the person refuses to listen or if it would put you in a position that threatens your safety, then it may be best for you to walk away from this relationship and forgive them for their actions. Forgiveness does not mean that you condone their actions. It means that you are unwilling to carry toxic feelings within your heart. By cleansing yourself of the negative feelings brought about by carrying grudges, you can free yourself of the emotional black cloud you have been attracting and invite more positive experiences in your life. Remember, like attracts like. If your thoughts are concentrated on negative experiences, you will most likely draw more of the same toward you. When your thoughts are more positive and based on forgiving people for the mistakes they have made, then you will most likely draw more loving and understanding relationships into your life.

Honor and Respect Multiplies
Honor yourself by making decisions that are in alignment with you and your values. When you give in and do things that you do not want to do, you are giving other people the power to take advantage of you. You can retain your power in a healthy and assertive way by standing up for yourself in a calm and self-assured manner. Aggressiveness, yelling, and strong-arming tactics create unhealthy relationship dynamics that often lead to negative consequences. You can be polite and tell people no at the same time. In fact, they may even respect you more for it because respect for yourself cultivates respect from others.

Ask for Help
If you need help believing in yourself, learning how to say no, or communicating from your heart when facing trying circumstances, you can always call on your heavenly support team to assist you. Ask them to lend you the spiritual strength you need to stand up for yourself in a positive way or to resolve the situation in a way that is for the good of all parties involved. Know that your loved ones in spirit, your angels, and your spirit guides want you to succeed on your spiritual journey on earth, and will send love, peace, and spiritual strength when you ask for it.

Namaste!

With Light and Love,
Karen T. Hluchan

Spirit Medium, Motivational Speaker, Reiki Master, & Author of How Have You Loved?

www.HealingSpiritWithLove.com