Shifting a depressive experience

Finding yourself having a depressive experience?  Are you feeling, as they say, “out of sorts”?  Yes, I can relate.  I’ve been there.  Lots of times.  Many things can lead to or contribute to depressive experiences; what are they?  Loss, trauma, life changes, changes we didn’t want, and changes we’ve been wanting can all lead to feelings of depression, grief and a general sense of “being out of sorts”.  Feeling down or “blue” is really normal under these and many other conditions that we experience in our lives.  Great, so what do we do about depressive experiences, or “episodes”?Typically, we just want them to go away.  We want to do away with the feelings and hope that they never return, but this is not realistic.  Even as I am writing this, I myself am feeling somewhat out of sorts and “in a funk”.  I recently relocated back to California after being gone for 22 years.  It’s a change that I had wanted and pushed for many years and now that I am here, I am recognizing that despite the good changes, I’m missing what was usual and routine for me for the past 22 years.  Surprisingly, I saw it coming before I even got here, knowing what I know about human emotions and my own emotional landscape.  As I sit here, the part of me that was signaling warnings up ahead is saying, “it’ll eventually pass, and in the meanwhile, let’s utilize the energy and find some inspiration in this situation”.  So I, am listening to that part, and also acknowledging the part of me that is feeling sad and lost.  I am doing both.  I decided to write this article to shed some light on these feelings that we all have, and to share my own experience.  I hope that it will help you to find resources inside of you that can utilize your energy in a positive way while working through your own feelings of depression. In shifting depression it’s really important to find something creative to do. Anything.  Music, art, dance, writing; even going for a walk can help.  Read a self-help book.  These are just suggestions, and just as importantly, don’t try to avoid of get rid of the bad feelings.  They are signals that something is trying to heal within you.  Remind yourself that depressive experiences are part of life and that they don’t last forever. Being mindful of the ordinary things around you such as everyday objects in your environment-colors, shapes, different sounds that you hear-can also provide grounding.  Remember that your thoughts are not necessarily reality.  They are just simply thoughts and you can shift them.  It does take practice and commitment.  At times people find it hard to get up and get going.  You MUST get up each day and develop a routine that you will stick to.  Get up at the same time, make sure to have breakfast, get some exercise if you can, and develop a daily meditation practice.  If you do this every day, it will make a difference.  These are not things that will necessarily yield results right away.  It’s like investing.  You put the time in and just like putting money in the bank, you will build it up and eventually see how much you’ve built.  So, start now.  Get up and get going.  You have all the resources you need within you.

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