Feeling sadness is as natural as being hungry. However prolonged periods of mental clouds are draining us. Sadness and depression should not be mixed. I have never been diagnosed with depression and never took any pills. Since I
don’t like lies I ask myself: who am I to tell how to deal with sadness? Then I remember the emotional hangover half week past hard drinking weekend, thoughts on suicide a while back, pain and suffering I have inflicted on myself and it increases my confidence. Ya, after all I can tell one or two things about the shit.
Since you have found yourself in a pit of sadness, let me share some tips to find a ladder.
Embrace the Sadness
Darkness is the best teacher to acknowledge us to light. I despise the static life, static emotions. The beauty grasped in everyday details would have never come as a small miracle if it wasn’t for those wet pillows years ago. Don’t fall for victim mentality as if you were the only one carrying the cross. You ain’t no special snowflake, sorry. You have a hard time breaking with spouse, got fired from a job or lost a 20 000 € on a bad investment? Someone out there is having a funeral for their parents. Right now.
Stay aware of what’s happening. What thoughts fill your clouded mind. Track, pin them down, analyze. This is good time to learn, gain new perspective. When nihilism kicks in, everything you posses gets challenged. Everything you hold to be meaningful, including yourself. You probably have been “here” before, did you utilize the circumstances to your advantage? Why not?
I have a theory our minds manufacture artificial problems to keep it self challenged, if your life becomes too predictable. I believe Dostoyevsky wrote something in the lines of (not an actual quote):
If a man would be put in complete fulfillment, heaven on earth, everything he would do is busy himself with most delicious foods, drinks and sex, the first thing he would do is smash that world, just so anything interesting would pop up.
To loose a ground under your feet is as natural as a cycle of day and night. Keep your eyes wide open to this experience. You could bring a ton back from there.
Repeat repeat repeat
Tiring the thinking mind could be used to heal emotional disbalances. Recently I was making a present which required shading half of A4 squared paper in chess board manner – a total of around 2 hours work. I noticed it was a lot deeper experience than I have previously thought. Mandalas, carving, knitting, putting together puzzles and any other similar repetitive task offers a great way to escape unhealthy thoughts.
Transcendental meditation uses a technique of repeating a mantra – special word given to you from a teacher, which does not have a meaning to repeat in your mind while meditating. The gist of if is, that while saying a word over and over again in your mind you have no mental capacity to think about anything else except for a god damn nonsense phrase. Some thoughts may come around as today we are prone to multitasking, but eventually you are alone with mantra. Constant repetition tires the thinking mind, increasing time gaps start to appear between mantra words. After some time you even stop saying mantra and are left with pure awareness, without disturbing mind. Expansive experience, as far as I have grasped.
Mind and body although may seem as separate entities at times, actually have a very tight bond. Mind can impose molecular changes in cells as well as motion can induce emotion (energy motion) and thus thoughts. I know it’s hard to motivate your self out of bed, but take a leap of faith and go for a jog, hike, at least a walk outside. Put on headphones, listen through your favorite music while at it. Team up with your body against the mind. Increased ventilation will enrich your cells with oxygen, your biology will help your mind clear.
You might as well hammer through it in your room. Try some exercises. Few times I did an interesting one. Just hold your hands straight in front of you 90 degrees while you stand still for 10-15 minutes. Make a time goal. It may seem as a joke while reading. Try. I dare you.
Well, when your life is in threat, you sure as hell don’t think about a broken car. Trust your genes. You have only two drives that are genetically determined: survive and reproduce. Please don’t climb on the roof to bet on this tip. Better try cold shower or ice baths. Wim Hof is a front man when it comes to cold exposure. Stay cold for a while, stress your body a little bit. Cold grounds and leaves no place for unnecessary, destructive thoughts. This will enrich present moment and send a clear message from chromosomes: live!
Personalize and act
You and no one else knows you better. You might find funny cat videos, particular music, talking to others as a way to overcome frustrating sadness in your life. I intrinsically believe we posses all the tools needed to overcome the challenges our mind throws at us. Ask questions and don’t forget to act if you are not where you want to be.
Depression as far as I read is whole another level of fuckedupness. The actual wiring in the brain changes and conventional methods and brain tricks no longer work. So if you suspect you are depressed in the actual medical term, I advice you consult a specialist.