Secrets to beating depression and helping others

We have entered another national lockdown, and it is causing a lot of destruction in people’s lives.  It is not a surprise that we are all experiencing an overwhelming feeling of helplessness and despair. Some people have close friends or family members in support bubbles to talk to, but what about those who have none. They may be your social media friends.

People who don’t have friends may struggle to approach people. They may be happy tagging along with work colleagues, university groups and so on, but they don’t feel confident enough to hang out with friends or even ask for help when they need it.

They learn to exist in the shadow of others. Before the global covid-19 pandemic happened, such individuals were just content with going places and seeing others have fun. They were happy witnessing others enjoying life, while they sat on the next table having lunch or dinner alone. But now things are not the same. However, there are things we as a community can do to help those who struggle with socialising to help them improve their moods and ease their depression. In return, you yourself will benefit from helping another person too.

Before you rush to be the superhero who beats depression for others make sure your arm yourself with the two following emotional shields:

  1. Self- Love

Life is hard for everyone.  But you’re a fighter. Do you know how I know? Let’s look back to the beginning. Why is it you are alive today?  There were billions of sperms swimming to make it through the egg’s outer layer to fertilise it. But you became that cell. You created a barrier to keep other sperm from stealing your spot. Even as a cell you had to fight to survive. Then you waited. And nature did not miscarry you. You went through the necessary fights and from being something small you made it to the person you are today. Faced with all of the challenges you came through.

But somewhere, down the road of life, you have stopped believing in yourself. You have stopped seeing how far you have come. Why have you, a living, breathing adult- person, stopped believing in yourself?

Often, we cannot control the circumstances in our world, but we each have the power to believe in ourselves. We have to power to say, ‘I love myself; I accept who I am, I have come this far because I believe I am worthy of this life.’

We look with our physical eyes and see the beauty of the outer world. We can also look with our inner eyes and see the beauty within. The inner you want to connect with you, wants you to believe you are worthy and no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome.

When we feel the need to help others, it is sometimes because we see something in ourselves that we are trying to avoid facing and we think that by helping others, the issue will go away. Helping others does help us only if we work on ourselves too. So, remember to work on yourself.

  1. Be empathetic to yourself

We sometimes find it easier to be more empathic with others than ourselves. Experiment being open to your own thoughts and feelings. Empathy helps us to understand someone else’s experience and their internal view and beliefs about the world. But to help others successfully we need to start with ourselves. As the saying goes ‘charity begins at home.’

You can start by showing yourself some self-empathy by being kind to yourself. We usually are very hard on ourselves when we have made mistakes or when something unplanned happens. We are less forgiving with ourselves than with others.

Sit down and ask yourself these three questions: (it will be helpful if you can create five more yourself in a first-person dialogue.) Fill in the blank

  • If you make a mistake how critical are you of yourself _________________________________
  • When you telling a friend about mistakes you made in the past, how do you feel afterwards? ___________________________________
  • When you are struggling or feeling down are you hard on yourself? ______________________

If you come across as brutal to yourself, it’s perfectly okay. Please read my article on ‘4 things to do to improve your confidence.’

To help others, we need to be emotionally safe for ourselves and those we are helping. Be safe and thank you for taking care of yourself and helping others around you.

 

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