Here is some of this weeks questions and my responses to them.
What should you do if you are depressed?
You’re going to get lots of people answering this question by saying exercise regularly or do any kind of physical activity. Keeping yourself busy and your mind occupied is also good advice. Using mindfulness to help you to live in the present and not think too far into the future is important too.
All this is great advice but I think the best thing you can try to do is to continue to live your life. I know this is much easier said than done. You’re going to have bad days, in my experience some really bad ones! This you need to try to accept, but you also need to make the most of your good days. When your feeling terrible always remember, tomorrow the suns going to rise on a brand new day. It’s important not to give up, by living your life and embracing the moments, in effect you’re putting two fingers up to your depression ( figuratively speaking!)
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will.
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high.
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.
I think my girlfriend might have depression, but doesn’t want to get help. How can I convince her, or help her?
Edit: I know some of the problems that she had in her past, and I think there’s a connection between her depression and her problems. She keeps saying that she doesn’t want to live a long life or want to be happy.
Seeing someone you love struggling like this and refusing to get help must be extremely tough, I have never been in this position. But I am battling my own depression and accepting it took me along time. In my opinion, Pushing her into getting the help will not work, it will only result in alienating you. Yes gently reminding her that there’s lots of help out there is not a bad thing, but don’t over do it. She needs to make this decision herself. You therefore need to be patient and empathetic towards her, try to offer her reassurance and remind her what a great person she is and why you love her as much as you do. Also when she’s having a day where she’s feeling less down, try to encourage her to have some fun, a gentle reminder to her that life’s not all bad. At the same time remember about your own health. There are support groups out there for you too, with like minded people who will be able to advise you better than I can. Sometimes taking a step back might sound cruel but it can be healthy for both of you. Try to include more people if you can, such as friends and family.
If it ever gets to a stage where you are concerned about her immediate state of mind and that she might be a danger to herself, then there are crisis numbers you can phone, you will find these on any of the big mental health websites such as Mind. I hope you don’t need these and your girlfriend accepts the help in her own time. Remember to be patient. The acceptance post on my blog may be of some use to both of you.
How can I overcome nervousness?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always suffered greatly from nerves, long before I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Its the fear of the unknown that leads to my nervousness, not to mention that inner self doubting voice that we all have. Repetition and familiar routine are what work best for me. If you do something enough it becomes second nature and you’re able to switch onto auto pilot. This can even work when facing up to your fears, as you become comfortable and self-assured in what you’re doing, you soon start to wonder what it was you were worried about in the first place.
So providing I know what’s expected of me and I have the capabilities to accomplish the task in hand, I have succeeded in overcoming my nerves, haven’t I? Sadly as you know life doesn’t work like this. For me, extensive planning works to a point, in limiting the number of surprises, but it doesn’t eliminate them all together. Its impossible to plan for every eventuality and for times when you can’t do this, you need some other coping strategies.
Breathing your way to success! Controlling your breathing by taking deep breathes in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focusing on your chest rhythmically rising and falling, Concentrating on this alone and trying to slow everything else down and remain in that present moment.
Using positive reminders, such as a mantra that you use on a daily basis. Words such as “I am calm and assured and in total control” Repeating a statement like this over and over in your head, until eventually you start to believe it. Having positive messages written down and reading them before I leave the house also works for me. Some of these things may sound simple but you’ll be surprised how beneficial they can be.
When should we accept our weaknesses and when not to?
We’re all only human, nobody is perfect. Its important to accept you have certain limitations, if you don’t, life could cause you much distress. But it’s also important to remember to keep challenging yourself and that it’s possible to overcome some of our weaknesses and even turn them into strengths. Finding a happy medium is what’s the key, and not giving yourself too hard a time. Also not viewing every failed attempt as a weakness.
Thomas Edison wrote ‘We haven’t failed. We now know a thousand things that won’t work, so we’re that much closer to finding what will.’