I wanted to step outside of the dating conversation for this week’s new video.
Relationship or no relationship, the quality of our lives is the quality of our emotions. And many of us feel plagued by our emotions. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, sadness, shame, guilt, fear… we can find ourselves living in a constant state of suffering.
If you can relate to this, please watch this before you do anything else today…
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Hey guys, something a bit different this week. We actually took a clip from a live session that I did where someone asked me about dealing with depression. And I think this is going to be really helpful to a lot of you, whether you associate with being depressed, or just some kind of chronic pain, some kind of anxiety, or even just any kind of negative emotion that you feel is dominant in your life right now, and you want to have some mindsets that can help you deal with that – not just overcome, but live with those feelings. I think you’re going to take a lot from this. So check it out, leave me a comment. Let me know what you think and I’ll see you back here at the end.
Well, Mai-Mai says, “Any advice for people having depression?”
Depression is an interesting word because it’s a very loaded term, right? There’s people who are feeling depressed and there’s people that are suffering from a chronic depression. And I’m a big believer in… Whatever, whether you are depressed right now or suffering from chronic depression – which are different, right, because chronic depression not only has the weight of feeling depressed, but the exhaustion of constantly having been depressed, and the catastrophic thinking that comes from the feeling that “I will always be depressed and that this is something I’m always going to suffer with.” And that’s a really scary thing. It’s one thing to be having a bad day and to think, “Oh God, I can’t wait until this day is over.” It’s another thing to think, “This is who I am, and therefore I will still be feeling this six months from now or a year from now.”
But I do think that, either way, we have to recognize that… essentially that the idea that feelings are temporary applies on both levels.
If you’re suffering from feeling depressed right now because of something circumstantial in your life, then you have to at least stand back from that and say, “This is temporary. I am depressed right now because I’m going through a terrible breakup. This is caused by what I’m going through right now, and I’m in a season and it’s going to get better.”
If we suffer from a kind of chronic depression, in the same way that we can suffer from a chronic physical pain, we have to remind ourselves, both with chronic emotional pain and chronic physical pain, that this pain does modulate. It does change, right? It doesn’t stay the same all the time.
Sometimes I’m more depressed and sometimes I’m less depressed. Sometimes my… Whatever it is that hurts – my head, my shoulder – sometimes it hurts more, other times it hurts less. And just in that is a realization that if it modulates, if it does change, then there’s a level of power in that because in my worst moments, in my catastrophic moments, I can still remind myself that there are better hours in the day, and I can focus on making more of those.
Maybe I make peace with the fact that this is something I deal with and it’s going to reoccur. But if I felt better for an hour yesterday, then my focus should be making more of those. There’s hope in one good hour, isn’t there? There’s hope in five good minutes.
And if I can take that and work on expanding that out, and pay attention to what happened in those five minutes where I felt better. Did I exercise? Did I have a beautiful conversation with someone I love? Did I look to the future at something I’m excited about? Did I work and spend some meaningful time on a project that was important to me? Did I just do something for myself or for somebody else that made me like myself more? Those things can make us feel very empowered and can change… They may not make the depression go away, they may change our relationship with it. And in changing our relationship with it, the paradox is that it starts to lessen the impact of it.
I’m not speaking – I know that there are people for whom chemical imbalances play a role, but that doesn’t mean we have no power over those situations. We may be fighting a different battle than other people, but I do believe that there are always things that we can do to manage our relationship with something. And I think in managing our relationship effectively with something, we can really develop an incredible amount of personal power in that.
And by the way, think about that. If you’ve got something, whether it’s depression, anxiety, whether it’s physical pain, whether it’s a trauma you’re going through in your life, whether it’s losing your job this year, whether it’s going through a breakup: Think about your difficulty in your struggle. And sometimes we go very insular with that. I’ve done this, my God, I’ve done this. You go insular with your pain and you sort of go into that mindset of… you isolate. But I do think that our pain is the key to connecting with other people because there are other people going through tremendously difficult things at the same time as us. Or perhaps not right now, but they will be in a year. And all the learning we do now, all of the strength we build, all of the muscle we build in dealing with our challenge now will absolutely benefit someone in our lives. Someone we cross paths with at certain points. So you get to be heroic in overcoming, or not even overcoming, just managing your pain or what you’re dealing with. You get to be heroic in doing that because then the benefit of you managing that could save somebody else.
I’m really glad we got to do something like this this week because I think, in general, we’re at this stage in the year where most of the year is over, we’ve been through so much. We’re dealing with all sorts of fallout in our lives from this year, both external and internal. And I want to just make sure that we as a community are staying strong together. I hope that you’ll come back to these videos every week just as a shot of good feeling, practical advice, things that could help you, or just a sense of community. And I love you when you leave comments. I hope you’re subscribed right now to YouTube because a lot of you watch these videos by chance because something pops up on your screen, but you’re not subscribed. So please take the opportunity right now to subscribe.
And for those of you that want to be part of a more intimate community I have, I also have a private community called my Love.Life membership. And there I’m with people every month, not just helping them with their love lives, but answering questions about life in general, creating a real solid sense of community every month, and just giving people coaching. These are videos, but there is coaching. So if you want to come join us on that, you can come and join for a free trial at AskMH.com. We’ll put a link up here.
And other than that, thanks for watching. I really hope that you feel strong right now. And if you don’t feel strong, know that it’s okay to not feel strong. We’ll work through those feelings together. I love you guys. I appreciate you. And I will see you next week.