What is normal? Normal is the way things are most of the time. It is what you believe to be true on a regular basis. Some synonyms include:
Normal as it pertains to yourself is the way you think you are supposed to be. For instance, if you consider yourself to be smart and hard-working, that is normal for you. If you believe that the majority of the time you are very healthy and fit, then that is what your normal is. If you are a hot-head, a big-eater, a slacker, the life of the party, a dentist, a doctor or a teacher that is your normal. The sum of whatever you believe you are is what normal is for you.
Unfortunately, most people believe that if something is not normal, it is not right. They think that if something is not the way it should be or the way it always has been, it must be wrong or abnormal. Synonyms for abnormal include:
The problem with this line of thinking as it pertains to yourself is that normal is looked at as good, and abnormal is connotated as bad. Therefore, whenever you deviate from your norm, you feel like you are being bad. You feel like there is something wrong with you. You feel depressed. Let’s look at some real-life examples. Continue reading
“You are not me. You don’t know how I feel. You’ll never know what I am going through. You just don’t understand me. No one understands me. It is different with me. YOU DON’T GET IT! None of your advice will work for me. It’s just not the same for me. I am different. No one can help me. NO ONE GETS ME!”
Do any of these comments sound familiar?
Is this the way you feel?
Do you think no one gets you?
Do you think no one understands?
Well guess what . . .
YOU ARE WRONG!
You are really not as different as you think you are.
Don’t take offense and stop reading. Hear us out. We know that you are unique. That is 100% true. No one has the exact same perceptions, experiences, personality, genetics, etc. (even identical twins). Every person is different and special in their own way. However, every person is also the same.
We are all human. If we get cut, we bleed. We all have the same basic needs and experience the same human emotions. Think of snowflakes. Every individual flake is different, but they are really all the same. They are all snowflakes and they all fall from the sky. Just as snowflakes are snowflakes, humans are humans. We may have variances, but we are all basically wired the same. Even when that wiring is crossed somehow that makes you a bit different from the majority, there are still plenty of other people out there with those same type of crossed wires.
Look up any subject on the internet and you will find a multitude of conversations about it. Even the rarest of diseases has a community of people online who are all dealing with the very same thing. Our point is that when you are feeling like you are “the only one” going through something, or think that “no one understands you,” you are wrong. You are flat-out wrong. Someone out there is going through the same thing. Someone out there does understand you. There are people out there who do “get it” and their knowledge can help you. Therefore, our depression hack is for you to know that you are not alone. The only way to see this, however, is to reach out to others. Continue reading
Many of you have probably heard about the benefits of laughter as it pertains to mental health. It’s been proven that laughing lifts your mood by releasing feel-good endorphins, relaxing muscles, decreasing stress hormones, etc. The problem is that when you are suffering from depression, there is often not much to laugh about. When you are feeling sad, angry, irritable or just low, you don’t usually find things funny. In fact, humor may tend to annoy you more than it will make you laugh. So how then, do you get the benefits of laughter?
Like all of our depression hacks, you have to make an effort to aid your own healing. If you truly want to help yourself feel better when you are depressed, consciously try to learn how to laugh more, practice and repeat.
The key is to make yourself open to laughter. Sometimes you have to consciously decide to do this. Smiling helps. Thinking about something you have laughed at in the past can help as well. I will never forget the time my English mother was trying to read signs that were mostly in French. She pronounced one “Ayy-oooo-tow Sales.” We all laughed until we cried when we realized the sign said “Auto Sales” in plain English. Thinking of that cracks me up every time. Surely you can recall something that made you laugh and draw on that for help.
Here are a few more tips: Continue reading
Sometimes sage advice from the past rings true in the future. Never has that been more true than with the old adage: Ignorance is bliss.
In today’s world of unlimited connection, we know everything about everyone, everywhere, instantly.
What if we didn’t?
What if we unplugged and only “knew” about what we cared to know about?
The answer is simple.
Life would be a lot more blissful.
We are not saying that you should be ignorant of every negative thing in the world. That would be irresponsible. What we are focusing on is ignorance as it pertains to our personal lives . . . who and what you choose to be a part of your world and what constitutes your reality. You do have control over this. Continue reading
Everyone has expectations in life, whether it be what they expect from others or what they expect out of themselves. Expectations about others are generally bad to have because we cannot control others, and those expectations may never be met. Expectations about ourselves, however, are generally good, because they can keep us motivated, on the right track and accountable for our actions. Nevertheless, you need to be mindful of your personal expectations, and realize that meeting them is not always what is best for you. Personal expectations can push us forward as well as hold us back.
Take this real-life case for example. Beth had reasonable expectations for herself. She wanted to be a good person, get a college degree, land a great job and eventually get married and start a family. She met all of her expectations over the course of her life until her husband of 20 years divorced her for a younger woman and moved to Spain. Continue reading
You have probably heard at some point in your life that it is important to keep balance in all things such as a balanced diet, a balanced budget, a well-rounded (balanced) education, and a stable (balanced) family life to name a few. This is good advice because balance in our lives creates peace in our lives.
Our bodies are great at self-regulating to keep balance/homeostasis in order to function properly. We breathe, digest, fight off disease, maintain the right body temperature etc., all without even thinking about it. Unfortunately, our minds are not so talented. In fact, our psyche’s are intrinsically unbalanced. Have you ever seen the animation of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other whispering into each ear? That is essentially what we are dealing with on a day to day basis.
We all (without exception) have a good side and a bad side. This makes it very difficult to maintain balance sometimes. Not only do we wage a war within to do the right thing, but we also fight against our own side as we beat ourselves up over lost battles. This sort of self-sabotage is what we’d like to focus on as it pertains to hacking depression. Continue reading
You have all heard this idiom, but have you ever really sat down and thought about its’ meaning? It basically means BE PRESENT in your life. EXPERIENCE each and every moment. Don’t take ANYTHING for granted. It is a fabulous depression hack, because if you enjoy the little things in life instead of just the good times, the milestones and victories, there is much more to be happy about. If you consider each day, each moment, each and every breath to be a gift, you will have an appreciation for so much more in life, including hard times. So . . . how do you put this into practice? Two answers: TIME and FOCUS. Continue reading