It’s OK to not be OK
Does your family or friends put pressure on you to be happy all the time? Do they tell you to be more positive? Society puts out the message all the time that it’s not ok to be depressed. That it’s not ok to be sad and you should always be happy.
Sometimes this is done very directly, but other times this pressure is done indirectly. Perhaps you’re told to smile more or to socialize more. Maybe you’ve been told that you’ve been grieving and sad for long enough and now you should be feeling better. Maybe you’ve just been given the disappointed stare once too often. The one that lets you know that you’re once again letting everyone down. This type of pressure can be demoralizing at best.
If you’re already feeling down and depressed, you don’t need that extra pressure. And if you have Major Depression, then your sadness may be caused by a chemical imbalance and may not be under your control. If you have depression, it’s important to know that you will have good days and bad days, and both are ok. Studies have shown that when you are more accepting of “negative” emotions and thoughts, then you will experience a greater sense of well-being and that trying to suppress these types of thoughts and feelings can actually make you feel worse.
Does this mean you should just accept your depression and be depressed all the time? Not necessarily!
It’s a paradox
It’s a bit of a paradox to be more accepting of yourself when you’re not feeling very positive. It’s helpful to accept yourself as you really are and not force yourself into feeling things that you don’t. The secret is to accept your feelings, while not necessarily accepting the situation. For example, if you make a mistake at work and your boss corrects you, you would most likely have some negative thoughts and feeling about this situation. And it’s OK to have these feelings and thoughts. You want to accept that you feel bad about what happened, but you don’t want to use this situation to put yourself down or beat up on yourself. So if you feel disappointed or like you’ve let yourself down, accept it, but you can still work to better the situation or to improve yourself to you can not make the same mistake again. Another example is if you have a fear of flying, you want to accept that you have this fear. It would not be helpful at all to put yourself down for having this fear. Telling yourself you’re an idiot or that only stupid people have this fear, would only serve to make you feel worse, and you’d still have the fear of flying. But if you can accept that fear, and then take some steps to try and overcome the fear. By being accepting of your feelings in this manner, you can actually have a higher level of well-being.
The idea to take away from this is that if you’re feeling depressed, then you’re feeling depressed. It helps if you can just accept this about yourself. Accept that you’re feeling down now, but that it may change in the future. Don’t feel guilty that you are depressed. And know that accepting the fact that you are depressed, doesn’t mean that you can’t change the situation to try and help yourself. So definitely do what you can to help yourself and if you need someone to talk to, I’d love to talk more to you about depression treatment- just follow the link.