I get it!
At times it just feels like everything is crashing down. You can’t think straight, your thoughts are muddled, your emotions are flatlining and you just want it all to go away.
That’s a full blown depression you’re experiencing right there, and it’s hard to get out of.
I’d challenge the idea that it can even be avoided. When depression hits, it hits hard, and it often doesn’t announce it’s arrival, or give you any real indication as to why it’s coming for you.
It just… is!
I can think of a thousand reasons why depression can take hold of a person. There are too many to list here. It’s important to remember that we are all individuals and depressive episodes affect us in different ways, and we all have different systems of coping.
So is it really possible to have a good day when we’re having one of the very worst days?
Well, yes… and no!
The first point to tackle is the fact that depression has a root cause. It often doesn’t seem that way, but think about it… to knock you off kilter, something has to have happened in your brain, either chemically or emotionally.
This is often referred to as “a trigger” – so you may already be aware of your particular triggers and have done some work towards avoiding or reducing them in your life.
Once you understand, even in the briefest of outlines, what your triggers are, you have a fighting chance of correcting the imbalance in thought processes that lead to a full blown depression taking you out.
One of the best ways of discovering this for yourself, really is just to talk to someone about how you feel, the circumstances surrounding depressive episodes, even in the greater context of your life in general. Something is making you feel this way, and together, we could have a go at leading you towards some self discovery.
We never truly experience ourselves until we are able to see how we appear through the eyes of another. A skilled mental health worker will be able to reflect your experience back to you, so you can start to see the truth of your own beliefs, and challenge aspects of your surface thinking which may be out of line with your own true thoughts and feelings.
So step 1 is always going to be establishing a base line about who you really are, what your core beliefs are, and how a lifetime of learned experience is directing and controlling your thought patterns on autopilot.
I won’t lie, it’s not easy, but it is possible. And if you’re willing to become a little inquisitive about yourself and to learn from your actions and reactions, you’ll quickly establish a picture of how you really think and feel… not just how you think you think, and feel!
So step 2 is much easier, and much more fun!
There are many suggestions as to how to accomplish this. In essence, and the simplest explanation I can give, is to be cognisant of your thoughts and become the master of them. I’ve read about journalling, mindfulness, meditation, yoga… all great! Do whatever works for you.
The system I have found to be the most effective of all is this…
When I wake up each morning, I check in with myself before I do anything else. I ask myself one simple question that informs every single action and thought for the rest of the day. And that question is “what’s the single most important thing in my life right now”?
And it fills me with purpose and focus. The weight of problems are reduced for me mentally and I’m almost programmed from the very first minute of my day to work towards serving that one thing. It gives me courage when I’m vulnerable and it gives me energy when I’m burned out.
The hardest part was actually remembering to do it as soon as I wake up each morning… but as with most things, habits form fast if you stick to it. You could even stick a post it note to the side of your bed so it reminds you when you wake up!
Fantastic! But does this make the bad days go away? It surely does not! Problems will come at you relentlessly for the rest of your life. I’m not going to sugar coat it, but instead, help you establish ways of living through it as the best version of yourself that you can be.
Higher levels of mental control in this area suggest tackling your problems in this way…
When something bad hits, you will undoubtably have a negative reaction. Your brain is hardwired to avoid pain and seek pleasure, after all! So tricksy as it is, the brain will engineer all kinds of false predictions about people, places, activities… anything to get you out of the immediate danger it perceives. This sense of danger is often very misaligned to the actual truth, and so you have to force the next bit through.
The best explanation I have ever heard was to take the negative thoughts onboard and acknowledge them. Don’t try to prevent them, don’t try to stop them. But rather say, “thank you brain, I appreciate the heads up, but I’m going to look at this again through a different filter”. And because you’ve acknowledged the negativity, you’ve actually lessened its hold on you. It has become a part of your decision making process, rather than the whole of your decision making process!
So there’s steps 1 – 3 on how to turn your bad days into good days. I hope it helps, even if only in a small way.
Remember that we’re here for you if you’re ready to begin with step 1. We’re standing by to listen with an empathetic ear that understands this rollercoaster industry. We get what you’re experiencing, we’ve experienced it too.
Find out more about our philanthropic work with Wedding Industry Mental Health, get support or become an advocate here:
and let’s build a stronger Wedding Industry together!