Although depression can be a complex phenomenon, almost all definitions include both a persistent low mood and predominant feelings of sadness. Depressive symptoms typically cause us to turn inward, limiting our ability to see what is available and possible in our daily interactions.
One of the best antidotes to depression is going from an inward focus to an outward one. Some of the most effective ways to change an internal focus are to notice negative thoughts that lead us to believe in a scarcity mindset. This appears when we think of our own lack in self- confidence, a lack in resources, or an inability to change our current situation. What if instead of giving space in our heads to these negative ideas we turned outward and looked at the immensity of life and activity that surrounds us?
By looking outside of ourselves there begins to be possibility and we see how much more there is than just us. An abundance mindset allows for an understanding that there are many ways forward and many opportunities to get there. A scarcity mindset pretends to have it all figured out and prevents us from using creative ideas or new ways forward. Abundance challenges our limited thinking by learning to let go and trust in so much more than our small minds can comprehend. Scarcity says give up its pointless and leads us to stagnate.
We can lean into abundance by considering others and genuinely caring about what is happening in their lives. We learn that we are not alone and that we belong to the whole of humanity and the world around us. Paying attention in conversations, providing support, giving a helping hand and serving those in need, not only removes the focus on our limited self, yet it allows for a sense of meaning and purpose that brings joy to our lives. This in turn builds connection and when we feel connected we feel strong and more hopeful.
So I invite us to begin to categorize our thoughts from scarcity mindset and abundance mindset. When self -limiting or negative thoughts arise put them in a box and stash it somewhere securely locked in your brain. Take a moment to breathe and shift into a thought of abundance. Stay with these thoughts that bring peace, joy, hope and repeat them often during your day.
So often depression creates blinders that prevent one from seeing clearly, the abundance of good and potential that awaits us. By interacting with those around us we can find that we are not alone and our community provides what we in turn lack. Building connections with those in our community fosters a strong sense of unity that breaks down scarcity and depression and empowers us to see that life can be a wonderful and beautiful experience!
- For those who battle chronic depression these are strategies to assist, however not meant to undermine the challenges you face each day nor insinuate you are doing anything wrong in your personal efforts. In many cases medication is also required to treat depression.
- Those struggling with Suicidal Ideation or self harm need to call 911 or visit a residential program of treatment for increased support.