I have a pretty freaking good life to be honest. Aside from the occasional hangover induced melancholy, it is extremely rare that I am feeling down or depressed.
There’s many things I can thank for this, but I should say, I’m not someone who has ever seriously struggled with deep depression. If that’s you, I doubt I have the answer for you.
So, I was going about my day as normal and I just felt down. I wasn’t getting anything useful done, didn’t want to work but didn’t want to do anything else particularly either. You know those times where you just want to lay on your bed and do absolutely nothing? Nothing you try is satisfying, so you just don’t do anything…
It was one of those ‘where is my life going’ type moments. Gripped with self doubt and projecting all sorts of terrible future situations. Do I want to be in Thailand right now or elsewhere? Why don’t have I financial freedom yet? Feeling lonely and disconnected from the people around you. Etc. etc.
I’m sure everyone can relate to those moments from time to time.
I indulged myself in self-pity for an hour or two, as one does. Laying on my bed, scrolling through social media timelines. Eventually I got sick of feeling shitty and I decided to put a stop to it.
You see, I know that:
- You can change your state
- All of these worries are just bullshit stories in my head that aren’t even reality
- Being down isn’t going to help, it will just ruin my day
- The cure for anything is to do the work required to change it
So here’s what I did:
- Took a pen and my notepad and wrote down all of my perceived problems and fears in one column. All of the feelings that I was feeling and things I maybe had in the back of my mind for a while that I hadn’t addressed.
- In the next column I wrote the action I need to take to overcome/fix/forget about this supposed problem. I only wrote things that are 100% within my control and actionable.
- Put some music on that I like and tidied my room. It was a shit heap and I know that a poor environment creates a poor mind. I’ve written about the importance of making my bed before and really it’s my own fault for being slack in good habits. (Sidenote: As I was halfway through writing this post I read a great post on Danger & Play about the effect of music on the brain and body.
- Starting taking the actions on the overcome/fix/forget side of my list.
- Screwed up the list and threw it away.
That was it. I took control of my state and mood, and changed it by calling out my own bullshit and taking action.
A reminder, to myself and readers: Wallowing in self-pity does nothing. Taking action makes you feel better immediately.
I thought this passage from James Altucher in his latest book ‘Choose Yourself‘ was fitting: