Here are the latest depression statistics: 300 million people around the world have depression, according to the World Health Organization. 16.2 million adults in the United States—equaling 6.7 percent of all adults in the country—have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. Depression is real.
Not everyone gets depressed. Everyone does get discouraged. To be honest with you, I believe I fall into the latter category. I’ve experienced many setbacks, speedbumps, and hiccups in my leadership. Life has often not met my expectations, and I know what it is to be in a funk and even lose my swagger. However, I don’t think I have ever been truly depressed. I do believe, by the way, that depression can be clinical. I don’t however, believe most of the “depression” out there us clinical. I believe the vast majority of us have much more control over the demon of depression than we want to believe. I believe most of us has the power to keep our emotions far above the depressive line! On the other hand, If you want to get (or stay) depressed, fine. Here are:
4 Ways To Escape Depression:
Focus on the Possibilities Rather Than the Problem.
If you want to get or stay depressed, just stay focused on what happened and wallow around in it the rest of your life. On the other hand, you could get up and decide to do something about it! I will not for one moment diminish what happened to you. If you had a few minutes to tell me what had happened to you, it would probably break my heart. It’s probably unfair, unjust, and unsettling. However, I don’t know anyone who made things better by focusing on what happened to them. What should we focus on? What can happen now. How could my experience be used to help others? How could God take this pain and turn it into ministry? Michael Hyatt in his book LIVING FORWARD suggests ask: “What does this make possible?” Don’t focus on the problem. Focus on the possibilities this could provide in the long run. God can work all things for good!
Don’t Focus on Failures. Focus on Lessons Learned.
Don’t keep beating yourself up. Stop holding yourself to an impossible standard, and living in the rear view mirror. If you can look back on your life and wouldn’t change anything, you haven’t learned anything! In the midst of your setbacks, speedbumps, and hiccups, you have learned a ton! You’ll do it differently next time! Laugh at your old self. Focus on what you have learned. That experience, wisdom, and maturity will make you a better leader!
Don’t Play the Role of the Victim.
Don’t take on a VICTIM mentality. Don’t stay focused on everything that’s happened to you, and how life isn’t fair, and blah blah blah blah! Don’t keep thinking that you are solely a product of your place, position, environment, or circumstances. Don’t lead yourself to believe that you have little control over what’s really happening to you or around you. Keep in mind that you are not responsible for what you can’t do and what you don’t have. You are not responsible for everything that’s happened to you, but you are responsible for what happens now. It’s a great day in your life when you stop focusing on what you don’t have and what you can’t do, and start focusing on what you do have and what you can do! What DO you have? What CAN you do?
Don’t Withdraw From Civilization.
When life hits the fan, don’t withdraw from civilization. Don’t stop being a good friend. Don’t disappear. Don’t drop your head in shame. Don’t put your head in the sand. Don’t pull the blanket up over your head. Run to relationships. Be honest. Get help. Get counseling. Be vulnerable. Be teachable. Get a coach! Fight to get your spiritual swagger back. You can get back. No, you can be better. We would love to help!
So get up out of the dust. Dust yourself off. Stop beating yourself up. Stop focusing on the hurt. Stop focusing on the past. Put the blanket down. Get out of bed. Get on your knees. Then get on your feet. Reach out for help. Take Responsibility. Take action. Action = Traction = Satisfaction. Choose joy. If you can do that...you just escaped…depression!