Falling apart is not usually linked with something positive but maybe it should be. About 6 months ago I had a series of events that led me literally hit the wall and go SPLAT! I never thought it would be the unveiling of so many things that would change my life for the better.

Depression is a condition so many suffer from and you don’t realise as it creeps up and takes hold of you. It leaves you feeling lost, afraid and totally out of character. Many people often think people suffering from this are lazy and just over reacting but it is something so real.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a motivational speaker, laughter facilitator and events organiser and love to be energizing 100’s and 1000’s of people at a time. I am very social, love people and laugh a lot. So when I say I spent months in my room not speaking to anyone and only going out twice a month to my scheduled meetings you would be shocked.

Having lost all confidence and the ability to read and understand anything I was a nervous wreck. I withdrew from everything because I just couldn’t do it. Ok I had just been diagnosed with a terminal condition and had loads of others things going on but this was unbearable.

I had just started my business and I couldn’t even face anything to do with it – and I love working. I give you this bit of background so you know that I was a totally different person. I tried really hard to pull myself out of this but it was just not happening. I guess I needed the time to reflect and to take baby steps.
Some things had to change.

I would like to share a few things that helped me find my way back to me.

Start finding out your true values

Write down what is important to you and then see if you are living inline with those values. I definitely was not, which is why I was not happy and slipped into the depression.

Once you know what you need to include in your life then it is easy to take the steps towards making it happen. Don’t fall back into old habits.

Of course having a daily laughter routine was really important to me and that was one of the things missing. So I re-started to find my funny and got back into my routines.

I found my dream values that have now made me excited about like again

Do something that gets you out and mixing with people

I needed to go out and do something that didn’t use much brainpower but which got me out of the house and working. I got a job handing out flyers at the station and very soon found my mojo coming back. I remembered I actually liked interacting with people and I liked working. Slowly but surely my brain started to return and this helped me move forward and work on my business.

I am now walking about 10 – 20k steps a day and that alone is making me fitter. The power of laughter with other people is amazing.

Trust me – I know you don’t feel like it but do it anyway.

Manage your cognitive choices

Our mind is so powerful but make sure you don’t buy into the negatives. Notice what you are doing – laugh and find the solution.

Mind Reading: Assuming you know what the others are thinking e.g. “He thinks I am fat”

Ask yourself: How can you be so sure you really know what others are thinking? Are those your thoughts not theirs? Is there another more balanced way of looking at this?

Demands: Interpreting events in terms of how things should or must be e.g. “I must do well; life should be fair”

Ask yourself: Are you putting more pressure on yourself? Setting up expectations that are impossible? What would be more realistic? Describe what you want or would like. Then if it doesn’t happen you can be frustrated/disappointed but less likely to feel righteous anger.

Emotional reasoning: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation reality e.g. “I feel bad, therefore, my relationship isn’t working out”
Ask yourself: Just because it feels bad, doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad. Feelings are just your reactions to your thoughts. And thoughts are just automatic brain reflexes

Unfair comparisons: Having unrealistic standards and comparing yourself to others e.g. She’s more successful than me”

Ask yourself: What would be a more balanced way to look at things?

Mental filtering: Focusing on the negatives and rarely noticing the positives e.g. “look at all the people who don’t like me”

Ask yourself: are you only noticing the bad stuff? Are you filtering out the positives? Are you wearing “gloomy glasses”? What would be more realistic?

I am happy to say that these few pointers helped me rise from a deep depression into a newfound interest into designing my dreams. You can do it too.

Remember to always live life laughingly. YAY!!

About the author: To find out more about Jo-Dee Walmsley, please click here.

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