The blues, the blahs, depression, angst- do those sound like familiar qualities un-coloring your life? Well, take heart, because thousands of books have been by professionals instructing us how to get yourself of the bluesy mess and lead a happier and more productive life. Some books even promise total self-fulfillment.
The problem with these self-help books though is that if you try them you feel better for a short while, but then slowly but surely go back to your old depressed habits. In fact, I don’t believe that the authors of self-improvement books are anywhere near as happy as they pretend to be on the book jackets. I just think the all have egos the size of Chicago.
Now, I have gotten myself out a life in which I was unhappy much of the time. Life seemed bleak, grim, full of despair, and I frequently suffered panic attacks. But I can tell you now that while I still struggle with some of that stuff, almost daily even, I not only experience it in a different way than I used to, I am much more often happy now than I am sad. I have read a lot of books about how to conquer my depression, inner fears, and so on, and frankly nothing helped. But my life took a turnaround from two directions.
For one thing, I began to identify the personal relationships that I was involved with that were getting me down and began seeing those people less and less. More importantly I think though, was that I began to identify the activities I was engaging that got me down, and slowly, with preparation but more often than not a leap of faith, I got out of those too. Those two things alone relieved tremendous pressure. You can come to point where you can observe your emotions, negative or otherwise, without struggling. When you don’t struggle, you get slack, and slack helps you to see that everything is temporary. Sadness too, has a message, and it is wise to open your ear to it.