A few years ago, I took a course on helping others going through depression, addiction and anxiety.
In that course, one of the things I learned was to encourage someone experiencing depression to volunteer. It could be volunteering at a shelter or helping feed others. Just something that turned their focus toward other people in need.
I have to admit, I was surprised that something like that could even work. Shouldn’t someone going through depression work on themselves before helping anyone else? Shouldn’t they be focusing on self-care? And cutting out anything that doesn’t serve them first so that they can regain stability? Research and experience tells us no.
So, why is it so helpful for those of us going through depression to shift our focus to helping others in need? Well, first of all, it shifts the focus from feelings of impending doom. Depression loves to feed on those feelings and amplify them. Second, it gives a person purpose. It's important for humans to have a purpose. We were created with a purpose. We aren't insignificant. We have value.
You have value.
Now, I realize there’s more to tackling depression than volunteering. But, If you’re struggling with depression, consider it a starting point. It might sound like the last thing you’d want to do. But, it might just be what you need to begin a journey toward healing.
Until next week,
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