When it comes to any kind of depression or mental health issue, I think they’re real.
There’s nothing wrong with having a mental health issue, either with yourself or somebody that you love.
If you have depression, if you have anxiety, if you have post-traumatic stress disorder, if you have any kind of mental health condition, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s nothing to hide and it’s something to hit head-on with.
There’s one thing.
One thing that if you did every single day, no joke, it would make an extraordinary difference in whatever mental health issue you’re struggling with and that is exercise.
And the reason why I say this is not based on my own personal experience.
It’s the American Psychiatric Association, this is coming from Dr. John Ratey. This is his area of expertise and one of the things that they now mandate as a diagnosis for anybody with depression or anxiety, or any mental illness frankly, is you gotta exercise every day.
And the reason you’ve gotta exercise every day is because what we know about human beings is that, when you physically move, your physiology changes and that changes your brain.
Getting your heart rate up, getting outside, breathing, feeling connected, getting out of your house which may make you feel depressed and trapped.
Doing that every day, that physical push, you don’t have to run, you don’t have to go to an aerobics class.
Get outside with your dog in the woods, walk with a good friend for two or three miles.
Doing that every single day, not only moves your body which changes your mind, it gets you out of your physical environment which is one of the things that people with depression tend to have a hard time doing.
And it also creates a bit of momentum and a bit of a routine in your life.
You take on just that single thing.
Get outside and exercise every single day as if your life depends upon it.
Because you know what?
Your brain needs it, your body needs it, your mental health needs it.
What if, your time, in the darkness of your wilderness away from the world was the season of your greatest growth.
What if those times were actually being productive in a different way?
Where you’re actually producing, not in the world, but producing within yourself.
Producing strength, new insights, new ideas, new capabilities, new energies, new emotions shifting from fear to love, because when you go through difficult times, what do you really do if you feel your fear and your pain? You release it.
It’s out of your system.
And you grow in love and bravery and strength.
What is the meaning of depression, what are the treatments, what are the symptoms?
What does that do to your craft?
What does that do to your power?
What does that do to your bravery?
What does that do to the light that you bring into the world?
You become this incredible force that is undefeatable.
And if you’re having one of those dark days,
It’s okay to feel that darkness.
If you start crying, you don’t think you’ll ever stop!”
If you’re going through a divorce right now if you’re going through a financial problem right now if you’re going through an illness right now, if you are going through any form of crisis right now, you might not even want to get out of bed in the morning.
It might be that bad.
Please remember this.
Crises comes to serve the person who wants to use it as fuel.
You have a choice.
You can be a victim and you let it break you, or you can actually ask yourself:
“How can I use this time in darkness?”
which will not last, because you know this dark times never last, the real question is
“How can you leverage the pain?”
“How can you leverage the darkness?”
“How can you leverage the heartbreak?”
“So it grows you!”
“So it makes you stronger.”
“So it makes you wiser.”
“So it allows you to tap into the greatest virtues of humanity.”
Pain is always there.
Because life is freaking painful, okay?
But suffering is a choice.
And if you’ve got in your mind that you think that people don’t understand, That’s okay.
But you do.
You know darkness, you know evil.
But more important than that, you know good.
You know light.
And you know laughter and love better than anyone.
You remember the past and you learned from it.
You rejoice and celebrate in the present.
And you reimagine the future.
If you are victimized by your thoughts, you’re victimized by your past.
Use memories, but do not allow memories to use me.
The first thing is to recognize that what’s happening is not a punishment, that is actually an opportunity.
What most people do is pretend that is not there, pretend that it doesn’t exist.
Or try and do something to avoid feeling it.
Trust me that is leading to something greater.
And know that.
Use your pain as an instrument for your greatest growth.
So embrace that darkness.
And in those moments then, when you can actually just embrace it and accept it, five years from now or ten years from now when you look back on it, you’ll see it as a pivotal moment in your development.
Don’t look away from it, don’t bury it in booze or in pills.
Live your life.
Embrace your life.
With physical activity, and with nature and with laughter and guitar, and good memories, and creativity and discipline.
So you can free yourself.
And move forward.
Into the future.
Because you know as you’re going through a difficult time right now, I assure you, the clouds will lift.
Right there is sunlight above the clouds, you’re just looking at the clouds right now.
And they will lift, and a crisis has come to teach you the big lesson.
You’re meant to learn to move to your next level, in the next chapter of your greatest life.
What you’re experiencing doesn’t feel good, but it is good.
Please remember that you are built to shine, great things are coming your way,
You are not average, the darkness will pass.
In life, you will run across disappointments, you sure will.
You’ll run across things that happen in your life that are so wrong, but, have a little saying: “In the end, everything will be okay.”
And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
People don’t even look you in the eye.
People ask you how you are and you say “Fine”.
But you’re not fine and they’ll never know that.
You start believing the lies around you saying that you are not good enough and no one’s gonna want you and you’ll never ever do anything good in your life.
The fear that we have is that we’re gonna be alone.
Because if they don’t like you then who will?
If they don’t accept you, then who will?
You started believing that you were not good enough.
You started believing that you were a failure.
That you’ll never ever be somebody who people would like. Or people would accept.
And these steps take you closer.
That voice saying:
“You’re not good enough, you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough.”
And all you need is one more step.
See, you have a choice.
To know which step you’re gonna take today.
There are some things in life that are out of your control.
That you can’t change and you gotta live with.
The choice that we have though, is either to give up or keep on going.
What are you gonna believe?
Are you gonna believe in yourself?
Are you gonna believe everybody else’s judgment on you?
Are you gonna believe people when they say that you’re a failure
and no one really likes you and no one really cares about you?
You don’t have to hold onto those fears, you just take one step at a time.
Not to say that one day these fears are just gonna completely disappear, but can you forgive those who’ve hurt you?
Because that’s when healing starts.
Every time someone puts you down, will you make a decision to bring somebody else up?
Picture yourself in an open area.
There’s no building and there’s no shelter, and there’s a storm above you.
And this storm represents the situations in your life.
And you don’t tell anybody what you’re going through because first of all, they wouldn’t understand, and second of all, they can’t even help you anyway.
You’re in this storm and you’re down on your knees, and you’re cold and you’re weak and you feel like this is the end.
Are you not still here?
You are still here.
You don’t have to do this alone.
But hold onto that person who you think might help you.
And imagine them right now saying that they can’t stop the storm right now, but they will hold you and keep you warm until the storm passes.
Because when they hold you, the storm’s still there but it’s okay.
Because they’re with you all the way.
There are some times in life, where you fall down.
And you feel like you don’t have the strength to get back up.
Give up or get up.
When you fail, try again.
And it’s not the end until you’ve given up.
And just the fact that you’re here, should persuade you, that you have another chance to get back up.
There’s still hope.