Τρίτη 21 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

How to fight despair

 Staying in touch with current national and global events can plunge one into despair.

At every turn we are confronted with fresh evidence that the problems humanity is facing are bigger than expected, developing faster than expected, and reinforce each other in ways we did not foresee.  To make matters worse, the proposed solutions, whether technical or social, seem to be utterly unequal to the task.  As a final blow, it appears that even obvious solutions that might help a bit are not being acted on, and that we seem determined to carry on with business as usual until, well, until we can't anymore.

All this can leave you with the feeling that nothing whatsoever can be done, that further struggle is hopeless because there is no chance of preventing the jaws of the trap from snapping shut.  That sense of helplessness easily turns into a toxic brew of depression and despair

There is a good reason despair has always been regarded as particularly dangerous to the human spirit.  Despair is a paralyzing force.  It can not only keep us from addressing long-range problems, it can keep us from dealing with immediate decisions and can even prevent us from enjoying the simple things that give our lives meaning.  The pleasures of family, friends, lovers, crisp winter or warm summer days, music, poetry or even an innocent walk in the woods can be buried under a suffocating blanket of all-consuming dread.

When someone on this terrifying quest for awareness gets to this point, they usually look around for a bit of help.  All too often, what they find is that the other people who are on the same voyage are now just as frightened as they are.  Since this journey is still very new to most of us, we find we're all at pretty much the same point.  While there is some comfort in knowing that others see the same dangers you do, sharing fear is not the same as overcoming it.

 I dont think there is a magic cure for this kind of dispair,but there are things I've learned from watching people who are able to carry on bravely in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. And there are some things that I keep reminding myself when faced with sudden bouts of despair and helplessness. Here are a few:

-In their deepest essence,people are good. We've created social and economic rules that make it hard for us to act out of this goodness,but what we have created we can change.From the abolition of slavery to women getting the vote to snapping out of the tragedy of war and economic crises,history of humankind shows us that dedicated people can change the rules under which they live.

-Small changes can snowball and lead to the big thing. When and where this snowballing effect will happen is unpredictable. But if enough people make small changes on a consistent basis,a system can shift suddenly and dramatically. Each time you speak the truth or act out of love for something you believe in,something beyond yourself,you create the possibility of someone else doing the same. You create the possibility of an upward spiral.

Imagine how you would live in a better world and then try to live like that in this one. I use facebook and the power of social media to spread messages of courage,happiness and inspiration. You may use another method than speaks to your heart more. Of course not everything you do will take off into a snowball of change,but everything you do is an opportunity for you to live your life out of your deepest convictions.

-There is so much at stake. The trends are scary and they seem likely to get worse before they get better. There are going to be times, perhaps many of them, when we think, “I don’t make a difference, and it’s too late anyway.” But always, we have the option to reply in a voice that is just a little bit louder than that sly whisper — the voice that is saying, “People are good. Small changes can snowball. It will be a great adventure.”

Here are some more practical suggestions to help you overcome despair on a daily basis:

-Develop appreciation as a habit. It sounds simple but requires a habitual practice: Give explicit thanks for myriad small and larger things that intersect with your life. The more you think about it the more you begin to see that no matter how awful things are in the political world, the economy and everywhere else on the planet it is possible to observe things that you can give thanks for.

-Share your burden. Sometimes you may find that sobbing on someone’s shoulder or detailing your emotions, is the best treatment. Please be careful and choose your audience carefully though. You need a person stronger than you,not one who is in the grips of despair or depression themselves. Otherwise you'll both recycle your pain and feel much worse after such a session that can all too easily turn into an intulgence in self pity

-Get sufficient sleep, but do not allow yourself to indulge too much. When you are frustrated, you may trully feel like lying in bed all day but that will only make your despair even worse in the long run .It is going to further deplete your energy reserves and make you feel lethargic and worthless. Not to mention that you won't get anything done to help improve things in any way.

Have sex. Sex releases a surge of endorphins which are the 'feel-good' hormones,but when we are faced with lengthy periods of depressing situations, we are more likely to skip action and ignore our needs as human beings. Having sex is one of the greatest ways to completely relax our body and mind,thanks to the all-powerful post-orgasm effect, and a excellent way to really feel great about ourselves.

Stay away or reduce all types of sugar. Sugar reacts immediately with the entire body with a surge of energy and alertness which is nonetheless followed by crashing into a state of tiredness and lethargy that worsens depression and feelings of despair.

If nothing of the above seems to do it for you,your safest bet if you believe in God is to trustingly commit yourself and your desperate situation to Him in prayer. 

                                                             Love,peace and hope


4 σχόλια:

  1. love this post!
    thanks again eirini.
    i like your forward looking perspective and wisdom. i want to add on tip to the ones you listed:
    accept fully your despair and then relate to it. observe it, just observe it. don´t do anything else and your inner system will show you the way out.
    love and light to you.

  2. Thank you Eirini, always helpful information from a wonderful person. Keep writing.

  3. Harald,thank you for your feedback and insight! Yes,you are right,without acceptance,no progress can be made...Thank you dear friend!

  4. Thank you Carlos,your kind words of encouragement always keep me going!