10 Things To Do If The World Is Making You Depressed
There’s no doubt about it: the world is seriously messed up. If you’re not feeling a little bit sad right now, you’re probably either already taking an assortment of pills to deal with the pain or you live off-grid in a forest somewhere, blissfully ignorant of ISIS vs Western Imperialism, Monsanto, Ecocide, TTIP, and all the other seemingly endless tragedies and injustices we never get bored of inflicting on ourselves and the rest of the planet. But rather than giving into the temptation to hide under your duvet until the day humanity blows itself into oblivion, here are a few proactive and realistic steps you can take to get you smiling again.
Bond with mother nature
This is absolutely crucial to restoring your energy levels and feel connected to the Earth. Not only is nature breathtakingly beautiful, but the great outdoors is a great stress-free zone. No wifi and cellphone signals messing up your brain, no CCTV cameras, no man-made noise, no light pollution, and no crowds. Whether you’re walking through a forest or sitting down by the ocean, you notice an instant calming effect that soothes the soul. Nature is oblivious to humanity’s problems. No matter what’s going on with our dumb species, the wind keeps rustling in the treetops, the ocean keeps making waves, babbling brooks keep flowing, and birds keep singing. If you live close enough to the wilderness to head out for one hour a day and enjoy the tranquility, do it! If you’re a city dweller, try heading to a park at lunchtime, exercise outside rather than in a gym, and plan regular weekends away to escape the oppressive urban jungle as much as you possibly can. Never underestimate the healing power of the natural world.
Turn off the TV
Television acts like a drug, and even alters your brain chemistry. You should probably do yourself a favor and throw out the brain-drain altogether, but if you can’t go that far, at least try to limit your consumption. Try not to come home and turn on the TV unconsciously, instead plan to only watch shows that are positive, funny, uplifting or educational, and leave the tube turned off until then. Start looking for inspirational films and documentaries you can watch on your laptop. Choose your own entertainment, rather than letting someone else choose it for you. Muting TV commercials is another simple trick for anyone feeling down about the constant bombardment of consumerism, especially in the run-up to the holiday season.
Dwelling on the many urgent global issues that need fixing isn’t going to help you or anyone else, so instead choose just one cause you feel passionate about, and get involved in it. If homelessness is your main concern, maybe you could spend one day a week volunteering at a soup kitchen. If it’s animalcruelty, you could offer to help out at your local shelter. If you simply don’t have time to do this regularly, there are other options: why not organize a one-off local music concert, yard sale or even a bungee jump to raise money for something close to your heart?
If you need inspiration, click here for 10 specific things you can do to make a positive change in the world, and always remember the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Finally, don’t forget that even those seemingly tiny things make a huge difference. Smile at strangers. Give things to charity. Buy holiday gifts from Fair-trade and charity organizations that pay a decent wage to artisans in the developing world. Just continue being a kind person…and be kind to yourself, too.
Avoid the mainstream news
Fear, terror, shock, horror, fear, terror, shock, horror…it makes absolutely no sense to wallow in the awfulness of it all. What will it achieve? If you can’t avoid the news for work reasons, I feel your pain. But promise yourself to take one month’s ‘media fast’ per year, where you don’t watch or read any news at all. You quickly learn that the negative energy we create when we feel anxious, angry or frustrated at the world is always better spent on positive thought and action. Terrifying news reports tend to spark widespread fear, division, and hatred for ‘the other’, all of which are detrimental to our shared goal of harmony, happiness, and global peace. Apart from the obvious negativity generated by the corporate media, there are various reasons you really can’t trust it to give you an honest account of what’s happening in the world. Consider the growing number of journalists who have come out and blown the whistle on the realityof news-gathering and reporting to expose an industry that cares very little for honesty and integrity. Striving to be a critical thinker can provide much-needed protection against the fear machine, so educate yourself about how the mainstream media actually works.
Channel your frustration creatively
Don’t get mad, get poetic. Writing, drawing, painting, vlogging or blogging, playing a musical instrument, or creating GIFs and shareable memes online are all ways of venting your frustration at the world in a positive way. Creativity is a wonderful antidote to depression. Many people claim they don’t have an artistic side, but I’m skeptical- even doodling on paper can relieve stress, and even if you think you can’t write a poem, you won’t know until you try!
–> Continue reading the next five things to do at TrueActivist.com.
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