“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” ~Johann Von Goethe
Not long ago I was completely imprisoned within myself, feeling lost without any direction. Sleeping consumed most of my time. I had brief moments when I checked in on Facebook, only to get a glimpse of others’ seemingly perfect lives with holidays, parties, babies, and weddings.
This made me more miserable, as I felt I had nothing going on in my own life.
Frustration was building within me because somewhere deep inside, the dreams that I had hidden away wanted me to start pursuing them. Easier said than done of course, but I knew that hiding under my duvet cover wasn’t going to take me anywhere.
I needed to change my negative outlook on life to a much more positive one. In this new process, I started to apply what I call the 10 “T”s to help with my feelings and fears.
The 10 “T”s to help relieve depression and heartache:
1. Trust yourself and the universe.
Know that the universe has a greater plan for us than we can ever imagine. My first authentic feeling of surrender came by reading self-help books. This gave me the first push toward believing and trusting in the power of the universe. It’s the greatest comfort knowing that you are taken care of.
2. Touch other people’s lives by sharing your personal story.
By reaching out you can help others in similar situations. Tiny Buddha and other spiritual websites helped me recognize that I am not alone with my emotions. There are people out there fighting the same type of battles who are willing to share their experiences. This kind of support system was needed in order to rebuild a healthy relationship with myself.
3. Therapy sessions are like taking an inner journey.
With my therapist’s help, it became clear to me why I acted the way I did and how I could overcome the fear, sorrow, and aggression I felt trapped with. Although professional therapy worked for me on a deeper level, the support from friends and family has been invaluable.
A previous teacher also helped me tremendously during depression. He instantly saw my full potential and became my friend and mentor. We keep in regular contact and he is a true source of inspiration that motivates me to be the person I want to be.
I encourage everyone to connect with someone they trust. Perhaps it’s your grandmother, aunt, friend, teacher, or neighbor who inspires you. Whoever it is, cherish that relationship.
4. Treat yourself (and others) with respect and compassion.
When suffering from depression and heartbreak, the last thing you may want to do is take a walk or go for a haircut. Beauty comes from inside, without a doubt, but taking care of yourself will make you feel better and stronger.
Start with little things, like moisturizing your skin with some nice smelling body lotion. You deserve the extra attention.
5. Tear down those walls that you have built up saying that you are not good enough.
I tell myself every day that I am a unique and beautiful, and I believe it.
6. Thank the universe or your higher power for keeping you healthy, safe, and alive.
I do this every night before going to sleep. It truly helps. I promise.
7. Tea and other hot drinks (not coffee) are calming.
Lighting a candle and drinking a nice cup of green tea can be such a soothing sensation.
8. Trying new things is fun.
For me, practicing guided mediations became an important part of my healing. I am still learning and loving every minute I dedicate to myself.
9. Traveling can be therapeutic, relaxing, and stimulating.
Until recently, traveling was my drug, as I would “use” it to escape from my anxiety. It seemed like a great idea for years, even though the outcome was always the same: I’d spend all my money and still feel empty, as the destination and people never made me feel complete in the way I’d hoped they would.
It took me a long time to accept and realize that serenity and peace start from within. Today, traveling is pure joy and inspiration.
10. Taking risks and chances is crucial to find a sense of purpose.
By throwing yourself out there, amazing opportunities can and will arise. I know this because it has happened to me several times.
For example, after reading the book Find Your Happy, by fellow Tiny Buddha contributor Shannon Kaiser, I suddenly felt a wave of courage to write publicly.
I’ve always dreamed of writing travel articles in English, but with English being my second language (Swedish being my first) I was scared of making grammatical mistakes.
I told myself that native English speakers could do it better than I could.
One day, after writing for fun on my computer about 2012 being a difficult year, I asked my sister (who is a photographer and writer) to post what I wrote on her lifestyle blog. She did, and a UK lifestyle magazine read it and asked to republish it online.
Since I had traveled extensively in my life (running away from my anxiety), I started writing travel articles. I am proud to announce that I am today a published travel writer. If I had never gotten out of my comfort zone and taken the risk of receiving criticism, I would not be where I am today.
This goes back to my first T: Trust. And the quote by Johann Von Goethe, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
I do; I listen to that inner voice and the guidance I’ve been given from the universe and I have felt more joy, abundance, and happiness than I thought was possible.
The same can be true for you!
Photo by Valokuvaaja Joonas Tikkanen