By Dr. Dina Evan

Kermit the Frog says, “It’s not easy being green, and today, it’s not easy staying positive and happy. There is an atmosphere of uncertainty which has a core of deception and dishonesty that fills your lungs with toxic fear — unless you are in denial. I don’t know if you have noticed but even going the speed limit on the freeway is dangerous to your health. Maybe, everyone is rushing to get out of this era. It’s heavy with pessimism and fear and both play havoc on your health.
I know there are times when life brings genuine sorrow and loss. During those times the loss and sorrow must be honored. It needs to be witnessed and confirmed by another. It needs to be heard and understood so it can be given it’s due and leave when healed and resolved. (That is a different type of depression for another article.)
The depression I am speaking of is the kind that comes from life happening. Here are some ideas to help. Some might seem basic and simple, but the truth is, they can be profound because they literally change the typography and chemicals in your brain. They teach your brain to default to what is positive instead of empowering the negative.
1. Invite your fear in and see if it’s real. Very often fears are just feelings, not facts. Once you determine whether your fear is a feeling or fact, you can determine how to respond to it. If it’s a fact, decide what action you can take, and take it. If it’s a fear, remind yourself that feelings won’t kill you. They just feel like they might. Ask the feeling what it needs to go away and try to give that to yourself.
2. Decide whether what you are experiencing is a catastrophe or a hassle. Sometimes when we are already exhausted, one more thing can feel like a catastrophe, when it’s a minor issue that can be easily taken care of. If you are on over-load see what you can do to delegate some of the responsibility or load elsewhere, temporarily.
3. Count your blessings. Think of the last few positive things that have happened to you. Go look at the pictures of the family members you love. Make something positive happen. For instance, pay for the Starbucks order for the guy in the car behind you, or go into a big box store and find someone who could use a $5.00-$10.00 gift to help pay for their groceries. Find someone you can help in some way. Call that friend who can’t get out and see if they want company for a while. In other words, remind yourself there is still love and compassion in the world and you have it to share.
4. Write, “I appreciate and love you notes” to people you have been remiss in contacting. Lifting someone else’s spirt always lifts our own.
5. Learn something new. There is nothing more exciting than giving your brain a kickstart and doing it with people who are interested in the same topics. Spiraling intellectually or spiritually can leave you feel exuberant about life again.
6. Play some beautiful music and be still enjoying it for a while. Let it touch your soul and fill you up. If it has a great beat, dance, get up, move and don’t give a hoot about how you look. Stop thinking for a bit and feel. Be abandoned for a moment from all self-judgment and critical messages. Love yourself and let go.
7. Don’t get attached to any outcome or any thing. Remind yourself you have and are everything you need to be happy.
8. Stay present to yourself and others. If you have friends around who are also negative, avoid that energy for a while but choose to be deliberately present to those you love. Negativity can cause checking out and closing down or off to everything which leaves you with a sense of feeling dead inside. Don’t let it happen. Staying in a depressed place for too long can cause your brain to produce less serotonin and dopamine. If your brain stays at a low output for a long period of time it may need some support in kicking the production of these chemicals back up to normal levels. There are great holistic herbs that can help.
The bottom line is we are in tense and tenuous times. There are real reasons why you feel the way you do. Take care of your mind and spirit as well as you take care of your body. We have lived through times such as these before and we will come out the other side having learned what ever lesson this era brings. Trust yourself, those you love, and trust your higher power, whatever you perceive that to be, and we’ll get there together.
Dr. Evan specializes in relationships, personal and professional empowerment, compassion and consciousness. 602-997-1200, 602 571-8228, [email protected] and