This is an answer I posted to Quora on July 22, 2017. While it may not, at face value, seem to have a lot to do with self-marketing and finding your niche, I really think it does.
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Depression is a sign that you need change. The enemy of depression is taking action
I know that sounds easy. And, that fact that you’re in a state of paralysis-by-analysis seems to make it impossible.
Take action on what?!
That is the million dollar question. But, wouldn’t it be great to get up every morning excited to get back to working on a project that you’re completely passionate about? This alone would eliminate depression, but how do you get from here to all the way over there?
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First, there are some immediate adjustments that are small, easy to implement steps to help get out of, or avoid depression:
- Help someone… like walk an old lady across the street. Help your mother with a project, or volunteer time for a valuable cause. This is the first thing any shrink worth his salt will tell you (personal experience). We’re a socially-dependent species and feel our best when in cooperation with each other.
- Limit your time on social media! You already stated why… as have many research studies. This 2017 study, documented in Forbes, indicates more than one quarter of the study’s participants recorded “high” indicators of depression. Instead of spending two hours in a virtual facade, spend two hours with some friends at the beach and see which makes you feel better!
- Pay particular attention to all media that you’re ingesting. Dr. Wayne Dyer used to say that all he’d watch is PBS (and like programming) because of the negativity and darkness of mainstream content. Just last night, I ended the evening watching the season ending of “Better Call Saul”, and I had to spend the next hour doing guided meditation on positive thinking to get myself out of the dark funk. Which brings me to…
- Mediation — hold on, hold on. I know everyone writes this down, and the fact is, we all try it for three minutes and then want to run out of the room screaming. I’m a huge advocate of “guided meditation” or “self-hypnosis”, which is sooooo easy to do today with certified hypnotherapists (and hacks, if you prefer) on YouTube… for free!
- Exercise. Yes, we all know that exercise gets the serotonin cranking, but many of us “just can’t find the time”… or, are simply too de-motivated due to depressive thoughts sapping our energy. The thing about exercise is that you need to find something enjoyable enough that it keeps you coming back. I’m a huge bicyclist. But, I used to LOVE playing volleyball (before it became too hard on my shoulders). Even if it’s simply walking, the exercise is invaluable, though it’s preferable to do something that will get your heart rate up.
- Finally, GET OUTSIDE. We’ve become way to focused on our video games, social media and air conditioning. Regardless of the weather (dress for it), putting aside the electronics and getting outside unravels the knots in our heads. I have a photographer friend, Hal Stata, that is an avid hunter and fisherman and an incredibly well-adjusted person. Whatever season it is – he’s out there in it and posting it on Facebook. He’s told me many times that its the best way to get your head straight. I’m all in… accept for killing things.
If you incorporate these things into your daily life, it will help you avoid depression. However, based on your question, you may be IN depression. You’re not happy with your job and that’s most of your waking hours, and if it doesn’t feel purposeful, it’s worth finding something that does.
Which means, as I said above, you have to find out what you’re passionate about so that you can pursue it. Much has been written on Quora about this. I’ve written a 3-part series on it which was the culmination of a lot of research, filtering and soul searching.
We’re in a world now that breeds depression in every corner. I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully we’ll soon be hearing your success story!