Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

“If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.” – Kris Carr

Depression is a long, mind-numbing and recurring part of life for some people — a distraction from our true path.

I went through a very difficult period in my sophomore year of college where I lost everything I had worked for. It led me to completely losing my self-awareness and emotional stability.

For months I couldn’t fathom why or how it happened, only that it did. I was desperate for answers and support but I was too stubborn to ask for it. Then one day I heard an inner voice imploring me to surrender to a higher power: the universe. I began developing spiritual habits that allowed me to live with more joy, purpose and abundance. I explored all the different ways I could experience catharsis, and it all started when I got rid of these 5 bad habits.

1. Don’t listen to depressing songs.

I know it’s super tempting, and sometimes it does ease the pain temporarily. Because of course, it does. Music speaks to the soul.

Your favorite artist suddenly turns into your best friend as they sing, “Nothing heals a broken heart like time, love and tenderness…” — Michael Bolton. Been there, done that.

Depressing music may silence those annoying voices, but for how long? Listening to the same depressing song again and again builds on the pain. I didn’t know that myself, not until I started crying uncontrollably.

2. Don’t pick a fight with someone just because you’re hurting.

I did this. In fact, I did it with a couple of people.

You can’t help yourself, and you rage against people who genuinely care about your well-being. If you need their support, let them in. If you don’t feel like talking about it, communicate that with them and stay strong. Don’t allow yourself to blow up over a momentary feeling.

Some people will understand and give you the space you need, but others will take your finger-pointing and rebuking personally. And later, you’ll feel extremely regretful.

3. Don’t look at any kind of media that reminds you of your pain.

This one is also very tempting. Your brain tries to convince you that it’ll provide you with answers or some sort of closure, but your heart can’t take it. Your heart is already aching. Be a fighter and push back.

Don’t dwell on what put you here in the first place. I’m not saying you should delete/bury/burn those memories, but you’re not emotionally OK right now. Give yourself plenty of time and space before you dive back into those memories.

4. Don’t go on social media, at all.

You tell yourself it won’t hurt to look, but really, it does.

Everybody flaunts their best, most beautiful and happiest memories on Facebook and Instagram — and right now, you’re suffering a great deal of emotional, physical and mental pain.

That’s the last thing you need to see — people you know and care about who aren’t in any sort of pain, enjoying all of life’s blessings — while you slowly succumb to hell’s misery.

5. Don’t confine yourself.

Being alone and confined is lethal. It’s very unhealthy (whether you’re depressed or not). I understand it can be annoying when a semi-circle of close friends are sitting in front of you, badgering you with the same series of questions: “Are you OK? What happened? Why are you crying?”

However, when you hit rock bottom, it’s nice to look around and know there are people beside you who are more than willing to help you heal. When you isolate yourself, you’re giving your mind the power to spiral out of control. Don’t let depression kick YOU to the curb. Don’t be alone, but also, don’t surround yourself with the wrong people.

Depression or any form of mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Always remember that you are greater than your pain. You are strong, beautiful and loved. You have the potential to power through any obstacle.

Don’t let anxiety or negativity make you feel any less human.

As the saying goes, “Rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountain tops never will”. Therefore it’s important to accept whatever you feel because it’ll teach you a great deal about yourself.

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