Last week I was getting snippy with the individuals I support, and I was also taking it out on my team. I was terse and more sarcastic than usual, to the point of nitpicking things just to start confrontations. Being mindful of my emotions, I recognized that I was in a shitty mood, and I saw that I was being cynical about my surroundings.
Since I expect so much of myself, when I become aware of my inability to influence the environment, I grow increasingly negative. Regardless of how grandiose my visions are, I fester on my failure to actualize those aspirations, and those bad vibes spiral out of control. It’s this feedback loop of negativity, where I’m frustrated that I can’t do what I want, and I beat myself up to the point of expecting nothing to improve because it hasn’t yet.
Venting to my closest friends about those feelings helped a bit. I was convinced that my awareness of that negativity would help me through it. Unfortunately, I was stuck on how each of the previous days were slogs, and I woke up every morning expecting the worst.
When I was receiving therapy for Persistent Depressive Disorder my therapist introduced me to mindfulness. I have become a proponent of its efficacy and I’m constantly reminded of how powerful that sense of awareness really is. Over the last three days as I realized I was slipping into a negative space, I used my favorite mindfulness technique (essentially the mini-mindfulness exercise at that link) to raise my cognition of myself in the present.
The present is awesome. It’s now. It’s not what just was. It’s not what is about to be. It’s now. This awareness allows the opportunity to react to what is actually happening, rather than what I expect to transpire. There’s incredible power in that ability.
It completely diffuses that negative feedback loop. I’ve found that removing my preconceptions brings me into a more positive headspace overall. That positivity defeats my feelings of burnout and depression. When I’m living in the now, I don’t waste my time and energy dwelling on what if’s, could’ve beens, and what-will-be’s.
Each day, each hour, each moment, and each second begins anew. Use that to your advantage and push forward. Persist.
I've been fairly open about my journey with depression. Catch up on the series if you want: The Final Push The Renewed Push I've pushed enough. Let's wrap this shit up.