Virtually all of us have experienced a point of depression in our lives, or have even struggled with it on a routine basis. Personally, I’ve always battled depression my entire life — especially when contemplating on the sad state of the world. But the truth is, there are steps you can take to help ‘filter’ out many causes of personal depression that you may be unaware of.

Here’s 3 ways that we make ourselves depressed:

1. Content/Media Consumption

The popular saying ‘you are what you eat’ can also be applied to media consumption. In a way, ‘you are’ what you consume. Just as you wouldn’t eat an entire can of artificial cheese for dinner (at least hopefully not), you shouldn’t ‘feed’ your brain with the equivalent level of nourishment in media content. When you watch the mainstream media all day, or watch distracting YouTube all day, your brain is being ‘fed’ lower quality content.

When you turn on the mainstream media these days, what do you see? Wildfires, crime, war, famine, higher taxes, politicians making empty promises. These subjects take a toll on your ability to be happy at a subconscious level. There’s a time and a place for this ‘filler’ media, but the truth is that you need to control your media consumption before it really starts affecting your subconscious. Even hard-hitting alternative news can be a bit much sometimes.

Don’t let yourself feel worthless through your media intake

2. Your Personal Relationships

Are you in a ‘toxic’ personal relationship? Does your significant take away your confidence, or tell you that you’re not good enough? Personal relationships, which we choose to maintain and engage in, are a huge factor in whether or not we are able to escape depression. The truth is, you can’t change everyone, and sometimes people aren’t going to listen when you try and help them. It’s essential that you don’t get yourself ‘locked in’ to a toxic relationship that drains your energy and makes you feel small.

It’s one of the toughest things to do, and I know how it feels to want to help someone that simply won’t listen. At the end of the day, however, it’s essential to analyze your personal relationships and really decide how to move forward. This practice doesn’t just pertain to intimate relationships, but relationships of all kinds: even friends and family.

3. You Haven’t Found ‘IT’

There’s something inside all of us that becomes ‘activated’ when we have found something that makes us truly passionate. Maybe you have a deep love for art that you’ve never truly taken the steps to cultivate, or you want to help the less fortunate in your area. Whatever it is, you need to ACTIVATE your passion in order to help overcome the dark state of depression and lethargy. Trust me, because I’m speaking from experience on this.

I’ve been depressed, and have truly hit rock bottom more than once in my life. While the other 2 steps I’ve mentioned are a big help, it’s finding passion that truly helped me to overcome that feeling of depression (and I’m not saying it’s 100% gone forever). Work on yourself for a while, and find out what you love — find out what motivates you. It can be anything from writing code to working out. Turn it into a passion, and you’ll quickly find motivation to get out of bed and create fulfillment in your life.

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