It’s an ordinary day for me today, been lazy all day trying to take a break from the daily bustle of life. Just taking the serenity of doing nothing and making reflections here and there. Sometimes, my mind’s reflections are keeping me from talking about them that it usually watered down by everyday worries.
But today, I decided to make a difference.
Lately, I’ve been seeing posts about mental health. Depression being the leading cause of death in the world. It kept me thinking, how a person looks so normal, can be so sick?
Just like the image of the apple covered in thick, velvet (I assume) chocolate, we are all infected. Infected by the vicious thoughts our mind manufactures all the time.
It’s just that, some of us did not survive the turmoil, in fact, it kills them alive.
Rick Warren, my favorite pastor, once said “don’t believe everything your mind tells you.” How I hope everyone is aware of this fact but unfortunately, the sickness has taken them over before the light reaches them.
For the people who managed to overcome the internal battles, I believe it’s about time to be a small piece of hope to people who are losing the internal, one-man war against self-devastating depression. We may not totally heal them, but we can reinforce the healing process.
But how? How can we make a difference?
Be a listener and don’t try to be too smart on anything.
This is the only advice I would like to give t anyone who reads this, because most often than not (based on experience) this is the most effective way of caring. Listening is caring.
Listen, that’s the first step. If you have a friend going through something and they came to you trying to vent out their frustrations or sadness, just attentively listen. You don’t have to do anything. Show them that you love them by trying to understand their situation.
Even if you notice that they’re talking out their problems over and over and over again, don’t get tired. They’re as tired as they’ll ever be but emotions demand to be felt (Green, 2011?).
And don’t try to be to smart about everything. Even if you know what to do to address a certain problem, don’t give unsolicited advice unless they asked you. Even if they know what to do, it’s one thing to have an understanding how to do it.
If humans are emotional, they are too driven by emotions. And if we are driven by emotions, we don’t think rationally. But emotions is what makes us human, and I believe different emotions are made to neutralize each other. That’s why we are not made by God to be alone.
Love overcomes hatred.
Joy overcomes sadness.
Calmness overcomes anxiety.
Laughter overcomes anger.
And we as human beings are to reach out to people who have negative emotions, by people who can give them the positive counterpart. How beautiful is that?
So even if you’re not a mental health practitioner, you can be a slice of hope to anyone who sees it.