We chat with a lot of people who are feeling depressed, like they don’t see the point of getting out of bed or carrying on with life. If this is something you are struggling with then you are not alone – many people struggle with this, men, women, young, old, married, unmarried, those who believe in a God and those who don’t. You probably feel you have no hope and no reason to keep on going. We want you to know that there is hope, there is purpose, and feelings can change.

We are all more than just a bunch of feelings, we have a physical body and a spiritual side to us. We really need to think about the whole of us and not just how we are feeling right now. Here are some thoughts that people have found helpful…

Who have talked to about feeling depressed?

Maybe you feel that you don’t want to bother any one with how depressed you are feeling, you might have decided that they won’t be interested. It’s true that some people don’t know how to react or what to say but that doesn’t mean they don’t care and don’t want to help. If you are young tell your parents or another older member of the family who you are closer to. If you are older tell someone whose opinion you respect – a friend, a church pastor, a relative. It would also be really good to talk to your doctor if you have been feeling low for a while, because sometimes the reason you are feeling depressed can be because of a physical chemical imbalance that can be greatly helped by taking some medication for a while.

Don’t trust the feelings

Feelings are lovely when they are making you feel good, but feelings are not a good, reliable test of what is true. People can sometimes wake up one day feeling low, and then wake up the next day feeling more positive – even though nothing in their life is different, all that has changed is their feelings. Feelings can often trick us and so we have to look beyond feelings to know what is true. Even if you struggle with believing this – it still is true! The truth is that there is a purpose for you here on earth and there are so many people whose lives you could help and change, there is so much good you could do here.

Think about the spiritual you

Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?

When people believe that Jesus loves them and is interested in them it gives them a bigger picture of the world around them and of what life is all about. It can give you a new hope and a new focus outside of yourself. The more you get to know Jesus the more you will want to please Him and make a difference to people in this world for him – this can become a great motivation to keep on going no matter how low and bad you feel. Jesus cares about you – he wants you to know his peace and his acceptance and forgiveness. He wants you to know Him and how much he loves you – Find out about Jesus.

Trust other people

When your mind and feelings are playing games with you – you need to remember that there is a possibility that someone else is seeing your situation more clearly than you are… the way you are seeing it might not be the truth – others might be seeing what is true and it is good to admit to yourself that maybe all you can see and feel is not the truth.

You will hurt so many people

Some people think that nobody would miss them if they went, and that everyone would be better without them – but this is completely wrong. When someone gets so low that they commit suicide great hurt, upset, pain and damage is caused to those who knew them – your family and friends suffer so much.

Give yourself a new focus

Think about who or what you would like to make a difference to if you weren’t feeling so depressed and low. Your one life could help the lives of 100s of other people or 100s of animals – you could aim to get well enough to volunteer, or to try and raise money to help them. You might not be able to cope with doing it now, but have it as an aim, a new focus, something you decide to work towards achieving, that is outside of yourself, is much more powerful than just trying to get better for you.

Get outside

Sometimes just going somewhere different and seeing some nature can help us to feel different. The fresh air is good for us, and seeing that there is a natural world out there, getting on with it’s own thing, completely ignorant of all the worries and cares of the world, can be refreshing to see – and help us to see a bigger picture than the troubles that are right in front of us that feel like they are swamping us.