Turn that frown upside downLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Turn that frown upside down

Do you know of anybody who can truthfully say that they have never had a dark moment, felt depression, been sad maybe even very sad? The simple truth is that no one can totally escape moments of sadness and depression, so while avoiding those things that can amplify unhappiness and focusing as much as possible on all of those things that bring us joy what we all must do is embrace ways to purge those negative moments from our lives lest they expand and destroy us.

Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming we must seek help from professionals such as psychiatrists or psychologists and sometimes that professional help includes drugs. Appropriate professional help can truly be life-saving and even drugs can be useful. But the big trouble with drugs is that they never actually solve the problem they just hide it and they can often become addictive, eventually bringing even worse depression. So before you jump on that band wagon please consider the following options.

(Ron Irwin)

Something bad, really bad happens and you get instantly depressed. You lose your job right after Thanksgiving and right before Christmas. Ouch! A good friend or loved one dies from whatever cause and bang — instant deep pain. Or maybe it is health news about you like a diagnosis of cancer for example and that can be emotionally devastating. Any and all of these and many other negative things can impact anyone at any time causing significant pain and depression. So while doing whatever you can to avoid such things the real issue becomes how to deal with these moments when they do happen.

I suggest you start with this one absolutely truth — all things do change. You must keep reminding yourself of that reality. If need be keep repeating it to yourself — all things do change — all things do change — all things do change. Yes, the severe cynic will say — they do change, they get even worse. Yes, that in fact could happen but grasp this reality. Life is an ebb and flow of yin and yang, one positive and one negative.

So when bad things do happen keep in mind that sooner or later far more positive things with enter your life. It will happen. Exactly when, what and how may will be unknown, but that it will happen is absolute.

Some people believe and they may be right, that they can help bring about those more positive things, but even if that is not you, what you can and must do is simply let go of the situation and allow the good to flow back to you. That too shall happen if you simply allow it to happen,

You can always find a positive in the negative. Yes, a very dear friend has died far too young and that is severely tragic. But in that untimely death has come eternal peace and freedom from pain. A strong, happy and healthy life is clearly preferable but that didn’t happen. What did happen was you had a friend and/or loved one bring joy and knowledge into your life. Cherish that because it is something timeless and good. Take that power forward in life and bring joy and wisdom to others through that experience.

Of course you will mourn your dear friend’s death, but you can and must also honor his or her life with positive memories. As you begin to shift your focus from the severe pain of death to the positive legacy left you will begin to feel less pain and more power to take the positive attributes of your loved one’s life forward into your life. In so doing your deceased loved continues to live through you.

Oh and that job loss situation, you know darn well that it has forced you to do something you should have done a long time ago and that is find an even better job or perhaps advance your knowledge and skill set through further education. You had done as so many of us have done and grown complacent. Now fired you have been shaken into a new and potentially far better place in your life. Embrace that happy opportunity and the pain of loss will quickly vanish.

Sure all of this sounds great but how do you get out of the deep depression so you can move forward? As suggested sometimes that does require professional assistance but here is one additional step to consider: Meditate. You may assume the lotus position or merely find a quiet comfortable place to sit and close your eyes and allow all thoughts to leave your mind. It can be maddening at first as all sorts of thoughts race through your mind including the very thoughts from which you are seeking escape.

But stay focused on an imaginary dot in your head and focus entirely on that. Whenever another thought races in let it go. It will be a very imperfect experience at first but keep it up and eventually you will discover a very soothing experience that will help you greatly in achieving true tranquility and far less pain.

Dealing effectively with pain and sorrow is a critical skill because it will come to everyone many times in our lives. But once you embrace the tools necessary to deal effectively with the dark side of life our bright side will shine ever brighter and you will be able gain and maintain true deep happiness.

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About the author

Ron Irwin

Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author. Contact the author.
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