Helping others to overcome stress
Obviously, when you feel down, the last thing that you would want to do is to help another person in distress. All you know is that you are desperately in need of support yourself since your misery seems unbearable and unreachable.
In fact, helping others can aid you to drag yourself out of the unpleasant depressive state. Because you are aware of how it feels to be anxious, distraught and frustrated, you may be able to help someone who experiences similar emotions. Making the life of another person more meaningful will help you feel better about yourself. This, in its turn, will alleviate your own distressed mental condition.
It is more than likely that among the students there are those who feel the “shit life syndrome”, which is a term that psychologists use when describing depressives. It should be easy to identify such student since you are already aware of the standard symptoms. Just a piece of advice or a supporting pat on the back can make a distressed person feel better so that he sees the light at the end of the tunnel and wants to change things for good.
Learning to support
One has to remember though that comparing the magnitude of feelings might not be the best idea since suffering of each person is always completely unique. Every depressive is distraught in his own way, so unhappiness is not a competition. A person might think that he does not deserve to feel that bad since there are many other people who are even less fortunate. Yet, each person is entitled to be unhappy in his own way without unnecessary berating yourself for the negative feelings.
One needs to keep in mind that the usual pep talk and attempt to get the frustrated person in general mood might be futile. Asking a depressive not to worry because sometimes many people are also feeling the same way won’t do any good either. If you don’t know how to react, it is simply better to say nothing.
Counselors advise demonstrating “active listening”, which is mainly based on non-verbal cues, such as maintaining eye contact, nodding your head, smiling and agreeing by saying ‘Yes’. For a depressive, the realization of being properly listened to, even for a short period of time, goes a long way.
The interesting thing is that you can still find joy while being depressed. It is easier than you think since rejoicing is a conscious act. There’s always something that can make you feel better, be it writing a poem, painting, listening to the favorite music or helping one of the students who goes through a similar thing.
Figuring out what brings you joy will help you revive the moments when you felt part of something bigger. One has to remember that depression can come and go without any warning. The same can happen when you do the small things that might have an unexpectedly huge potential to lift your spirit.7 Likes