Depression can show itself in many ways, and it is expressed differently in different people. While depressed people generally don’t enjoy doing much, they can feel sad or be emotionally numb. They may overeat or lack an appetite. They may sleep all day; or struggle with chronic insomnia. But, no matter how your particular depression manifests, it involves a negative relationship with yourself or being cut off from your inner experiences. So freeing yourself from it means you must change that relationship.
To do this, get to know yourself better. Increased self-awareness offers an opportunity to reconnect with yourself (if you tend to be emotionally numb) or change your negative self-relationship to a positive one. As explained in the article, Want to Better Yourself? Start Here, one way to approach increasing your self-awareness is to attend to five basic domains of awareness, referred to as STEAM: Sensations, Thoughts, Emotions, Actions, and Mentalizing (explained below).
In your efforts to free yourself from depression, you can gain STEAM by considering each domain of awareness separately:
Sensations: What do you sense in your body?
Depression doesn’t just take hold of your mind. It is centered in your body, too. So, getting to know your depression means recognizing it in your body. You may notice that your body feels numb or heavy; or that you feel very tired. You might get to know these different sensations by being…