If you don’t know how to find your passion when you are depressed, this article is perfect for you.
Finding your passion sounds so simple in theory.
I mean, just find out what you love and make that your life’s purpose!!
So, simple… see?
But billions of people know by experience that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
In practical terms, finding your passion can be like deciphering a cryptic piece of code. And let’s not even get started on making that your career! ( check our article HERE about IKIGAI, the japanese tool to find your path.)
You see, there are many factors when it comes to finding your passion.
- First of all, you might not even know what you like or want in life.
- Secondly, even if you know about your passion, you might not want to take the leap of faith and pursue it.
- And third, your mental state has a huge influence on what you make out of your life.
One of the most common reasons people don’t pursue their passions or big dreams is that they are not in a conducive state of mind.
In today’s world, the third factor has become more important than ever.
You might already know that depression has reached record levels in recent times.
Due to the complexities of modern life, more and more people are beginning to lose their zest for life.
If you take a look around you, you will realize that people’s mental state has been degrading for quite a while now.
In such a state, it becomes even more difficult to find what you love. However, it can still be done.
How Do You Know That You’re Depressed?
Before we move on to how you can find your passion, let’s first talk about the symptoms of depression.
A lot of the time, people don’t even know that they are depressed and just wade through life trying to figure out why they have lost their enthusiasm.
It can be quite hard living every day questioning what’s wrong with you.
So, here are some of the symptoms that can help you figure out whether or not you’re depressed.
- Feeling fatigued without doing any physical work.
- Feeling anxious and restless.
- Feeling sad, disappointed, and hopeless about life.
- Disruption in sleep patterns; not getting enough sleep and wanting to sleep all the time.
- Loss of appetite or development of unhealthy food cravings.
- Lack of self-esteem or a sense of self-worth.
- Loss of enthusiasm about most things in life; feeling as though life has become colorless and meaningless.
- Random outbursts of anger or frustration, often over small things.
- Trouble making decisions, big or small.
Why It’s Difficult
It’s quite obvious why finding your passion is difficult when you’re depressed.
If it can be difficult for people with healthy states of mind, imagine how it must be for a depressed person!
So, do not be hard on yourself if you can’t seem to find what you love.
Do not blame yourself for being in this state.
Just try to understand why it’s hard and then we can move ahead from there.
You’re Stuck In A Loop
When you’re depressed, you are stuck in a vicious loop of negative thought patterns and beliefs.
For example, you keep saying to yourself, “I am not good enough,” “What’s the point of doing anything?” “I am useless,” “There is no happiness in life,” “Life is miserable,” and so on.
Of course, these might not reflect reality.
However, since you keep repeating these thoughts to yourself, again and again, they become your reality in your mind.
You Keep Comparing Yourself To Others
Even under normal circumstances, the act of comparison is a thief of joy. It makes even the happiest people miserable.
As someone who is depressed, it can only make matters worse for you.
Imagine scrolling your social media feed and thinking that everyone in the world is happy except you. Imagine thinking that everyone is successful except you.
When you’re already doubting your abilities, this act of comparison can further deteriorate your self-confidence and keep you stuck in a depressed state. Check our article HERE about how to stop comparing yourself to others.
It Feels Like A Herculean Task
When you’re depressed, passion might seem like the polar opposite emotion.
Think about it.
- Depression is a state of low intensity where you are not enthusiastic about anything.
- But passion is a high-intensity state where you actually look forward to doing certain things every day.
So, it might seem to you that you need to first defeat your depression, and only then can you find your passion.
And as we all know, defeating your depression might seem like an impossible task when you’re in that state.
How To Find Your Passion When You’re Depressed
So, now that we have taken a look at the symptoms of depression and why it’s hard to find your passion in such a state, let’s finally look at all the ways you can actually do so.
1) Accept Where You Are
As mentioned above, people often don’t realize it when they are depressed.
And even if they get their first hints, they usually go into denial.
Obviously, this only makes it much harder for them to deal with their situation.
If you can’t accept your current reality, how can you begin to address it?
Look, there is no shame in admitting that you are depressed. It happens to millions of people around the world and it is natural for a human to go through this state of mind at times.
But you need to understand that only by acknowledging your state will you get the help you need (either by someone else or through your own effort).
It is the first step towards steering your life in the right direction.
So, admit to yourself where you stand and let it go.
Release the pressure of trying to keep a lid on your mental state!
2) Try To Get Into A Neutral State
Before you start finding your passion and making efforts to be happy again, you need to get into a neutral state.
The importance of this cannot be overstated.
You see, when you are depressed, the very idea of being happy may sound impossible to you. So, if someone comes along and tells you that you need to ditch your depression and find happiness through your passion, that will only put you under more pressure.
It will cause unnecessary anxiety and worsen your condition.
What you can do, however, is get into a state where you are neither happy nor sad.
Of course, it will take quite some work to get into this state, but it is certainly more possible than magically turning your life around.
This neutral state will at least keep you from spiraling down into negative thought patterns. It will also provide you with space and time for healing.
To get to this state, it’s important to not force yourself to feel anything.
Just witness the emotions that arise within you in a non-judgmental manner.
Let go of the little things that bother you.
Let go of the negative thoughts and emotions that try to pin you down.
In fact, try to give them a positive spin.
For example, if some of your friends have grown distant recently, think of it as letting go of bonds that don’t work! If you are bothered about the rain, try to realize how important it is for the plants.
This neutral state will slowly start to change your perspective. It will create the right conditions for you to start exploring things that are pleasurable to you.
3) Find Things That Bring You Joy
Now that you have been in the neutral state for a while, it is time to start testing the waters.
Start finding things that bring you joy.
It doesn’t have to be something huge or meaningful. Even a warm cup of coffee counts. As you go about your day, just observe things that bring even a little bit of excitement to you.
If this doesn’t help, try to remember your life before the depression.
- What are the things you loved doing?
- Which people did you like talking to the most?
- What was your ideal pastime?
This will surely take you back to the good old days and remind you of all the things that might be missing from your life.
Then, just add these to your life and begin to appreciate the little things that life has to offer.
Feel the same feelings that you used to feel once.
And let that convince you that it is indeed possible to turn around your depression, even if it has to happen bit by bit.
4) Get Into A Routine
Do not underestimate the power of a routine.
It keeps you engaged in your day-to-day tasks, and that is a huge thing when you’re depressed.
It’s really the simple things that get you back on track.
So, craft the ideal routine for yourself and make sure you include the things that we talked about in the previous point.
This will not only help you get back to normalcy but will also fill your life with little moments of joy.
Plus, as you begin to devote time to the things you enjoy, you put yourself in a position where you can discover your true passions.
Often, people realize that their passions lie in things they used to love doing as children.
It could be painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, taking photos, gardening, playing a sport, and so on.
Who knows, you might stumble upon your passion just by devoting some time every day to the little things you love!
5) Try To Develop Your Skills
One thing that takes a huge hit when you’re depressed is your confidence.
Somehow, you become convinced that you cannot do anything properly.
This especially happens when other people with your interests seem to be scaling higher than you.
This is where skill development comes in.
When you sharpen your skills, you slowly gain confidence in who you are as a person.
This is important because merely doing things you enjoy is not enough. You also need to know that you’re good at them.
Only then will you start regaining your passion and enthusiasm. Only then will you actually want to pursue your passions.
So, for example, if you like writing, try to enhance your skills by challenging yourself. Try to write about things that you haven’t written about before.
Try to learn from other writers and take your creations to the next level! yeah practice makes perfect. plus that is a good way to write about your situation and what you want to do about your life.
6) Connect With People
It’s common for depressed people to push others away.
They feel like they need to be alone.
They feel like their pain is only theirs to deal with and they might not want their negative state to affect others.
If you find yourself in the same boat, you need to realize that this actually deteriorates your mental health instead of improving it.
You might feel like distancing yourself from others will somehow make dealing with your pain much easier.
But it’s the exact opposite.
What you need to do is connect with people.
And by that, I mean forming a real connection instead of just chatting or having a phone call.
Sit face-to-face with someone and talk to them about how you feel.
If you are serious about finding your passion despite being in a depressed state, talk to them about it. If you do this with a loved one, you can rest assured that they will do everything they possibly can to help you out.
Sometimes, others know us better than our own selves.
And you never know what suggestion can set you on the right path!
7) Realize That Even Bad Things Can Lead To Good Results
When we go through bad times or events, we obviously feel sad and dejected.
But if you look back at all the bad periods in your life, you might realize that a lot of them actually led to good things.
A bad breakup might have led you to an even better partner, getting laid off might have led you to an even better job, missing a bus might have saved you from an accident, and so on.
So, who’s to say that this depressive stage of your life won’t lead to something good?
Maybe you were meant to go through this so that you can finally understand what you are supposed to do in this lifetime.
Maybe you were meant to slow down so that you can get a better sense of your life and all the things that make it worth living.
What I’m trying to say is that you should have a more positive approach to life.
I know this has now become a cliche, but it is worth repeating because it actually works if used consciously.
If nothing else, it will give you hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And that might just be enough to motivate you to find your passion.
8) Do Something For Someone Else
Sometimes, you just can’t get a sense of what your passion is, no matter how hard you try.
And that’s completely okay.
Passion is like love… you can’t force it.
Sometimes, you have to let it come to you.
If that is your situation, you could do one other thing that will at least help you feel better about yourself and your life.
You could do something kind for someone else and make that a general habit.
You could donate to charity, help complete a chore for someone, volunteer your time for a local cause, help a random stranger out with something, and so on.
Trust me, this will go a long way in improving your mental health and broadening your horizon.
Not only will you get a much better sense of meaningfulness, but you will also realize that you are not alone in your troubles.
You will see that there are countless other people who need help and are just as troubled as you.
Sometimes, this greater perspective is just what you need to move ahead with your life.
You realize that challenges and tough times are an inevitable part of life and there is no use just shutting down as a response.
As they say, the show must go on.
9) Identify Your Sense of Purpose
Your purpose is the central motivating aim of your life.
It is the reason you wake up in the morning and do all the things you do throughout the day.
Your purpose is not only your destination but also the very path you walk upon.
For some, this purpose might be fulfilling their responsibilities toward their families. For some, it might be making a positive change in other people’s lives. For some, it might be exploring the planet…. And so on.
When you’re depressed, you tend to lose this sense of purpose.
You feel like life has no purpose at all.
But you and I both know that that’s not true.
It’s only your current state of mind that is making you feel that way.
No matter who you are, you have a story to tell. You have a heart that wishes for certain things to come true.
No matter how dark life gets, there are always some things that you hope come true. Hold on to these things. These will show you the way forward.
Once you have gotten yourself in a neutral state (mentioned above), you can begin to get back your sense of purpose.
Think about what mattered to you the most before the depression.
- When you close your eyes, what does your heart really want to achieve in this life?
- What is it that would satisfy you and bring inner peace?
- What will ultimately make you feel fulfilled?
Ponder upon these questions and try to be as honest as possible with yourself. Over time, you will begin to get a sense of what you truly hope to make out of your life. And that would be your true purpose.
10) Practice Self-Compassion And Be Patient With Yourself
Getting out of a depressive rut can be challenging.
There is no use sugarcoating it.
The process can take time, effort, and a lot of determination.
However, if you truly want to find your passion despite being in this state, things will become just a little bit easier.
That’s because you will have a reason to push forward.
In your heart, you will know that life is not meant to be lived the way it is right now.
Throughout this process, you have to move systematically and take things one step at a time.
It is important that you are patient with yourself. It is important that you treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
Treat yourself like your best friend.
It is okay if you falter on some days.
It is okay if you want to do nothing at times and just sleep all day.
Allow the natural process of healing to do its job.
And know in your heart that you can do this.
You are strong and it’s only a matter of time before you get back on course.
11) Seek Professional Guidance
We all know that depression is a diagnosable condition.
If you get the right treatment, you can not only heal its symptoms but get rid of it once and for all.
There are many options available in this regard.
Psychotherapy and medication are two of the most common and successful treatment options.
When you are actively taking steps to treat your depression, you are already in a much better state of mind.
In such a state, regaining your purpose and finding your passion becomes less challenging.
In your mind, you would be determined to improve your condition and get your life in order.
So, if you are not able to deal with your depression on your own despite your best efforts, you should consult with a professional.
A single search online will give you lots of results to choose from.
Or you could ask one of your friends or family members who have had a similar experience to recommend you a good professional to consult.