We are constantly told that we should find our passions.
There’s a saying that says something along the lines of ‘if you turn your passion into a career you will never work a day in your life’.
While that is a very paraphrased statement, the core message remains the same.
Finding our passions can be life changing.
However, the concept of finding your passion is not an easy one. Not everyone is born knowing exactly what they want to dedicate their lives to.
In fact, many people reach old age before finding something that they are passionate about.
The task of finding your passion is made even more difficult when you factor in depression, something that a record number of people are experiencing.
As impossible though it seems, finding your passion when you are depressed is definitely achievable.
In this post, we will explain to you how it can be done.
How To Find Your Passion When You Are Depressed
Neutrality: Accepting Where You Are
It’s super important that we make this abundantly clear before we proceed.
You do not have to transform yourself from depressed to perfectly happy in order to find your passion.
Actually, trying to do this is likely to have the opposite effect because of the pressure you may start to feel.
When you are depressed, being happy seems entirely unachievable.
Let go of the idea of finding happiness. Finding a passion and being happy are not mutually exclusive.
Instead, why not turn your attention first to accepting where you are.
Acknowledge that you are depressed, then try and steer your energy into becoming neither happy nor sad.
This is not to say that you should become emotionless, but rather, try and make it so that you can feel all the emotions that happen to you from a place of non-judgment where you don’t force yourself to feel anything.
Forcing happiness on your depressed self is a recipe for disaster.
How To Become Neutral
This can seem very vague, we totally get that. Honestly, it is not the easiest thing to explain.
The most basic way of explaining neutrality is this. Let it go.
Let go of negative emotions that are ruling your life. When we are depressed, this is easier said than done. Start small.
When we are depressed, often things add to our depression.
These could be simple things such as the fact that it is raining outside. The miserable weather adds to our already low mood, making us feel hopeless.
Why not try and let it go? You cannot control the rain. So what is the point in making yourself feel worse about it?
You could even take this a step further if you felt up to it, thinking about the benefits of rain.
For example, it waters the beautiful flowers in the world.
Start to let go of the small things that bring us down. Become neutral towards them.
This neutrality will eventually put you in a better position to frame how you think about them a little differently.
When you are in this more neutral state, you can begin to think about finding something that starts to spark kinder emotions.
For example, happiness, excitement, pleasure, and whatever else you deem a pleasurable emotion.
Find An Activity Or Pastime
Now that you are in a place of neutrality, allow yourself to feel all feelings without judgment, letting go of the small things that cause unhappiness.
Then you can begin to introduce things into your life that change your emotions from neutral to positive.
These will be steps towards finding your passion.
We like to think of it this way.
Imagine your life before depression.
This may be difficult, especially if you have suffered for many years. However, we are sure you can think of at least one time in your life where you were not depressed.
Think about what made you happy at this time.
Maybe the only thing you can think of is when you were a child.
What made you happy then? Was it cooking with a loved one in the kitchen? Maybe it was snuggling up with a good book.
Perhaps you enjoyed art as a child. Maybe an old hobby you used to do has come into your head, such as horse riding or writing.
It could even be that you are reminded of your favorite subject at school.
Whatever pops into your head, just let yourself do it, and feel all those feelings you used to feel.
Many people’s life passions often end up being something they just loved doing as a child.
Another way of tackling this is by thinking of the things you have always wanted to try but your depression has stopped you from doing.
Maybe grab yourself a journal and make a list of all the things you would love to do one day.
Then, one by one, work through that list and think of the small steps you can take to do each one.
For example, if you have always wanted to write a book, make a little plan in your journal with small manageable steps that can help you achieve it.
Speaking of journals, another method we like that helps people to find their passions is writing in your journal about someone that you admire.
Think about what it is about them that you admire so much.
We would guess it would be a list of personality traits that they have or the amazing things they have done.
We would then also guess that perhaps these traits and amazing things are things that you are also passionate about.
It is important to note that for some people, a passion does not necessarily have to be their career.
You can enjoy your career but also have your passion as a hobby on the side.
Do not put even more pressure on yourself by trying to turn your newfound passion into something for monetary gain.
Of course, if doing this doesn’t add pressure then carry on, but remember, the whole point of a passion is that it brings you joy and happiness.
As soon as it stops doing this, it starts to become a chore rather than a passion.
Finding your passion is difficult for anyone, but that step is made a little more difficult for someone who has depression.
That being said, we hope you can see now that this is not impossible, and actually finding your passion is within your reach.
The trick is allowing yourself to feel neutral.
Let go of the things you cannot change and allow yourself to feel each emotion as it comes up.
This will get you out of your funk of depression and put you in better state for finding a passion.
When you have reached this more neutral state, you can start to think about finding your passion.
Start by thinking about what brought you joy as a child (or pre-depression), and go from there.
Make use of journals to track each small passion you find, writing about how it makes you feel.
Remember, go easy on yourself! It will not happen overnight but when it does, it will be the most wonderful feeling in the world.