In the coming months do you want to improve your behavior or stay the same? How much emotional baggage do you want to carry around. Are you undecided? Are you stuck on the corner of walk and don’t walk?

Depression is a common reaction to a negative or traumatic event. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to live a depression-free life because depression is a natural emotion like joy and sadness.

Depression can cause anxiety and stress. Stress wreaks havoc on your body, weakening your immune system to the point of causing symptoms of fatigue, colds, flu or insomnia.

The severity and length of depression varies by person and by its cause. Each person experiences depression differently but paying attention to your feelings can help. What do you need most? How are you speaking to and treating yourself? Choose your direction.

Anger is another powerful emotion and can be a dangerous one to keep. How do you manage your anger? Family members can easily be afraid of you when anger and rage possess you. Figuring out an appropriate way to display feelings of anger can be helpful in times of great strife.

Here are a few myths about anger that aren’t true: “If I feel angry, someone else made me feel that way and that person is responsible for fixing my feelings.” “Nice people don’t feel angry.” “It’s not okay to feel angry.” “If we feel angry at someone, we should punish that person for making us angry: they are responsible for our anger.” It’s okay to be angry but don’t unfairly take your anger out on yourself or others. Anger passes, so take a walk, slow down and talk it out.

Guilt is another powerful human emotion. How do you handle guilt? Do you withdraw? When you feel guilty, do you despise yourself? Don’t like yourself? When this happens, do you withdraw and self-isolate? Regret is often associated with guilt. Statements such as “I shoulda,” “I coulda,” “I wish I had,” could take hold and fill your mind. Identify what is causing you to feel guilty or regretful. Don’t over analyze past events. Your hindsight can lead to your being over judgmental with yourself. Guilt can overwhelm you. Be objective on past circumstances.

Fear. What is your biggest fear? Fears occur for a variety of reasons, maybe from a childhood trauma or from a catastrophe in adult life: sudden death of a loved one, a parent, or your family pet. What are you telling yourself? What are your tension breeding factors? To have fears is a natural part of being human. Fears are just walls you’ve created to limit yourself and interfere with your daily life. Begin by identifying each individual fear. If you have multiple fears, don’t try to resolve them all at once. Trust your hopes, not your fears. No need to doubt yourself.

Old Age - If you’re a senior citizen and in good health, be grateful. Don’t have a morbid outlook thinking that the Grim Reaper is at your doorstep. The cycle of life is upon all of us: you’re born, grow up, experience your life, age, and then…die. This is the natural cycle of life, but age creeps up quickly and practicing mindfulness can help curb those feelings of emptiness or sadness.

Losing friends can be a reminder of how quickly life moves. Friends come and go in life. In high school, you have many friends. In college or vocational school, less friends. Once in the workforce, you can count your friends on one hand. Losing friends, no matter the circumstances, can be sad, but when our friends pass away, the impact is painful. Grief, anger, depression, and guilt are left in their absence.

In such moments, talk to a friend or family member. Express your pain and grief. What has this person left as a legacy to you? What did he or she mean to you? Don’t hold back and gulp down your feelings. Express yourself. Take feedback, listen to what is being said about your behavior. Be willing to change.

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for? What would tomorrow look like? What would you change? Think about it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hilary Valdez is a freelancer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. Learn more about Valdez and contact him at his website or email. Follow his YouTube channel Hilary’s Quick Talk for more insights.

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