How to Stay Positive When You Are Feeling Depressed
Depression is a disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It manifests in both physical and emotional symptoms. Fatigue, nausea, sadness and an inability to concentrate are just a few of the many symptoms of depression.
It’s not easy to stay positive when you are depressed, but there are steps you can take to ease some of the symptoms.
5 Steps to Stay Positive When You Are Feeling Depressed
1. Consider aspects of your life for which you can be grateful.
Even if it’s for the smile of a stranger, there are many things you can find. Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, in their study “Dimensions and Perspectives of Gratitude,” suggest keeping a gratitude journal.
Once a week take a few minutes to sit down with a paper and pencil and list five things for which you are grateful. Just the act of noticing a few good things about your life, and being truly grateful for them, can raise your happiness.
2. Notice the little miracles that happen every day.
Sometimes it’s finding the quarter in the couch cushions when you need 25 cents more to buy something. Perhaps it’s a phone call from someone who has just the right message for you at just the right time. Instead of dwelling on your inner pain and sadness, expect the miracles that will happen, whether you are noticing or not. The more you look for them, the more you will find.
3. Remember that nothing in life is permanent.
Where you are today is not necessarily where you will be tomorrow, or next week or next month. Think about what your life was like five years ago and you no doubt will notice how much it has changed since then. Whatever you are feeling right now, whatever condition your life is in, it’s temporary. At any moment it can, and it will, change.
4. Think about how much better off you are than some people.
It may sound trite, but there are people who have it worse than you. Physically, mentally and financially challenged individuals tend to feel isolated and unique. There are others in your situation, and others who are worse off than you.
5. Remember that life sometimes drags us down so that we are forced to look at at it from a different perspective.
We are given these opportunities to propel ourselves forward, to change direction. These times are actually gifts, if used wisely. Look at your life, at what you hold to be valuable, and determine if, perhaps, there are other ways of living that might be better for you–other ways of dealing with people, with events and with life.
Depression can be described as a “soul-ache,” a way for your psyche to get your attention, to help you muster up the courage to change your life.
If your depression is severe or long-lasting, talk to a medical professional.
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