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Depression sucks. There’s really no other way to put it. And when you’re trying to figure out how to be happy with depression, it may seem like an impossible feat. And, I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s going to be an easy road back to happiness. On the contrary, it’s going to take some effort, commitment and courage to beat depression and start feeling like a normal, happy person again. But, you can do it and below are some steps to take control of your depression and begin your journey to a more blissful life.
So here goes…
1. Set a Plan for Yourself
Stepping out of your depression becomes easier when you have an actual action plan set up for yourself. First, figure out what’s causing your depression — is it financial burdens or you’re not bringing in enough money, low self-confidence or self-esteem or a recent break-up with someone you loved very much. Perhaps there’s no real reason behind your depression and it’s a medical problem. Either way, to beat depression, you need to know what action steps you’re going to take and then begin implementing them. But, first, make a list of your action steps. Here are some examples:
Step # 1: I’m going to start controlling my negative thinking.
Step # 2: I’m going to start focusing on my positive qualities
Step # 3: I’m going to surround myself with happy, positive people
Step # 4: I’m going to start becoming more active
Step # 5: I’m going to focus on helping others
You get the picture. Once you come up with your action steps, depending on how many you came up with, you might want to spread them out a bit. For instance, you can practice step #1 for the first day, then step # 2 the next day and so forth. Or, you can spend a whole week on one step and move on to the next one the following week. This is up to you. And, you can even continue adding action steps as you move through your first set. The key here is to get that plan of action set up for yourself on what you’re going to do in order to get over being depressed and begin feeling happy again.
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2. Accept and Take Control
Okay, so you’re depressed. There’s no reason to try and deny it or even hide from it and learning how to be happy with depression starts by realizing this. True, feeling this way really sucks and others probably can’t relate. It might even sicken you to see other people being so happy and content with their lives but you feel so trapped inside your own misery. Fortunately, you don’t have to stay trapped. You have the power to take control of your feelings and it starts by accepting them first. Then, like in a previous post, fake it until you make it, meaning fake happiness until you actually start feeling happy. I’ve described how to do this in that post so won’t go over it here. But, basically, each day you take control of your emotions and fake being happy, you’ll start actually feeling happy. Seriously, try it. 🙂
3. Get in a Routine
All structure in your life seems to go out the window when you’re struggling with depression. When there’s no structure, you feel unorganized or each day is uneventful. Set yourself up in a routine to help put some structure back into your life.
4. Get Outside
Get yourself off the couch and go outdoors. Absorb the sunlight into your being. Take a walk or go jogging. Go for a swim. It doesn’t really matter what you do, just get outside. Our bodies function biochemically. You can even measure happiness biochemically. Movement and the sun combined help create these feel-good chemicals you need to start feeling better and yes…happy. So, get outside and get moving.
5. Get Social
Start engaging with people. It’s harder to stay depressed when you’re surrounded by others. So get yourself a social support network. Let people know how you’re feeling and allow them to help you.
6. Take Note of Your Accomplishments
Each day, recognize the things you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Create a list. Sometimes, just taking a shower can feel like a huge task when you’re struggling with depression. So, if you took a shower, write that down. No matter what it is, write it down. It can be anything from walking your dog, to going to work to washing the dishes. Before you go to bed at night, look at your list of accomplishments for the day which should instill a sense of content and self-satisfaction…both stepping stones to being happy again.
7. Challenge your Negative Thoughts
When fighting depression, you have a lot of mental work ahead of you. It’s easier to focus on negative thoughts than it is positive. You would wonder why this is, but it seems to be a pattern for many people. When in a depressive state, many people also tend to jump to the work possible conclusions. For instance, they may feel worthless or feel nobody likes them. So, is there any real evidence to support these thoughts? Probably not, in a lot of cases. So, the next time you toying around with a negative thought, challenge it and look for any evidence that supports it. Of course, some negative thoughts will have evidence to support them. But, this is where you can choose to accept and take control (step 2 above).
Give yourself 15 to 20 minutes each morning to meditate. Meditation helps your mind focus on things in a better perspective instead of the random, momentary emotions you’ve been feeling. There’s something very spiritual about meditating too. It connects you with your higher power and enlightens you. When you feel more connected with your higher power, you tend to feel more optimistic and hopeful — at least I do.
9. Focus on Things You’re Doing Right
Stop beating yourself up for all the “negative situations” you think you’re putting yourself into. All people are capable and resilient. Since depression can often cloud your thinking and rationale, you may be tempted to overemphasize these small negative situations and not give yourself any credit for the positive situations you create. Remember your accomplishment list above? Go back and read it. The more accomplishments you make, the more positive situations you create.
If anything, remember, every action has an opposite, but equal reaction. So, when there’s something negative, there’s an equal opposite positive. Like depression is negative, but happiness is it’s opposite positive. Let’s see, how can I explain this.
Okay, if something makes you feel negative whether that be more depressed, angry, lonely, powerless, etc. try to find a positive aspect of the situation like a blessing in disguise or something you gained from the situation.
Also, try and avoid negativity which can be negative people or negative news on destruction, tragedies or suffering. This type of negative stigma keeps you in a negative mindset. While you can’t get away from all negative things, you can control how much of it you’re exposed to. And, the more happiness and positivity you surround yourself with, the better mindset you’re going to gain.
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So, what are your thoughts? Do you have any steps of being happy while depressed? Comment below. 🙂