I have been struggling with depressive feelings for quite some time now, although I hadn’t really realized the extent and seriousness of the situation until I started behaving erratically and realizing that I dreaded getting up every day. Then there are the days when I just can’t do anything but lie in bed.
Happiness is the cure to depression, some say, but it is such an abstract concept that sometimes, we do not know what it is. Some say that if you want to be happy, choose to be happy. And that’s true in some cases.
For those who have serious depression issues, however, choice is sometimes taken out of the equation. In the past weeks, there are lessons I’ve learned about being happy, and one of them is to tell yourself things that will help you to be happy.
It’s not about lying to yourself and pretending you are happy. It’s more about taking little steps and thinking about the positive things you have in your life – that’s how you find ways to be happy.
You are awesome.
You may feel like you’re the worst person in the world, but there is always something you will find in yourself, something you do or have done, that will remind you that you are awesome. You may not have the glamor that celebrities have. You may not do great things like living saints do. But you have awesome qualities that you ought to highlight. Awesome qualities that people who love you see and appreciate. Today, look for those things, and tell yourself you are awesome.
You are doing what you can.
Guilt is one of the most difficult things that depressed people deal with. They think – often subconsciously – that everything depends on them. Their family has problems. They feel they have to solve it. Otherwise, they kill themselves with guilt.
They make a mistake that hurts their partner. Their partner, understandably, reacts negatively; and the depressed person beats herself/himself up for days, unable to deal with the guilt.
Remember this: People make mistakes, and you are doing the best you can given the circumstances. You do not have to take on the burdens of the whole world – even when you make mistakes.
You are honest with yourself.
Don’t lie to yourself. When you feel bad, don’t tell yourself that you are okay. What is okay is to admit to yourself that you are not feeling well, emotionally and mentally – even physically. Sure, there may be circumstances when you don’t want others to see you in a weak state, but whatever you do, do not lie to yourself.
“Lows” are inevitable in life.
Accept that you will have bad days, maybe even bad weeks. Once you accept that these periods happen – you are actually being honest with yourself in this way – then you know that they will also pass. That will give you a more positive perspective and may even make you feel better faster.
You can find happiness in little things.
Find happiness in the little things. Stop and smell the roses. Take a step back and be more aware of the little things that are good in your life.
The other day, I was reminded just how much I have to be thankful for – as little as they may be. I have a decent coffee machine that gives me that much-needed (and wanted) cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I have a job that pays decently and a boss who is very understanding that when a family emergency comes up, I am allowed to “take off” for as long as it takes to deal with things. Today, I got a great deal on beef (which I love) at the supermarket – buy two kilos for the price of one!
Little things may be just that – little – but they do add up, and if you take the time to appreciate them, you will find yourself smiling; and you may even realize you are happy.