Healthy, positive thought processes are not only important for preventing and overcoming depression, they are vital for a living a happy and fulfilling life as well.
In the former article, I touched on how psychological patterns in the mind can contribute to the onset of depression. By replacing negative thought patterns with positive ones, you can take a big step toward beating depression.
Break Through Limiting Beliefs
Are learned behaviors and limiting beliefs having a hold on your thought processes, thereby contributing to your depression?
For example, have you been conditioned to believe that you do not deserve happiness, that being downcast most of the time is normal, that you have no choice but to be stuck in a stressful job you hate, that success is beyond you, or that the abusive relationship you are in is no less than what you deserve?
Has “learned helplessness” become entrenched in your psyche?
Depression Is Not You
You must not see your mental condition as being a part of you. Many people quite literally become too attached to the health conditions which they are diagnosed with, clinging on to them like security blankets and using them as convenient excuses for any sufferings, shortcomings or limitations they may have.
Depression will one day leave you – remember that.
Find Life Purpose And Meaning
Having something to believe in and to live for gives your life so much more direction and purpose. This is helpful both for preventing as well as healing depression.
Improve Your Self Esteem
A healthy self esteem and depression are unlikely to go hand in hand. If you are suffering from low self esteem for whatever reason, do something about it.
It could be our upbringing, it could be the constant bombardment of commercials reminding us of what we are lacking, or it could just be human nature – many of us have the subconscious tendency to put ourselves down. Thoughts like “I am not good enough”, “I am too fat” and “I am ugly” have a significantly detrimental effect on our psyche.
Ditch them and replace them with positive affirmations instead.
Accept Life For What It Is
It sounds simplistic, but just accepting that life IS difficult and that life ISN’T perfect can help you to better cope with the challenges you encounter. Many of us are being bogged down by unrealistic expectations of achieving perfection or of life being smooth sailing, which ultimately lead to disappointment and even disillusionment.
Life is imperfect, and life can be tough – dealing with it is part of our growth process.
Always Look On The Bright Side
Are you a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of person? Both ways, it’s the same glass, and it’s the same amount of water. Happiness is very correlated with one’s attitude and outlook, more so than with actual life circumstances and physical stuff.
Learning to be a more positive and optimistic person can go a long way toward not only beating depression, but also becoming a happier person.
Be Kinder To Yourself
Learn to be kinder and more forgiving toward yourself, in particular for your shortcomings and mistakes. Making mistakes is normal – it’s how we respond to them. And having weaknesses is normal too – it’s how we love and accept ourselves. For many of us, our worst psychological enemies could well be, unfortunately, ourselves.
Resolve To Make A Change
When you are in a bad moment in your life, it’s easy to descend into a downward spiral or vicious cycle. Life is dreary, you do dreary things and avoid cheery things, and life gets drearier.
Sometimes, all it takes for you to alter your course is a conscious decision. I want to change. That can be all it takes to make a profound difference. Do not underestimate the power of such conviction.
Realize That Life Is Beautiful
And one resolution you could make is to believe that life IS beautiful, and that life IS still good. When you decide to look at life as something beautiful, you suddenly begin to notice more beauty around you.
Carry Positive Body Posture
Push your backbone straight up, lift your chin and take to smiling more often. These simple bodily gestures actually do have a subconscious impact on lifting your mood.
Be Patient And Persevere
And finally, in your journey of recovery from depression, accept that it is going to take time, and you will need to exercise patience and perseverance. There will be ups and downs, as well as one-step-forward-two-steps-backwards kind of occurrences – hang in there and soldier on.
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