Helping yourself and choosing happiness isn't always easy, so here are some helpful tips to start you off
Depression is a clinical disorder, there is no easy way to suddenly make it disappear overnight. However sometimes we may just feel a little depressed at any given time in our lives and there are many ways in which we can ‘choose happiness’. Here are just a few things that I’ve learnt on my journey.
One of my main problems has always been my self-esteem. It was always a new battle of feeling like I was ugly, stupid and worthless. There are two things I recommend that may help you with this.
Firstly, write down some things you like about yourself and stick them around your house (on your mirror, on the fridge and other places that you will see it frequently). If you are anything like 14 year old me your response to that will be “but there isn’t anything I like about myself”. Therefore what I did was ask my friends and family “What do you like about me” or “What do you think is my best trait” I then wrote down the wonderful things that they said and stuck them all around my mirror. The beautiful thing about this is that you not only hear wonderful things about yourself, but it also proves you aren’t worthless, because all those people love and care about you for who you are. Also, I don’t know about you but when somebody says ‘what do you like about yourself’ I instantly think of my appearance, whereas when you ask others they are more likely to comment on who you are as a person, and that is valuable.
Secondly, push yourself. Say yes more. This ones hard when you feel down but the more opportunities you take up, the happier you will be. When I went through a hard time I pushed myself to say yes to something and absolutely fell in love with musical theatre. I was in a pantomime, I made new friends, I had something to focus on and that made me so much happier.
Another one that is very difficult is to eliminate negative people from your life… or at least spend less time with them. This is one I had to learn the hard way. Unfortunately it’s very true that if you spend too much time with negative people, it rubs off on you. Sometimes you just have to accept that as much as you care about that person, they are not good for your mental health. Try to spend more time with people that make you happy.
I honestly believe that the way we think about things has a lot of power. This takes some work but try to be optimistic, try to see the best in the situation. I like to remember the quote “when one door closes, two doors open”. Try to believe that every cloud has a silver lining. For instance, if your plans with a friend falls through, instead of being upset about it and focusing on how disappointed you are take it as an opportunity to spend time with your family, or take some much needed you time. Obviously this cannot be applied to every situation, but if we spend less time being upset about things that aren’t all that bad, we have more energy for the things that are.
Something that has also helped me is writing. Every time I feel down, or something has happened I write about it, and my thoughts and feelings about it, and somehow that helps. If you prefer to talk than write, do that. Anything that gets those feelings off your chest is a great place to start in helping you to feel better.
I’m obsessed with positive affirmations. Katie Piper has a book called ‘Start your Day with Katie’ It has 365 positive affirmations, one for each day of the year. I like to keep this next to my bed and read one each morning, to start the day on a positive note.
I hope these tips are helpful.
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