How to pick yourself up when you are down
The things that tear our happiness down...
is a multi headed hydra. Sometimes the problem is a matter of a guilty conscience. Sometimes it has to do with regret for things that haven't happened that should have or for missed opportunities. Sometimes it is a matter of covetousness, or a desire for things that you wish to have but don't. In fine, it seems that people in general are more apt to make themselves miserable or accept the condition of misery then to find ways to be happy.
This being said, it is probably just as well that our egos as people is not so big as to make us narcissists by nature. Egotists without humility. Sociopaths without consciences. The question to be happy then has nothing to do with the cause of your misery. I have found very little in life to be gained by virtue of meditating on the reason for your misery other then a perfunctory acknowledgement of the banal source.
The sense of foreboding that accompanies depression is one of the most valuable tools that our mind and heart have at their disposal. It gives one the chance to reflect and objectively look at your life and decide if you are happy with where you are. Even when Murphy's Law is kicking you hard you can stop and think, "What can I do to help someone else out or how can I show my love and consideration for my loved ones." Positive action in the face of depression, especially if that positive action is in direct contradiction to the reason of your distress is one of the first keys to dispelling misery.
Where that sense of foreboding is a little harder to deal with is when it turns a cloudy day into a comfortable place to wallow and a bright sunny day into an offense to nature in your eyes. Sometimes people have a predilection to holding onto that sense of foreboding and turning life sour. This is understandable considering the fact that much of this sense of foreboding and silence that come with depression can be a chemical matter. This head is much harder to cut off then most. Sometimes it takes medication. This need isn't a shame or a crime but rather a way to deal and level the playing field. Still, as flaws in ones own nature crop up that one starts dwelling on, these depressions seem to get bigger and more overwhelming the more one focuses on them without resolving and providing even the irrational mind with evidence of progress.
Countering these feelings takes a forcible amount of outward searching perspective. in other words, being anti-social and introverted is a bad habit to keep if you are suffering from depression or just having a bad day. Acts of service and empathy can have a profound effect on depression if one will stop and focus not only on what one is doing, but on the positive effect one is having as a result. Acting on such thoughts and feeling the sense of rightness and accomplishment that comes with considering others above yourself will help drive you to other actions that will turn your perspective increasingly outward. The more external your focus is the more you will find that sense of foreboding leaches out of you and will become a warm feeling of optimism and love. You will find however that these actions of a necessity will demand of your conscience a need to change its focus on a permanent basis.
If you recant your intentions, the sense of foreboding will return with greater force. You will know why. Perhaps laps like this will be enough to keep you going. I would hope so. In any event, long term exposure to selflessness results in a sense of Joy and wellness that nothing else can give.
If you feel like you are pressed on time or experiencing health or living constraints, it is worth looking around you and making time for those that are hurting or in need around you. Selflessness does not have to find magnanimous expressions just sincere and thoughtful manifestations. If you are too busy to do even this, much you may be too busy period. Life lived for oneself isn't a life that brings many if any rewards that will satisfy. A house that is empty echo's tears best.
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