Simple things. Just try them.
First question is: What is the opposite of Depression? Think about it. The automatic first answer is Happiness. That, according to me, may not be the correct answer.
The diametrically opposed opposite of Depression is Gratitude. It makes perfect sense.
If you have a sore shoulder and you drop a hammer on your toe, what happens? Yes. You feel your foot until the pain subsides enough that you feel the pain in your shoulder again. It is impossible to feel both simultaneously.
The brain works that way too. I am not suggesting a cure-all for all depression. I understand that it’s hard. You really have to come to hate living in that dark spot. Hate it so much that you will do ANYTHING to get out of it. I am suggesting that, instead of dark moments, you grab as many beautiful moments that you can.
So, here is my proposal.
In your darkest hour, find anything to be grateful for. A blade of grass, your five fingers and five toes, the air. Anything. Find three things. Prove me wrong. At the exact moments that you are grateful, you are not simultaneously sad. It’s impossible.
Someone said to me, “How can I be grateful if I don’t feel grateful.” I pondered that question carefully for a few days. The answer came to me. Gratefulness is both a verb and an emotion. So what if you don’t feel grateful? DO Grateful! Every time you are in those dark spaces, find three things and be determined. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just 3 things. You will find yourself wanting to discover more. That is a promise! And, when you DO grateful and PRACTICE grateful, after a while, you FEEL Grateful and soon, you CRAVE Grateful. And maybe, just maybe along the way, you can find your HAPPY.
You can change your own thought patterns.
You can start changing the way your brain thinks, the way it processes your thoughts and your life. It will take some practice and soon, gratefulness will begin to become a part of you. But, you will have to practice because it will feel weird and awkward at first. It’s kind of like learning to read, or paint, or draw or ride a bicycle. It’s strange territory and you have to concentrate on every part of it and force yourself to do it. But, with time, it’s like riding a bicycle. You will excitedly crave your peddling in the wind into a state of Gratitude. You won’t even give it a second thought. It will become as much a part of you as your depression used to be.
There is nothing in this article that can hurt you. Nothing.
What I am proposing is a simple practice. It is not difficult, and it can’t hurt you. I challenge you to prove me wrong and demonstrate to me and to yourself how you can, at any snapshot in time, be simultaneously Depressed and Grateful. This is war against anything that chooses to bring us down and steal our joy and any more precious moments of our life.