Proactive Well-Being

Someone close to me is deeply depressed and, in trying to help her, I have taken a fresh look at some of the things I do to stave off a relapse of my own.

I hope you don’t suffer from this debilitating condition. If you do, or even if you are someone who only gets into really bad moods more often than you like, perhaps some of these ideas will keep you on a more even keel. All of them leverage the Law of Attraction which says, “You get more of what you focus on.”

Clean Up your Environment (at work and at home). It will help to soothe you. Your environment tells your mind what it is you think you deserve. If you are surrounded by messiness and dirt, you are telling yourself you deserve to live like that. If instead, you look around and see a pleasing environment, your mind and the Universe is getting the message that you believe you deserve to live well. Not only that, it takes care of something big you are most likely feeling guilty about.

Exercise. Recent studies have determined that exercise is just as effective as antidepressants for treating depression. If you’re not depressed, imagine what it can do for you! If you are depressed and hate the idea of being on medication, forever, put together an exercise plan! (Make sure you have your doctor’s approval before going off medication.)

I hate to exercise mainly because I find it boring. If you’re like me, figure out some ways to make it more appealing. For example, I love to read so I go to the library and get audio books to listen to while I’m doing my cardio workout. The rule is: no exercise, no book. Therefore, if I want to know what happened in the story, I have to get back on the machine!

Do Something You Love on a Weekly Basis. If you’re depressed, you’ll most likely have to reach into your memory for this since it’s hard to figure out anything you love to do when you are “in it.’ Think back to when you were a kid. What did you love to do? (watching TV does NOT count!) Did you love to go to the creek and explore? There is nature all around you. Did you love to dance? There are dance clubs everywhere. Failing that, there is your own stereo and the floor of your living room! If nothing comes to mind, sit down with pen and paper and answer the following question: How did I have fun as a kid? Your opening sentence will be: “When I was a kid, I loved to _________________”

Indulging yourself in something that is for your own pleasure sends yet another “I deserve this” signal.

Action cancels fear every time.

Seek Solutions. The current thinking about mental illness is similar to how alcholism has been treated for years: there is no cure but there are proven ways to to live with it.

We are fortunate to live in a world with easy access to information. Your library has a treasure trove of books about whatever it is that ails you. The internet has great information. (Always check the credentials of those who are dispensing data.)
There have been amazing breakthroughs in learning to live with depression: mindfulness, dialetical behavior therapy, solutions-based psychotherapy…the list goes on. Be proactive about finding out what to do for yourself. It sends the signal that you’re serious about getting better.

Feed Your Mind What You Want More Of. What you pay attention to is what you attract more of into your life. Watching the news, reading books that bring unpleasant images into your mind, or listening to music with sad lyrics all contribute to attracting a life with similar circumstances.

When you are depressed or simply “down,” you are completely focused on things that will only make it worse. Go on a scavenger hunt for the good versus the bad and keep a written list. (Remember, it’s a scavenger hunt and the prize is your well-being!)

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