Depression Buster - How to Be Happy!
Have you ever found yourself wondering how to be happy? Tired of feeling depressed? Maybe you've had more than your share of bad experiences in life. Maybe you are in the midst of a tough time right now. It's easy to fill your brain with negative thoughts - to wonder 'why me?' Or, to find yourself thinking that perhaps bad things happen to you because you deserve bad things - a vicious thought process that only makes you feel worse,
If you want to experience happiness, it’s important to resist the urges to feel sorry for yourself! It's not an easy challenge, but you can learn to shift your focus from self-pity to gratitude. And, there are some amazing benefits to gratitude! Among others, it improves mood, decreases anxiety, improves emotional resilience, self-esteem, and it also improves our relationships with people, People like to be around grateful people! Gratitude increases our desire to include other people and it also increases their desire to be around us. It can provide us with a sense of wellbeing and calm and alleviates anxiety.
In addition to emotional benefits of gratitude, there are health benefits as well. Research by social psychologist, Wendy Berry Mendes found that gratitude helps to improve sleep quality. Not only does it help with sleep, it actually is helpful in lowering blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol and decreasing bad cholesterol,
Gratitude (and positive thoughts) are effective stress-busters that can be especially vital during this holiday season. This time of year can be especially trying for many, and it may be especially worthwhile to be intentional about your coping strategies. Experiment with gratitude as your own depression therapy!
You may be thinking -"How can I be grateful when I have nothing to be happy about?" In his Ted Talk about gratitude, David Steindl-Rast talks about how it's gratitude that makes us happy - not the opposite! He advocates a simple "Stop - Look - Go" recipe for gratitude.
By this, he says that first, we have to slow down. Rushing through life we miss out on noticing those things to be grateful for. In looking, he says to bring in your senses - be aware - look, listen, smell, taste, and feel what all there is to enjoy about the abundant gifts that around you. Lastly, is the "Go" - meaning we need to seize the opportunities that we see and experience. These opportunities include giving to others - which is a huge bonus for increasing our own happiness level.
In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer "In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is with gratitude that life becomes rich". The Bible tells that we are to "give thanks in everything".
While having internal thoughts of gratitude is important, it’s also critical to verbally express your gratitude to others. Who are you grateful for today? Who has had a positive impact on your life? Have you thanked them? Doing so can improve the quality of your day as well as theirs!
Take the 7 day challenge - start now with a thought of gratitude. Follow it with a deep belly breath and breathe that gratitude thought through your body. Before you get out of bed tomorrow morning, focus on a thought of gratitude. Try focusing on the many gifts of your day rather than the challenges that come your way. Notice how this affects you over the next week.
These are some good starters to focus your thoughts and attitudes and improve the quality of your life. The way you think is the way you feel - so work on those thoughts if you aren't enjoying how you feel! If you find you could benefit from further support, or need more help in battling depression or anxiety, call Kay now to schedule your free consultation!