If You’re Depressed, Simply Trying to Be Happy May Not Be Enough…
Rarely can we control the life circumstances that lead to feelings of sadness or helplessness. Maybe it’s financial hardship, illness, loneliness, career difficulties, or any other of thousands of possibilities. However, when a mental illness is also present—depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.—coping with life’s adversities becomes even more challenging…and it’s not enough to simply will yourself to be happy.
In fact, forcing feelings of happiness on yourself will likely do little to alleviate these feelings, and going into it with an all-or-nothing attitude can leave you feeling worse than ever. Instead, focusing on life’s smaller moments—curling up with a book on a rainy day, or the way sunlight filters down through the leaves of an old oak tree—can lead to greater feelings of self-worth and contentment.
It’s the Little Things
Finding meaning in life can have a huge impact on your mental health, self-worth, and ability to be happy. That might sound like a tall order, especially if you’re suffering from mental health issues, but really, it’s the little things that count the most.
A recent paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior suggests that finding beauty in the everyday moments of life can lead to a more meaningful existence. This can be as simple as appreciating your morning cup of coffee or tea, applying mindfulness to your interactions, or even just taking in the early day sunlight.
One Step at a Time
What’s most important to remember as you’re trying to develop a greater sense of happiness and self-worth while dealing with depression is to be gentle with yourself. You’re likely to experience good days and bad, but a strong focus on small moments of contentment will slowly change your perspective.
Some ways to begin to develop a more concentrated focus on contentment include:
- Developing a meditation practice: mindfulness meditation, in particular, can help you to learn to focus on the present moment, breaking the cycles of stress and fear.
- Spending time with those you love: a meaningful conversation with a beloved friend or even a quiet moment with your pet can give you a boost of oxytocin, filling you with feelings of happiness.
- Exercising: even a casual thirty-minute walk around your neighborhood has been shown to have lasting benefits in relieving symptoms of depression.
For those struggling with severe or treatment-resistant cases of depression, a higher level of intervention may be more appropriate. If depression is impacting your day-to-day life, please talk to your physician about the treatment options that are available.
At Tahoe Ketamine, we offer ketamine infusions for those who fail to respond to first-line depression treatments, like talk therapy or antidepressant medications. If you are curious about these innovative and effective depression treatments—and are ready to find the happiness you deserve—please contact us using the brief form below.