Moving Towards Happiness

Reddit user @werd_the_ogrecl shares some advice on overcoming depression:

I learned several things that helped me understand sadness and depression in college. Those small assumptions helped me a lot and continue to help me everyday. I would say I went from being constantly depressed to being extremely happy with my life. It took time.

– Every negative thing you feel can be attributed to you moving away from a goal. Once you learn what is at stake and move towards it, you then have some control over happiness. (source: Richard Lazerus, Goal Congruent & Goal Incongruent contexts)

– Depression is simply prolonged sadness devoid of hope, that signifies that you PERCEIVE you have limited control over your circumstances. Either address your perception or your circumstances. Understand that somewhere a person in a similar situation is happy. What is the difference between you and that person? You have to take an active role in making yourself happy even if you don’t want to. Motivation starts with you, don’t feel entitled to happiness. Happiness is hard work that rewards itself.

– You are allowed to feel however you want to feel, you are not allowed to feel that alone. You are only as strong as your supports. If you don’t have supports, take steps to build a support base, or address the reason you don’t have one. Either way, you moving towards that goal will make you feel much better.

– Make a list called “Shit that would make my life easier.” This list could contain plastic flatware to avoid dishes occasionally, that end table you are missing or any other thing that helps regulate your environment with consistency. If you are worried about your environment you’re not thinking about the things that could make you happy. That’s why that list is important

– Make sure your basic needs are met EVERY SINGLE TIME, food, water and most of all support.

– If you are lonely seek support from a friend, understand that loneliness is different than depression. Everyone will feel lonely, we are social animals a good friend or a good person in general will be able to comfort you and relate to your situation.

– Set aside one hour every day, where you must be active. If you have a smartphone, jump on a treadmill and place your phone on the rest in front of you, and walk while you watch a show on Netflix. You won’t even think about it, because its not a chore and will make you feel much better.

– Laugh a lot, find people that make you laugh that are not dickheads. Secondary to this, recognize which friends perpetuate negativity and which ones help you in the long run. This is very important, don’t let anyone stand in the way of your growth, life is too short to feel shitty about yourself and the people you associate with.

– Recognize that no one is perfect including yourself. Don’t be critical of others and don’t be critical of yourself.

– Surround yourself with at least 10 things you have created that you are proud of.

– Make a small list called “My Fucking Problems”. On that list write down whats bothering you the most and don’t let anyone see it. Write three partial or full solutions for each thing on that list. Dedicate one day a month to aggressively eliminate each thing on that list. Half measures won’t cut it, you won’t fail because you won’t give up. And not giving up over time will give you a sense of security knowing that nothing will slow you down or stop you.

– Try not to perceive your world in black and white terms, people will disappoint you and you will disappoint yourself if everything has to fit in emotional cubbyholes. Instead recognize when someone (or yourself) approximates a behavior. That is much more important than not seeing it at all. Most of all be pleased that you are making the journey and smile knowing that it doesn’t end, but doesn’t have to be a chore.

– Above all else be honest with yourself and be honest with others. You can bullshit all day long but recognize that if you bullshit yourself you become the problem not the solution.

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