Eugene writes a variety of articles on the Maven coalition network of sites, covering topics such as gardening, DIY, photography, and STEM.
Be Positive and Look After Your Mental Health!
I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist but these are my thoughts on how to be happy and avoid the blues and have good mental health!
1. Have Something to Look Forward To
There's nothing better than having something nice in the future to look forward to and you can't wait for it to happen! For instance it could be a holiday, a shopping spree, a trip somewhere, a kitchen makeover or even something simple like a long cycle into the countryside in the summer sun. Maybe you could treat yourself to something online from eBay or Amazon and then anticipate its arrival? Seeing the mail man or courier arriving with a parcel can be fun.
2. Eat Well and Exercise
Exercise keeps your body healthy and a healthy body is a contributory factor to a healthy mind. It doesn't cost anything to exercise, you don't have to go to the gym. You can run, swim, cycle or dance - whatever takes your fancy. Exercise produces endorphins in your blood which are the happy chemicals that give a feeling of well being. You don't have to exercise for long durations or be a super athlete. Spend as much or as little time as makes you happy.
3. Keep Busy
It is often said of people who are depressed or stressed that they have "too much time to think". Keeping busy and focusing on other things acts as a distraction to keep the blues away.
4. Don't Worry About Issues You Have No Control Over
Try not to worry about issues you have no control over. Mortgage interest rates, the number of COVID19 cases in the world, the economy, world peace etc, etc. No, you can't stop that asteroid that just might collide with Earth next year!
5. Make Yourself a Garden You Can Care For
Tending to a garden and enjoying the beauty of nature is good for the soul. If you don't have a garden, you can visit the local park or countryside. Even if you have a no space for a garden and live in an apartment, you can grow plants in pots and containers indoors or on a balcony.
6. Make Friends in the "Real" World or on Social Media
Some of your friends may be good at listening, sympathetic and listen to any problems you may have. It is true that "a problem shared is a problem halved". "Real" friends are the best to talk to, but you can join or make your own group on social media platforms such as Facebook. The group could be relevant to a subject you're interested in such as sport, science, craft or your hobby. Then you "talk shop" and compare notes with people that have like minded interests.
7. Listen to Music
Listen to music of your choice. Maybe the genre would be classical or easy listening? Or could it be heavy rock or metal? Whatever takes your fancy!
8. Laughter is the Best Medicine!
Read a funny book, look at comedy shows on TV, relax in front of a movie and laugh, after all laughter is supposed to be the best medicine!
9. Give Your Time to Others
There are probably lots of people in your neighborhood who could do with help. Those living alone, the bereaved, disabled and the depressed. People who just need someone to talk to or run errands for. There are lots of voluntary organisations and charities you can join such as Befrienders Worldwide who give emotional support to anyone in emotional distress. Helping others can make you feel good and help them at the same time.
10. Be Creative
Explore whether you have a creative side. You never know, you may have an aptitude for painting or drawing or crafts. If you are creative, I can guarantee there's a great feeling of accomplishment when you make something that you can be proud of.
11. Fill Your World With Beautiful Things
They don't have to be expensive. Maybe flowers or photos for your walls. Clothes don't have to be designer label to be beautiful. How about giving your home a paint makeover?
Remember - Stay Positive
Once you have a roof over your head, enough food to eat, and are healthy, do you really need all the other trappings of wealth and luxury? Happiness comes from within. No one is likely to be 100% happy because of issues in their lives, but we can reach a state of solace and contentment with what we've got. Stay positive and appreciate what you have, not what haven't got. Rejoice in your achievements and don't look back with regret.......
Fight the Enemy that's Depression
Instead of thinking "I am sad" or "I am depressed", instead externalize the depression and treat it as an outside entity and an enemy. And you can fight the enemy by being happy and not letting it get the better of you! It's just a different way of looking at things.
How Do You Get Out of a Depression? - Reach Out For Help
If you are seriously depressed, nothing may make you happy and everything seems bleak and dark and you feel you are in a hole from which you cannot escape. You might think what's the point in doing anything because nothing seems to bring any happiness into your life.
Try and seek help - Talk to someone who you can confide in. Visit your doctor and seek professional help. Clinical depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and often can be treated by medication or therapy.
Abraham Lincoln - A Quote
The other day, I spotted this quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln on Twitter and it sums up how being positive is one step on the road towards being happy
So you can choose to be miserable, or make the most of the life you have been given.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Eugene Brennan
Eugene Brennan (author) from Ireland on July 25, 2012:
Thanks for the comments! Agreed clinical depression is a terrible thing and when you are in such a deep hole, only therapy or medication is likely to pull you out of it.
Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on July 25, 2012:
I believe these are all great tips for achieving happiness and I know doing these things bring great joy into my own life.
That said, those who are already suffering from clinical depression may need treatment with therapy and/or medications to get to the point where they have enough energy to engage in the above activities.
With support, they may be able to start engaging in a single activity that helps them feel better such as listening to music or watching comedies.
Voted up, useful and interesting.