By: Stan Popovich
Happiness may feel unattainable for those struggling with mental health issues. Those who regularly experience mental health issues like depression may have an incredibly difficult time obtaining and maintaining happiness. There are many steps that you can take to help handle these struggles and ensure that you can be happy as frequently as possible. Ultimately, taking these steps to help with your depression can go a long way toward helping you to find happiness in every stage of your life.
Here are a few things you should consider in order to help you be happy and handle the struggles of mental health concerns.
What Is Happiness?
Happiness is an electrifying and elusive state. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and even economists have long sought to define it. Since the 1990s, a whole branch of psychology—positive psychology—has been dedicated to pinning it down. More than simply being a positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life, one with a sense of meaning and deep contentment.
Feeling joyful has its health perks, as well. A growing body of research suggests that happiness can improve your physical health; feelings of positivity and fulfillment seem to benefit cardiovascular health, the immune system, inflammation levels, and blood pressure, among other things. Happiness has even been linked to a longer lifespan as well as a higher quality of life and state of well-being.
Attaining happiness is a global pursuit. Researchers find that people from every corner of the world rate happiness as more important than other desirable personal outcomes, such as obtaining wealth and acquiring material goods.
How To Be Happy In Your Life
Happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next; researchers find that achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort. Genetic makeup, life circumstances, achievements, marital status, social relationships, even your neighbors—all influence how happy you are. Or can be. So do individual ways of thinking and expressing feelings. Research shows that much of happiness is under personal control.
Regularly indulging in small pleasures, getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself all increase life satisfaction. It isn’t happiness per se that promotes well-being, it’s the actual pursuit that’s key.
Tips For Dealing With Depression And Anxiety
Though meeting all of these goals can help you achieve a state of happiness, it can be incredibly difficult to pursue these activities when you are struggling with depression. Depression is often associated with overwhelming feelings of loneliness, despair, and hopelessness. Many people describe depression as the feeling of drowning, which leaves them without energy and the ability to complete many everyday tasks. Here are a few tips to help you if you are struggling with depression, which can aid you in your pursuit of happiness.
Socialize With Others
It can be tempting to confine yourself to solitude when you are struggling with depression. Unfortunately, this can simply exacerbate the negative feelings that you are experiencing. Reaching out can go a long way toward providing you with support during your more difficult stages. Experiencing depression can certainly make socializing feel exhausting, but there are many benefits to engaging in social activities when you are struggling with depression.
Physical activity helps to produce hormones in the body that are great at lifting the mood and fighting feelings of depression. As previously stated, it is often the tasks that are difficult to do while experiencing depression that will help the most with your struggle. Though improving your health can certainly help with depression, it doesn’t require substantial exercise and exertion to provide ample benefits. If you don’t exercise regularly, it can be particularly beneficial to simply invest some time in walking around the block. Regular exercise provides many mood lifting benefits, as well as provides benefits to physical health.
Reduce Or Avoid Drinking
Alcohol is a depressant, plain and simple. Many people turn to substance abuse as an alternative to facing the extreme negative emotions associated with depression. Though they may provide a numbing effect, they are certainly not helping with the symptoms of depression. If you drink regularly, reducing the amount you drink or even quitting altogether can substantially help you to handle the struggles of depression. Substance abuse often leads to additional problems, rather than resolving any of your existing ones.
Eat A Nutritional Diet
Good nutrition can provide a multitude of benefits to your mental and physical health. When you eat more healthily, your body will function more effectively. In addition, being healthier can help to improve your confidence and self-esteem levels, which provide further benefits to the mental health of an individual.
Implement A Routine
Those who struggle with depression often find that their sleeping patterns deteriorate and become unhealthy. It is incredibly common for individuals with depression to stay up late at night and sleep throughout the day. Sticking to a routine can help to prevent you from falling into these habits, which often aid in the struggle with depression. In addition, a regular routine will help to ensure that you eat regularly and obtain the nutrition that you need to stay healthy and undertake the fight with your mental health issues.
Seek Help For Your Mental Health
It is important to seek help when handling extreme mental health issues. Regularly visiting a therapist can go a long way toward providing you with the tools and mental strategies that you need to find happiness while living with mental health issues. Whenever you find that depression is overtaking you again and severely impacting your life, you should reach out and find the appropriate help.
Spend Some Time Outside
Sunlight provides many positive benefits to your health. It has been shown to boost levels of serotonin, which can substantially improve the mood and feelings of well-being. Spending time outside when you are feeling depressed can provide significant emotional and physical benefits. This can be implemented in combination with exercising, if you choose to spend time walking around your neighborhood.
Meditation has been shown to provide a multitude of mental health benefits. When you incorporate meditation into your regular routine, you can often manage stress more effectively and ensure a more positive mood. In addition, meditative practices help to provide you with more mental strategies. This can help you to focus on gratitude and positive feelings in order to minimize your negative emotions. Regular meditation can go a long way toward aiding you in your struggle with mental health problems.
Compile A Wellness Toolbox
A wellness toolbox is a great thing to have on hand when you regularly experience the symptoms of depression and other mental health issues. These wellness toolboxes can go a long way toward lifting your mood throughout these difficult times. You should consider the activities that you enjoy doing and that may help you to feel better. This may include actions such as playing with your pet, listening to your favorite music, reading a good book, or taking a relaxing bath. Engaging in activities that you enjoy can result in more positive feelings to counteract the negative emotions.
Depression and other mental health concerns are more prominent than you might believe. It is important to remember that you aren’t alone when you struggle with depression and have difficulty finding happiness. These are just a few of the steps that you can take to help you be happy. Understanding your warning signs can help you to know the ideal time to follow these practices.
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