The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy

I am not looking forward to today’s topic.

Whoa –what?! Why wouldn’t I want to type about happy things? I’m the expert, dishing out advice. I should be ALL OVER this topic.

I’m not.

I am terrible at happiness. -Aaaannnddd that sentence just proved it.

Instead of the ol’ biblical casting of stones at me, however, I’d like to suggest that we all might struggle with the positive side of things. That’s kind of, sort of why we’re looking at solutions for depression; right?

So, with seeking counseling, improving our diet, getting outside, exercising a tad, and perhaps taking medication, let’s try to Do Something that Brings Us Real Joy.

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First, allow me to give you an analogy: Right now I am sitting at my computer typing advice. I can smell something, and it’s not a pleasant sort of something. I am fairly certain this unpleasant odor is coming from the garbage can.

I live in a fancy house with a fancy pull-out garbage drawer thingie with two entire garbage bins so that I can procrastinate taking the mess outside for a really long time (like a whole day, since I have four children). We’ve been playing an avoidance game of smashing the mess down instead of removing it, because we’re really good at procrastination.

The garbage needs to get taken out. Why the heck don’t I do it?

  1. I enjoy the stink of stinky things. They remind me that life is full of crap and I shouldn’t forget it.
  2. I’ve read about other people smelling garbage. I feel better knowing I’m not alone and find those people and leave comments about how I, too, can smell bad things all day.
  3. Thinking about refuse removal overwhelms me. What if the bags are too heavy? What if they tear when I pull them out? What if, what if, what if?
  4. It’s a really long couple hundred feet out my garage door to the outside cans/bins/etc. I just don’t think I can make it that far.

Didja get the point? Good! You get extra credit. Everyone else (myself included): just insert phrases like negative thoughtsdepressionhiding in the closetfeeling terrible every time I wrote about smelly waste.

For example: “I enjoy negative thoughts.” “I’ve read about other people feeling terrible.” “Thinking about depression overwhelms me.”

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My story sounded silly when I was talking about garbage. I mean, OF COURSE I SHOULD JUST TAKE IT OUTSIDE. But why do we hang onto personal garbage?

Feeling terrible is simply not worth it.

I wrote about why I numb awhile back. Not doing happy things is an activity I participate in because I’m trying to self-protect. I think that not feeling happy will make it so I also don’t feel sad. Instead, I am constantly in a haze of nothingness and still feel sad.

Feeling happy is okay. In fact, it feels good.

Let’s small step out of our stinky, dark corner: First, I want you to think a happy thought. Seriously, Tinkerbell, DO IT. I recommend thinking about a time that you felt happy, even just a little bit. Or, think about an activity you love to do.

Got it firmly in your mind? Now, wave your wand and… Expecto Patronum!

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In the real world, we’re going to take that happy thought and write another one below it. We’re making what’s called a LIST. Yes, I want you to actually put pen or pencil on paper and list them out. Even in today’s technological world, listing helps our primal brains make connections.

My list read:

  1. Snowball fight with friends
  2. Running in the rain
  3. Creating something useful
  4. Eating a really delicious mushroom Swiss burger
  5. Receiving a sincere compliment

Now it’s your turn. Your list may read: eating, reading, me time, skiing, friends, chocolate, gardening, walks, booze, sex, sunlight streaming softly through slatted blinds, and whiskers on kittens. Dude; it’s your list. Make it catered to you and stop worrying that someone will judge you for it.

Now, small step numero dos is to pick one thing on there that you think you can do soon. It is your list, but pick one that gives you REAL JOY (sex and drugs don’t count; sorry). Decide to do it. Today would be ideal, but maybe you’re reading this article at 3 a.m. and water skiing with your friends might be a little lethal in the dark.

I don’t want you to just say you will do it, either. Put it in your phone. Send a text to a responsible person like your mother. Carve out the time that you will do it and then actually do it.

It’s just one thing, I promise.

After completing that thing, recuperate. Then, do something else from your list. Recover. Pick another one and do it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

After you do that first thing, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to come back here and comment on this here blog post. Tell me what you did (unless it’s classified). You get extra internet credit if you tell the class how you felt afterwards.

Let’s find real joy, together.

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This has been part of our tips to help cure depression. Tune in next time, to read about service.

 

Photo Credits:
Blaise Vonlanthen
Pixabay
Pexels
Sharon McCutcheon

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

32 thoughts on “The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy

  1. It’s raining outside so……Watched a Jordan B .Peterson YouTube video on Genesis. Made a cup of hot chocolate. Sat down and went through Twitter. Followed with some interest, a thread on Cambridge University declining Jordan B Petersons two month partnership with the Divinity Chapter to study Exodus, because of complaints by student union. Apparently it’s the students that run the universities and choose their professors? Revised my WordPress blog on Scandal to include Cambridge University and tweeted it to all of my 38 followers. Looked up Reena’s prompt Holi in the search engine to write a blog later, if inspiration hits me. Read Chelsea’s blog on the website Depression: Simply Joy. Found it an interesting read and commented. Perfect afternoon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed reading this, and can fully understand the garbage thing. My roommate would never think of taking out the garbage herself, she rather holds on to things that just simply clutter all over the place, then I’m the one who has to clean most times.
    I understand the depression thing can be crippling because I’m entering another depressive cycle. I can feel it deep in my bones. I am also forcing myself to push myself through it.
    I will join you on the list of things that make me happy.
    1. Playing, singing, and talking with my parrot, Peanut. He is the only one that can make me laugh when I’m in the abyss.
    2. Cleaning my immediate place. (Bedroom and bath)… It’s the only place in the entire home I feel calm and at peace. Being OCD, it’s unnerving to me outside my bedroom door.
    3. Making comfy food. There is something about making something that you really enjoy, and eating it like you’re never going to see it again. LOL!
    4. Listening to instrumental music. Or, listening to my favorite bands, such as Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles. Huge fan of Stevie Nicks and Don Henley!!!
    5. Having conversations with my mother over goofy stuff from the past. Try to joke about it as much as possible, because we can’t all live under a dark cloud like we used to. So we make jokes about it.

    So, that just cheered me up a little. Time for me to turn on Stevie Nicks and read and write. My other favorite thing to do that makes me happy.
    Have a great day, Chelsea! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have often referred to myself as the girl with no dreams. I desire little and want less. Yet another ingredient in the why I must move to the Alaskan wilderness saga. Maybe if I start with simple desires like running water and being warm it will set a trend… I do want to read Frank Prem’s book that Helene posted about a day or so ago. So I’ll shoot for that.. Will it provide me with joy? I hope so, and I’ll let you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a mental list and I’ve had something on that list for months. And then more months. (“What if, what if, what if?” ‘ya know?) I don’t want to say what it is here, and not because it’s anything to be ashamed of but the internet is weird and I’m more comfortable talking about some stuff in smaller groups, but this past Tuesday evening I finally did it. I don’t really know how I finally did it and I’ve decided that isn’t important because all that’s important is having done it. And for that extra internet credit? I felt weird and anxious before and I felt fantastic after and I haven’t felt like that in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Two gold (internet) stars for you. I’m proud of you. 🙂

      I originally wrote this post a while ago, did some things the day I wrote it, then promptly forgot about it. I realize, in posting today, that I need to follow my advice again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Taking out the rubbish/garbage …. I procrastinate too! Why?! It’s maddening! Some days I have to apply the five second rule and if I see a job that needs doing, I have to start it within five seconds. This means that I don’t even have time to think about procrastination. Seems to work but is exhausting! Now I need to empty the dishwasher and make a difficult phone call …

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel my truest joy come straight from God. But. Today I’ll have lunch with writer friends and pizza, beer, and a movie with my family tonight. Stellar day! (I’m telling you now, so I don’t forget to come back. Ha!) Great Post!

    Liked by 1 person

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