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Ways to stay upbeat/happy?

  1. Feb 4, 2017 #1
    As the title says really, what does everyone else do when they are feeling down? I think I may be suffering with depression. I don't really feel that I need medication, running helps but I am looking for other ways to keep myself motivated.
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  3. Feb 4, 2017 #2


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    Therapy. Try a few therapists, settle on the one you connect with the most. Don't need therapy either? Try yoga, a dance class, or the art of conversation. It's the process, not the content. Best wishes.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  4. Feb 4, 2017 #3


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    Does one have friends with whom one can spend time?

    I think people have different ways of coping or addressing feeling down. Some might buy flowers, listen to music, talk with a friend, watch a comedy movie, or indulge in a favorite food.
  5. Feb 4, 2017 #4


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    If you think you're suffering from an actual disorder, you need professional advice and assessment.

    However taking the question at face value, if you are simply feeling depressed, as everyone does from time to time, there are a lot of things that you can do to bring yourself out of the dumps. Some suggestions...

    1. Give yourself permission to be happy. I think a lot of people fall victim to the mentality that they can't be happy until they've graduated, get the PhD, get tenure, make so much money, get married, etc. This establishes an "I'll be happy when..." mindset that unfortunately doesn't leave a lot of room for happiness now. You can and should be happy in the pursuit of your goals, or even if while you're still figuring out what those should be.

    2. Take care of yourself. This means a lot of things. Exercise. Get adequate sleep. Don't replace sleep with caffeine. Eat properly. etc. The fact of the matter is that it's a lot easier to find happiness when you're physically functioning as well as you can be.

    3. Practice gratitude. In most cases people have a lot of things to be really and truly grateful for, but sometimes it can be difficult to recognize those because we tend to focus on the things we don't have and what we need to do to get them. Take the time to think about the thinks in you life that are awesome. Also, take the time to express your gratitude to others. Sometimes, just taking a moment to tell someone you work with that you really appreciate the work that they do can really brighten both their day and your own.

    4. Treat yourself. This can mean anything from spending a night out at the movies with a good friend, to planning a vacation, to blocking off an hour to sit and read a good book.

    5. Avoid negative people (complainers, gossips, worriers, those without goals or goals that are different from yours, etc). Spend more time with the positive ones (those who have similar goals, those who encourage you and want to see you do well, etc.)

    6. Some things in life are challenging: relationship break ups, realizing that you should be on a different path, death of friends or loved ones, uncertainty about your future, illness, etc. In most cases you don't have to go through these things alone though, and there's no real reward for toughing it out. If you're struggling with something, ask for help.
  6. Feb 4, 2017 #5
    You may find some of these resources useful, which I got from victoria.ac.nz:

    1. http://www.calm.auckland.ac.nz/
    2. http://www.victoria.ac.nz/studenthealth/guide/depression.aspx

    People sometimes use the term depression to describe sadness, and not necessarily suffer from clinical depression (i.e. meet the DSM-5 criteria for it). However, if it is clinical depression you have then you would be wise to engage with a mental health professional.
  7. Feb 4, 2017 #6
    Exercise, volunteer and be out in nature
  8. Feb 4, 2017 #7


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    I used to love walks out at the nature preserve. When I was working and able, my company had a bunch of things we could volunteer for, it was great fun. Check with your manager or human resources department.

    I volunteered at Jazz festivals, horse races, car races, meet and greats at oceanside hotels. Actually, my manager signed me up for all of these, he'd hand me a calendar at the first of the month with all of the places I would be volunteering. :rolleyes:
  9. Feb 4, 2017 #8


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    Give your life purpose. Find something you enjoy doing, feel contributes to some larger goal/purpose... etc. The key is to find it by trying new things, hobbies, work, whatever. It just isn't going to fall into your lap, most of the time anyway, you have to try.
  10. Feb 5, 2017 #9

    Fervent Freyja

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    I'm sorry that you feel down. I feel sad, too. I know how difficult it can be to shake it off. One important thing to remember is that being around people, even strangers can make you feel much better, but if they are the wrong people, like ones that don't treat you well, then it can worsen those feelings. Getting out of the house and interacting helps me. My primary motivation to come back and finish college was to help with my feelings of loneliness.

    Medications can help, I do think you should see your primary. Be careful though, I was having serious anxiety a few months ago, my doctor added Valium and Lexapro and I think has caused some negative side effects (in addition to my Seroquel XR and Halcion). The afternoon anxiety has certainly lessened, but I feel incredibly sad. So sad, and my cognitive function has markedly declined since then. I have to wait until the end of the month to see him again. I can barely study, all my medications are essentially sedatives.

    For quick fixes, I notice that I feel better when listening to music, doing things with my daughter outside of the home (even things like taking her specimen hunting), and pretty much any activity that keeps me preoccupied and distracted, out of the house, makes me instantly feel better.

    There are different kinds of depression, and most people experience a spell at least once, it's also sometimes a normal reaction to circumstances, the environment, and under some health conditions or medications. Chronic depression or any type that prevents you from functioning normally is the most serious. Still, even a short blue spell can cause you to miss out on things you wouldn't have otherwise. You shouldn't be ashamed about it or be too hard on yourself. Oftentimes it's a sign that manifests in people when they are under stress from others or their circumstances, in those cases, it's not a mental health problem, the root cause of the problem should be addressed first, like removal of that stress, before medications are taken. Relationships, jobs, financial problems, and crisis can also trigger depression.

    Remember, it will not last forever, it can worsen, but it will eventually get better with time, as long as you are actively working on improving yourself and addressing causes, it's rarely ever just a problem with brain chemistry. It's almost always a signal that something needs to change. I think of it as a warning sign. It's also important to tell people that care about you how you are feeling, this is also something every good doctor wants their patients to inform them about. I hope that you feel better soon MsDeckard, hang in there and keep trying to motivate yourself! :sun:

    That is so cool Evo! What a fun boss! It would be great to wake up everyday with strict instructions to have fun. Eternal childhood. I would certainly be obedient to those orders.
  11. Feb 6, 2017 #10


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    You need to find out, is there something in your life that is depressing you, if so, then talking to a therapist like a psychologist might help you get through the temporary problem. However, if your depression seems to have no specific source, you should see a psychiatrist. They are specially trained doctors to deal with these types of conditions.

    We cannot determine which you have, so this thread is closed.
  12. Feb 6, 2017 #11


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    Not yet it isn't. Come on Evo, you're slowing down :smile:
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