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Over the last 6 years or so, I realized that I've been in and out of depression (mostly in) due mostly to life circumstances but also to my own attitude and perception of the world. And I'm sick of it.


So I was wondering how do I become a bubblier person? What has worked for you? Any stress relief tips or advice on how to handle persistent bad/difficult/stressful situations internally when you can't really control the outside environment?


I know lots of general advice from reading many self-help books and websites and even talking to counselors. So I guess I'm asking you to share any specifics that have worked for you or any examples to help give more color to any of the general advice. Or if you're like me and struggling with this, share your frustrations and roadblocks, and what you think prevents you from a more positive outlook.


For me, I try very hard to think more positively. For example, when I wake up in the morning, I try to give myself 5 minutes of encouragement or to collect my thoughts for the day. But I feel frustrated because everytime I feel like I might have achieved some inner peace or a sense of life is great, something will happen to upset that. For example, I was having a pretty good day yesterday until I got news that my ex got engaged with the girl he cheated on me with. I know that that shouldn't upset me since we broke up a long time ago (6 years ago) and I'm not terribly upset, but I feel moodier in general and can't help thinking about it. It's almost like I look for excuses to drag myself down. Not sure how to readjust from that habit or mentality.


Thanks very much!

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Everyone is moody sometimes. I am moody right now. You gotta allow yourself to feel bad once in a while, as long as you snap out of it after a while.


Laughter gets me through everything. I love laughing. I love making myself laugh. I love making others laugh. I love it when others make me laugh. Life can be so fun and awesome, just depends on how you look at it.


Your ex cheated on you and now he's marrying her? That's hilarious. he probably cheats on her all the time.

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Everybody has different ways to get back to being positive. For me good action and hero movies, where the hero comes back with a bang, work the best. (Lord of the Rings, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, etc)

They just remind me that you have to keep fighting, WHATEVER the circumstances.


So you just have to find something that can bring you back on track. It might be music, sports, movies, books, people, etc.

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Thanks! I guess I mean what do you do when that depression has become part of who you are. How do get out of that?


I try to do more hobbies and fun things that destress me, but I find myself getting a little too addicted to those high feelings and then not focusing enough on work (actually that's been my problem for the last 2 years to the point where all I want is to feel better at the cost of almost failing out of my academic program). So to some degree I feel like those things help, but I've taken it to the point where they've become more like distraction and prevent me from really dealing and growing. Ultimately I need to start fixing things from a more internal place, e.g. a better attitude. I'm not sure how to not immediately think the world is going to end when something bad happens.

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I feel for you, I go through this alot, and have been kinda in that sitaution for about 3 years. Um....just try to fill up your time. Also check out therapy it could help, have you cosidered a medical issue....like clinical depression.....it could help to just ask a doc...but dont get all up in your head like i do, being a hypocondriac isnt fun.

I am like you in these sense that i am down a good portion of the time, and seem to really focus more on my downs than ups.......Its like when im feeeling good i dont think twice and just enjoy things, but when i am down, my mind goes into overdrive, i cant stop thinking negative thoughts and it seems theres no end.

Maybe its the enviorment you grew up in, did you have a decent childhood or tramatic one, maybe this depression its just a state that your used to, that your mind resorts back to. After all not all the habits we learn as childeren or adolescence are exactly heathy ones.

So just take a good look around, into your options, solutions, and root cause of this problem. Its really hard to get your mind back to a clean slate after youve been in this mode for so long, try meditation as well. But From experience i recently made a big move in my life into the city, and it has really shaken things up a bit, and gotten me out of my normal routines. Try something new and exciting in your life...just be safe....good luck

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I know lots of general advice from reading many self-help books and websites and even talking to counselors. So I guess I'm asking you to share any specifics that have worked for you or any examples to help give more color to any of the general advice. Or if you're like me and struggling with this, share your frustrations and roadblocks, and what you think prevents you from a more positive outlook.



Some specific things that I do:


1. I go for a long walk in the woods nearby. The green around makes me see and appreciate the beauty and sheer ecstasy of the beautiful nature around me and I start feeling very lucky to be alive/existent.


2. I watch thoughtful happy movies and DEFINITELY stay away from sappy-depressing-self blaming movies/books/articles/people etc.


3. I exercise. It is the best medicine. Trust me.


4. I make a list of things I have to do or accomplishing that day and work on them, and by night when I finish them all, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and thereby feel great.


5. Read a good book with a great tasting coffee .


6. Take a long bath with perfumed salts and then do pamper my body with moisturizer and do a self pedicure. Idea is to feel great about my body and hence feel great overall.

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I have dealt with depression and one of the best things I do is read. One book in particular that always helps me out is called HOW TO BE HAPPY DAMMIT (a cynics guide to spiritual happiness) It's very straight to the point, honest, and funny.


Other times when I feel the gloom start to come over me, I start to think about all the things that are good in my life. I start to appreciate more of what I have and stop feeling so bad.


Singing in my car always helps me too! lol

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When I was 21 years old, a friend of mine and I decided to go off to see the world. Many of our friends were going to Europe and hitchhiking around with rucksacks. We decided to be different and go to Africa instead.


It never occurred to us to ask why no one else was going to Africa. We found that out later, much to our great regret. To get to our destination in Africa, we had to cross the Sahara Desert.


Starting from London, we rode bicycles accross France and Spain. The labor was excruciating, the progress was slow, and the pleasure was nonexistent.


In Gibraltar, we sold our bicycles and invested our last few dollars in an old Land Rover. We crossed from Gibraltar to Tangier and made our way through Morocco, over the Atlas Mountains, and into Algeria.


We were on our way in Africa. Still, there was one obstacle between us and the greenery we were anxious to see, and it was that darn, old desert.


Our Land Rover broke down many times, but we finally got it repaired and set off to cross the Sahara. We had no idea how serious and how difficult this adventure was to be.


As we moved south accross the desert, we encountered endless problems, any one of which could have finished our trip and, probably, our lives. It was during this desert crossing that I learned one of the most important lessons in my life about attitude.


The French, who had controlled Algeria for many years, had marked a path accross the desert with black, 55-gallon oil drums. The drums were spaced exactly five kilometers apart.


As we drove and came to an oil drum, the next drum, which was five kilometers ahead, would pop up on the horizon, and the last oil drum, which was five kilometers behind, would fall off the horizon, as if shot in a shooting gallery.


Wherever we were, we could always see two oil drums at a time - the one we had just left and the one we were headed toward.


To cross one of the greatest deserts in the world, all we had to do was to take it “one oil barrel at a time.” We did not have to cross the entire desert at once. We had to cross it only one oil barrel at a time, and that would be sufficient.


For me, the Sahara crossing was a metaphor for life. In order to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude under all circumstances, all you really have to do is to take it one step, one oil barrel, at a time.


As Thomas Carlyle said, “Our great business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”


A Positive Mental Attitude is indispensable to success and achievement. You can build and maintain a Positive Mental Attitude by focusing on doing what lies clearly at hand, by taking the step that appears immediately in front of you.


That will automatically lead to the next step, and the next, and so on, and eventually, you will find yourself at your goal.


But there is much more to a Positive Mental Attitude than this. You can have a positive attitude that immediately disappears in the face of adversity, or you can have an attitude that is so strong that no matter what happens to you, you are able to remain positive, cheerful and optimistic.


The factor of self-confidence is what determines how positive your attitude really is. And self-confidence is based on your belief in yourself and your ability.


It is based on faith, or knowing that things are going to work out well in the long run, no matter how distressing they appear to be in the short run.


Let me give you an example. A friend of mine was called by the Internal Revenue Service and told that he was to be the subject of a tax audit. The IRS officer wanted all his tax receipts and returns for the past three years brought in for examination.


My friend’s first reaction was panic. He immediately became anxious and afraid of all the things that could happen.


However, he caught himself and began to apply his mind to keep his attitude calm and positive. First of all, he thought: Have I done anything that is unacceptable under the existing tax law? As he thought, he realized that he had made every effort to file accurate tax returns.


He then asked himself who else should be involved in the audit. As he thought, he realized that his accountant, who had prepared his tax returns, should be involved in explaining them. Now he was calm and collected.


He phoned his accountant and apprised him of the situation. The accountant explained to him that every year, the IRS audits a certain percentage of tax returns at random.


The fact that the IRS had chosen to audit him had nothing to do with whether or not his returns were accurate. It was simply routine procedure. The accountant also explained that if my friend wanted to send him, the accountant, to the meeting with the IRS agent, my friend didn’t need to appear.


Now my friend was completely relaxed. He gathered the necessary documents and turned them over to his accountant, who had had ample experience in dealing with the IRS. The accountant sat down with the IRS agent and went through everything, from beginning to end.


When it was over, the IRS agent thanked the accountant and said that, based on the tax returns, everything was in perfect order, and there would be no need for a reassessment or for any additional payments or penalties. The audit was over, and life went on.


Right from the beginning, you can choose to be positive and constructive in dealing with any adversity. You can sit down and think through the situation and then begin to deal with it one oil barrel at a time.


Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. We are all faced with four obstacles that tend to get in the way of our maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude. These obstacles are fear, worry, anger and doubt.


When things are not working out the way we had expected, our immediate response is to become fearful and uneasy. We are afraid that we will lose our money, waste our effort or forfeit our emotional or physical investment in what we have done.


If we are not careful, we start thinking of our potential losses rather than focusing on our potential gains.


Fear triggers worry, and we begin to use our power of imagination to create all sorts of fanciful but negative images that cause us unhappiness and insomnia and make us unable to perform effectively.


Fear and worry create anger or what has been called the “victim complex.” Instead of moving constantly forward in the direction of our dreams, we begin to react and respond, and to blame other people and other situations for our problems.


Surrounding these negative emotions is the mental quality of doubt. Doubt forms the fertile breeding grounds for the other negative emotions.


Therefore, to eliminate these obstacles to positive thinking, you need to systematically use your mind to get rid of the weakening emotion of doubt.


How do you do this? It is simple. The only real antidote to fear, worry, anger and doubt is positive action toward the achievement of some worthwhile ideal.


Psychologists tell us that the key to dealing effectively with life is what they call the “cognitive control method.” The cognitive control method says that you can really think about, and concentrate on, only one thing at a time, either positive or negative.


Successful people are no different from you or me. They have one outstanding characteristic, however. They consciously choose to think about what they want, rather than what they don’t want.


And, as a result, they are continuously taking action toward their goals, rather than spending their time thinking and worrying about the inevitable challenges and difficulties that face them every day.


Dr. Karl Pribram, the respected neuropsychologist, has found that human beings have holistic mental pictures stored within their brains. His discovery was that the “law of attraction” is alive and well and working within the mind of every human being.


Dr. Pribram discovered that any visual image, imagined in complete detail, sets up a force field of energy that begins to attract into your life the people, ideas, things and even circumstances that are consistent with that image.


If you visualize a positive outcome, if you think about it and see it and feel it and sense it in every respect, you begin to exert a powerful magnetic force that brings the desired goal or outcome into reality.


In effect, you control your life and your destiny by the vivid mental images that you hold in your mind on a continuous basis. You are the architect of your personality and character.


Your goal, your desire, is to be as successful, happy and prosperous as you possibly can be in every aspect of your life. Therefore, the systematic and purposeful development of a Positive Mental Attitude is something that you need to work on every hour.


There are six things you can do to assure that your attitude is the very best it can be, under all circumstances.


First, whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do.


Get a clear mental image of your ideal successful future, and then take whatever action you can to begin moving in that direction. As the New Testament says, “Let the dead bury the dead.”


Let the past take care of itself, and get your mind, your thoughts, and your mental images on the future.


Second, whenever you’re faced with a difficulty, focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Think and talk about the ideal solution to the obstacle or setback, rather than wasting time rehashing and reflecting on the problem.


Solutions are inherently positive, whereas problems are inherently negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being.


Third, assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking, once said, “Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem.”


The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. But the wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it.


Fourth, assume that whatever situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow.


One of the affirmations I have learned to use continually is this: “Every situation is a positive situation if I view it as an opportunity for growth and self-mastery.” That is a wonderful affirmation. You cannot say it without thinking positive thoughts, feeling positive emotions, and seeing positive actions that you can take.


Fifth, in every challenge, look for the valuable lesson. Assume that every setback contains a lesson that is essential for you to learn. Only when you learn this lesson will you be smart enough and wise enough to go on to achieve the big goals that you have set for yourself.


Again, since you can think about only one thing at a time, if you are busy looking for the lesson, you cannot simultaneously think about the difficulty or the obstacle. And, surprise, surprise, you will always find the lesson, if you look for it.


Sixth. The sixth way to keep your mind positive all the time is to make a list. Whenever you have a goal that is unachieved, a difficulty that is unresolved, or a problem that is blocking you from getting where you want to go, sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of every single thing that you could possibly do to resolve the situation.


The more you think on paper, the more you will take control over your conscious mind. When you are writing down possible solutions, your mind will be positive, all the time.


As you write, you are taking advantage of the power of visualization, and all kinds of insights and ideas will pop onto the page in front of you.


By the time you stand up, ready to take the first step that you see, you will be happy, eager, and enthusiastic about getting on with achieving your goals.


A Positive Mental Attitude is indispensable to your success. You can be as positive as you want to be if you will simply take actions consistent with achieving your goals rather than actions that cause you to feel the negative emotions of worry, doubt, anger and fear.


If you do what other successful people do, if you use your mind to think, to exert mental control over the situation, you will be positive and cheerful most of the time. And you will reap the benefits enjoyed by all successful people.

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