For his anger kindleth against the wicked; they repent, and in a moment it is turned away, and they are in his favor, and he giveth them life; therefore, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 (Joseph Smith Translation)
Joy always comes. We are not meant to be miserable. Bad times do not last forever and things work out.
Life is beautiful and worth living.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, from this article
I have struggled with depression at different points of my life, and I wanted to share what helped me through those dark times–and they are things that still help me to stay happy and know that life is beautiful and worth living.
TURN TO GOD
- Pray again
- Pray even more
- Study scriptures and other inspiring books to know and understand truth
- Know that you are a child of God
- Be grateful
- Cut unimportant things out of your life
- Be present
- Take time to ponder
- Stay busy
- Slow down
- Small steps are good steps
- Have regular planning sessions
- Set modest goals for yourself
- Motivation follow action; knowledge follows obedience
- Take a nap
- Drink water
- Take supplements
- Go on antidepressants
- Count positive thoughts with a clicker
- Write down thoughts and talk back to the negative ones
- Just because you feel a certain way doesn’t make those negative thoughts true
- Be optimistic and have a good perspective, and don’t predict the future.
- Don’t blame yourself when it’s not your fault
- Guilt is about viewing yourself as a bad person; godly sorrow is realizing that you are divine
- Be okay with your weakness–everyone has a lot of weaknesses
- Don’t “should” yourself–replace should statements with “I want to.”
- Be gentle with yourself
- Don’t compare yourself
- Embrace being average
- You don’t have label yourself as good or bad–you are just a person who is trying
- Success is family
- Don’t fake it
- Learn not to care what other people think about you; care what God thinks about you
- See yourself how God sees you
- You are worthwhile because you are a child of God; you don’t need anything more than that
- Give away your image of a perfect person
TREAT OTHER PEOPLE KINDLY
- Don’t judge others, and don’t label them
- Don’t try read people’s minds
- Swallow anger and complaints and they’ll go away
- Serve others often
- Participate in a hobby
- Get out of the house
- Learn something new
SEEK OUT HELP
- Talk to people
- Spend time with family and friends
- Learn how to communicate better with others
“In preventing illness whenever possible, watch for the stress indicators in yourself and in others you may be able to help. As with your automobile, be alert to rising temperatures, excessive speed, or a tank low on fuel. When you face “depletion depression,” make the requisite adjustments. Fatigue is the common enemy of us all—so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill.”
Jeffery R Holland
From “Like a Broken Vessel”
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
Doctrine & Covenants 123:17
We all need time to be still. Sometimes people go in all different directions all at once, trying to be everything and do everything. But it is good to choose only the best things we can do and do them cheerfully. Then we know that our work is good. We can take a minute to stand still because we know we have tried our best.
Choose to be happy.
I have struggled with depression for years. I have been absolutely miserable sometimes and I didn’t know how I could choose to be happy. I felt that the despondency I was feeling was a dark hole that I could never climb out of.
But the darkness always went away. There has always been some degree of light in my life, and there was always a choice. It took me a while to figure myself out and to figure how to be happy. But it was still my choice. I didn’t have to listen to those dark thoughts and feelings. They were only as real as I made them out to be.
I choose to be happy by paying attention to my positive thoughts. By being grateful. By slowing down sometimes. By praying. I choose to be happy when I laugh and when I smile and when I work hard and set goals for myself. I choose to be happy when I let the Lord take control of my life, when I give my will to His. When I choose to be better and to overcome my weakness.
I make so many little choices daily, and through those small choices, I choose happiness.
If you think you are happy, you are happy.
I have spent too much time in my life wondering about my own happiness. For a while, I believed this quote by John Stuart Mill: “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” I took a whole class on him in college, after all.
But happiness doesn’t have to be complicated. I don’t think happiness is self-centered or self-serving. And seeking out your own pleasure and satisfaction (which are not actual happiness) will make you miserable.
Happiness, for me, comes from knowing who I am, from helping others, from my family, from learning, from a hundred of little things in life. It’s okay to want to be happy and to try to make myself happier, because I am then better able to serve other people.
And, when it comes down to it, I don’t have to have a reason to smile. I can just be happy.
(Inspired by Gretchen Rubin and her book, The Happiness Project.)