How To Have a Good Day
Disclaimer: This article by no means discourages or speaks negatively toward the use of prescribed medications to manage anxiety and depression. Prescribed medications can be a helpful supplement to personal healing and treatment of mental illness. Talk to your doctor and/or licensed therapist should you have interest in exploring medication. Do what’s best for your health.
Trust me, I get it. Depression and anxiety are hard. A lot of times you must do the things that you really don’t want to do or the things that seem really difficult like get out of bed, shower, brush your hair, or even eat.
I’ve been there. In fact, a few times a week I am there. For some of us, happiness simply doesn’t come naturally. Our brains are unique in that they produce less of the chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, Oxycontin, and endorphins) which are responsible for kick starting pleasant emotions or content feelings.
Instead of relying on the natural production of those happy brain chemicals, it takes work and a personal commitment to creating a happy mood through positive intentions, thoughts, and actions.
When I wake up, my first thoughts are often, “Ugh, do I have to go through another day?” or “Today is a bad day.” These are negative thoughts. If I allow myself to co-sign or repeat self-loathing ideas, how do you think my day will look?
I’ll have a bad mood, be unproductive, unkind toward others, and feel unmotivated all because I believed “today is a bad day”. Let’s consider the alternative – generating positive thoughts.
Imagine the differences if I believe that today is the BEST DAY EVER? Think about things I might say, eat, wear, and what I’d do if it were the best day ever. Compare this experience with that of the “bad day”.
A huge part of managing anxiety and depression is shifting your perspective and deciding if you want to at least try to feel better. Several studies, including research by Perreau-Linck and colleagues, suggests that self-induced alterations in thought can positively alter the brain. Essentially, rather than being in the passenger seat and solely dependent on the resting makeup of our brain’s chemicals, there are ways we can intentionally cause the happy brain chemicals to flow, AKA create happiness in our life.
That’s great news, right?! Basically, you are in control of how you feel. When your brain says, “Feel sad today,” respond with, “I feel great today”. Combat the negativity with positive energy to get your brain on the right track.
The tough reality is that you MUST do the hard things, the simple things, and the things that seem cliché or silly if you want to start feeling better. Start small, take baby steps – but you’ve gotta start by trying.
I challenge you to follow this routine, to get started on creating your most happy, best life. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep make a conscious effort be more positive.
I initially created this challenge for myself after a long-term experience of debilitating anxiety and depression. This intentional routine not only transforms my mood, but it also empowers me with control and peace in believing that everything in life is going just fine, my friends.
Keep going, keep trying, and have a good day.