If you’re depressed, the last thing you usually want to do is go outside and enjoy nature, or be somewhere around other people.  You probably don’t feel like being active, and you just want to be left alone.  The more you allow depression to control the choices you make, though, the more powerful it becomes.

When you’re alone and isolated in your house, the natural tendency is to think about the very things that are troubling you.  All the old tapes start playing loud and clear — over and over.  Pretty soon, you just sink lower and lower into sadness.

We all have days when we feel down.  The blue feelings come.  They aren’t pleasant, but they don’t last.  This isn’t depression.

*However, if you feel a pervasive sadness that interferes with your ability to feel pleasure in anything, and it doesn’t seem to be going away, the chances are good that you are experiencing at least some degree of depression.* 

Do what you can to not co-operate with it!  You don’t want to give depression any more power over you than it already has.  Think about whether this is a familiar feeling.  If you’ve felt it before, was there anything that was helpful?  I’m not talking about self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, or any negative behaviors.

I’m referring to positive choices.  Did it help to talk with a friend, listen to happy music, read uplifting books, eat healthier foods, or get more exercise?  These are just some of the alternatives that can lift your spirits.

If you can’t think of anything that might make you feel better, and the sadness has gone on for a period of time, it may be time to get some help.  It takes courage to reach out to a professional for guidance, but it can make a tremendous difference in your sense of well-being.

You deserve happiness and peace of mind!  Life isn’t meant to be a struggle.  If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, I would love to talk with you and see if I might be able to help.

Until next time,

Linda

* Photo was taken at the Japanese Gardens in Portland, OR 

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