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Happiness Minutes

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On Friday night I was driving home and started to think about how frustrated I was becoming regarding my depression plan. I have read countless books and articles and I am doing exactly what the research says I should do. I am taking my St. Johns Wort, practicing gratitude, exercising vigorously several times each week, doing yoga and meditating, getting enough sleep and eating good food regularly, etc. I have been tracking my moods for the few months that I have been doing this. All of my efforts combined seem to have only elevated my mood about 1 point on a scale from 1-10. I think the only things left are outside stressors (which there are a lot of these days and I know I can't control) and my thoughts. They say if you can't control your own thoughts you have little hope of controlling anything else. I think I have made some good efforts in controlling my thoughts but most of the time I still end up feeling horrible by the end of the day.

So, onto my point. Every time I am having one of my meltdowns I close my eyes and picture myself 5 years in the future and I tell myself that one day my life is going to be really good (not perfect of course, but good) and I am going to be happy and I picture my happy place. Well Saturday morning after my morning swim I started thinking that I don't want to wait another 5 years to be happy and I think I have waited long enough. I'm thinking that I should decide each day to be happy. In the past I have heard people say things like that and thought it was baloney but I think if I combine it with more active and practical steps it could work for me. So for the past 2 days I have been spending the very 1st 5 minutes of the day in bed thinking about what I am going to do that day that will make me happy. i think about it in terms of the 5 principle I read about (what will make me happiest in 5 minutes, 5 months, and 5 years). I'm slowly learning the difference between things I actually want to do, things I feel I should want to do, and things other people want me to want to do. Of course, there are some things that I can't really change like going to work but honestly I am so tired of pushing through (you know, when you just want to get through it so you grit your teeth and keep your head down until the end). I'm also tired of feeling guilty for not liking (and then I procrastinate doing it) things that I feel I should like and not doing things that I think I should be doing.

So, here is my new plan. Count my calories and stay within my calorie allotment for the day and do some sort of exercise that will make me feel good at the end of it. I'll take my 5 happiness minutes in bed to start the day and I will jot down 2 or 3 things to do that day that feel good and make me happy. And if I slip up or skip a day I am going to go easy on myself and remember to let the past stay in the past and that I can only do things my way. I guess what I am trying to accomplish is going through my day in a more mindful way instead of just going through the motions. We'll see how it goes but I feel good about this.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    wowo - as someone who also suffers from and battles with depression, I like your plan VERY much. Good on you! I hope to read more about your path. :)
    3773 days ago
    I really like this! Great Blog - great plan. 5 happiness minutes in the morning will be a wonderful way to start your day off right.

    Take care of yourself.

    BEX emoticon
    3773 days ago
    Good for you! emoticon
    3773 days ago
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