There are a few people in my life who are having a hard time with depression, so I invited a guest writer who has experienced depression and now helps others overcome their symptoms. Enjoy this post by John Meeks.

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

The mind is a powerful organ. It has the power to keep us happy, make us sad or change our outlook on the future.
It can keep the rest of the body healthy, or it can cause it to deteriorate and waste away. Controlling your thoughts and keeping the mind in a positive state is the key to a happy and healthy life.

A negative mindset can lead to unhappiness, discontent, anger and eventually depression. Allowed to run rampant, these thoughts can totally control how you feel about yourself and your life. They can completely distort your outlook on life and destroy your optimism for the future. Shifting from a negative mindset to a positive one is the only way to erase depression, sadness and negativity in your life.

Talk Yourself Happy

So how do you shift from a negative mindset to a positive one? The answer is simple. Positive self talk. Many people allow negative thoughts to take over their thought patterns. They constantly hang on to thoughts of self pity, overwhelming grief, regret and self-doubt. These thoughts can cripple and debilitate you, distracting you from the positivist in your life and allowing you to only see the negative.

Recognize and stop negative self talk as soon as it starts, and replace it with self-affirming encouragement and positive thinking. Repeat these positive affirmations as often as needed. Tell yourself that you are in control of your own happiness and choose to be happy. It may not feel natural at first, but with enough repetition, your mind will start to believe it and you will see negativity being erased from your thoughts.

Spend Time With Positive People

Ever heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together?” When you surround yourself with happy people, you will become happy by extension. Spend time engaging in volunteer activities that will make you feel more positive about yourself. Helping others will help to squash negative self talk, and the joy you feel will go a long way in fighting the depression that often accompanies a negative self image. Stay away from negative and pessimistic people to avoid being sucked into their pity parties. By surrounding yourself with positive people, you will go a long way in shifting from a negative mindset to a positive one.

Keep Your Mind Active

Get out, get exercise and socialize. When your brain is idle, it gives you time to reflect on negativity, past guilt, hurt and sorrow repeatedly. This is called ruminating. Ruminating is potentially destructive, and left unchecked, it can cause deep scars on the psyche. Being active and involved in meaningful activities and work will make you feel valuable and give you less time to focus on the negative aspects of life.

Let it Go

Inevitably, there will be things in your past that cause you great pain. There will be actions and words that you regret and decisions that you wished you had made. If there is one truism in life, it is that the past cannot be changed. Don’t beat yourself up by second guessing your past decisions and thinking about what you could have done instead. Learn to forgive yourself for things you cannot change. Focus on the positive things that are yet to come and plan for better decisions in your future.

Be Your Own Cheerleader

While there may be things in your past that eat away at you, there are also things that have made you happy and proud in the past. There are things that you have done that have helped people, decisions that you have made that brought you success and moments that have brought you great joy. Focus on those and you will be well on your way to shifting from a negative mindset to a positive one.

John Meeks

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