My mind is overwhelmed by the amount of suicides that have occurred in the past week, it just shows the massive strength of negative mental health. When someone is in a dark place, it often times doesn't matter how many good things are going on - stepping out of that world is so difficult and requires insane strength. I wish love to anyone currently battling with depression, and believe you can get through it and grow if you choose to take action to help yourself.
I've always been a pretty positive person, but I've realized how easily I can enter into depressive periods based on a lack of solid foundation or lack of self esteem. Yes, some people are naturally higher on the scale of overall happiness and positivity; however I believe like everything positivity can be practiced. Instilling daily rituals can not only improve your mindset but open your perspective towards recognizing all the good in your life. Its not only good for combating negativity but the more positive your outlook, the more willing you will be to put yourself out there and more good things will come your way.
Here are some ways to practice positivity:
1. Daily Prayer -
Every night before I go to bed I pray, now I don't want to turn people off - this has NOTHING to do with religion. For me a daily prayer is just taking time aside to meditate on what you want, what you are grateful for and instill hope. Hope for things to go your way, for your health and the health of others. This upcoming generation can be very turned off by religion, however I think some practices from organized religion are really beneficial in maintaining mental health - such as community gatherings and daily prayer. Now this doesn't need to take long, honestly mine takes a few minutes but it has seriously made a huge impact in my life. At times when I have felt the most lost, this has pulled me through, reminding me what I have to look forward to and the blessings I have in my life.
2. Positive Music
I know this may seem a little out there but I am a STRONG believer that the right music can cure the soul. Hearing positive and uplifting lyrics repeated act similar to mantras, eventually it can infiltrate the subconscious and effect your mood *currently researching this :)*.
My song is Lovely Day by Bill Withers - no matter how horrible I feel, soon after listening to that song I feel better. I recommend finding the song that does that for you and if you need recs. reach out <3
( This is why I like writing uplifting songs, because on a day I'm feeling bad I can listen or sing one and feel so much better and I hope to do the same to my listeners )
3. Surround Yourself with The Right People
A big problem for me is I like to see the best in everyone, however I have been making the conscious effort to recognize the energy dynamic I feel with everyone I hang out with and after spend time with them. If someone is emotionally draining and you can feel their negative energy effecting you, its not worth it. I know this is hard to say and even harder to do, and I'm not saying to cut them out completely, all I'm saying is that having it in your life on a consistent basis won't be good for your wellbeing and your job as a human is to take care of yourself. Its not being selfish, and even if it is - its OK to be selfish every once in a while. You can't help anyone unless you help and love yourself first, and that is the truth.
A big problem for me has always been regarding my self esteem and body image - I was having a particularly down day at a music festival and couldn't enjoy myself. I find that the downfall of everyone is comparison, and I was subconsciously comparing myself to everyone around me (skinnier, prettier, cuter outfits) and couldn't escape that mind space. Which is frustrating AF. I was talking to my friend and she talked some sense into me, but in that moment she said "Sky, find 3 things that you can tell yourself to make you feel better, I say to myself every day "I am enough", say right now "I am enough"" and she sat with me til I could say it to myself with confidence (she no joke made me scream it at this music festival). I swear that experience has changed my life forever - because for the first time in my life I wasn't trying to be better or reach some crazy high expectation, I was happy with who I am. You can always try and be better or reach to be the best version of yourself, but be healthy with your growth and realize it takes time, recognize in the moment that you are enough and you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. I stole that mantra from her and I also use "I am invincible" and "I am happy" - I encourage you to find your own mantras.
5. Being Grateful
I kinda covered this already with the daily prayer, but ultimately being grateful is SO important. When you recognize what you do have you will be more likely to notice the good vs. the bad. Our brains are naturally wired to notice whats wrong, however practicing being grateful counteracts this and makes you more inclined to feel happier overall. I recommend everyone at the end of their day (or beginning up to you) - write in their notes or think about the 3 things you are grateful everyday. It can be as simple as "my morning coffee" or "my mom" - just think about it - trust me you will feel a lot better.
Remember everyone goes through hard times, you never know someone else's situation - sometimes people that seem the happiest are actually really hurting inside - so please just be kind to others. Most importantly be kind to yourself.