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We currently remain fettered to unsettling times, the likes of which and the extent of which have not been seen for a century. In dealing with these difficulties, we need coping tutoring. My grandmother, a nurse, was the most satisfied person I have ever known, even though her life was etched with problems. She lived at home and passed away in her sleep at 101 years. When I had troubling times, I would visit. She would start by stating, “You need to adjust your attitude, and everything will be alright.” As Hamlet so adroitly stated, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Depression is a shroud that makes everything seem worse than it is. Happiness is the flip side of depression, and both cannot coexist. Thus, depression must be mollified, and measures to do so are available. I don’t claim to have expertise in psychology, but there are a number of theories concerning the emotional state of happiness. Foundationally, they seem to focus on one’s perception of self-worth and present living conditions; these are mentally, mostly subconsciously, compared to expectations. The apparently unending disruptions of Covid are depressing, indeed! But to quote Lincoln, “This too shall pass.” And soon we shall be stronger and able to appreciate the good life we have had and will have again, maybe even better.
A century ago, the world faced a much worse dilemma with the Spanish Flu over 10 times as many were sick, and over 40 times as many died as with Covid, so far. There was no medical care like we have now, and there wasn’t reliable vaccine technology. AND THE BEAST RESOLVED COMPLETELY, NEVER TO RETURN.
Foremost, we need to focus on accurate reasoning to put into perspective what faces us. Think back to the roughest times you have been through, how you persisted and arose stronger when the setback flipped on down the road. You persevered by dealing with the vexatious adversity, and good times soon returned.
Periods of activity such as walking improve one’s mood, as shown in medical studies, by shrinking depression and anxiety (which is what we are facing now). Remaining regularly active for half an hour worked as well as antidepressants in mild to moderate depression cases. If just starting, consult your doc beforehand. Also, bright light therapy is used to treat depression, so ponder going outside when the sun is bright for 10 minutes and see if you feel better.
Studies have amazingly revealed that giving to others is a mood elevating practice. Kindnesses are especially effective when they are a surprise. Every once in a while, when I am down, I drive to Starbucks, order a double expresso, and hand an extra $10 for the next patron’s coffee. My mood elevates from just imagining how that simple gesture makes someone else feel. Unanticipated kindnesses are even more rewarding when given to a friend.
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