Depression Is A Choice!
By: Kathy
November 11, 2012

This one might get me into trouble, but I just have to say it. . . Depression is a Choice!

Now, before you get all up in arms, please know that I am fully aware there is a biological, chemical component to depression ~ for some people.  But our society is just way too full of chronically depressed people and most of us can cure our depression with a simple choice!

It is true.  Each day, we get to choose our attitudes, our outlook, and even our mood.  When we step outside, we can choose to notice the sunshine, the colors, feel the grass on our feet, hear the crispness of the leaves – OR – we can see that the trees are dying, winter is coming, the gutters need repaired, and be reminded how the economy has devalued the house!

You may not like what I’m saying, but please keep reading!  I know it is not quite that simple to cure depression!

Naturally, having this choice assumes that you are not currently dealing with significant, recent losses like death, divorce, a cancer diagnosis, dying parents, etc.  in your life.  Of course, some people are facing these things and they need time to grieve and deal with the tidal waves of emotions associated with such losses.  I am not talking about them today, in fact, a period of depression for them is normal.  I am referring to the people who seem to approach every little hurdle or set-back as if it were a major trauma, people who have sustained a great loss and then nurse it for years, or the people who have just nestled into their depression and are camped there. . . seemingly for life!

The choice I’m referring to  is a matter of training your brain.  You can literally train your brain to constantly look at the world and see only the deficiencies and completely overlook the benefits!  They are called neural pathways and we have all been developing them our whole lives!  Think about it. . . the more we practice something – say riding a bike or learning to dance – the better we get at it.  That is because we develop a ‘road’ between not knowing how to do something, and doing it with ease!

The brain is an amazing organ, however.  When we have created a fabulous, well-paved interstate in our brain that has us only looking at the negative things in our lives and feeling depressed all the time, we can choose to build a new road!  Road construction is annoying, labor intensive, and time consuming, however and that is why most people just keep using their old, well traveled roads.

What I’m saying is, if you want to change your outlook and cure your depression, you need to know it will require some work!  Start by forcing yourself to notice one or two good things about your life each day.  Next, make yourself fill up an entire sheet of paper with things that you are thankful for (it may take a few days to come up with a list that long!)  Basically, stop focusing on what you don’t have and start focusing on what you do have!  As you do these things, you will have created a path.  The more you do things like this, a road will begin to develop.  And if you keep forcing yourself to look for more and more positive things, you will eventually create a wonderful highway of positivity!  Your old negative interstate will still be there, but with little ‘traffic’, it will begin to deteriorate and, it will be much easier for you to just take the new positive expressway!

Look, I know depression is an awful, awful thing to deal with.  You can take a pill and it will help you feel better, but it doesn’t solve the problem long term.  When we wake up each day, we can nurse our depression, or we can point our gaze towards what IS good in life, and begin to build a new road.  Which road are you going to take today?