Self-Help for Depression – A 3-Day Plan for Breaking the Sad Cycle

Have you ever said to yourself, a friend, or a loved one, “My life is great. I have nothing to complain about, but I just feel so sad!” Everyone experiences feelings of depression and sadness once in a while. Although most people can pinpoint the cause of their blues, such as experiencing hard times, receiving bad news, living with rainy weather, or even having hormonal changes, some people feel sad or depressed without really knowing why.

I recently had lunch with a friend and when I started listening to the negative stories I was telling her about the current state of my life, I had an epiphany: I was stuck in a sad cycle that was creating a steady stream of negative thoughts in my mind!

When feeling sad leads to day after day of feeling blue, it’s time to take self-help action before full-blown depression sets in. So I created a plan for breaking my sad cycle in just three days.

Day 1

One Day 1, I decided that, instead of being sad, I was going to be wealthy! In a small notebook, I wrote down a list of the many ways that wealth touches my life:

* The money in my bank account

* My beautiful family

* My lovely home

* My home-based business

* My generous clients

* My just-for-emergencies credit line

Throughout the day, every time a negative thought crept into my mind, I stopped what I was doing and read through my wealthy list. By the end of that day, my veil of sadness was beginning to lift.

Day 2

On Day 2, I decided that, instead of being sad, I was going to be wealthy and grateful! In my notebook, I wrote down a list of the many things that I’m grateful for.

Just like Day 1, every time a negative thought crept into my mind, I stopped what I was doing and read through my wealthy and grateful lists. By the end of Day 2, I realized I was no longer wallowing in sadness. In fact, I was beginning to feel hopeful about my future again.

Day 3

On Day 3, I decided that, instead of letting sadness creep back into my life, I would focus on sharing joy with everyone I came in contact with. In addition to reviewing my wealthy and grateful lists, I looked for ways to spread joy to others. Here are some things I came up with:

* I waved to the neighbor getting her morning paper and to the kids waiting at the bus stop by my house

* I held the door for an elderly woman at the post office

* I smiled randomly at strangers (and they smiled back!)

* I hugged my kids and told them I was happy to be their mom

* I answered the phone with, “Good morning!” and “Happy Friday!” instead of simply, “Hello.”

By the end of Day 3, I actually felt lighter in my body, as if the weight of the world was no longer sitting on top of my shoulders. I was also eating healthier because I didn’t crave comfort food.

Each day since then, I choose another positive aspect of my life to focus on and look for new ways to uplift others. Sure, the bills keep coming in and the housework still needs to be done, but worrying about them only makes me feel sad. And I would rather feel wealthy, blessed, abundant, and grateful! Depression is a serious illness that should be treated by your doctor. But if you’re feeling blue, try my 3-Day plan for breaking the sad cycle – before depression sets in!

Patty Harder is a Reiki Master, ordained S.H.E.S. minister, and the founder of 5 Minute Self-Help, an online community for women who want to feel better, look better, and live better fast. To learn how you can improve your life in just 5 minutes a day, visit http://www.5MinuteSelfHelp.com [http://www.5MinuteSelfHelp.com/trial]

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