Living a purpose driven life is a great way of overcoming depression. When you’re dealing with depression it is easy to think that you have no reason to live, or that you’re not good at anything, or nothing matters. If you’re severely depressed, medication or electroconvulsive therapy can make you well enough to change your life. If you’re battling moderate to mild depression or already receiving treatment and capable of depression self help, you can begin looking for your purpose in life. Your purpose is something you like, that is important to you, and that you’re good at. We all have different tastes, values, and skills, that can be used to make us happy and successful.
What do I enjoy doing?
Everybody deserves to be happy in life, so your purpose can’t be something that makes you miserable. When you enjoy doing something you naturally put time and effort into it. You’re also less likely to quit in the face of adversity if you like what you’re doing, which is important because it is unlikely that you’ll be successful right away. Maybe you have a hobby you can turn into a job, like art, cars, or blogging. Maybe you like solving problems, teaching, or travel.
What is important to me?
Don’t lie to yourself. We don’t choose our values, they choose us. If something is not important to you it is much harder to motivate yourself and put your best foot forward. Listen to your heart. Maybe it is important to you to keep people safe, or help people be financially secure, or help people find more joy in their lives, or help children recover from abuse, or help people quit jobs they hate and work for themselves.
What am I good at?
Everybody has talents and strengths. It is important to work on your weaknesses, but doing work that utilizes your strengths will make your work day a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. Maybe you’re a natural leader, or you’re great with people, or your good at inspiring people through art, or you’re patient, or you work well under pressure. We are usually good at a lot more things than we give ourselves credit for and there is a job for every skill.
What’s the next step?
Thinking too far ahead can be overwhelming, so don’t. Take it one step at a time and gradually you will get to where you want to be. Maybe you need to get educated. Where can you go? Maybe you need to try something part-time to see if it works for you. Can you volunteer or intern somewhere? Make a plan and get started, because you ain’t gonna live forever.
Overcoming depression is rarely as easy as taking antidepressants or finding a therapist. Most of us live lives that are fueling our depressions and we need to make lifestyle changes. You can’t be happy if you spend 1/3 of your week working at a job you hate that stresses you out everyday. Boredom, anxiety, and feeling like your talents aren’t being appreciated and utilized, make you vulnerable to relapse. Live a purpose driven life and you will find a happiness that is depression resistant.
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