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Friday, February 6, 2015

At Least...

The power of rose colored optimism courtesy of the Dalai Lama

No matter how blessed we are in life, its easy to get bogged down in the mire. But focusing on everything that goes wrong can turn even the sunniest person into a downpour.  That's why counsellors and therapists so often recommend clients dealing with depression start a gratitude practice.  Individuals with depression have a tendency to only see the negative and discount the positives.

I like to use the "At least..." strategy to avoid falling into that trap.  If something goes wrong or a negative event occurs, I always try to look on the bright side. 

Like yesterday:

Little A melted down when I dropped her off but...at least she was well enough to go back to school.

It was ass-freezing but...at least it was bright and sunny.

My office was ridiculously overheated so I turned purple and sweat through my sessions with my clients but...at least it made me more eager to go back out into the cold.

There was a super duper annoying subway delay but...at least they didn't make us leave the train and catch another ride.

The bus was crowded but...at least I found the courage to ask the dude taking up a seat with his duffle bag to move it.

See?  Yesterday was a great day!

Of course, I know this is a much more difficult thing to do when you are dealing with a really serious problem or life crisis, but that's why when its just regular life stuff, you need to keep it in perspective.  The day-to-day hassles can also feel overwhelming if we are tired, sick, dealing with chronic pain, a shit-head boss, fighting with our spouse, etc.

I had a client tell me recently that all the wealthy, educated professionals she works with, herself included, are on antidepressants.  These folks, of course, may very well have a history of trauma or a genetic predisposition to depression, but its worth noting that having money and a prestigious does not = happiness.  The world needs more kind people, not more rich and successful people, and we need to reconnect as a society through true intimacy not texts.  Just sayin'...

Have a delightful weekend and go hug someone you love.