I have found myself these past few weeks struggling with this mood that is of a lower quality than I would want. I feel sad today, and I don’t know why. And I’m trying to do my normal things, but I don’t have the energy.Dr. Justin Brown
- Depression is a medical condition characterized by feeling down and struggling to enjoy the things we would normally enjoy.
- Depressive episodes occur in 10% of Americans each year and 20% of Americans throughout the course of their lives.
- Our tendency when we feel depressed is to avoid the activities we would typically enjoy, which makes us feel even more depressed.
- Depression may cause a profound lack of motivation accompanied by feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness.
- If we only make healthy choices when we feel motivated, we will rarely make healthy choices.
- Sometimes our emotions lag behind our actions, and the joy from pleasurable activities is often delayed.
- It is hard to do hard things when life is hard.
- We cannot change how we feel at this very moment, but we can make choices that will change our emotional state in the near future.
- We cannot choose our emotions, but we can always choose our attitude.
- We cannot choose our feelings, but we can choose our response to those feelings.
- Behavioral activation is the practice of doing enjoyable activities even if they are not enjoyable in the moment in order to train ourselves to experience joy again.
- Doing enjoyable activities when we feel sad is not a way of ignoring and minimizing our emotions but a way of identifying and addressing them.
- We don’t need to wait until we feel normal to do the things we would normally do, and we don’t need to wait to feel motivated to pursue our goals.
- The satisfaction we experience from accomplishing something difficult actually increases our motivation to continue doing difficult things.
- The accumulation of healthy choices makes us healthier, even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.
- Train your mind to become motivated by a lack of motivation.
- Consider which daily rhythms and routines are essential to your well-being, and commit to doing them every day – even when you don’t feel like it.
- Identify which activities improve your mood, and create an ‘activity menu’ to pick and choose from when you are feeling down.
- Speak honestly with friends and family about your mood and motivation.
- Schedule an appointment with a medical provider or mental health professional when you feel stuck and stagnant due to a depressed mood or lack of motivation.
Have More Fun
Laughter, goofiness, and enjoyable activities should not be restricted to just childhood. This week, Dr. Michael Brown and Russell Catania remind us of the importance of intentionality in the recreational dimension of life.
Own Your Joy
Happiness comes and goes as our external circumstances ebb and flow, but joy can be present and cultivated even on those days where everything goes wrong. Join Dr. Michael Brown and Amy Seiffert as they describe what it looks like to choose to live a joyful life.
Dream Decide Do
Whether it’s breaking an old habit or starting a new business, positive change requires perspective, purpose, and proactivity. This week, Dr. Michael Brown chats with his son, Justin Brown, about the three keys to accomplishing your goals.