When you’re depressed, it’s easy to take a situation you are uncertain about and come to a negative conclusion. For example, if you aren’t sure why another person is being nice to you, you might assume that the person has a hidden agenda. Any situation can be viewed as an act of selfishness if that’s how you want to view it. Taking this perspective will make you cold, critical, and cynical. And there’s no way out of it because the person you are viewing negatively cannot do anything to improve your impression of him. The power is in your hands. You need to consider that your perspective on what motivates people can either be a source of comfort to you or a source of concern.
Optimistic people and depressed people explain their worlds differently. When an unhappy person must interpret the world, he most often sees the negative in any event. When a happy person must interpret the world, she more than likely sees the positive.
Happy optimistic people do not experience win after win while depressed people experience failure after failure. Instead, the research shows that optimistic and depressed people tend to have very similar life experiences. The difference is that the average depressed person spends more than twice as much time thinking about unpleasant things and events in their lives, while happy or optimistic people tend to seek and rely on information and people that brighten their personal outlook and lifestyle.
Bad things happen, but usually, we do not feel the effect forever. It’s really true that time heals wounds. Your disappointments are important, but there is a chance that your depression will pass for good, and your life will take you in new directions.
Give yourself some time. Studies of thousands of Americans show that happy people are not immune to negative events. Instead, happy people are characterized by the ability to think about other things in the aftermath of negative events. Be your own fan. We all need self-reinforcement, a belief in yourself that is strong and unwavering.
It is also important to think of the people you like to be around. Think of the people who are a joy to be around. What do they have in common? Are any of them pessimistic- continually expecting the worst to happen? Living a satisfied life is one of the defining challenges of your life, and it is a challenge best met with optimism.