10 Proven Ways To Fight Dysthymia — Part 1
I’ve talked in the past about what dysthymia is and how it feels to have it. To briefly recap, it’s constant low-level depression that removes most of the joy from your life. It occurred to me that I’ve talked about what it is, what depression is, and how to fight depression based on my own experience. However, I’ve never talked about ways to fight dysthymia.
“Hold on”, you might say, “if it is persistent depression, then surely the ways to fight dysthymia are the same as for depression?” You’re half right. Many of the ways to fight depression are the same for dysthymia, but as you don’t generally feel as awful as you do in a major depressive episode, you may feel up to doing more.
Also, major periods of depression require bigger tasks and a bigger “push”. Dysthymia is the tortoise to major depression’s hare, so slow and steady wins the race. In my experience, if you want to kick dysthymia’s ass, you need to put in a little work every single day.
I admit I am a pretty sceptical person and roll my eyes at the touchy-feely slogans we see everywhere nowadays. So, I’m not kidding, walking into a new friend’s home and seeing a Live, Laugh, Love decal on their walk is enough to make me vomit and immediately terminate the friendship. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean.
That’s why I have fought against climbing on the gratitude bus. Seeing (almost universally) pretty women encouraging you to “write down five things today you’re grateful for” was like nails on a blackboard. However, I read it so often on so many different mental health blogs that I felt I had to give it a try.
I have a journal that I write in daily. I make a point of recording 2–3 things I’m grateful for or happy about. Over time, looking for the bright spots in life does help you turn your brain away from constantly focusing on negativity. If you’re wondering what you’d write about, here are some examples directly from my journal:
- My new job is much less stressful than my old one
- My body allows me to do Adrienne’s New Year yoga challenge
- I have a wonderful husband, and we…