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Happy List

image credit to catholicdadsonline.org

image credit to catholicdadsonline.org

There are a lot of people who espouse a mistaken and hurtful belief that positive thinking and intentionality can overcome depression. If you’ve ever experienced depression yourself, or if you’ve ever lived in close quarters with a depressed person, you know how ridiculous this notion is.

On the other hand, those of us who are not struggling with the brain illness called depression (which attacks thoughts, moods, and bodies just as thoroughly as cancer, diabetes, or other “approved” illnesses) can take steps to live more joyful and positive lives. If we are living with someone who is depressed, these steps can help us fight off what can be a very contagious illness.

Zefrank1, who creates hilarious and thoughtful videos on his Youtube channel, has one that really resonates with me, titled “What’s on your HappyList?” Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syR_NinJ2B0 He’s referring to small moments, small actions, that bring great joy. His list includes digging his fingernail into the skin of a navel orange and getting the last little bit out of a bag of chips.

A few items included on my list would be:
-crunching acorns under my feet while taking walks in my neighborhood
-the smell created by the first moments of rain, which has the amazing name of petrichor. I love it all the more because it has a name.
-when the load of towels I’m folding contains the exactly correct matching washcloths (hmmm…is this an indication of a small life?)
-getting into a bed just made with fresh, clean sheets

I think there’s power in recognizing that even the most mundane of happenings can bring deep satisfaction. Here’s to all of us finding and appreciating those moments in the coming week.
-Amy