How I Went From Dark Depression To Happy and Joyful

How I Went From Dark Depression To Happy and Joyful

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

I was lost in a dark world. In fact, the sky was dark too. And it just so happened that the music I was listening to switched to a dark song, Imagine Dragons’s It’s Time.

Now, that probably sounds pretty dramatic and I’m not really a dramatic guy, but that was the actual environment I was in. I was walking to my university’s diner to get a late dinner after a long night of studying. I had depression.

I was confused with what to do with life. I was going along a journey that I was sure I didn’t like. I was going to be a doctor. But I had shadowed doctors and I was getting the feeling that this life wasn’t for me.

And what made it worse was Asian parents pressuring me. Plus, I was too far along my degree to turn back now (or at least that’s what I thought). The alternatives weren’t that exciting either. I had considered everything: virology research, animal research, biotech factory work, etc. I was well into my journey and it seemed like I couldn’t change paths.

On top of that, my dating and social life were in the drain. I didn’t know it then, but I was brought up to believe by society that happiness came from success, popularity, and beautiful women. None of which I had. Those daily reminders made me depressed.

It’s funny looking back years later because I got through those dark times and am happy now. After years of dark times, I read every book I could on happiness to attempt to be happy. Everything compounded on top of what I described to a point where I had to figure out how I could be happier. I got a ton of advice from people, but they were just opinions. Some said turn to religion. Others said talk to a psychiatrist. Some said just smile. I wanted the truth. I wanted rigorous, scientific information based on decades of testing on thousands of people. I went through tons of books, tons of TED talks, and other information but I finally found what I was looking for. I sifted through a ton of opinionated books with anecdotes. And I found some good books with extensive science on happiness. And that brought me to gratitude..

Gratitude is one of the fundamental things you can do to increase happiness. There are more, but I want to focus on this one. Modern society has programmed us to believe that buying more stuff or having money and fame will make you happier. They have an objective to do this: so they make more money. But the whole system is flawed. Studies have shown that once you hit a middle-class first world income, the correlation between happiness and money becomes less and less strong. You get much less bang for your buck the more you make. I’m sure you already knew this on some level. Just …read more
Source: Steven Aitchison