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The aim of Web4Health is to give good and useful free medical advice, help and self help in the areas of mental health, psychology, personality disorders, relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse, types of mental illness, etc.

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Positive Areas of Your Life

Written by: Martin Winkler

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

Question:

 How could I change my pessimistic view of life? How could I relearn to identify positive aspects and pleasant activities in my life?

Answer:

Many people with psychological problems or psychiatric disorders like depression have lost sight of activities and routines that used to be positive or of special value in their life. Due to specific negative thinking, they tend to reduce any positive activity and will not experience enough positive activities, pleasure or reinforcement in their life.

Try to think of your daily routine activities before your psychological problems occurred! Try to imagine yourself feeling healthy! What did you do on a normal day? Write down your routine activities!

1. Before becoming depressed my routine was

Examples:

  • 7.OO Wake up, go to the bathroom
  • 7.30 Have a cup of warm coffee and read the newspaper
  • 7.45 Breakfast with my family (enjoying orange marmalade)
  • 8.15 Have a walk with my dog "Teddy"
  • 9.00 Going to work...
...

2. Try to focus on positive aspects and activities you liked. Try to think of pleasant activities in the past

Examples:

  • Reading a journal
  • listening to my favourite artist Elton John
  • have a walk in the park
  • Enjoy an ice cream in the city
  • going to the movies
Here is another list of possible pleasant activities

List of activities

What was of special value for you? Make a list of them, e.g.
  • Family
  • Children
  • Music
  • Nature
  • Work
  • Literature
  • Sport or other areas in life
Discuss those areas of special interest or value with your spouse, family, friends or counsellor.

3. Try to increase the number of positive activities and events in your daily routine. Make a precise schedule of these activities. But consider that it takes much more effort to complete these activities if you are feeling depressed, have a lack of energy and concentration. So it is fine to start with one pleasant activity of your list of possible pleasant activities.

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