From having read the title of this post, one might point out that the news is often depressing these days. And with the help of social media and unlimited access to what’s happening around us, any breaking news at home and around the world can easily disrupt our peaceful thoughts and homes.
One need not be glued to CNN to know about the famine in Somalia, the drought on the Horn of Africa, the unrest in the Middle East or the distracting and ill-advised time-suck of a debate on the U.S. debt limit. An attempt to make sense of what’s happening simultaneously in various continents is enough to make a sober, non-religious person turn to the bottle or the church or any other place of worship for a little respite from the intensity of it all. And even then, there’s no guarantee that one wouldn’t stumble on worrisome facts such as a white supremacist principal running a Catholic school with a highly diverse student population.
The news is only one of the many causes of depression, a disorder affecting 16 million American adults and the leading cause of disability for people between 15 to 44 years of age. If you’ve kept up with the modern world, you are likely exposed to many other factors that are hazardous to your mental and emotional health.
Here’s a bit of good news. If prescribed medication isn’t your preferred aid to battling mild forms of depression, it appears it’s time to practice positive activities. According to the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Positive Activity Interventions (PAI) is a viable form of therapy that has been studied and researched with scientific rigor. “PAIs are intentional activities such as performing acts of kindness, practicing optimism, and counting one’s blessing gleaned from decades of research into how happy and unhappy people are different”, according to a study led by researchers from the University of California, Riverside and Duke University Medical Center.
Need PAI ideas? Try paying it forward, yoga, meditation, sweating it out at the gym or outdoors, or having people over for a healthy, home-cooked meal.
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Do you pay attention to the news?
How do you safeguard/restore your mental health?