MY FAVORITE UNCLE and lifelong best friend, now deceased, was a brilliant physician, serving simultaneously as the Chief of Anesthesia and Head of the Intensive Care Unit at a major metropolitan hospital for at least 35 years until his retirement. Growing up, I turned to him for all sorts of advice, and he surely saved me thousands of dollars on medical care since most of the time he could diagnose and fix my problem with just a conversation.
When it came to psychiatric problems, he repeatedly said, “Anyone who isn’t depressed in our society is simply not paying attention.” I totally agree with his statement, which is akin to the old saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” Gee, I wish I were dumb. But I’m not, and I do pay attention, so I am often depressed, like approximately 19 million other Americans if we are to believe the surveys. What to do about it is a question many of us face daily.
One method that I have found to be quite effective is saying aloud how thankful I am for whatever I can think of that isn’t bad. Just hearing my own voice saying things like, “I’m thankful for living in such a beautiful part of the country,” or “I’m thankful for my morning coffee,” or “Thank you for my wonderful son,” or “I’m blessed to not have cancer,” is an instant pick-me-up. Nothing is too trivial. Try to come up with as many as you can. And don’t laugh; it works.