Nearly every person on the planet experiences a depressing episode at least once in their lives. Sadly, in many cases, this happens exactly during one’s student years. Many factors contribute to this, from the hormonal cocktail of puberty to outright unrealistic expectations the world seems to heap upon one’s shoulders. It really is no wonder that suicide is the second leading cause of death among students (ADAA) or that 1in 5 college students suffer from anxiety or depression (TheConversation). In fact, real numbers can be higher, and we’ll never know because the majority of those suffering do not seek help.
It’s overwhelming to be so stressed with assignments, removed from home and support, and anxious about social and financial issues. That’s how many students are these days, and they have no one but themselves to rely on for getting through this.
Of course, it would be best to seek help, guidance, and counseling. But let’s be real, few people have the means and willpower to do this, especially when they are already struggling with a depressive episode. Thus, you have to use self-healing methods to fight
5 Ideas on How to Nurture Positive Thinking within Yourself
1. Assume the best. Forcibly if you have to
One of the greatest dangers of depression is how one absolutely innocent thing can drag you down a devolving spiral of dark negative thoughts. For example, you get a new assignment and five minutes later you become a trembling ball of anxiety and the only thought in your head is that you don’t have it in you to succeed.
Does that sound familiar?
Forcing you to assume the worst is what depression does, so you have to intentionally redirect those thoughts. Every time you get that kind of feeling, you need to stop yourself and play a game of positives. Go like this, you get a new complex assignment and next, you tell yourself ‘I can do it, I know which books I need, I have done similar things before, I have the power to succeed’. And even if you don’t really believe it yet in your heart of hearts, repeating those affirmations to yourself will help you get there.
2. Provide yourself with positive visuals
As a student, you should know that images have a great power. In fact, it will be a part of your program to learn ways to visualize your data. That’s necessary for making your academic papers more comprehensible and authoritative. And you can apply the same methods of visualization in your quest of encouraging your brain to think positive.
Of course, you can simply stare at some specific images when repeating positive affirmations to yourself. Accompanying information with a picture makes the human brain memorize it better, as proves research. However, to beat depression, you need something more powerful. Instead, you should create charts, diagrams, and videos that will commemorate positive moments in your life and show your progress toward your goals.
Making these visuals personal will help you remember the good times and enhance your inner optimist, who is sleeping due to the depression. And working on them will take your mind off negative thoughts as you’ll be focused on a task. Visualization tools you use for your academic work will ensure that you create those ‘positive thinking aids’ fast, so your study schedule won’t be affected.
3. Make an effort to surround yourself with positivity
Do you know what doesn’t help fighting depression? Toxic environment and people, both of which contribute to this mental disorder. There are studies to prove it. But what you need to take from them is that your environment has the power to affect your mental health. Therefore, you can use it to achieve the opposite effect.
Surrounding yourself with positive people and hanging out in places with a good and welcoming atmosphere will do this. Start with your favorite café and then look at various clubs and societies they have on campus.
4. Become a philanthropist
A great way to promote positive thinking within yourself is seeing the happiness on other people’s faces and knowing you put it there. So, when you feel depressed, go out to your local shelter and volunteer to help out. Or participate in some community programs. Or find some other way to give to other people.
At the very least, you should go to the nearest support group and share your story. Not only will that help you, but seeing that you are making progress in battling your demons will inspire others in the same position.
5. Turn bad situations into learning experiences
Positive thinking cannot prevent you from making mistakes or experiencing something bad. However, that’s when you need to apply logic.
Yes, something went wrong, but here you are. You survived, and now you can look back, learn from the experience, and be stronger for it!