“8: How can I be happy when I can’t feel anything?” Mental Health: Help for Me (2019)
“How Can I Be Happy?” Mental Health: Help for Me
The Savior calmed the seas and brought comfort and peace to His disciples. He can help you increase in happiness and find meaning in life despite your challenges. Try a few of the ideas listed below, but know that it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you:
Seek professional support. If you have been struggling for several weeks or longer or your symptoms begin interfering with your daily life—at home, work, school, or in your relationships—seek help. Addressing mental health concerns early can prevent a crisis in the future.
Celebrate small victories. Success is success, no matter how small the accomplishment may seem. Maybe you raised your hand in class, laughed out loud, or cared enough to hold the door for someone. Reflect on these moments to remind yourself of these victories when life is hard. It may be helpful to write a few of these moments down.
Replace darkness with light. Practice replacing each negative thought that comes to your mind with a positive thought. You might also want to choose a hymn or other uplifting music to listen to when negative thoughts arise. You could also ask for a priesthood blessing.
Practice self-care. Consider making a change in your daily routine or establishing a deliberate habit. Seek pleasure in small and simple things by noticing the texture of a flower, the flavor of a favorite food, or the beauty of a birdsong. Practice mindfulness or another relaxation technique. Allow your thoughts to turn to God as you give your mind and body time to rejuvenate.
Move your body. Physical activity, combined with adequate sleep and good nutrition, can improve mood and feelings. Physical activity can help reduce stress. You might want to walk outside, go running, dance, lift weights, or engage in another physical activity you enjoy. Physical activities may also be a way to connect with others. See Provident Living: Physical Health (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) for more ideas.
Express gratitude. This doesn’t mean that you deny or ignore feelings of pain or depression; it does mean that you acknowledge the blessings Heavenly Father has given you. Write down at least one thing you are grateful for each day—you might have had a few moments of relief from pain, you might have remembered a time when someone was kind, or you might have appreciated something you saw, smelled, touched, or tasted.
Write and throw away. Not all writing needs to be kept in a journal for memories or posterity. Writing as a means to process thought and express real emotion can be extremely helpful. At times, when we think that someone else might one day read what we write, we create a barrier to being completely genuine with our feelings. It can be helpful to write with pure honesty, expressing true emotion, and then to throw away the paper. This action might help us let go of certain feelings as well.