Found this on the Interwebs. The post here servers as a reminder to myself. I do not claim ownership of this text, I share it in the hope it can help someone else, as it did with me.
• Look to the future. Many problems, especially major upsets such as job loss, the end of a relationship, or the death of a family member, can seem insurmountable when immersed in the problem. Remember though that people can, and do, recover from even the most extreme circumstances. If you find yourself falling into a chasm of despair, remember that although you may never forget what happened, your life will go on.
• Learn the consequences of how you attribute failures in your life. Stable attributions, (blaming permanent and unchangeable factors for one’s problems) can lead to hopelessness. After all, if the circumstances leading to the disappointments are set in stone, how can you hope to make any headway against them? Internal attributions of failures are unhealthy as well, as they can chip away at self-esteem, especially if one blames oneself for many of life’s problems. Therefore the healthiest way to look at upsetting circumstances is to look for unstable, external factors. Just be sure to take responsibility when it is called for.
• Keep things in perspective when feeling blue.Think back to other times that you felt this down – did they always warrant such a strong reaction? This is not to beat yourself up about the past, but to realize that you have and can again survive situations that you thought were too much to handle.
• Look for alternative explanations for why things went wrong. Instead of telling yourself it was your fault, that people just don’t like you, or finding some other negative explanation, try to look for other reasons. Sometimes, our life circumstances get in the way of our goals – it happens to everyone. And sometimes, people are just having a bad day and do not behave as enthusiastically as they normally do. Learn not to take things personally and you will be released from some very common thought patterns associated with depression.
• Learn to enjoy the process rather than only the final product. For those individuals who tend to beat themselves up if they don’t get first place, a promotion, or achieve other goals, the outcome of the process is what is most important. If you learn to enjoy the whole progression, and appreciate the small goals you HAVE reached along the way instead of what you didn’t achieve, you will likely be more satisfied with yourself.
• Get your mind off your problems. If you over-think problems in your life, they begin to crowd out all of the good things that are going on. Give issues the thought they deserve, but allow yourself time to have fun, read a book you’ve been meaning to read, or pursue an active activity. It may take conscious effort not to think about a problem (pinch yourself when it comes up, or immediately think about something else more enjoyable) but the effort will help remind you of the good things going on in your life.
• Look for the supportive faces in a crowd. When you are socializing, working or performing in front of a group, there will almost always be SOMEONE with an unhappy expression on his or her face. A person with a depressed mindset will often focus in on or be extremely sensitive to criticism, critical facial expressions, or subtle verbal digs. Individuals who don’t have such a mindset are more likely to either not notice such things, or will deliberately choose to focus on the positive. It is much healthier to focus on the enthusiastic reactions of those around you.
• Think about seeking cognitive therapy. Even if a person with a depressive mindset doesn’t meet the DSM – IV criteria for depression, he or she can likely benefit from cognitive therapy to help battle against depressive thoughts. Therapists using this technique teach their clients how to identify their particular depressive thoughts, and then provide methods to fight against them. It really is possible to change the way we think for the better.
• Be on the lookout for warning signs of black and white, absolutist thinking. Look out for thoughts in your head like “I always perform poorly on important projects at work”, or “I will never get over this break-up”, or “Now that the first night of my vacation went poorly, the whole trip is ruined”. Such thoughts can lead to generalizing one negative experience to other situations or the same situation in the future. Like a house of cards, for depressive thinkers using this style, their whole world can crumble when one thing goes wrong.