I posed a question to the Artificial Intelligence, “What is the opposite of ‘depression’?” According to AI, there’s no ‘opposite’. I quote, “Positive mental health involves not just the absence of mental illness but also the presence of positive emotions, resilience, and a sense of purpose and meaning in life.” (Source chat.openai.com)
You and I may have chatted about two opposing forces as motivators. One is a ‘towards’ motivation – to look forward to something and to move towards it – towards the pleasure of it. The opposite is ‘away’ motivation – where we seek to avoid something unpleasant – away from pain. Depression seems to me a painful, an away-from state. When we feel depressed, it’s something to move away from. We may choose therapy, pharmaceuticals, good-company, and even stimulants. As soon as we move tangibly away from the feeling of depression, we automatically feel better by comparison.
But what if we could move towards positive emotions, a sense of purpose, and meaning in life? For many of us, depression is a state associated with listlessness, low energy, feeling drained, lethargic. The opposite would be to feel energised, enthused, excited, expressive.
What could possibly make you feel energised today? What energises you?
What could you possibly rustle up some enthusiasm for? What have you been enthusiastic about in the past?
What could possibly excite you today? What has excited you in the past?
How could you express yourself today? What have been some of the most satisfying ways you’ve expressed yourself in the past?
The tiniest move towards what energises, enthuses, or excites you is a giant leap away from the low-energy of a depressed state.