Challenging Your Hopelessness
by Robert L. Leahy, PhD

  • Realize that hopelessness is not a realistic response to your reality—it's a symptom of your depression.

  • Ask yourself if there is an advantage to feeling hopeless. Is your hopelessness protecting you against disappointment or helping you in some other way?

  • Why do you think things are hopeless? Write down your reasons, and then examine them.

  • Is your hopelessness a self-fulfilling prophecy? See if you can entertain a little doubt that things are hopeless. Then imagine what would happen if you acted as if they weren't.

  • Ask yourself what would have to change in order for you to feel better. Maybe it's an achievable goal.

  • What goals are not hopeless in your life? Focus on those instead of the ones you can't hope to achieve.

  • Realize that no one specific person or experience is necessary to your happiness.

  • Ask yourself if you have felt hopeless before. Did things change?

  • Maybe you think the obstacles you face now are just too big. But what obstacles have you overcome in the past?

  • Are there techniques and medications that you have not tried to combat your depression? It's not hopeless until you've tried everything.

  • Try an exercise in mindful awareness. You'll see that you cannot be hopeless about the present moment—and you can come back to the present moment anytime.
excerpted from: Beat the Blues Before They Beat You: How to Overcome Depression (free with Kindle Unlimited)