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The Road to Happiness

In this world of difficulty and doubt, of struggles and hardships, of compromises and second choices, of injustice and affliction, each person comes to a crossroads in life.  There are two roads with signposts on each that say, “Way to Happiness.”

On the one hand is the road championed by the world, which promises much and delivers little.  This road is taken by the vast array of people who are tricked into believing the billboards along the way.  Those inducements, even in your own internal dialogue, for taking this road can be compelling because of all their glitzy promises.  Instead of happiness, though, this road can lead to depression, anxiety, and addition.

There is another choice, another road.  However, this road can appear less attractive when compared with the first.  Because of this, it is a road less traveled.  This is the road of faith, which uses a cross for a talisman.  It does not say, “Take this road to avoid your pain.”  It says, “Take this road because of your pain.”  The one road promises you’ll be in control.  The other says you must give it up.  The one appears all about pleasure.  The other appears all about sacrifice.  In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to make the right choice.

In other words, you’ve come to a fork in the road — two paths promising to lead you to your desired destination.  However, the one you choose may not be the most popular, but it may lead you to true happiness.

Taking the road less traveled will make all the difference.  The world’s road eventually leads to a literal end.  God’s road leads to eternity.  Because it can be so difficult to choose the road less traveled, here are just a few things to remember as you stand at the crossroads each day:

  • Happiness is not a response to life that comes from the inside of a person, not from outside circumstances.
  • Happiness is a gift from God, based upon His goodness and mercy apart from circumstances.
  • Depression isn’t something you live with; it’s something you get help for.
  • Worry and anxiety can be treated; they are a learned response to life that can be acknowledged, understood, and overcome.
  • Addictions both mask and amplify the pain; they never heal it.
  • What you tell yourself becomes who you are, so be careful what you say.
  • Relationships are meant to support you, not drag you down.
  • Taking care of your body helps you take care of your heart, soul, and mind.
  • Stop trying to control your own life, and start trusting in God to get you where you need to go.
  • An attitude of optimism is a choice.
  • Each day presents you with a new opportunity to be happy.
  • Sometimes the clearest lesson you receive today is confirmation of where you don’t want to go tomorrow.
  • Don’t wait on others to hand you happiness; take hold of it yourself.
  • Don’t let anything get in the way of what you need.  Ask, expect, and act.

As you embrace a new way of thinking, living, and responding, may you recognize that there is hope.  Optimism can lead you down the path to happiness and joy, and it can overpower the strongholds of depression and anxiety.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help.  The Center was voted in the top 10 facilities for the treatment of the depression in the United States.  For more information, call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.

Five Signs Hidden Anger is Causing Your Depression

Depression can be caused by a many number of things. Perhaps it is due to a specific, traumatic event like losing a loved one to suicide. It may be caused by prolonged emotional or spiritual abuse. It could be caused by an addiction to technology or a chemical imbalance.

Another common cause of depression is anger—anger that you may not even recognize you have. We call this “hidden anger” or anger that you’ve suppressed from your conscious acknowledgement. You may be angry at a family member that continues to exert undue control over your life, angry with God for an unavoidable health problem, or angry at a friend who betrayed you during a time of need. While you may have hidden this anger from view, these feelings of anger and resentment can fester inside us and manifest in unforeseen ways; depression is one such manifestation.

As part of the recovery journey, is it first important to acknowledge, and become aware of, the reason for your depression. Below are some common symptoms of hidden anger that may be negatively affecting your life.

Procrastination: Procrastination in the completion of tasks, especially ones you don’t like or don’t want to do. What do you put off? What is keeping you from completing these tasks? If the tasks are related to past issues of control or connected in some way to people or past trauma, your procrastination may be caused by festering hidden anger.

Sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy: Within what context, do you typically make sarcastic, cynical, or flippant remarks? Is it only with certain people or only within a certain context? In other words, is your hidden anger tied to a certain person, in terms of what she brings out in you? Or, is it more generally tied to how you feel in specific situations as opposed to whom you are with?

Over controlled monotone speaking voice: This is not only a means of hiding anger, but subsequently any number of other feelings that re not allowed expression. In other words, masking a negative feeling, such as anger, inevitably trains you to mask positive feelings as well, such as surprise, excitement, and joy.

Frequent sighing: You may not even realize you are doing this, so make a note to be mindful of how frequently you sigh, and within what context. Again, is it usually around a certain person, or is it more specific to an activity (i.e. work task), thought (i.e. all you to-dos), or situation (i.e. dealing with a conflict at work or at home).

Smiling while hurting: As with frequent sighing, this may not be something you are particularly aware of. Next time you notice yourself smiling, though, check in with your head and heart. Does your expression match what you’re thinking and feeling inside?

If you notice that you are exhibiting any concerning combination of the above symptoms, it might signal issues related to hidden anger. Our team at The Center • A Place of HOPE specializes in treating anger problems and depression, and we are here to help. The Center • A Place of HOPE has been ranked as the #1 treatment facility for depression in the United States. If you are ready to regain true joy and happiness and release your hidden anger, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak with a depression recovery specialist today.