Cultivate Positive EnergyAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, depression affects 10% of the US population at any given time (and 30% for women).

The mental and physical effects resulting from a state of depression can be quite debilitating. While there are numerous drugs that claim to treat the symptoms, these drugs do not cure the cause of depression, especially as considering numerous studies have shown their effectiveness is on par with placebos if not less.

We all fall into states of sadness from time-to-time given life’s occasional lemons. But did you know that we all have the ability to look to our mind for ways to not only dissolve that sadness, but to cultivate such a positive state of mind that we won’t fall easily back into melancholia?

There are many ways in which we can cultivate positive energy, but here are my five top ways to transform your mindset from darkness into light, sadness into happiness. May they help lift up your soul.

1) Appreciation

When you appreciate someone, you’re tuned into their positive qualities and express your empathy and gratitude for them. It’s a simple way to refresh yourself and establish heartfelt connections with ourselves and others.

With so much beauty all around us, it is easy to show our appreciation to others, and nature, on a daily basis. Try appreciating the simple things you might take for granted, for example, a deep relaxing breath of crisp outdoor air or the pleasurable radiant warmth of the sun at noon. Or the thing we should be the most grateful for (but the one we often forget) – that we’re alive and so fortunate to experience each and every day.

As you do this, try to focus completely on the good this experience offers you and acknowledge that you – and only you have created it – no matter how it came to you. Regardless of your condition or circumstances, there will always be something that you can find to appreciate.

2) Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the moment-to-moment experience of peace and understanding that occurs when the suffering of someone who feels injured has their suffering reduced as they transform the grievance that initiated that suffering. By embracing the feeling of forgiveness as something that can help us, we accept it as an aspect of acceptance, love, peace, and truth instead of experiencing hatred, negativity, and falsehood – all of which are faces of resentment. By being forgiving, we acknowledge that people make mistakes and release the emotional burden that holding a grudge has on us.

3) Selflessness

When we are selfless, we shift our focus onto the needs of others, rather than keeping it on ourselves. It’s the practice of being unselfish and minimizing the gratification of the ego’s wants and desires.

In order to make the life-redefining shift from selfishness to selflessness, go and focus on the well-being of others. This can be done in countless ways. You can clean up your life and surrender a fully healed body, heart, mind and soul to others when entering a relationship.

You can also be ready to share any amount of time needed by others whenever they need it (don’t allow yourself to be used, however). Be happy with your life and with whatever you are offered by others. Whenever you are sure to give your very best, you are receiving exactly what ever you need for your greatest possible benefit.

4) Wonder

Experiences of wonder can lead us to a sense of transcendence and realization of higher states of consciousness. From a mystical perspective, it relates to affirmation, as wonder openings reveal the infinite and the source of all that is, which operates as gateways to uniting experiences.

Buddhism muses that distinctions limited to relative or empirical reality are just an illusion; resulting in the continuation of anguish, pain and frustration because we become alienated from experiencing reality through the eyes of a child where everything was wondrous. In short, wonder leads us tasting a unified and infinite existence that enriches our life experience.

5) Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a yearning for a return to some past period or seemingly irrecoverable condition that’s seen in a positive light.

Studies have found that people who have a heightened level of nostalgia have higher self-esteem and are less prone to depression. Thinking of good memories for just 15 or 20 minutes a day can make you more cheerful than you were the week before, and happier than if you think of your current life. Nostalgia is a very potent mood booster, so if you seem to be in a bit of a funk, think about good memories of times past and you will experience higher self-esteem and feel more positive about friendships and close relationships.

These are just some of my top ways to boost your positive energy – may they help lift up your soul. Please share what yours are below.