I dream almost 40% of the time

I get depressed easily and feel sad most of the time. I delve into the past a lot with regrets like, ‘I should have done this’ or ‘I shouldn’t have messed up like that’, etc. I also smile nostalgically, thinking of the fun times I’ve had. I dream almost 40% of the time. I don’t have a good relationship with my mom. She imposes her decisions on me, and when I refuse, she emotionally blackmails me. Dad is also disturbed since some time. I’m addicted to my laptop. My day revolves around it — be it for online classes or as a pastime. I don’t know whom to confide in. I have two trustworthy childhood friends and a new friend too, but I don’t know how to tell them. I write a diary and it feels good; but only for some time because it can’t reply like a person would. I will soon enter class 12, but due to these issues, I can’t focus on my studies. What should I do?
Elena (16)

Dear Elena,

The past is history, the future a mystery; this moment is a gift and that’s why it is called the ‘present’. We often escape into the past or dream about the future when we do not see our present as a gift. And we choose to be unhappy and depressed.

To see our present as a gift, we need to see the gifts in our present. So, begin with gratitude for what you have. Your parents, a home, food, health, and three good friends is a great place to start! Each day find 5 new things to be grateful for!

Looks like you don’t have enough to engage you each day, apart from studies. For this: 1) Help others: Help your mother at home, teach/help a young kid with school work… 2) Learn something new: Learn a language, craft, dancing, etc. 3) Discover your talents: Use your talents to help others or to express your creativity. 4) Focus on your career: What career do you plan to take up? Does it excite you? What are you doing to make it happen? 5) Make friends with your family members: Get to know your parents as people. What do they enjoy? What do you enjoy together? 6) Exercise: Ensure your daily routine includes 30 to 45 minutes of exercise, it is a thought and mood booster and ensures good sleep. Take charge of your life. Choose happiness.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.