Mental Health

3 Tips For Using Intention (+ Goals) to Improve Your Mental Health

I personally believe that intention is the opposite of depression. I find that my depressive episodes always involve apathy, a lack of motivation, and a complete inability to construct a future for myself. The time just flows by, and nothing changes, and I feel completely powerless to change my situation.

So, what is the opposite of said apathy? Intention!

Deciding to do anything, simply because I want to do it to improve my own situation, has been the most powerful antidote to a depressive mindset. This can sometimes be hard to do because we don’t have the desire or motivation to improve our situation. However, if you’re reading this, it is because you probably have that tiny little piece of your mind that is screaming to be set free, and wants to find a happier place mentally. So, I’ve written up three tips that have helped me a lot to improve my mental health.

If you’re someone (like me) who often reads inspirational posts online but forgets the information shortly after, don’t forget to download the worksheet that accompanies this article so you can apply the information directly to your life.

1. Do something small and positive in the morning, to start your day intentionally.

Pick something extremely achievable, like making your bed! You’ll be amazed that after you’ve made your bed, your room seems so much more pulled together and organized, even if you haven’t done anything else. Plus, you’ll be super inspired to continue on your cleaning/organizing flow, which I touch on in the next tip.


2. Take advantage of the “waterfall effect.”

The waterfall effect is what I call the wonderful magical occurrence that happens after you do something positive, intentionally. You all of a sudden are much more motivated to do something else, right afterwards! I find that if I make my bed, I often am much more inspired to clean my room. Once my room is clean and I feel freshly invigorated, I am much more likely to be able to motivate myself to make a healthy lunch or go on a walk around the block.

3. Create a larger more long-term goal that you’re personally excited about!

This one is a bit more difficult, but bear with me. So, intentional living is fantastic simply when you’re making small changes and using the waterfall effect to flow into more and more of these habits every single day. However, an incredibly powerful way to use intention in your life is creating long term goals. These goals can seem extremely scary when we suffer from depression, since it can feel like we’re just going to fail (I often am this way with exercise, thinking of all the times I’ve failed in the past and stopped). However, this is less about perfection and more about the awareness that simply working towards anything with intention takes us away from ruminative habits in which we go over and over our failings in our heads.

When I chose to begin learning violin, and Japanese, all of a sudden my mind was excited and in a flurry with questions like, “Which violin should I buy?” “Should I rent or purchase?” “Where can I take lessons?” “Where are the best free resources and apps for language learning?” All of these questions, full of excitement, are magical for helping you emerge from a depressive episode. Since I’ve found, you can’t think your way out of a negative situation and focus on the negativity to improve. Instead, start new healthy processes and habits and you’ll find that this naturally helps you out of the hole.

“Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” – The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Video About Intention:

Did this help you? Don’t forget to download the worksheet below, and interact with our community at Jolvie: A Mental Health Community on Facebook!

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  1. Jackie

    This is so true! I told my hubby that the thing that keeps me going is hope or motivation. If I don’t have something to look forward to I sink lower. I have naturally found ways to motivate myself and create intentions throughout the day in order to be productive.

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