skip to main content

Pleasant Activities

An important part of feeling better comes from increasing pleasant activities

Pleasant activities can help you recover from both large and small stresses. By scheduling and participating in activities that you find enjoyable, you may find that you feel less depressed. Everyone has his or her own ideas about which activities are pleasant. It is important for you to think about the activities that are pleasant and enjoyable to YOU. They do not have to be expensive or time consuming! They can be as simple as going to the park, listening to a radio show, or reading the comics.

Sometimes, when people return to pleasant activities they have not done in a while, they find the activity less satisfying than they expected. You might find yourself thinking something like: "This activity is not as great as I remember." Thoughts like this can get you down! However, if you compare the enjoyment you felt from the activity to how you would have felt otherwise, you might decide that it actually was a good thing you did the activity. Perhaps you will think to yourself. "The library was interesting. I enjoyed looking at the magazines and it was better than sitting in front of the TV feeling glum. Just getting up and moving around made me feel better than sitting around all day."

Take some time to identify activities you have enjoyed in the past and then plan things you can do tomorrow or near future. Try to plan one pleasant activity to do every day


    People who feel depressed tend to do fewer pleasant activities than usual. This contributes to a low mood.<

    Not doing pleasant activities can have a "snowball effect' on your mood, making you feel worse.

    Increasing pleasant activities improves your mood.

    Focus on increasing pleasant events in your life by making a schedule and keeping a log. The simple act of writing down your activities will probably help you stick to them. Keeping a log will show you the progress you are making.

[references two and three]

Return to top