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Introverts are 3x More Likely to Suffer From Depression

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

6 Mindset Shifts That Bolster Inner Peace

According to a 2018 article by Alex Moore in MentalHealth Matters, "74% of people suffering [from depression] also exhibited introverted personality traits."

Many reports connect this link to introverts' preference for solitude, our tendency to be very introspective, our knack for perfectionism, and our penchant for constantly reviewing (and often criticizing) our actions and decisions in our head.

However, Moore goes on to recognize that it is not our introversion itself that is associated with depression. It is when we or others are constantly putting ourselves down, comparing ourselves negatively to other louder, more sociable people, and letting our own self-doubt take over that depression creeps in.

The solution is to recognize that "happiness simply is different" for us.

Besides learning about our own strengths and using them to tackle previously stressful situations like meetings, socials, networking, or debates, there are 6 mindset shifts that can place us on a more confident and serene path:

#1 Employ Moderation

“The most serious human evil is lack of moderation.”

Helmuth Plessner

Our strengths can be quite powerful. However, it is always important to moderate our approach. Despite appearances, many introverts are quite ambitious. Once we find strengths, hobbies, or approaches we like, we can become zealously committed to them. However, just as ignoring our strengths is unwise, implementing them to an extreme can lead to compulsion and neglect of a more balanced lifestyle. Finding moderation in our life can be tricky, but doing so will help establish a sustainable lifestyle, one that is both productive and fulfilling.

#2 Focus on What You Can Control

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

the courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.”

-Serenity Prayer

There can be a lot of heartache and challenges in life, yet often we waste our time and energy focusing on those we cannot control. We spend a lot of time fretting over the possible results instead of focusing our energy on what we can control. If you feel overwhelmed, spend a few minutes listing those items occupying your mind, your calendar, and your To-Do list under either the “I Control” or “Other’s Control” column. This should help you reallocate your time and energy and will change your goals to be more inwardly focused on what you can affect.

#3 Practice Self-Compassion

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked.

Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

– Louise Hay

As Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself states, self-esteem is based on comparing ourselves to others in the hope that we are better than most...lower weight, bigger house, faster car, fancier job title. This is a game we cannot win. This constant drive to be the best breeds a culture of comparison. While competition can be motivating, it can also be self-defeating. We may all want to be the best, As a result, we often overwork ourselves. We may employ less kind or unethical tactics to get ahead, or worse yet we may tear down others so we can leap over them.

Instead, we should aim for self-compassion. As Neff states, “people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves.” Instead of looking outside for our goals and sense of accomplishment, look inward. Such introspection is in-sync with our natural introvert style.

#4 Seek Impactfulness Rather Than Perfectionism

“Perfectionism is a dream killer,