Perseverance is instilled in our minds from a young age. When the blocks in your tower wont stack, or you cant find out long division, “try, try, try again.”
But as we get older and keep persevering, it can (actually) become a problem. Perseverance is amazing and great, but to much can leave you wasting time on unattainable goals. It can leave you feeling out of control and “stuck” too.
A study in 2017 found that one of the benefits of depression is that is allows people to have an easier time just letting go of unattainable goals.
The study gave participants with depression and healthy participants a task of solving anagrams. Anagrams are words in which the letters are in the wrong order. For example, the anagram SIEGOT should be rearranged to make EGOIST. The catch was, some of the anagrams were unsolvable, which acted as an unattainable goal.
The studies results found that participants with depression gave up sooner on the unsolvable anagrams, ultimately saving them time from focusing on something they cant do.
Although anagrams probably aren’t something most normal people are doing on a regular basis, this study can still be applied to our lives.
It shows us that depression can help us let go of unattainable goals, which is likely caused by the lack of motivation experienced by many depression sufferers.
What this means is that depression isn’t all bad, as it allows us to re-aim our focus onto new, more achievable goals.