What you think about and believe in your mind is a critical piece to handling anxiety and depression. Although there is a very strong physiological component to depression, your ability to identify negative thinking and replacing it with positive and empowering thoughts will allow you to take a big leap forward in managing the effects. You can train your mind to be your best ally in this fight.
I spent most of my life allowing my mind to trick me. My tired and crabby reactions turned into mountains that lasted for days and sometimes weeks. I believed what I ‘felt’ to be the truth. My victim mentality reigned as queen in the kingdom of my mind, afraid to face my part in the drama and unwilling to say what I wanted or needed when necessary. All the sadness was really self-absorption as I continually thought about me, me, me, . . .
People with anxiety and depression are negative thinkers. A negative thought is any that makes you feel bad, sad, weak, anxious, nervous, powerless, fearful, angry, or frustrated (the list can go on). You need to replace those thoughts with positive thoughts which are often closer to the truth. Positive thoughts are one that make you feel strong, loved, hopeful, happy, content, calm, peaceful and joyful.
Most negative thinkers do not realize it. Learning to identify the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts is the lynch pin to battling anxiety and depression.
We all have thoughts and almost never stop to consider whether or not they are true. Below are some examples of negative thoughts and the counter positive thought which is closer to the truth.
(-) I’m so fat!
I would like to lose weight. It is up to me to do something about it and I’ll take the first step today. (+)
(-) I can’t do anything right!
I made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. (+)
(-) Why doesn’t he ever do anything right?
He left his clothes on the floor again. No one is perfect. He’s really good with the kids. (+)
(-) That person is SO dumb for pulling out in front of me!
I have no idea why that person cut me off. I’m glad nothing happened and hope they have a great day. (+)
How do you talk to your friends? Do you ask them hard questions? Are you encouraging? Do you sympathize with their feelings? Do you share in their successes and support them in difficulties? Your thoughts towards yourself need to be every bit as compassionate, encouraging, and real as the words you say to your friends.
Assess Your Thoughts
- Are you letting your mind trick you with negative thoughts?
- Do you stop to consider your thoughts and whether or not they are true?
- Is it easier to blame others for your problems instead of yourself?
- Is your mind using ‘extremes’?
- Would you ever say to someone else the things you say to yourself?
Get out a notebook!
One of the best things I ever did was to keep a notebook of my negative thoughts and replaced those thoughts with a positive empowering thought. The act of writing it down made my thoughts concrete. Once they were concrete, I could do something with them. I suggest you track your negative thoughts for a week and replace them with positive and empowering thoughts.
I used the Lucinda Basset Depression and Anxiety program to learn many ways to change my thinking to battle anxiety and depression. I highly recommend this program.
Is It That Simple?
We all want simple answers to our questions. Managing depression is complex. There is not a smoking gun but many things that contribute to it. Many people with anxious and depressive thoughts are extreme in their thinking and believe that if they try one thing and it does not work, that means there is no solution. Working on changing your negative thoughts to positive is one of the steps required to battle depression. The thoughts in your mind will determine what kind of person you are.
Are you ready to take on those negative thoughts and change your life today?
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