Negative Thinking and Depression
I am not a newcomer to depression. Depression has been a part of my life since my early twenties. While I feel that I mostly have things under control and am in balance at times an event or a circumstance will tip the balance back towards those feelings of negative self-worth, constant overthinking, and simply feeling blue. It is an ongoing task to keep the scale in balance. Oftentimes people tell me that I look like I have everything all together while on the inside their a storm brewing, one filled with dark clouds that makes me want to run and hide. This is one of the most difficult things about depression, its the fact that it is not openly talked about so often we mask these feelings .
I am a work in progress. I am learning how to express these feelings and to not let them sit and fester until I feel miserable. Oftentimes part of the issue at least for me is to continue to bend for others like a tree in the wind while not allowing myself the room that I need to process and to heal. My mom says even as a child the teacher would say that I was the “mother hen” (oh the irony) and that I took care of others while not watching out for my own feelings. Over the years I have gathered some strategies to help me to cope and to help me to get back in balance that might be helpful for you too.
10 Strategies to Stop Negative Thinking
- Exercise. For me exercise is a release and brings me into a state of meditation. Going for a run will often bring my spirit back into balance more quickly then anything else.
- Turn the radio up for that sweet sound . . . (who can name that tune?). Music has healing powers.
- Talk to someone. Find that person who knows how to listen to you best and let it all go.
- Take a power nap. Sometimes a quick nap will refresh your mind and give you an energy boost!
- Do something silly. Have a crazy dance party with your kids and get into a giggle fest. Meet up with that one friend who makes you laugh until your belly hurts. Laughter has magical powers.
- Do something creative that engages your “right brain.” Painting a picture, working with clay, planting flowers in your garden can be extremely therapeutic.
- Write. Start a blog, write in a journal, write a letter.
- Do something unexpected and positive for a friend.
- Allow yourself to have the negative thoughts and then “put them away.” With my daughter we used to write down and draw her worries and then put them in her worry treasure box. This allows you to confront your thoughts and then to let them go.
- Use positive self talk. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.
Lennon and Maisy and Ingrid Michaelson– A Life That’s Good
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