Battling depression is not something that can be easily cured, ignored or forgotten. It is a day to day process that takes work and dedication to overcome. As I have written over the last two months, there are quite a few ways to combat depression head-on and no longer allow it to run your life. One of the biggest struggles is not allowing the negative thinking to change your outlook. More often than not, negative thinking about one’s self and existence is what keeps people locked down in a dark spell. This dark spell can be described as being stuck in negative thinking and being unable to find positivity in anything – a very “glass half empty” outlook.
Negative thinking can lead to lack of self-esteem, mood swings, false beliefs about your looks, negative self-talk, inability to receive compliments and failure to see one’s potential, which can lead to a failure to taking chances or accomplishing dreams.
Challenge negative thoughts and stop them instantly. Once you get yourself thinking negatively about yourself or an aspect of your life it can easily make depression worse. I would send myself into full-fledged panic attacks because of the negative thoughts I allowed myself to think. The hardest thing was learning how to stop those negative thoughts dead in their tracks before they could resonate. To counteract the negative thoughts, it’s important to allow yourself to be less than perfect, socialize with people who are positive, think outside of yourself and stop being so hard on yourself. Keep a log of all negative thoughts so that when in a better mood you can reevaluate that thought.
One of the best suggestions I have received from my counselor regarding this particular matter is to write down the negative thoughts that seem to occur more often and burn them. I have never felt more empowered by a single act than when I took this advice. Writing down every negative thought I have had about myself or that someone has had about me and burning it afterward was so refreshing because it allowed for the possibility of letting go. Watching the flames envelope the paper with these nasty words and phrases was a way to take a step forward and decide that those ashes were going to be a part of yesterday, and I would not be adding anymore pieces of paper to that pile.
Another suggestion is to go out and do things that will make you feel good about yourself. Help a friend through a tough time, volunteer at a clinic or shelter, get involved in a non-profit or even adopt a pet. Doing things for others is a way to remind yourself that you have a purpose and that you can overcome any negativity that comes your way.
Michelle Uy of Thats Fit.ca gave 10 suggestions for overcoming negativity in her article, “10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts: Positive Thinking Made Easy:”
1) Meditate or do yoga
3) Surround yourself with positive people
4) Change your negative thoughts into positive ones
5) Don’t play the victim, take some responsibility
6) Help someone
8) Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward
9) List five things everyday that you are grateful for
10) Read positive quotes
In the end, it is all about mind over matter and realizing that you’re more than what those negative thoughts in your head are saying. And this can be applied to people that do not necessarily have depression. Negative thinking can happen for anyone and it is important to realize that we all are valuable and important.