positive thinking

Depression: Skewed Thinking

“A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end.” Elizabeth Wurtzel Prozac Nation Wurtzel is correct; depression sucks the hope and motivation out of us. When people suffer from depression they usually feel they have no choice but to be depressed. Often this is so because we get locked into a negative belief and thinking pattern and do not have the energy or the positivity to make a chance.

Depression is an issue of skewed thinking. Think about it. When you are “up” you see the whole spectrum, the good, the happy and the positive things in life; and you see the opposite, the sad, painful and negative things in life. As we start to slide down the rabbit hole our viewpoint switches; we see less and less of the “good” things in life and more and more of the “bad.”

How? The process within our brains is thus; we think a sad thought, we feel a sad feeling, we do a sad behavior. The thought precedes every feeling and action. What thoughts? “Life is painful,” “I can never do anything right,” “life sucks,” “why bother,” and so on and so on and so on till there is no room for anything else. If all you think is sad or negative, this influences how you see the world, “you get what you focus on” and what are you seeing now, sad and hurt.

What is needed is to change our thoughts to positive. This sounds easy but it is not, it is simple, perhaps, but often solutions are. Change “life is painful” to life is painful at this moment but not always, I have just been happy.” Again simplistic, not easy. To be able to do this we need to become self-aware, to know what is going on inside us at any given moment.

How do we that? Try an experiment for 30 days. For the next 30 days, 3 or 4 times during the day try doing this. Stop. Ask yourself what am I physically feeling right now, how do my clothes feel on my skin, how does the breeze of the air conditioner feel on my face? Can I feel my feet pressing through my shoes to the floor, what does that feel like? What do I see; in detail; what do I see? What do I hear, smell, taste? What am I thinking about, what do I feel, emotionally? What am I saying to myself?

This should not take more than a few seconds. Really become aware of yourself, all of yourself in the moment. Doing this often for several days teaches yourself to be able in a second to know what is going on in you, around you. It teaches you to become aware of what you are thinking, the types of thoughts (negative or positive), the frequency, the direction they are focused on. Remember that the thoughts lead the feelings, which lead the behavior; negative thoughts, negative actions.

Once you become aware of what you are thinking you have the ability to change those thoughts through deliberate choice. “I see those thoughts and accept that I have them but I choose to focus on different, more positive thoughts. Positive thoughts, positive actions. The more we can focus our lives in the direction of being happy and positive, the less we will be depressed.

Now this seems too simple to work, but nevertheless it is true. As one who suffers with a depression issue, notice a depression issue not I am depressed, I know how this sounds. I have tried many things and I have discovered that the more I think and feel positive, the better the other methods work. This is not the cure for depression, but it is a way to help you manage it.