Setting positive mindset to cure depression
If you ever felt depressed, you know how dark thoughts can sink you down. The problem here is that negativity starts to multiply and you feel you can’t stop it. Life starts to look like a black hole without any light. Nothing can pull you out. It becomes too strong.
But what I realized in my ten-year period of fighting with depression is that we have much greater power than we think. To get out of negative state of mind and stop being depressed, first thing we should do is decide we will get out of it. We cannot just snap our fingers and stop being depressed or feeling down. What is needed here is our own firm decision we will do our best to help ourselves. That is a start.
Second step would be to work on replacing negative thoughts with positive, or reprogram our mind. To do it, we need some mindfulness in everyday life to observe what we think, how we react and track our thoughts to become aware when we start with negativity to be able to apply positive thinking method. That all means we have to set positive mindset so that negativity doesn’t take over us. Of course, we will never be able to completely cut out negative thoughts and that is ok. Negative thoughts have a role in our lives too and that is to protect us. Subconscious mind deals with the world with negative thoughts and having them means we can learn something about ourselves and people around us. But in the long run they can degrade our life’s quality if they overrun us. That is why it is important to set positive thought pattern.
When we notice negativity is in our mind and is making us unhappy we must start with applying positive thinking and allow it to sink into the mind to replace the negative. Easier said than done of course, especially if our lives are mostly filled with problems. But there lies the trick. We must be consistent to do it over and over again.
I felt awful last Friday. I realized my work is not satisfying me because working atmosphere is hard, I’ve been single again since recently and most of my friends moved and live a plane ride away. So all that made me suddenly feel bad. Dark thoughts started to fill me in. And at that point I felt I couldn’t stop them.
So, instead of fighting them, I let them come in to observe them. Than I said to myself: “OK, my thoughts are justified at the moment, I have every right to feel down because things don’t look too bright at the moment.” After some time spent in those thoughts, I started applying few life positive counter thoughts:
- Things don’t last forever. This too will pass.
- I am now acknowledging why I am feeling down but I am also acknowledging all the good things that I have and that I am grateful for like my family, my health, safe war-free environment, regular paycheck, freedom to be myself, etc.
- I will accept what is happening at the moment and work on changing things in a relaxed manner.
After about an hour I felt mind fog lifting and my positivity started kicking in again.
Because, really, all I said to myself is true and I saw that I can be grateful for much more in life than to feel down. What I did was: acknowledge negative thoughts and applied positive (counter) thoughts which are true to ease on the negative thought impact.
If you are seriously depressed and nothing can help you, or if you have suicidal thoughts, you shouldn’t wait any longer and seek professional help. Mainly I am talking about psychotherapy where a good therapist will help you get those hard thoughts out but you will be in a safe environment to talk about them and deal with them. I went to psychotherapy for about six months and I learned some great stuff there. It is not a shame to go to a psychotherapy.
What I learned from my psychotherapist is one major thing he kept repeating: Get in your fear and face it. Get in your darkness and deal with it. If you run away from it, it will hunt you and start kicking you from behind. Stop and turn around, face it. Then it will lose much of its power if you face it.
When I first heard it, I had an urge to run away from this guy because how the heck can I fight anything when all I feel is an urge to fall asleep and wake up when a happy pill is invented. But the more he kept saying it, the more it made sense. I am grateful to this man forever for his words now, because after initial rejection of his methods, I started applying it and felt the fear and depression started backing up.
Few pointers for furthering positive mindset
Here is a list of some depressive thoughts that kept going through my mind and counter positive thoughts that I replaced them with:
- Poor me, I am a victim — I am a result of my own previous thoughts and actions
- Life sucks — I am seeing the beauty in everything: in the sun, sea, trees, flowers, mountains, stars, planet Earth, my friends, music… everything is an extraordinary result of cosmic balance and I am a part of it
- Nothing ever changes for the better — I am working step by step on becoming a better and healthier me, nothing changes over night and I am giving the flower time to grow
- I don’t have energy to fight the darkness any more — I will take one day at a time, one step at a time. In the meantime, I will give my best over and over again, never giving up because life is too precious even if I don’t see it at the moment
There are many other thoughts that can go through our minds when we are depressed. But I assure you, any thought you have in your mind right now, no matter how strange or difficult you think it is, someone else went through it at some time in their life as well. Reprogramming your mind by applying positive thinking is a great way to start increasing life’s happiness.
Remember, we were all programmed by our families, society and schools in a certain way. Just like a highly educated person spends years studying to get highest degree in certain area, so can his mind be educated and trained to start thinking positively.