SELF HELP SERIES: Treating Your Depression
“Stop Negative Thinking.”
We think and then we feel. And therein is the answer to solving depression. Feelings are the natural result of thinking. If we think positive, we feel good. If we think negative, we feel miserable. We can actually control our emotions by what we think or believe. Avoid negative emotional thinking and you avoid trouble. Try the ABC’s of treating depression. Try catching yourself feeling miserable and determine the Adversity which sparked your negative thought or Belief that caused the Consequence of feeling miserable. Try it! Catch yourself negative thinking throughout the day and you will feel better, less depressed. Then afterwards take two deep cleansing breaths. End with your favorite prayer or poem, and continue your day.
There are only 10 negative thoughts, so this simplifies the process of optimism:
Don’t play “what if.”
No “I should or I ought to.”
No “dwelling on the negative.”
Don’t let one single negative ruin your whole day.
Don’t jump the conclusions.
Don’t blow a negative thought out of proportion.
Avoid thoughts of “impending doom.”
Of course don’t “blame yourself or others.”
Refuse to “label yourself” as stupid, dumb or I can’t.
These ten negative thoughts are non-productive and have no value added; therefore, why do them? Note: Depression and anxiety (stress) are on a continuum. Staying stressed without taking care of yourself, without managing your anxiety, can lead to depression.
Redouble your efforts daily to “catch yourself” thinking negative thoughts. If you disrupt a negative thought by catching it and follow it with a deep cleansing breath, the negative thought will weaken and dissipate leaving only positive thoughts. Go see your therapist if needed. Psychological Fact: What follows a behavior will determine whether it reoccurs or not. You just followed catching yourself with a reward (a calming breath). “Catching yourself” just got rewarded and will be more likely to reoccur than the negative thought. Voila! A great new habit to replace negative thinking. Congratulations, you are on your way to happiness!
Research shows definitively that the best way to treat depression is twofold: medication and psychotherapy, although psychotherapy alone is more effective than medication alone! Psychotherapy in the treatment of depression should involve 3 to 5 fifty minute sessions over a two month period. It is simply a matter of practicing stopping negative thoughts!
Read Learned Optimism chapter twelve by Martin Seligman or any book by Dr. Albert Ellis.
Have a good day!
Author’s Note: Bob Newhart was one of the best stand up comics, in my opinion. I recall one particular episode on the Bob Newhart TV Show where he played the role of a psychologist. In this particular episode a woman comes in for individual therapy and Bob’s solution, no matter what the crisis, was to yell, “Stop It! Just stop it!” In many respects he was right on target😊 Bob Newhart - Just Stop It Episode https://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw
See also Self Help Series number one on Relaxation: https://www.tenbrunsel.com/post/self-help-series-relaxation