It can be tough trying to cope with feelings of sadness, anxiety and/or depression. For so many, there are periods where daily life activities i.e. showering, dressing etc can prove to be exhausting. It is a constant battle within to push towards canceling out the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations. I will go over a few that have been useful for me and hopefully for you, as well..
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a highly effective type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), originally created to treat borderline personality disorder. Today, it’s used to treat a variety of conditions, such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders and depression. DBT teaches clients four sets of behavioral skills: mindfulness; distress tolerance; interpersonal effectiveness; and emotion regulation. (Marsha Linehan)
Even if you do not suffer with a mental disorder or a diagnosis of depression, these skills can be very helpful and you can benefit from learning these skills and applying them to your life.
One of the skills is called “Mindfulness“. It is the action of living in the present moment instead of allowing yourself to be traumatized by the past or anxious about the future. By practicing mindfulness, you will become aware of your thoughts, feelings, reactions and actions. It is actually a sure way to stop these overwhelming thoughts as they come in. Replace them with a new more assertive and positive outlook. It can seem weird or uncomfortable when you first start out with this particular coping skill but it is worth a try. Once you are able to pause, check in with your emotions, you can determine how you choose to react. It can be as simple as going for a walk mindfully. Pay attention to the sky, the feel of the weather, your body as you take steps. Take everything in. As with meditation, if your mind wanders, refocus back to the present moment .
Another great one I like is the “Non-judgemental stance” Negative judgments almost always boost our emotional pain. When youre angry, irritated or just feeling down, pay attention to replacing that judgment with a fact and any emotions you are feeling. Now understand being less judgmental doesn’t totally eliminate our pain but it does help reduce such intense emotions like anger. When you’re able to think more clearly and wisely, the choices you make result in a better outcome all around. You ask yourself if you want to spend energy on certain discussions and interactions. For example, something as simple as the weather can be an annoyance. Telling yourself ” This weather is awful” can be replaced with ” I have to walk to work in this weather and this is frustrating”. Again, all of us can benefit from becoming more aware of our thoughts and feelings, accepting what is and being less judgmental of ourselves and others.
Make a dedication to yourself. Start with the small things that you can do and are aware of. Once you change these small thoughts, it will start to bring about a significant change. Trying to create and maintain a healthier life is key in overcoming depression etc. It can be done!