Use these five strategies to stop depression’s negative thought loop from taking over:
#1 Don’t believe everything you think
Your mood can easily blur your vision. Feeling depressed often means feeling life is hopeless, but it’s important to realize these views are symptoms of the illness and do not reflect reality. It’s not an objective look at your situation, which is likely far from hopeless. Try thinking back to a time you were optimistic about the future and remind yourself what you thought then about your life was a more accurate portrayal.
#2 Avoid focusing on the negative
When we disregard the positive and instead concentrate on the unfortunate aspects of a situation—dwelling on our losses and forgetting our victories—it can be difficult for our mental wellbeing. Instead of focusing on your limitations, think about what a friend would say to you to contradict this negative line of thinking.
#3 Ban over-generalizations
How many times have you concluded, on the basis of a single failure, that you will always fail? Don’t fall prey to overgeneralized thoughts such as “No one cares about me” and “I’m never going to be able to get a job.” Instead, let the words ‘always,’ ‘everybody’, ‘never,’ and ‘nobody’ serve as red flags that you’re probably overgeneralizing.
#4 Create a gray continuum when you have black-or-white thinking
Black-or-white, or all-or-nothing, thinking involves inappropriately categorizing objects, situations, or people into one extreme or another. When you are depressed, it is easy to think of yourself as a total failure, or as completely worthless. Remind yourself that the world is made of shades of gray, and people who are all good or all bad are rare.
#5 Break up catastrophizing
Catastrophizing involves noticing one unfavorable fact or unfortunate situation, and making it mushroom in your mind into a chain of hypothetical circumstances ending in disaster. Examples: if you have a cold and then this leads to an imagined death from pneumonia or a minor mistake at work results in the nightmare of getting fired. When you predict calamities, ask how probable each event is, and how likely it is they could occur together.
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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