Today I would like to talk about how we may be manufacturing our own misery and you may not even know it is happening. This happens all to often for me, I dwell on situations or things that “went wrong” and make it even a bigger deal than it needs to be! “Making a mountain out of a mole hill” is what my therapist calls it, and I 100% do that! If something negative happens or I make a mistake, my mind is like a hamster on a wheel. Reliving that situation and going through every possible out come, negative or positive. What could I have done differently? Why did this happen? Why did I say that? Why did I do that? How did this happen? How is this going to effect the future? I literally will make myself depressed, sick, and go to the dark place in my mind – over something that did not warrant those feelings. If you are living with depression or mental health issues, this may happen to you to. I want to give you some tips and tricks to prevent yourself from going to the “dark place”
The first thing I want you to stop doing is: fantasizing future events as real, meaning we need to be conscientious of our mind and when it starts to go down that “well this could happen” road. When we keep thinking about all of the negative situations that could possibly happen, our mind morphs that into “this is going to happen”. When this happens to your mind it can cause you to recoil and be afraid to do anything! If you start to feel like the “what if’s” are taking over in your mind, I suggest music! Sing your favorite song, dance like crazy, and focus solely on the music. Did you know your mind cannot hold a negative thought and a positive thought at the same time? If you surround yourself with something that makes you feel happy and focus on just that, the negative thoughts will not stay!
Secondly, we need to talk back to that negative critic in our heads! Unfortunately we can be our own worst enemies, especially when dealing with mental health issues. When we feel that negative critic getting too loud in our minds, we need to recognize that it’s happening and tell yourself to stop – literally say it out loud! Imagine a giant red stop sign in your mind & tell those thoughts they are not welcome. Then you need to switch your thoughts too something positive that you have accomplished, something you’ve done that you are proud of, or simply something that makes you happy! Tell the critic in your head that you are smart, you are caring, and you are loved. For some reason when I say these words out loud rather than just repeating them in my head – it makes a world of difference! Hearing those words in your own voice can be so beneficial!
And the last thing I would like you to ask yourself “how important is this?” When you start to feel yourself going down the dark worm whole, you need to ask yourself, is this important? Is this matter something that warrants so much negative thought? Is this problem going to effect my life? Most of the time, the answers to those questions will be no. I understand that some situations are definitely important and need more attention than others. But for the manageable moments, you need to ask yourself how important is this? I know this may sound crazy, but think of the “lumps”! If you have a lump in your oatmeal, a lump in your throat (like when you’re emotional), and a lump in your breast. They are all “lumps”, right?! But thinking about that annoying lump in your oatmeal would not warrant as much emotion or attention as say the lump you found in your breast. When I find myself in situations where I am getting over irrational or stressed out, I stop and make sure I am not freaking out over an “oatmeal” type lump! Is this worth getting worked up about? If it is not, I recognize these emotions are there, but then I move on! Do not let the little things ruin you.
Obviously all of these things are accomplished with practice! You will not be able to just magically be okay the first time you try any of these tools, but try and try again. Don’t give up on yourself and eventually it will just be second nature to stop yourself from going to the dark place!
By: Elisa Mari