In the previous blogs in this series I talked about how your feelings of #depression are just a reflection of your current brain state. Depression is created by exhaustion brought about by too much emotionally arousing ruminating, worrying and introspection. The brain is actually working in a different way when you are depressed. With a clearer picture of what depression is and what causes it, you can set about lifting it more rapidly.
When I work with clients who tell me they are experiencing the symptoms of depression we always start very gently. Once you understand what depression is and how it is maintained (how your negative ruminations are creating problems with getting the right quality of sleep) it is easy to see the importance of getting the rest you need and recouping your lost energy. Therefore, one of the first things I do is teach you how to calm down the emotional arousal that keeps you in a stressed state and prevents you relaxing and getting enough sleep. I use #hypnotherapy to show you how you can achieve a relaxed and calm state of mind for yourself very simply and easily. Using #self-hypnosis or #mindfulness techniques allows you to practice gaining control over feelings of stress and anxiety that help to maintain your depressed mind state. Once you train yourself to stand back from this type of emotional thinking, you allow your rational mind to work for you and you can begin to recognize and challenge the negative thinking that maintains the depression.
It’s relatively easy to make yourself depressed or prolong a depressed state of mind. If you’re reading this blog then you may already be an expert! See how many of these unhelpful ways of thinking you recognize:
- Do you dwell on a single event and treat it as an ongoing source of negativity? For example, people who are unemployed often do this – you lose your job because of the economy but you personalise it
- Do you ever argue with a colleague, friend or family member and then keep obsessively thinking about it, amplifying the anger, stress, and anxiety associated with it? This type of thinking, called rumination, is linked to a greater risk of becoming or staying depressed
- Do you convince yourself that you know what will happen a day, a month, or a year ahead and that it is usually bad, if not catastrophic? Do you jump to conclusions? Do you mind read other people?
- Do you dwell on the past, telling yourself you should have done this or shouldn’t have done that?
- Do you isolate yourself from other people? It can happen easily if you’re not working, or you’re avoiding people because you’re depressed
- Do you tend to eat or sleep inconsistently?
- Do you think in extremes? For example – ‘I’m a loser’. ‘No one loves me’. ‘I’ll never get a job’
- Do your thoughts reflect reality as other people see it? Are you accused of being negative all the time?
- Do you make things too difficult to achieve? For example, if you are unemployed then setting yourself the goal of getting a job by the end of the week is probably unrealistic
- Have you stopped doing things you used to enjoy?
- Do you refuse to accept that you are depressed but beat yourself up about the way you feel? Do you think you are crazy or weak?
- Do you use negative language when you think about or talk to yourself? Do you treat yourself badly?
Well, how many did you recognize? When you think like this you are sabotaging your own well being. These unhelpful thinking styles demonstrate the ways you become adept at using negative self-hypnosis every day of your life.
In Part 5 of this blog on depression I will return to these thinking styles and offer suggestions to help you consider changing such unhelpful thinking and behaviour. If you are suffering with depression, please consider getting professional help.
If you are in the UK and need to talk to somebody as soon as possible:
Samaritans UK – 08457 90 90 90
Samaritans ROI – 1850 60 90 90
Your doctor can help refer you to a therapist or you can seek help directly. I specialize in working to help people overcome depression and anxiety and I’m based in #York. If you need some help I can be reached via my website at: www.mindmakeoveruk.com/contact.html