In our earlier blogs, we discussed both the symptoms of depression, and how to begin stopping them in their tracks (if you have not yet read these series, please go back and find the entries 1-4). We left off discussing how you must replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.
Winston Churchill described his bouts with depression as The Black Dog. Indeed, times struggling with depression (or being too tired to even struggle) can feel like having a large, stalking, relentless and noisy companion. Interestingly enough, in fact, it often helps to name your depression, as Winston Churchill once did. Try doing this, if only to know that when you are experiencing these thoughts and emotions they do not represent truth. Those thoughts are just your depression talking. And like we’ve already discussed in previous blogs, we must not believe everything we think.
Armed with this perspective, as well as your friends’ help and perspective, and your journaling, you will begin the path to clearing up your point of view. You need to take these very negative thoughts, and turn them around.
For instance, part of your depression may because you are having trouble finding a job immediately. When analyzing the situation, do not be too hard or too lenient with yourself. Yes, you are still looking for a job, but you also have served and protected your country for a long period of time—facing hardships hardly any civilian knows about. You still have your family and friends who support you, and know there is a community that is grateful for you. You have gained maturity and wisdom that will help you down the line, and stories to tell for all future generations. You are still a remarkable person. You are dealing with this hardship, and looking for agencies and people to help, and you will move forward.
It all begins, as discussed earlier, with taking small steps. When in the midst of your depression, work on doing one thing at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow or what you “should” be doing. Focus on the one task in front of you, and no matter how simple it may seem, congratulate yourself for having the courage to step forward, and grow. You will get to your destination, and out of depression, one small step at a time.
HH4Heroes Depression Diffusion Interactive Strategy #5
Change your mind, change your world. Negative thoughts and emotions are not just mood dampeners; they also affect our brain chemistry causing the hormone cortisol to be released into it. Prolonged and high doses of cortisol shrink the part of our brain associated with emotions and memories and can lead to greater negative thinking. One way of managing negative thoughts is to reframe them into something positive each and every time one crops up. For the next week be mindful of your negative thoughts as they arise and ask yourself to find the bright side or silver lining in each event. Another way to reframe is to ask yourself how your best friend or a trusted mentor might view your situation. The idea is to intentionally transform the negative emotion into a positive one through practice.
We will discuss more ways of healing in our following blogs.
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at email@example.com and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
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Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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