When considering do it yourself depression and anxiety treatments remember - Right Action Equals Right Outcome.
Challenging depression, stress and anxiety problems requires a vigilant determined attitude.
The problem, in any situation where you want to change something is that you need to find enough opportunities to exercise the change mechanisms.
Imagine you wanted to improve on any game, but let’s choose golf for the moment. If you want to improve, you have to get out there on the green and practice. Both in actual games, which are probably more pressured situations, and on the practice pitch. Moreover you have to practice all of the different shots you may use, such as a drive, a pitch or a put. It is further complicated by having to practice with all of the different clubs in your bag. This scenario can be expanded to include any skilled activity from learning to write as a child, through to driving a car or flying a plane.
Human relationships are are a further category where practice is likely to be important. Most people go through a series of girlfriends and/or boyfriends before they find someone they can live with for the longer term.
Of course relationships do break down, often because people change but also the world changes us in many ways that are hard to see. If you are fortunate, and you approach the whole enterprise with a sense of adventure, you acquire the necessary practice in relationships when you are young and overall it does not cause too much trouble to you and your family.
Depression and low mood are very serious problems.
Active Self Help for Depression and Anxiety
With my Active Self Help for depression and anxiety approach the emphasis is that you have all of the resources to adequately treat and cure yourself, but you may not have the resourcefulness to do it.
Really you may not know what to do nor how to do it. This is where the vast quantity of opportunity that the world constantly throws at you plays its part.
You need opportunities to practice being different in the world to get really good at it.
Imagine if you would one of those old computer games where your cursor which looks like a small basket is at the bottom on the screen and bricks are constantly falling from the top of the screen. To be good at the game all you have to do is to catch as many bricks as you can with your basket cursor. Well I see opportunities for changing your life as those bricks.
Let me complicate the game a little more. The bricks are evil and you only destroy them by catching them. If you don’t catch them they go onto destroy your town, region and eventually your country then they go onto destroy your town, region and eventually your country then the world.
You have to catch the bricks to survive!
Now let us change those bricks into negative thoughts.
Each negative thought that escapes capture destroys a little more of you, your life and eventually your world. There is now a sad part, but it is changeable. The world offers you, and always has, many many opportunities every day to catch those bricks and stop them destroying you.
Did you know you were even playing this game?
Who told you there even was a game anyway?
It is similar to the halting stop start series of relationships many people have before they settle down, if they do. Who helped you with that...cyour peers were equally confused and yes you may have been able to talk about some stuff with them but probably not the really deep stuff about how you felt about yourself.
I am prepared to bet that you kept that deep inside. Probably because you felt a real need to protect yourself from hurt. It seems incredibly that we managed at all. All stumbling around in a process that is largely hidden and silent, it is a good job that it was also fun at times.
You are in this game, whether you recognise it or not.
Try this exercise...
Every day negative self destructive thoughts flow in a constant stream to attack your mood and sense of security and safety. If you find that hard to believe, simply take one hour of your normal day and put a mark on a slip of paper every time you think or feel or say anything negative about yourself.
I have had clients do this exercise and while it is hard to keep focused for an hour it is do-able. What I have found is that people seem able to recognise an average of between 3 – 7 negative events in that hour; (let us decide on 4 average per hour) Of course you will only ever recognise the conscious events not those that slip under the radar of your awareness. If you think about the waking day as 16 hours that gives 64 bricks that go through each day. This yields 448 bricks for the entire week.
This month is 1,792 and the year is 21,504.
Now I hope you can see two things.
First, I hope you can see why these negative thought bricks destroy you, your life and your world.
Secondly, I hope you will see that the world also provides masses of opportunities to change your life for the better. Remember, it is only the bricks that get through that destroy you.
Those you catch are defeated. They are rendered useless.
Catch it... Challenge it... Change it
I have coined the term: Catch it ...challenge it...change it
This is tool is one of the very useful do it yourself depression and anxiety treatments that you can use to deal with the bricks.
Every time you recognise a negative thought, catch it, challenge it for truth and accuracy (not how you feel, that is no guide at all) and change it. Make every negative thought account for itself. Every one you catch that you previously would have missed is a success.
Depression is what missing a lot of bricks brings you.
Catch the bricks and change things for the better.
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