As one of the most common mental health challenges in today’s world, depression is becoming a daily struggle for more and more children and adults every year. One of the most troubling aspects of a life with depression is the development of a vicious cycle between thoughts and behaviors. As a person falls deeper into a state of depression, negative thoughts become more and more commonplace.
Current research suggests that individuals who are suffering from depression have a tendency to suppress or even reject feelings of positivity through thoughts such as “this happiness isn’t going to last” or “things will never get any better” regardless of their circumstances. From a professional’s standpoint, this type of behavior has been given the term dampening, which refers to a type of defensive mechanism that stems from a need to protect against potential disappointment or false hope.
For those suffering from depression or overwhelmed by negative thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (known as CBT) can be a powerful tool used by professional counselors like Christie Jones. By breaking negative thought cycles, CBT can be used to guide individuals towards a healthier, happier outlook on situations that can, in turn, support recovery.
Regular CBT sessions, combined with frequent self-practice, has been shown to help individuals identify and even overcome negative thought and behavior patterns. By working to remove these harmful traits, significant steps towards depression recovery can be achieved.
To help people in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area who are looking for ways to deal with their ongoing depression, here are several helpful cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that can be utilized to begin the path towards a healthier outlook on life that is no longer governed by negative thoughts and depression behavioral patterns.
Recognize a Problem and Engage in Brainstorming
One of the most important steps on the journey towards recovery is learning to recognize a problem. Recording behaviors or mental perspectives in a journal at home and then discussing these entries with your therapist can be an important asset. Open analysis of regular behavior patterns can be a great way to discuss and confront the root of your depression. If you are facing a moment of negative thinking or strong depressive feelings, take the time to write out what is going through your mind, and if possible, write out the ways in which you think these worries could be improved.
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with depression is the feeling that life will never improve, and that nothing will ever change. By taking the time to think about, and write about, the possible ways that these negative feelings could be overcome, those same emotions can be eased.
Write Down Statements of Positivity
After identifying the roots of a concern, or gaining a deeper understanding of the feelings which stimulate your negative thought patterns, another helpful exercise is to write out a positive reaction to every negative thought. By creating a counterbalance to each concept that is dampening your mental state, you can make a powerful step towards a renewed positive outlook. Statements such as “I deserve to have a pleasant day” can replace “my day will probably be terrible” to gain a fresh perspective on the future.
Once you have developed a list of these positive statements, share them with your therapist, and practice them at home until they are fully committed to memory. Once you can visualize these statements at any given moment, they will develop into a new relationship within your mind that can effectively replace your old, harmful thoughts.
Look for Opportunities to Transform Negatives
If you have developed a habit of reacting to things negatively, then it is important to begin working on retraining your brain to view things positively. Instead of instantly expressing dislike, displeasure, or negativity towards something new, make it an activity to find positive things to say instead. For some people, it may be helpful to develop a partnership with another person who is also struggling with depression so that you can help one another to change perspective and retrain your thought processes together.
Maintain an Objective View of Disappointments
Unfortunately, being disappointed is an unavoidable part of life for every person. Life can be both exciting and frustrating, and choosing to view situations in a healthy, positive way at all times can feel extremely challenging. A person’s reaction to various disappointing situations can play a large role in how quickly they can overcome these feelings and move forward in a positive, constructive way.
Work with a Trained Professional to Make Lasting Changes
One of the most difficult challenges that people who are living with depression face in their daily lives is the struggle to find support and understanding from their peers and loved ones. Instead of struggling to develop a level of understanding between yourself and others who may not be able to share the experiences and difficulties you are going through, working with a skilled professional is one of the most effective ways to enact lasting, positive changes.
As an experienced counselor with the knowledge and training needed to guide individuals through a variety of mental health concerns, Christie Jones is dedicated to her mission of providing compassionate support for people who are coping with depression in their daily lives. If you are struggling with depression and negative thoughts in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area then now is the right time to reach out to schedule an initial consultation to find out if Christie Jones is the right therapist for your needs.