how to help beat depression by the things you tell yourself

Discussion in 'Strategies for Success' started by Liquid Jello, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Liquid Jello

    Liquid Jello Well-Known Member

    of the many techniques I've tried in battling major depression and anxiety, "positive 'self-talk'" has been one of the most helpful. when I've totally crashed (and can't get out of bed), I tell myself,"lift off the covers; you can do it..." and when that's been accomplished, I'll tell myself, "good job." on the face of it, this may sound absurd, but breaking tasks down into the smallest pieces and then "reinforcing" them with a positive statement, has little by little gotten me out of bed, gotten me something to eat for breakfast, and even gotten me to brush my teeth. as another example, I "reward" myself with a positive comment simply for sitting up in bed, and then as well for eventually standing. when one is so utterly overwhelmed and the smallest thing carries such a heavy weight, sometimes doing things by piecemeal, is about the only way to get anything done at all. (and, sometimes the "positive 'self-talk'" seems to work best if I say it to myself out loud, as if hearing it spoken, gives it greater impact.)

    also, I find self-talk extremely important in regards to internal comments that I make to myself and how that can affect my mood. telling myself, "things will never get better," leads me to feel quite differently than if I frame things instead by saying, "things are really tough right now." instead of telling myself that I can't do anything (even if I am "feeling" that way), in the long run things go better if I tell myself instead, "right now, I'm not able to get as much done as I'd like to, or as I have previously been able to do in the past."

    and finally, amazingly enough, I seemed to have overcome the long-standing hypervigilance that has been a way of life for me since early childhood (due to severe childhood trauma/abuse). by repeating over and over, as if it were my mantra, I would say to myself, "it's okay to do ordinary things" (and that doing so will not lead to any harm.) it took a month or two of repeatedly telling myself this, but eventually I felt a major "shift" in my mindset and my anxiety level and fear with regard to the "never knowing when the next hand might strike" (which was a constant feeling for me as a child).

    so for a month-and-a-half now, I've been doing and feeling remarkably well, with the depression and anxiety both being in remission. and if I should notice a down mood start to return, once again I start telling myself something positive, reinforcing, and/or even comforting. ultimately, being aware of and altering the things I tell myself, has perhaps been one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
    AlexiMarie7 likes this.
  2. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    Nothing like a positive mental attitude... :)

    Keep up the good work chuck - its clearly helping.
  3. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    It is a great approach - and the fact is we all use self talk - we decide whether to tell ourselves the positives like you choose to do or the negatives that are easy and flow so simply and just keep repeating. I am glad you have discovered how to use it as a positive instead of continually echoing the negative (which is just as effective at pushing one further into depression and used so often by so many). First we have to admit that it is a choice whether we say the positives or the negatives - then we need to follow through and actually use it appropriately. Thanks for sharing this.
  4. Unknown_111

    Unknown_111 Forum Buddy Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Great Approach to beat depression but I think the best approach is a strict fitness regime. The strict fitness regime works for me as it helps me to keep a positive approach to life.
  5. texaskitty

    texaskitty SF Cat Lady Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    This is actually something my therapist has tried to get me to do for years. She calls it "reframing". Taking the situation and looking at it differently. I really think you are on to something here Chuck. I too was abused in childhood. And I tend to say negative things to myself. I am better at fighting it with positive things, but I get in slumps where the positive is few and far between. This may be the nature of Bipolar Disorder I don't know. But I do know when I am kind to myself I do much better. Thanks for taking the time to post this Chuck.