Our thoughts play a big role in whether depression symptoms stick around or not, however it’s therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that also look toward increasing our activity and making changes to our daily behaviours to make that positive impact upon how we feel.
Here are 3 simple techniques to create quick and positive change to your mood, helping you to kick those depression symptoms into touch…
Find Your Balance
We all need a balance of work, rest and play, right? This worksheet (see resources) will help you to take a step back and do just that. When we’re feeling down and depressed it can be all too easy to slip into patterns of doing those essential tasks that just about keep us afloat, whilst those things that energize us tend to go by the wayside. Use the worksheet to become aware of those things that are ‘nourishing’ you and those that are ‘depleting’ you.
We may have to do some depleting activities and that’s ok, but ask yourself how you are perceiving them that makes them so depleting, can you see them differently so you can take action on them through a positive lens?
This is about bringing more awareness to what you’re doing or not doing that lifts you up or keeps you feeling low, and with that you can then aim for balance by making the desired changes that are right for you.
Small Steps Conquer Big Mountains
Even if it’s something that we know we like doing, any action or activity can seem heavy going when we’re feeling depressed, and everything can seem like a whole lot of effort.
The key action here is to break things down into smaller chunks so your mind doesn’t feel so overwhelmed with enormousness of a specific task. Take that first step and build the momentum from there. These little steps will soon add up no matter what activity or task you’re looking to conquer.
When you’re standing at the bottom of a mountain the only real and logical place you can begin is to take one step forwards, start there and repeat.
The 5 Minute Rule
So, you’ve chosen a nourishing activity and broken it down into smaller chunks and somehow, you’re still struggling to get moving with that first step. Sometimes our mind can take a little more persuasion or bargaining with to get us going. Here’s the trick…
JUST DO IT… FOR 5 MINUTES!
Whatever the task, the mind is still seeing it as overwhelming. Tackle this by making it seem smaller and creating an agreement with yourself to do it for just 5 minutes, and if you want to stop after those 5 minutes are up then you are free to do just that.
Suddenly, the task appears much less overwhelming and your mind has little excuse but to show little resistance to that highly reduced small effort now being presented.
This 5 minutes will also get the ball rolling and momentum swinging in your favour to continue, and maybe even complete the task you actually would like to get done.
So, become aware of your behaviour patterns and ask yourself if you’re doing enough of what nourishes you and makes you feel good. When an activity appears overwhelming break it down into smaller steps, and just get started, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.