The other day I shared my experience with negative self-talk. Today I would like to tell you what I do in order to stop it and find peace again. Now, I understand, it can be hard to come out of the downward spiral, and it's often easier said than done. But may this post inspire you to start acting, because no change is possible without our active involvement in our wellbeing.
1. Do something that doesn't require complex thinking
When I find myself caught in negativity first thing I usually do is cleaning and organizing. I find it very therapeutic and something that really helps distract my brain from negativity as well as engage the reward system aka stimulate release of dopamine. I also enjoy cooking in times like this.
2. Go for a walk
I love me some nature. And honestly nature never fails me when it comes down to improving my mental health. Walking combines 3 benefits in one: distraction, physical activity, connection to nature. All these things help quiet the mind and come out of downward spiral.
You can also include some breathing exercises while you are walking if you find yourself overwhelmed by your thoughts.
It's not a secret, that when you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body, help eliminate pain and boost your mood. I know, that during depression-like state it's hard to make yourself exercise, that's why I personally try to at least do some walking. Let me be honest, I try to do something, to simply move my body. And it does help with that negative thinking process, believe me.
4. Be grateful
It's not easy to cultivate happy thoughts when we are sad, but it's possible. Try naming things you are grateful for. I am not saying it's the most important thing for me to do while I am feeling depressed, but it's definitely something that I incorporate while organizing, exercising or walking. If I have things to clean or organize that means I have a home, if I can exercise that means I have energy and healthy body to still do that, if I walk in nature I am grateful for every single thing. There is always something to be grateful for, but it does take a little bit of effort to see it.
5. Be patient
Depression isn't fun. Lack of desire to do anything can be extremely hard to endure, but I found that the more I get upset and impatient about it, the worse my condition becomes. Many of my negative thoughts come from self-judgement, lack of confidence and constant striving for progress and productivity, but honestly those things are brought on pedestal by our society. People these days are obsessed with success, but do they really find themselves happy being successful? It's a big important question. I am not saying that happiness does not depend on achievements but sometimes I think it's important to look at ourselves without that idea of a perfect person we aspire to be and see the real self without attachments to superficial goals we create for ourselves. We all need that break, and we all need that freedom.
Bad times come and go, but what stays is important. What we learn from those times of helplessness and despair is important. And sometimes it can be just simple: I have learnt to be patient with myself, I have learnt to trust my own timing. It happens a lot that after a week or even weeks of emotional slump, I wake up one morning and I can see the sun again.