Yup. It’s that time of year again when you hear about the “Seasonal Blues”, and I am no different. I get these wonderful downers just like so many others… the only problem?
They come on top of my depression. I need to “bite the bullet” and buy one of those lamps to up my sunshine quota I should be getting, especially since I work during the moon-lite hours of the day. But, like so many other things…. I just haven’t. I don’t really want to put the money out for a seasonal issue, even if I should.
So…. How am I working on not letting these negative thoughts take hold?
Happify to the Rescue!
Yes, I still use this wonderful App/Website after all these years.
My current track I’m working on is Conquer Your Negative Thoughts – Part 2: Examine Your Negative Thinking. I have 7 days left to complete the last of the activities in it and I thought I’d share a couple of the things I’m going to be working on.
- Put a Stop to it: Avoid Overthinking
This activity wants me to put a stop to the negativity, literally. I’m supposed to imagine a big red stop sign every time a negative thought enters, or starts to bubble up in, my mind.
It’s about making myself focus on the “hear and now” instead of what has happened and what might happen in the future. This helps to focus the mind and reduces the anxiety/stress levels. It forces a presence of mindfulness that tends to disappear during this time of year. There is valid science behind this idea and is actually a tool used by many therapists/counselors in their practices.
- A for Attempt: I think I can
This one actually will go hand-in-hand with something that my work recently talked about in our weekly staff meeting. Tackling something I’ve been avoiding.
While this activity says that it doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail, I know I will succeed at it this week because I have a bonus incentive to do so, but what’s key to this activity is that I’m tackling avoidance. Powering past the feelings of overwhelm and starting to chip away at the unthinkable/unknown.
In short… taking action.
- Trading Places: Walking in their Shoes
The idea here is to imagine yourself in someone else’s place… or they in your’s, and find a new way of looking at your situation.
I’m supposed to find someone who, in my eyes, has it worse than I do. By doing this I should be able to find my own situation better than it was, or even not bad at all. Supposedly shutting down the negative thoughts by figuring out how they would think/act/feel in my situation. Problem solving… with empathy.
For many, this may help…. I’m not sure it will in my situation as I tend to already be pretty empathetic and feel worse when I can’t help someone. I’m willing to give it a try though.
- From a Distance: Avoid Overthinking
This one is very similar to the “Giant Stop Sign” I’m supposed to imagine from the first activity, but this activity is more schooled towards those times that you can’t seem to stop the thoughts outright. With this activity I’m supposed to imagine the pessimistic thoughts in the voice of a cartoon character, think Porky Pig or Betty Boop. It’s kinda hard not to chuckle, right?
Should that fail, I’m supposed to try a little visual exercise that I’ve done a few times… only as a more hands-on…literal type deal.
They want me to imagine the negative thoughts floating away into the sky like clouds…. never to be seen again. I’ve done this by writing them down and then sending them up in smoke. (Their way is safer, and probably better.)
- My Victorious Self
(This one is a quiz.)
I’ll have to let you know how it went with this track in a week, but I suspect it will be another successful outcome. I just have to keep working on using my tools and keeping the “dark clouds” at bay.
Easier said than done, I know…. Trust me, I know.