Monday, 16 January 2012

Bumpy roads!

I don’t know how many of you sometimes actually feel that you want to be depressed, or angry or otherwise in a bad mood when it starts coming on... The oxymoronic thing about depression is that, though one may want to feel better or good, thoughts and moods are like water – they travel and follow the easiest path. If you have spent many years thinking and feeling particular ways, then it is likely that in times of stress, or just in general, you will continue to think that way.

As an example, imagine a crevice slowly etched over the years into rock by a river or quick-moving stream. Your thoughts are like that water, gradually finding the softest and most malleable parts of the rock substrate. Eventually, a path is formed and the water will travel that easiest and least-resistant way.

This is also why when you are trying to fight these long-engrained habits that you find it difficult – imagine trying to make that water travel over the raised parts of the rock, it’s just not possible (because it’s water!) but we are lucky that as humans we have control over our reactions, if not some over our moods as well.

What do I want you to take from this?

On the road of life (because that’s what this is) we are going to encounter days and times when we are not on the top of our game or moods. Accept it, and try to learn from the situation that you find yourself in. Be easier on yourself when you are feeling low. Reach out if you are finding you need someone to talk to. And remember that it doesn’t mean you have failed just because you have hit one bump. Think about the drive to work (or my one-hour drive to work!) and how many bumps you must hit on the way! Can you remember exactly where they are? I am sure you notice them while actually driving, but in moments you have forgotten them. Just as with those bumps, you will eventually forget these mood-bumps, so don’t worry about them affecting your future. Likely no one else will notice either.

So, accept your mood today. Understand that it doesn’t change you as a person, and that it is transient and that you have the ability to modify your reactions to situations as they occur. It can also help to track your moods and thoughts in your journal. Work on the moment – cope with your symptoms as they arise, and focus on the positive things in your life. This will help you dig a way out of a hole if you find yourself slipping down.

                                                            Conquer on!

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