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Handling Depression

Posted by Gary Labels:

I found a paper today in the jumble on my desk that I got long ago during counseling. It's called "How to Love Yourself." If you're tagged in this, it means that as a human being you endure stress and I want to share with you some ways of handling it. It's specifically geared towards handling depression, but it works for anyone.

1. Stop all criticism: Simply refuse to criticize yourself. Everybody changes, but criticism never changes anything.
2. Don't scare yourself: Living in terror of your own thoughts is a dreadful way to live. When you feel scary thoughts coming on, have a mental image ready that gives you pleasure and switch to that.
3. Be gentle, kind, and patient: Go easy on yourself as you learn new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would treat someone you really love.
4. Be kind to your mind: Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don't hate yourself for your thoughts. Instead, gently change your thoughts.
5. Praise yourself: Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
6. Support yourself: Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. When you need help and ask for it, you are being strong.
7. Be loving to your negatives: Acknowledge that you created negative patterns in the past to fill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. Lovingly release those old negative patterns.
8. Take care of your body: Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
9. Do mirror work: Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself as you look into the mirror. Talk to anyone you feel resentful towards as you look in the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day say "I love you. I really love you."
10. LOVE YOURSELF! DO IT NOW! Don't wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job, or the new relationship. Begin now and do the best you can.

Another paper called "Constructive Thinking"
Thought Stopping
1. I am not going to think about that.
2. Visualize clicking "delete."
3. Visualize "bookmarking" it and come back to it later.
4. Say "out" or "not right now" to every negative thought that comes to mind.

Thought Substitution
1. I am going to think about something that is calming
2. I am strong.
3. I am capable.

Debating, Disputing, and Challenging Your thoughts
1. Where is the evidence?
2. Is this thought really valid?
3. How does this thought/belief serve my best interests?

Coping Statements
1. This too shall pass.
2. It's hard, but not too hard.
3. I can cope with this.
4. I am working on my problems.
5. I am doing the best I can.

Positive Affirmations
1. I am a good person.
2. I accept myself.
3. I am growing stronger by facing my fears and pain.

Review of Goals
1. I want to feel better; that is my goal.
2. I want to think more positively about myself.
3. I will keep my focus on my goals rather than the obstacles.

1. I can learn from this experience.
2. Tolerating and handling this calmly will make me stronger.
3. Don't take myself so seriously.

Guided Imagery
1. Imagine myself feeling and thinking differently.
2. I can respond to someone in a different, more rational manner.
3. Imagine myself in a situation that makes me feel good.