“If you don’t go into the darkness, you can’t see the beauty that lies there.”
– Chris Hadfield, Astronaut
– Chris Hadfield, Astronaut
Possibility – More Powerful than Depression
When you are depressed, your mind sees no possibilities. You feel stuck with no change in sight.
Depression is brilliant—It is an amazing example of “we are what we think.”
When we are depressed our thoughts consist of things like “nothing will help,” “it’s useless” and, “I can’t do it.” These thoughts get stronger when well-meaning people give suggestion on how to stop being depressed. Right?
Of course, I have a suggestion. Let me rephrase…let’s look at another possibility.
Depression is one-track thinking, and that track is “nothing will make any difference to my life.” Depression HATES options.
Thoughts are patterns of neural pathways. When we are depressed, our neural pathways are constricted to repetitive, limiting thoughts. Change your thoughts and you change your neural pathways. Change your neural pathways and you change your depression.
Here is an exercise to do just that. At least 5 times a day, think of three possibilities for how to something, anything, might happen.
For instance, to get out of bed you could get out your normal side, skootch over to the other side to get out, or you can do a cartwheel off the bed.
Clearly, all the possibilities don’t have to be boring, or even likely. The point is, stretch your thoughts, your neural pathways. DON’T GO ON TO ASSESS THE FEASIBILITY…JUST THINK OF THE POSSIBILITIES. If you practice this, after a couple days your mind will start to consider other options, automatically.
I just started this practice a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend, I was sitting at my desk answering e-mails. My lamp, for the zillionth time, fell off my desk. It has been doing this for years. It is top-heavy with 3 little wire legs and it easily tips. As I was, once again, picking up this endlessly annoying lamp I was struck with the thought “you could get a new lamp.” Brilliant! I could just buy a new lamp!
I realize some of you are thinking “Really? Jane thinks this is brilliant?” We all have our blind spots; getting rid of something that still works is one of mine. Le sigh…
The fact that possibilities exist is antithetical to depression.
If you think non-depression-sanctioned thoughts, you give yourself more perceived options. As you have more perceived options, depression has less power to limit your thoughts. The less limited your thoughts, the less depressed you become.
Ergo, possibility is more powerful than depression.
Even if you aren’t depressed try the 3-possibilities exercise. It will increase your creativity (at least in thoughts) I promise.
Thanks to Elizabeth Purvis, http://elizabethpurvis.com/ for bringing the 3-possibilities exercise to my attention.
Jane signing off, by the light of my new lamp.