The Downward Cycle of Depression

When I work with people affected by depression or anxiety one of the first things we look at is their inner voice or self-talk. Some of these can be nasty. Maybe like a shoulder “Gremlin” – cranky, pessimistic and abusive. Or maybe a continuously dissatisfied, angry coach – Try harder! Why can’t you get that right? You’re never good enough!

People try to quiet these voices by focusing more on them. It’s as though their mind is trying to fix the unhappiness by thinking more about it. This rumination can lead to a downward spiral of depression and anxiety where people find themselves “stuck” and isolated – unable to see their own way out.

In our counselling sessions one way that we interrupt this cycle is through exercises that rework automatic responses to these inner critics. You can change what you feel by changing what you think!

Sometimes our minds also need to stop stop doing and just be! Mark Nepo supports this idea in today’s entry in “The Book of Awakening”: “Sometimes the simplest and best use of our will is to drop it all and just walk out from under everything that is covering us, even if only for an hour or so”

Do you take time to “walk out from under everything”?