Thursday, 4 August 2011

Focusing on the good things.

I do love my hats!
I’ve been reflecting on just how much progress I’ve made in the last 6 months. From a place where I couldn’t imagine being ‘ok’ again, never mind happy or excited, I now find myself feeling both of those emotions.

I think that’s twice as impressive in the light of my redundancy.

One of the things I’ve learned is not to trivialise the good things in life. In the past, I might have said something like, ‘That was a dreadful day,’ which would naturally make anyone feel pretty down if it was true. But that statement would ignore a good conversation with a friend at lunch time, or even the very fact that I’d ‘survived’ the day; I’d managed. Some days, that in itself is no mean feat! And so, it wasn’t an entirely dreadful day – it had some good points.  

And that might be enough to make anyone feel a little better. (For the record, today hasn’t been a dreadful day at all!) Applying this practice to any situation can really improve … everything, I think. 

I’m someone who used to always focus on the negative – ‘I’m not a good guitarist,’ or, ‘My hair is falling out’. Both of those things may well be true and, if I dwell on them, they might make me feel low, or lack confidence. 

Instead, how about thinking, ‘I can play guitar,’ and, ‘I like my new, shorter hairstyle,’ or even, ‘I look good in a hat’! The statements are just as true, and make me feel better about myself, so why not dwell on those instead?

I’m lucky to have a good GP, and I’m sure my anti-depressant medication helps me by redressing an undoubted underlying chemical problem, but there’s still the work to do to develop better thought patterns. 

So I guess my point is: don’t forget the good things, however small. And remember where you’ve come from. If you suffer with Depression, you may have come through a difficult time in the past – celebrate and remember that you made it. And remember how you made it as well, just in case it happens again!

And if you’re in a difficult period now, then I feel for you. I hope it hasn’t always been that way and, if there were indeed good times in the past, who knows? There could be good times again in the future, even if we can’t imagine them. You never know.

I know I couldn’t imagine it 6 months ago, yet here I am.

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