One of the problems from my past was my need to worry about things. I worried about everything. Depression in particular incited me to worry about the past, the future and the now. I couldn’t escape the hold that it had on me.
All I needed to get the ball rolling was an event from my past for which I felt responsible and which I felt I had not sufficiently worried about. Not only did this thinking of this problem cause me a lot of pain, it also stimulated in me a low mood, pushing me deeper into that dark well of hopelessness.
“Somehow when I spend time worrying about whether or not I am loved or whether this or that awful thing will befall me, I spiral down into our familiar state of hopelessness and anxiety. Worry helps to keep me isolated from others as I need to know whether this or that calamity might happen to me. My guilt about what I have done in the past or perceived to have done, is incessantly forcing me to examine in detail my every fault and mistake.” Higher Thoughts for Down Days. July 20.
With worry, we tend to think that we can fix whatever we are worried about. But then when we begin ruminating about the matter at hand, we give more power to the cycling mind to go deeper into the quicksand of hopelessness and despair. Now our low mood begins to take its toll and sadness begins to deepen till our body is physically weakened and our mind gradually exhausts itself.
A solution that I have found helpful when worry gets the best of me is to initiate the LAW OF THE THREES. Basically what this amounts to is that when the worry and rumination begins its circling we imagine a Stop sign to halt the incessant negative thinking, and replace them with three thoughts which are upbeat and positive. Of course there is no magic in all of this, but just plain old persistence and keeping focused on the solution. I have also learned that when a negative thought pops into our minds, we usually have only about 3 seconds to dismiss it for what it is. We must take charge and immediately replace it with three positive thoughts which build us up and are not allowed to start spiraling us downward.
The best thing is to prepare ourselves for those times when thinking gets “stinking” and irrational. Most of these thoughts turn out to be catastrophic with dire predictions about our future. Practice of the Rule of theThrees Law can be the tool that will eventually free us from being dominated by thinking which is irrational and despairing. Even though the low mood begins to deepen into a state of depression, believe that you can stop the cycling with a STOP command and start thinking of positive thoughts, one after another.
Another solution which I have found to work is to tell yourself that your worry time is for only 20 minutes a day. You will also set that time at any point of the day that you choose. That’s all the worry time you will allow to take up your time. So worry all that you want. Twenty minutes. That’s all.
Be sure that you will have an activity to put your mind and energy toward when the 20 minutes is up. It is at this point that the mind will have to be reined in, because it has been conditioned to act like a “drunken monkey” and jumps from one thing to another.
These are just suggestions and I hope that you give them a try and see if they can work for you. They work for me. Takes practice and perseverance but it’s a tool that can work and can bring peace and serenity to your mind. Tell that monkey to take a leap!
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
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