Depression: Fear of the Past
Depression is feelings of severe despondency, rejection and despair which negatively affect your thoughts, moods and actions. It can be caused by past loss, trauma, relationship breakdown and various other stressful life events.
Some of the symptoms of depression are feeling empty, helpless, hopeless and/or worthless. It is also characterised by irritability, loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, feeling tired and lacklustre with zero energy, trouble concentrating, feeling overwhelmed by even the smallest of decisions, changes in sleep (insomnia or sleeping too much) and appetite (eating too much or too little) as well as body aches and pains.
Your thoughts around events have a specific impact on how you perceive your world and can lead to or worsen depression. Changing your thoughts requires examining the belief systems around them.
So what are some of the most common self-limiting beliefs that contribute to distorted thinking and exacerbate depression?
- Assumptions – My boss is angry, I must have done something wrong
- Shoulds – I should be happy and not depressed
- Expectations – life is unfair, why do these things happen to me?
- All or nothing thinking – I have to be the best, if not I am a complete failure
- Overgeneralising – No one likes me
- Labelling – I am so useless and pathetic
- Dwelling on the Negative and Rejecting the Positive – the lamb is burnt so the meal is ruined … perhaps the veggies are just fine?
- Comparing Yourself to Others – Mary has such a successful career and I’m just a stay at home mom
- Catastrophising – oh no I missed the meeting, now I’m going to get fired
- Taking things personally – It must be my fault
When we believe these distortions and take them as truth we become depressed. When we examine our patterns, challenge our thought processes and let go of false limiting beliefs then we are able to think, feel and act differently and more positively as depression lifts.
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Author – Louanne Smith