Low mood is experienced by many people but it affects some more than others. In cases it leads to diagnosis of clinical depression, for which doctors tend to prescribe medication.
There is often a stigma associated with taking anti depressants, often as great as accepting depression. It feels like a loss of control, a need to depend on a little pill to maintain a stable mood. But can you take that control back?
Evidence exists in the benefits of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), something that physicians recommend more and more. It gives people the tools to challenge inner thoughts and the actions that come with it. I’ll cover CBT on another post, addressing beliefs is a powerful tool allied to hypnotherapy.
However, you too can benefit from a simple technique that is used to challenge cynical thinking. When was the last time you recognised the things that made you feel good?
Writing down things that you’re grateful for cuts through negative thoughts very quickly. The article linked suggests creating a journal to record those actions or situations that made your day.
It doesn’t need to be difficult, or even very elaborate. I feel grateful every day I get a seat on the underground after a day’s work. I may not be more deserving than the person next to me but it starts my relaxation time, and improves my mood immediately.
Low mood is often a cycle that needs to be broken (I know I’m oversimplifying somehow here). Recognising the little things at the end of the day that you recognise as positive breaks that chain dragging you down.
You may be thinking “I’m not a teenager with a diary”, but think about it. What would you write today? Maybe it was sunny and warm when you left the house, you received a compliment for the way you styled your hair, or even had a particularly tasty meal. What did you feel making this mental list?
Lists can make you feel good
The only thing you need is a diary or a notebook you can write on each day. Something to keep and look back in those days that feel a bit darker. If you think you’ll struggle with ideas on how to do this, maybe use a dedicated journal with prompts how to write about. This is my personal favourite as it has short quotes that are not the usual patronising we can sometimes find when researching this topic.
What’s important is to do this often. Make it part of your daily routine, doesn’t need more than 5 minutes each evening, and will set you up for a much better night sleep. Acting on your negative outlook may not address all your problems, may it certainly helps seeing your life in a different light.