Coping

Cerebrum logo head with cogs inWe all have negative thoughts from time to time, and therefore, it is important to learn how to cope with thoughts that are upsetting. The key to them not overwhelming us or commandeering our mood is to manage negative thoughts properly.

How we evaluate and think about ourselves, other people, and events can have a major impact on our mood. For example, let’s say you commonly have the thought, “I will always be depressed.” Whenever this thought pops into your head, you likely start to feel sad and down. The reverse is also true. If you are feeling anxious and scared, you are more likely to have thoughts that are consistent with that mood.

Given this, it is important to pay attention to our thoughts and how they might be influencing our mood. Often times, our thoughts simply occur out of habit (that is, because we have had similar thoughts in the past), and not because they are actually reflecting truth. For example, in regard to the thought, “I will always be depressed,” it is highly unlikely that you will always be depressed. Depression does not last forever and, even if you experience multiple episodes of depression, there will be times when you are feeling better.

Even though this thought may feel true, in reality, it is not. Believing that it is, however, can negatively impact your mood, putting you at risk for a severe depression or worse. Therefore, it is important to learn how to identify unhealthy behaviors and address them before they affect your mood.

[source:http://ptsd.about.com/od/selfhelp/a/Thoughts.htm]

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