Thinking Outside Your Self Therapy
I spent the day today with a life coaching client who battles endlessly with long bouts of depression, especially in the summer months when the sunshine is meant to make things look and feel better. Depression can put a negative twist on everything, including how we see ourselves and our future, which often for him seems hopeless and pointless. Mr X lets call him, had spent the past fortnight with his aging mother, helping her come to terms with the idea of moving from her home into a care home with severe dementia. For most of us managing this situation would be unimaginable, so think about the negative impact on someone already depressed.
Looking through the misty fog for a light at the end of the tunnel, means facing fear head on, as the only way out is through. Getting Mr X to step away and think outside himself, what he would feel if it wasn't his mother but a friends mother dilemma, made him think in a different more optimistic realistic way. She was nearly 95 and had enjoyed a full life. It is often much easier to lift moods, if you can learn to talk to yourself in a common sense, almost brutal way because of course we don't all have a life coach on tap at home to rely on.
Mr X is a work in progress and each time we meet he gets a step closer to stepping away from himself and looking at the whole picture from a clearer perspective. Balanced thinking is not about having happy thoughts because a depressed person is unable to go there, it's about seeing not just the pessimistic outcome but the optimistic one too. There is always that little voice inside your head battling with good and bad, negative and positive, right and wrong and it is that little voice which gives us more than one way to think so we have choices.
Talking to yourself is not a sign of madness but a free way to get yourself some therapy. Try it.
Photo by: Bruno Aguirre Unsplash