It is so easy to ignore our thoughts. You know, the ones that keep streaming just below the surface of our awareness, subconscious gossip. These unnoticed thoughts result in feelings, beliefs and moods. Depression is one end result of repetitive negative thinking about ourselves.
Here’s one: “I’m so lonely, why isn’t my phone ringing, where are my friends, am I unlovable? Maybe I am, I’m such a loser, I’m so depressed.” This is an example of the cascade, as one thought links to the next, uninterrupted, ending in depression. Many different thought streams can end this same way.
Becoming aware of the contents of our “inner dialogue” is essential in the process of gaining control of our moods. Various methods of increasing awareness and slowing down our minds can help. Meditation is my favorite because it’s always accessible. We need only to sit quietly, even for just five minutes while focusing on our breath and observing our thoughts with a slight sense of detachment as they flow through our minds. As we come to see the sheer volume, speed and repetitiveness of our thoughts we discover the possibility of questioning the validity of them. Just because we think something doesn’t mean it’s true.
One technique to begin challenging our thoughts is to talk back to them from a different point of view. A debate of sorts. Going back to my original example, when we think we are unlovable we can stop and ask ourselves, “Is it true that I have never been loved by anyone ever? Not even a dog or cat?” When we take the time to contemplate this question, it is extremely likely that we will remember having been loved at one time or another. With that reflection we have disproven the thought, “I am unlovable.” If depression was fueled by that belief, it may begin to ease.
Talking with kind hearted friends and family members can provide us with a new perspective on ourselves. It can illuminate blind spots. Someone may perceive us as shy, not unlovable. They may remind us that we have not been reaching out to others or sharing our emotions. Perhaps we haven’t given others an opportunity to love us. In this case, making an effort to risk talking more about matters of the heart with receptive people will likely result in positive feedback. Hypnosis is a jump start on changing behaviors. Yes, it can help you overcome shyness, an excessive sense of self containment, or the fear of being rejected by others. Oftentimes, we learned in childhood to be overly concerned with displeasing others. This fear of self expression can eventually stifle our willingness to share our inner world.
Hypnosis can tap into the daring part of your personality that may have been long suppressed. Once the joy of sharing more, with the right people, becomes comfortable, the reality that you are lovable is fully felt. And depression that was based on this belief begins to dissolve.