There is this method some psychologists try to use to help their clients go over difficult times. When we have difficult times, we feel like sh*t. We want to do nothing, we want to see no one, and all we want is to be left alone. We are grounded by our state which makes things harder. In these situations, we cannot see any ways to do the things we really want to do. We feel like we don’t have enough strength.
Whenever things get tough, it is recommended for us to remember situations in which our problems just weren’t there. For example, for a depressed person it is recommended to remember a situation when he/she didn’t feel that depressed (maybe not depressed at all) and to see in what ways that situation was special. Also, depressed people are asked to imagine how they would behave it they weren’t depressed in a very specific way. For instance, a depressed person might say that he/she would go out with friends each Friday night if the depression wasn’t there. Or that he/she would go to the park each Sunday. Or that he/she would go jogging. When these situations are identified, it is prescribed as “homework” to do those things. Not all of them at once because it might be overwhelming, but at least one per week. He/she should act as if the problem wasn’t there.
The main explanation here is that when such a task it is done, it should boost the confidence in the own self. Also, it is a proof that the problem can be overcome and that there is enough strength within us to overcome any obstacle, even though it is so hard. Once an example has been made, we can use it as a reminder that we can do it even though we think that we can’t.
I know that in theory it sounds very nice and that in real life is so much harder, I still believe it can be done. The issue is that once the automatic thought “I can’t” comes in, we’ll going to feel sad, anxious and weak. I believe that all our thoughts are just theories that need to be tested so the thought “I can’t” needs to be tested as well. Whenever that comes into our minds, we could counter it with “Ok, now I think I can’t, but let’s test that. I was wrong before in my life so maybe I’m wrong now also. I have to try it first so I can know for sure.” Also, once we test that thought, we should do it in proper conditions. Just as if it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m saying this because we’re so good at sabotaging ourselves that we might unconsciously do things to prove that the automatic thought is right. It’s a tricky situation.
What thoughts you have that you need to counter?