How to Fight Negative Thoughts, With The Power of Why
The other day, I was sitting with my therapist, as most of us do; and she proposed a rather interesting question.
You probably thought the old fashioned “…and how does that make you feel” stereotype was coming, but this question poses a drastically different approach. The main reason this question is so important, my therapist says, is because it allows us to challenge our negative thoughts. It does this by letting us fully explore the thoughts rather than accepting them as truth without rebuttal.
if I were to have a thought that states I am worthless, I ask that thought why. Why am I worthless, because reason x, I ask why again. Why is reason x true, well because y. You get where I’m going here. You continuously challenge your own thoughts and accepting nothing as true. While this can also apply to good thoughts, I recommend using this only against the bad thoughts to improve your mood.
The problem here,
for most of us, is differentiating our thoughts and separating them into categories. When you’re really deep in your mental illness, the bad thoughts can appear to be certain truths. So automatically the first step in this process is to be able to identify negative thoughts, and be able to process them as such.
It is no small task,
that I understand, but it works wonders on helping boost mood, and improve thought processes. If you’ve have any experience in it, you’ll probably recognize this technique as one of many that fall under the umbrella term of Mindfulness. While I myself am not a fan of mindfulness, because my brain seems to work on its own in spite of me, I recognize the benefits that it holds. I have even used this Why technique to much success, but eventually abandoned it as I do most treatments.
Enough is enough,
I’m sticking with this treatment plan, and giving it my all to become well again. Once you’ve gotten a grasp on the base concept, the final step is to train your brain to question itself automatically. This can take months depending on your determination, but don’t give up hope. With the right treatment, we all have the hope to be able to get better, maybe not cured, but be allowed to live our lives again, on our own terms.As always,Wolfgang
Photo Credit: Unsplash: Jeremy Bishop