I will probably always be a student when it comes to a way to combat negative emotions. I know I’ve written a few times about the different ways to fight when you’re down but I was told today that sometimes rewriting needs to be done. At least if not for y’all, for me.
I wanted to dig a little deeper than the sarcastic humor that I usually have because honestly there isn’t anything funny about mental illness. My purpose for my blog is to be transparent in the hopes of finding a way to help someone out there that may be going through the same things as I. With the transparency comes the very raw and emotional courage it has taken to admit that I have mental illnesses. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that negative feelings and emotions only happen for those who suffer anxiety and depression. Negative feelings are actually very common for us mortals to have. But, I’m simply saying, that with anxiety and depression sometimes the struggle to get over that hump is a little harder. You know?
I read today that 40 million adults – or 18%¹ of the adult population – suffer one way or another with anxiety. You know 18%, to me at least, seems like a really high number. Depression is at nearly 7%². And so often we don’t talk about it. But, what if we did? What if we actually took the time to help someone who suffers – often times quietly – with these illnesses? What if we could take their negative thoughts and help them to implode the thoughts into oblivion? I can tell you right now, I’m alive today because of people who helped me do just that. I’m winning these diseases because of them.
How did they help me? They dispelled my negative thoughts.
They taught me what is actually called reframing. Reframing techniques is essentially just ways to relook at your negative thoughts to prevent them from damaging your psyche. The below techniques are just some of the ways they helped.
Calling it like it is. They helped me recognize what I was feeling and helped me reword it in a positive manner. I’m going to fail at this because I can never do anything right turned into Michael Jordan failed so many times before he became what he is.
Let the thought float away. Quite literally. If you’re an imaginative person you look at your negative thought and place it on a log and watch it float down stream, away from you, away from everything good.
Reinforcing a Can Do. It’s about believing in yourself. Anyone out there watch Scandal? OPA has a thing where crap is hitting the fan and the Gladiator handles it. Just handles it. In the midst of uncertainty all they needed was someone to believe in them.
Grounded roots. There have been times when I was about to do something absolutely stupid. Suddenly my phone rings. Or there is a knock on the door. Or I receive a text. My loved ones always helped me to stay grounded and fall forward.
How can you help your loved one who suffers from a mental illness? Disrupt those negative thoughts. Heck, your loved one doesn’t have to have a mental illness for you to reach out and help them do that. Today, I am thankful for the fact that I have never given up. There may have been some really close calls, but by the grace of God and some amazing people I take another step every day. I promise you, you can be the light to someone out there.
You just need to go out there. xoxo