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Overcome depression by healing bad memories and thinking positively

Frank Healy Licensed Professional Counselor, Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory Associates For Life Enhancement
Overcome depression by healing bad memories and thinking positively

Depression is often caused by the lingering effects of negative memories. In this article, you will be given tools to help you identify which memories are unresolved and how you can use simple thinking tools to heal your depression.


Do

Do heal your depression by resolving your memories

For many people who are plagued with depression, they can resolve it by discovering the memories that led to the beliefs that caused the depression. Depression is caused by a series of thoughts that life is no good and it will not get any better. The first step is to get old pictures, talk to people about your past, and write every memory that was hurtful or disappointing to you. Include positive memories so that you the exercise does not become too depressing.

Do visualize a negative memory and a positive

Close your eyes and visualize a positive memory that you retrieved from the first exercise. Spend at least fifteen minutes dwelling on the memory, until you are feeling good. Then visualize the negative memory for five to ten minutes, then switch back to the positive memory. When you are finished you will probably not feel so depressed about the memory. Do this for each memory over the course of a few days.

Do write the beliefs that you have from the memories

When you are depressed, you probably have developed many beliefs such as “Nothing is good in my life”,”People are disappointing”, “Good things only happen to other people.” Write the beliefs that you have from the positive as well as the negative memory. Compare the beliefs and see if any beliefs from the positive memory contradict the belief from the negative. For example, “Nothing good ever happens to me.” Then you have a belief from the positive experience that you did have a good thing happen. This dissolves the belief that nothing good happens.

Do adapt useful beliefs despite the evidence

Most of us base our beliefs on our past experience. However, you can adapt some beliefs to contradict the evidence. For example: “I have not tried everything to make my life work.” “I can learn how to have better experiences and accomplish more.” “What I did in the past has nothing to do with what I will do in the future.” You can be one of the lucky people who can decide what beliefs you will adapt despite the evidence.

Do decide to learn from the memories of your past mistakes

One useful belief to adapt is that every experience and memory can teach you something. If you had a painful romantic breakup you could decide to do your next relationship differently, or enjoy being single for a while. If you lose your job you can view it as an opportunity to reevaluate your career choices or to learn how to do the type of job better. When you see every memory and experience as learning ,you will never be depressed or see life as hopeless again.


Don't

Do not dwell on the negatives when you recall your memories

When you are doing the visualization exercise, don’t dwell on the negative memory longer than the positive. This will keep you depressed and possibly make you more depressed. The idea is to overpower the depression with good feelings.

Do not forget that realistic is not the same as negative

Some people who are negative, pessimistic, and get depressed pride themselves on being realistic. Realism must include belief in the possibility of a good outcome.

Do not believe everything that you were told about yourself

People who criticize you or have criticized you did it for their own reasons. Some of the reasons people criticize include to bolster their own ego by making others seem inferior, to make sense of their world, and to control others. Perhaps a boss criticized you because they perceived you as a threat to their position. A useful belief to adapt might be that you will only know if you are good at something if you have practiced and learned it.

Do not believe that you are a victim and will always be abused if you have memories of abuse

There are three categories of abuse that people endure. Physical abuse includes any unwanted touch. Emotional abuse includes yelling, verbal attacks, name calling, unwanted sarcasm as well as neglect. It can be simple thing as a waitress not making eye contact or as severe as parents not bathing or feeding a small child. Sexual abuse is any form of sexual contact that is unwanted. If you have memories of these abuses you do not have to continue to see yourself as a victim. You can learn to trust people who earn your trust. You can only let people in who treat you with respect.

Do not ever feel that life is hopeless

There is always something that you can feel good about. The best thing to do when you feel hopeless is pick something to feel grateful for. A moment of gratitude can quickly undo hopelessness.


Summary
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There are many ways that you can change your thinking when you feel depressed. Apply the techniques and you not only can eliminate depression, but you will feel empowered that you can control your thinking and consequentially control your feelings. Then you can move on to a happier and more successful present and future.


More expert advice about Depression

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Frank HealyLicensed Professional Counselor, Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory

Frank Healy is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of New Jersey. He counsels people with depression and anxiety. He has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory. He remembers every day of his life since he was six years old. This incl...

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