I know this won’t work for everyone but I am a firm believer it’s worth a shot. Yeah bet you weren’t expecting me to hit you with such profound thoughts so early on, huh? Well get ready because I’m full of them.
This sort of strategy and/or coping skill is used in a lot of therapy and apparently in my junior year English class in high school. For example in my class we had “Timed writes” which means exactly how it sounds. We were given a prompt and we had a certain amount of time to write something. My teacher did something, that at the time seemed avant-garde to my 16 year old mind. He told us to close our eyes and think of the color green as green is said to be the color of balance. Now usually in therapy instead of thinking of the color green we are told to think of a time when we were happy and to go there. (In our minds of course but to use a flux capacitor would be pretty cool, too.)
Today class that’s exactly what we are going to do. Seriously though. I know it sounds cliche (because it is) and a waste of time but maybe a conversation needs to be had?
I find it’s hard for me to do something unless I understand why exactly I am doing it. Doing something without knowledge and/or distinct purpose seems lazy and pointless. In my opinion I think it’s a good habit to get into. I’m not talking check out every time you feel a bad thought and/or feeling coming on. That could lead to avoidance and potential suppression.
If you do have a memory in mind I’m not going to ask you to go there. I have a feeling most of you would scoff at the idea anyway. I’m going to ask you to remember that there was a time you were happy, maybe not consistently but that’s besides the point. The point is a time like that existed. I understand you probably didn’t have bills to pay, children to feed and a mental illness to tend to. I understand I could be offending the intelligence of many right now but please don’t take me for one of those vapid and ignorant people (or do it’s your opinion)
I think it’s beautiful that we can look back on a past self that wasn’t plagued by the problems of today. There’s something quite extraordinary about our ability to place a feeling. I am a sucker for nostalgia and just like everyone else the past can be very upsetting for me. Though, I don’t let comparisons of today and yesterday interfere with the fact that I have fond memories stored away.
I don’t recommend this as anything that will seriously cure your depression. I don’t even think many people will be too keen on the idea. I recommend it as a way of remembering there is evidence of happiness in times passed.