One’s beliefs are important and powerful! Beliefs definitely shape one’s life! But what happens when the beliefs you hold lead you to do things that hurt you and your family? What if these beliefs lead you to avoid things that will benefit your family and yourself? What might happen when you persist in holding beliefs that are false and are hurting you?
These questions are critical for depressed people as depression is connected to their thoughts, beliefs and worldviews. Learning to recognize that things might not be as they seem is an essential step on the road to recovery from depression! Developing a questioning spirit is a key starting point to recovery as it facilitates self-reflection.
Self-reflection requires us to pause, examine our experience, and not give in to the negative strengthened habits of our mind. It allows us to look at our thinking and relationship patterns without judgment or self-justification but rather with honesty. It fosters flexible thinking and open mindedness which are essential ingredients of change. Developing flexibility in one’s thinking can bring consistent incremental changes to one’s thoughts, attitudes and life. Although flexible thinking is the opposite of rigid thinking it does not mean that the integrity of conviction is not the same.
Our mind can make a lot of stories. Every time you are stressed out, fearful, or depressed your mind is making a story and you may have trained yourself to believe what your mind is telling you. Stories are not grounded in reality but in imagination. Learning to recognize what is true from what is not true. This is one of the most critical things you can do for your life, wellbeing and your relationships!
A qualified professional therapist will help you develop effective strategies for dealing with your negative, ruminative thoughts. You can start today in making positive changes in your thinking.
Adapted from a book by Dr. Yapko
Dr.Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT