Do you ever feel so low that you can’t really remember who you are? Does this have a knock-on effect on your friendships, as you can’t see why they want to be friends with you? I’ve had more days like this than I care to remember. Through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) I’ve learnt to manage these feelings and combat them when they rear their ugly heads. CBT is not just a therapy course, it’s a lifestyle change and there is a technique I would like to share that anyone can do to help wrestle themselves out from their dark cloud. This is not a substitution for CBT, but moreover a simple step that can help anyone when they are low.
Be kind to yourself. It sounds simple, but it’s actually quite difficult in practice. The negative voice in your head always seems to shout the loudest. I propose that you deafen it with positivity. Next time you are feeling low, write down the thoughts that are circling through your mind. These won’t be nice thoughts, but do write them down and leave them.
When you are next feeling good, revisit these thoughts and write a counter argument for each one. If you can come up with more than one for each, even better. Here is an example of a negative thought and a counter argument.
Negative thought – I’m unattractive
Counter Argument – I have beautiful features, my favourite part of me are my legs. They are toned, athletic and I’m often complimented on them.
The more personal and positive you make your counter argument, the stronger it is. Now when you next feel low, revisit your counter arguments and remember what makes you great. Treat yourself like your best friend, because you have the power and knowledge to celebrate you. Every time you are feeling good, try to add another positive to your list, even if there is no negative thought to counter. Soon you will find your list will is very long and the negative voice in your head will be getting quieter. Celebrating yourself isn’t big-headed or arrogant, it’s a really good way to take time to remember who you are and why you deserve kindness.
Words: Corinne Kemp
Image: Fran Murphy