As a therapist, I hear it all the time. 'I just can't do this, or I'm just not good enough, etc.' It's easy to put yourself down. We all have an inner dialogue, it's natural. Unfortunately, many people use it to beat themselves up. This can really bring you down. It's true, we are what we think. Your thoughts will affect how you feel. Here are ten tips to help conquer your inner dragon:
- Learn to relax. This is a great way to make your inner dragon go away. Take a yoga class or a meditation class. You can also listen to meditation on your iPod. Take a five minute break during the day to clear your mind and do some deep breathing.
- Have a change of scenery. This sounds simple and it is. Go for a drive on a country road or visit a nearby town. Take a trip to the beach or a nearby lake. This will help mix things up and you won't feel overwhelmed in your own environment.
- Avoid negative people. When you're depressed it's not that uncommon to attract negative people into your life. Negative people can drag you further down. You want to be around positive people who will help build you up. This will help decrease depression and help give you a positive attitude.
- Don't label yourself. It's easy to label yourself by saying 'I'm depressed.' This will keep you in your depression. Your label can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Start your day by stating one positive thing about yourself. This will help keep the depression away.
- Stop believing the lies you tell yourself. The negative things you are saying to yourself just aren't true. Most of us would be embarrassed to tell others what we say about ourselves. The more you say it the more you believe it. Just tell yourself to stop.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. When you do this, you are short-changing yourself. We are not all meant to be alike. We live in a world with many different people. I think this is a good thing. If we were all alike, the world would be a boring place.
- Stay in the present. We can't go back and we can't predict the future. Many people have tried, but haven't been very successful. It's easy to do this. 'Will I get into graduate school?' 'Will my boyfriend stay?' When you do this you are trying to control your environment. We all know, that never ends good.
- Take time for yourself. Carve out at least ten minutes a day for yourself. Go for a walk, take a quick nap or just breathe and clear your mind. We are not meant to go all the time. Think of a car, what happens when the car runs out of gas? It stops, this is what will happen to you, if you don't make time for yourself. It's never too late, start now.
- Eat nutrient rich food. What we eat affects how we feel. It also affects our emotions. Stay away from a high sugar or a high carbohydrate diet. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.
- Seek help. This could be a doctor, therapist or calling a friend that cares about you. It's helpful to talk about your feelings. When you keep them in, it can cause other problems like headaches and stomach aches. It can also keep you stuck.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She is dedicated to helping others. For more information, please visit www.LessonsforLove.com.