People sometimes misunderstand mood disorders and as a result, a negative stigma is often associated with such diagnoses. However, if you’re suffering from a mood disorder, you have NOTHING to be ashamed about. Just as a person experiencing a physical ailment shouldn’t be ashamed of his or her disease, neither should a person be ashamed of a mental condition.
Not being ashamed of a mental disorder does NOT mean that you should just sit back and accept it! Just as those with physical ailments seek treatment, so too should those experiencing mood disorders. Seek help from a qualified professional if you’re struggling with emotions that are overwhelming for you!
This article isn’t a substitute for professional help; however, having previously struggled with mood instability myself, I want to share a technique that works for me when I’m feeling down. It may help you when you’re feeling depressed or anxious.
Keep in mind that anyone can use this technique, NOT just people who have mental health diagnoses.
Cognitive therapists believe that negative feelings always begin with a negative thought. It’s believed that we experience these thoughts so quickly that we only process them subconsciously at first.
For example, right before a girl begins to feel sad, she may see another attractive girl with whom she unconsciously compares herself. If she doesn’t believe she’s as pretty as the other girl, she then may begin to think that she’s not pretty at all, which leads to feelings of inadequacy and depression. You see, the sadness resulted from the thought: “I’m not pretty.” So if we understand that we often feel bad when we think negative thoughts, we can learn to capture our thoughts to change our mood.
I always use Bible verses to help me capture my thoughts, as God is the ultimate authority in my life. I encourage you to do the same. God tells me that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14), so if I’m having an “unpretty” day, I remind myself what GOD says. I capture the thought and replace it with positive words such as:
I’m fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. I’m His handiwork, created to be and look exactly as I am. I believe that I am beautiful and worthy of all the good things God has in store for me!
It’s extremely important to say the positive words OUT LOUD in order to capture the thought. Words and thoughts can’t occupy the same space, so if you try to replace thoughts with more thoughts, your mind will become a battlefield. Replace them with WORDS. This technique works with all negative thought.
Remember, the Bible tells us that “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21).
Capturing your thoughts may take some time to get used to, but remember, you are who GOD says you are and who YOU define yourself to be.