Make A Decision To End Depression: Future

Up to this point we have covered our thought patterns of the past and the present

Now let's talk about future.

I think we can see that future thinking affects us in many ways, good or bad.  Let's take a look at some bad aspects:

  • Goals
Having a goal is definitely a good thing and usually is a motivation trigger for most of us.  However, especially for the depressed, it can cause blue moods.  

While depressed people can set goals and accomplish great things, most of them also have trouble mirroring their past experience to whatever goal they set.  This can lead to a very diluted image of the future.  And when you have diluted images from the past, this triggers mood disruption and anxiety as to what the outcome the future will bring.

We must remember that the image we hold about the future is nothing but an illusion.  We can not guess the complete outcome, and like we read in the earlier post on the present, we can only take steps in the present to build our future.

So when setting goals, it is important to focus on the present moment and not have an unusual expectation for the future outcome.  Because when the outcome isn't what you expected (and this happens all the time) we might suffer from the gap.  So set realistic goals and follow through by taking action.

  • Worry
Worry can destroy you mentally and cause many bad bodily symptoms as well.  Worry also destroys focus so your concentration level goes down.  Worry is in most cases connected with future thinking.

How can we get out of this?  

Remember worry doesn't serve you any good in most cases.  However one way of looking at it is that we worry because we want to do well.  Worry is actually a natural response in this case.  But chronic worrying is definitely not the way to go.  Unfortunately smarter people have this problem a lot because they want to do so well and many are perfectionists.  They tend to wait around to somehow manage the worry just in their heads whereas in the mean time others take direct action to tackle the problems or worries with what they can do in the present moment.  So think about your worrying.  Is it serving you good? If not, take constructive action to tackle the worry and create the future you want!

Next section's on the six fears of human...

Make A Decision To End Depression: Present

Probably the No. 1 key to successfully alter your negative thought pattern is to focus and fully live in the present.  Why? Because when you think about it, the present moment is really what we only have.  Nothing else.  Present is the moment where we can change, take action and live.  The present moment is what we can really focus on to make a difference in life.

This may seem obvious, but lots of people are having a hard time getting out of the past or the future....actually most people are in some sense living in the past or the future.  We can even call this an illusion in a way.

In the previous post we talked about how the past can help us improve depression.  This is true, but with one purpose only- to realize and fix your misperception.  Of course to add you can also praise your past success for future strength, but the most important is to manage your negative emotions. 

Set a goal

Overcoming depression is not an overnight thing nor it is the matter of just snapping out of it.  Just like any other goals in life, it will take some effort.  It is really important to set objectives and to take many small steps to realize a bigger goal.

Start with the smallest, but problematic emotions to give yourself a nice easy start.  For example, you might want to at least give your family members a nice smile in the morning (or at least a hi).  Give your long lost hobby some attention it deserves and try to make a small achievement.  Better yet, set a goal that you will get over depression no matter what.  These goals will give you a kind of mission you must complete and will keep you focused on the present.  At first you may feel nothing but overtime you should feel a sense of satisfaction as you proceed.  You may get side tracked at times, but this is also the part of the challenge.  

Reflect Daily

What did you do today? How did it go? Did you have a good day? How did you feel in different situations? what did I misperceive?

Ask questions like these to yourself and measure your improvement and challenges.  This will give you a better picture of where you are and will give you a realistic idea of how you are making progress.  This will also give you confidence that you are following through will your plans.

Next section will be on the Future....

Make A Decision To End Depression: Past

Many people with depression feel mixed emotions of anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, etc.  Like mentioned in Five things you must consider when overcoming depression , we need to use the self-image exercise to tackle these emotions which bring us negative effects.

There are many sources mentioning how image training is so important in order to change your perception of things.  Usually negative feelings and emotions come from three parts where we can use imagination.  They are:
  1. Past
  2. Present
  3. Future


 Past negative feelings include guilt, shame, rejection, failure, etc.  We must understand the power of imagination and how it impacts our present being.  If one holds these past thoughts which are not necessarily true today, it may be dangerous.

The past will actually teach us lessons when we really think about it.  Why did you feel guilt, shame, rejection, failure, etc etc in the first place?  If you dig deep down you should find reasons to back up the feelings you had in the past.  Maybe it was a proper response.  Maybe it was just an over reaction.  But don't let emotions run here because that's what we need to work on! Logically analyze the experience and find ways to solve the dragged along thoughts and feelings.

Remember, the past is a good teacher of yours.  Reflect on it and practice your imagery.  Think how you can reflect on it logically and deal with your sensitive emotions. Continuing to do so will eventually desensitize you (which is good) and give you confidence in knowing that the mere experience in the past was the trigger for depression.

I think we all can imagine how we would like to feel and how we would like to behave according to a logical approach.  Just by slowly changing your thoughts or perceptions from the past we can focus on what is important in the present.

Next section will be on the Present ...