Sometimes it can be hard to see all the good that your really do. Human nature tends to be negative. At its best this negative mindset works as a defence mechanism, warning us against repeating old mistakes. If, for example, we recall a situation where we were left feeling embarrassed, we are more likely to avoid repeating what we did in a similar situation in the future. Human society also tends to be negative. More often than not we are criticized for what we do, how we look and what we say. This is also, to some extent, a defence mechanism. If less people are motivated to stick out, there will be fewer targets and less collateral damage. An example of this would be a person teasing their friend for wearing something different. This is done to force the friend to adhere to a norm, both for the sake of the friend but also for the sake of the person who spends time with the friend because they too may be judged for the person dressing differently. In this type of environment, it is quite understandable why we so many of us are susceptible to depression. Many of us are conditioned from a young age to look for the negative in our life, to lower our expectations, to settle, to see ourselves as worthless in order to be happy with the little that we get. This makes it important to find ways to incorporate positive thinking in our lives and since we are so unused to it, that process has to be quite intentional to begin with before it hopefully develops into a habit. So how do we do this?
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A more positive mindset can be achieved in many ways and there are many articles on Cross Culture Therapy’s website about rewiring your brain to think more positively and to avoid thought patterns that eventually lead to a depression. As mentioned in the paragraph above, the mindset must be changed through intentional thought exercises. One exercise that has been mentioned previously is changing mindsets by prompting your brain to look for clues to disprove a preconceived thought you have about yourself. In this article though, we thought we would introduce a new exercise; The Thank You Letter.
This exercise is quite obvious really. It involves writing a letter addressed to yourself about all the positive aspects of your personality, what you have been doing recently and your goals and dreams about life. If you wish to do so, you can quite literally post this letter to yourself, otherwise you can simply keep it by your bedside and read it before you go to sleep or after you wake up. If you are especially keen on this exercise, you can consider writing a weekly letter about the good things that happened during the week. The key aspect of this exercise is repetition, either by writing or reading. If you write or read positive things about yourself on a daily basis, those thoughts will eventually be logged into the deepest part of your mind, the part of your mind that tends to be the home of negative thoughts. It is when the deepest part of your mind is too infected with negativity, that you are likely to suffer from depression. At the beginning the positive thoughts will linger at the forefront and therefore seem intentional and less trustworthy, but as you continue to read or write positive letters to yourself they will seep into your subconscious and form the basis of a much happier mindset.
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Philip Andersson – Life Coach
Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.
What We Do!
Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.