Change Your Mindset Change Your Life

The mind is a powerful thing. It can be a great tool or a serious adversary. I’ve struggled with situational depression and anxiety on and off throughout my life. while never easy, when struggling with mental health challenges, the concept of changing your mindset, changing your life is much more difficult to do. In 2020, I found myself battling PTSD and depression after a traumatic event in my family. I was doing all of the things to try and help myself move forward; I got into therapy immediately, started regular acupuncture and massage to help relax my body and mind, and actively sought out help from my support system. Unfortunately, the intensity of this event was so great, even those weren’t enough alone to get me out of my depression. So what was?

Change your mindset. It matters!

I had to change my mindset. I had allowed the negativity of 2020 and the personal traumas that occurred to take deep root in my mind. My fears, grief, and emotions were stuck in a rut and that rut got deeper each day. Finally in one of my therapy sessions, my therapist said something she had probably said 100 times before… I may not have control over much in my life right now, but I can have control over the thoughts in my head. 

It clicked. I knew that, I had heard that, but it finally connected. So starting that night, I made an effort to take back control of my thoughts. It was so much harder than I was expecting. All of the negative thoughts I was thinking acted like a protective wall. If I expected the worst to happen again, then when it did, I wouldn’t be taken by surprise. Allowing myself to let go of those thoughts and replace them with more positivity and optimism was terrifying. It was also difficult because the negative thoughts came so naturally. But one thought at a time, I took back my happiness. One thought at a time, I took back control of my mind. 

**Disclaimer- There are many types of depression, some of which require medical intervention to manage. While I am glad you are here to read more about my journey and changing your mindset, it is not a substitute for treatment that can be provided by a mental health provider or your physician. 

3 things I did to change my mindset.

First, I had to recognize when my mind was spiraling down the negative thought path. This was a challenge for me. The negative thoughts came so easily and snuck right in. I had to be very introspective in order to recognize more quickly when the negative thoughts would begin. It would be so subtle and at times it would take me a long while before I realized what was happening. 

Second, I had to replace the negative with a new thought. When you’re on the downward slope, it is difficult to come up with something positive. With the guidance of my therapist, we came up with some strategies to help me recognize the negative thought and armed me with several positive thoughts to replace them with. She asked me to consider certain things in my life that bring me joy, I made mental notes of them and kept them in my “back pocket” to pull out whenever I needed them.

Third, I learned to give myself a lot of grace and compassion. We are our harshest critics. That is just a fact. I had to be careful not to scold myself for allowing negative thoughts to last. At first, when I would notice a negative thought creep in, I found myself criticizing myself. “I’m so stupid.” “Why would I think this?” This is so dumb.” I had to change my self-talk. Now when the negative thoughts appear, I validate the thoughts I was having before I change them to a more positive one. 

My results changed my life

After only a few months of implementing these changes, I found myself in control of my thought patterns again. I am a long way from perfecting it, but I am trying every day. I still have set backs, everyone does, but the thing that matters most is that I keep going. One day at a time, one thought at a time. That is how I am taking back control of my life and that is how you can too. 

One last bonus tip I will give you to help you change your mindset and your life is to take a few moments each day to focus on the good. Even in days full of gunk, there is always something to be thankful for. Whenever I’m having a particularly hard time, I grab my gratitude journal and write down 3 good things that happened that day or 3 good things I felt or am thankful for on that day. I do this right before I go to sleep so that I am sent off on a positive note. Sleep is when healing happens in the body and the mind. Feed your mind something good before you end your day. 

Next Steps

Before you can change your mindset and your life, you need to determine what you’re working with. It is hard to be objective and see where we are really at. This is where having an outsider take a look with a fresh perspective can be a big help. If you know me, you know I’m a big proponent of therapy In my experience, its benefits are vast and impacts long lasting. If you don’t have one yet, I highly suggest finding one sooner than later.

Sending you all my best on your journey to wellness and healing!



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