Ep. 142: Working Through Depression by Learning Optimism Part 5

It’s here, it’s finally here, the fifth and final episode in this series about Learning Optimism.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this deep dive into this topic as much as I have.

If you’re someone who is tired of feeling pessimistic and negative all the time, you have probably found a lot of value in this series.

Even if it’s something you only find yourself doing now and then, this is still a skill worth learning.

Pessimism does have its place as we learned in Part 2, but wearing it as your daily armor isn’t what most of us want for our lives.

It’s like salt.  A little bit makes everything better, but too much and the entire meal is ruined.

One of the way’s I was ruining my life with too much salt was in what I allowed my thoughts to do in my head.

I would remember something from my past and just let it spend the entire day on the main stage of my mind, adding more to the story to build it up and have me playing the victim.  The stories I would spin in there!!!  It took away from not only my mental energy, but my physical energy as well.  It took the power from me to be who I really wanted to be, who I was at my core, and used it to build me up as a helpless victim.  Those thoughts could make me angry.  They could turn into depression.  They took me away from the story of my life that I was living in the present and used that energy towards reliving my past.

Have you ever done that?

Maybe not to the extent that I did, but maybe it sounds familiar.

Could just be a conversation you had with a friend and the more you think about it, the more embarrassed you become because you didn’t say what you wanted too, or you reacted in a way that you wish you could change.  The story spins and spins in your mind until it fills your entire brain.

This is called Rumination.

People who run bad events and/or thoughts over and over again in their minds are ruminators.

You can ruminate either optimistically or pessimistically.

That’s good to know, right?

If you are a pessimistic ruminator, that means trouble.  This is what I was doing in the example I gave at the beginning of this episode.

If you are a pessimistic ruminator, you repeatedly tell yourself how bad things are.

The more inclined you are to ruminate, the more your style of explaining why things are happening, the more it comes up.

It depends on your Explanatory Style which way your rumination happens.

If you are optimistic, you will explain things in a positive light, so this is a positive thing.

If you ruminate over and over about positive things… more positive things happen, or at the very least, you choose to see those things more.

If you have a pessimistic explanatory style and you ruminate on those things, the more they come up, the more you see them and the more depressed you will become.

See how that works?

When you change either rumination or pessimism, it can begin to relieve depression, or any other negative emotion your rumination may be fueling.

Because you are learning how to think about your thinking, you have more control over the direction your rumination goes.  Either pessimistic or optimistic.  You have a choice.

I found that when I took my pessimistic rumination to my journaling practice, it helped my depression.

I allowed myself to get my running thoughts down on paper, which slowed them down, which helped me to see where I was seeing things as they actually were and more powerfully, where they were different than I was seeing them in my head.

This is one of the biggest things I believe journaling does.

My brain has never felt more peace, which has resulted in a more peaceful life.

Not because my circumstances have changed, but because I’ve slowed and even stopped my rumination to the point that I see things from a more optimistic viewpoint.

If I had known this 15 years ago, I would have saved myself from so much pain.

I would have been able to find relief from depression quicker, and not because I didn’t need the mediation I received from a qualified Dr., but because I would have changed my explanatory style and not gone into negative rumination as quickly.

This is life changing stuff my friends!

I can say that loud and proud, journaling through my ruminating thoughts has changed my ability to think more optimistically.

Women are more prone to rumination than men.  This is because when something happens, it is the nature of most women to think, and men’s nature is to take action.

A woman will try to figure out why things are happening and relives the events over and over.

A man usually tries to take action to figure it out.  Which, if we use what we learned in the ABC’s of Optimism, it’s really just a way of distracting himself from thinking. 

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it may not be the most effective way in every situation.

So, if depression is a disorder of thinking, pessimism and rumination add fuel to the fire.  That is why depression occurs more often in women than men.

There are many studies that I’ve been reading about that support this.

As a woman, who is married to a man for 29 years now, I have seen these difference in us.

Both thinking and acting can be used to get a positive or a negative result, so I’m not saying one is better than another. 

Every gift we have can be over-used or under-used, which leads to both positive and negative results.

Relationships are a gift to us so that we can help each other with the different gifts we come with naturally.

When we come to understand how our minds work, we can begin to make choices as to what we’re going to do with that.  It’s not something that shows there is nothing we can do to change it.  Knowledge helps us to make educated change.

Are you a ruminator?

Have you found it nearly impossible to stop your rumination no matter what you’ve tried?

Are you tired both mentally and physically from the negativity running around in your mind?

Come work with me.

I can help you with this.

I’m especially good at this because I have lived it and learned how to treat it.

Don’t put this off.

You will show up differently in your life when you get this one thing under control.

Are you ready to beat this once and for all?

Come talk to me for a few minutes and tell me what you’re experiencing.

I’ll let you know if I’m qualified to help you.

It’s just 15 minutes and it’s free.

I’d love to help you.  I will help you find peace in the past and hope for the future.

Go to hunkeedori.com/minimentor and choose the time that works best for you.

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