Fighting talk – arm yourself in the battle against depression.

Blog, Depression

Some days battling depression are harder than others. On those tough days it can help to remind yourself of the many things that make you worthwhile.

A great way to do this is to read aloud positive statements about yourself. But you need put a little prep work in first, so that you are ready when the harder days come.

That’s what this article is all about, helping you be prepared and increasing your odds in the fight against depression.

What you will need.

You will need a printer (or paper), and a pen.

You are also going to need 4 people who you trust to help you out and to be honest.

These people don’t necessarily need to know you extremely well, but they must know enough about you in order to be able to pick out qualities that describe you. For example, they could be your best friend, but they could also be a co-worker or someone you talk to once a week during an exercise class.

Choose your people well because you are going to want to ask these people to identify positive qualities they think you possess. It may seem silly at first (and you may be nervous about asking), but if they care about you, they should be happy to help.

Step 1: Print off this table (or make your own).

KindLovingImaginativeSupportive
StrongTeam PlayerHard-WorkingCaring
InspiringArticulateCompassionateCharismatic
GivingFunnyLeaderLovable
HonestTidyGreat HuggerHelpful
CreativeReliableGood CookWarm
OrganisedSkilledFriendlyDetermined
CleverGood at DelegationResponsibleFun

Step 2: Ask each person to score each of the qualities.

Fighting talk – arm yourself in the battle against depression. 1

Show the table to each of your 4 people and ask them to score each of the qualities on the table truthfully in terms of how much they think that quality matches or describes you.

A score of 1 means they believe you match this quality quite a bit.

A score of 2 means they believe you match this quality loads.

No score at all means they don’t feel they can answer.

If they can’t answer, it will probably be because they do not know you in that way. For example, someone may know that their partner is a great cook, but wouldn’t be able to say whether their co-worker was also a great cook.

You can also ask each person to write down any additional qualities they think you have that are not listed and to give these a score.

Step 3: Read their answers.

Take the time to read the answers people have given. Some of the answers may surprise you. Try your hardest not to dismiss any of them, especially the ones people put a 2 next to.

Step 4: Score yourself.

Now it is time to score yourself. You should aim to give at least one of the qualities a score of 2. You should also aim to include a range of qualities.

This is important because if all of your qualities are very similar and you feel like you have not lived up to that quality the day you feel particularly down, you may not feel like reading your own sentence.

But if you include a variety of positive qualities, then it is much more likely you will still agree with some of them and be willing to read the sentence.

Remember, you can always add to the list of qualities. So if you think you are pretty good at baking cookies, that can go on the list too!

Step 5: Writing your sentences

Fighting talk – arm yourself in the battle against depression. 2

Write any words which were given a 2 into a sentence referencing the person who gave you that score and your relationship to them.

Follow these sentences up with a sentence about yourself, using any words you gave yourself a 2 for. If you didn’t give yourself any or many 2’s, you can also include some 1’s.

By the time you have written these all out you should have a list of at least 5 sentences which all say wonderful things about your personality. It may look something a little like this:

“My best friend Josie thinks I am a very warm and giving person.

My friend Ben also thinks I am warm, and he finds me really funny too.

Sarah sees me at work and thinks I am really creative and helpful.

My girlfriend Lucy thinks I am loving and great at cooking pancakes!

I think I am very caring, and I can also be hard-working.”

Step 6: Keep your list safe and read it aloud whenever you are having a bad day.

If you have a mood boost box, you may want to keep your list safe in there. Alternatively, you may want to keep it in your wallet/purse, so you always have it with you.

Read your list aloud every time you are having a bad day to show yourself some self-care and remind yourself that others care about you too.

BONUS STEP: Practice reading your list aloud in the mornings.

If you really want to maximise the power of the list you created, try reading it aloud in the mornings. It doesn’t need to be every morning, but making the effort to start the day off by reading your list will help you become used to reading it aloud to yourself. This will make you feel less self-conscious when you come to read it aloud on the days you really need it.

Also, when you start the day off by getting 5 genuine compliments, you are more likely to be in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the day.

I hope this guide has been helpful. If you would like more personalised support, then get in touch with me to arrange a counselling assessment session. A counselling assessment session is a chance for me to get to know a little bit about you and for you to see if you would like me to be the one to provide support to you.

You can get in touch with me on: 07588 117305 or at: sophie@sbcounselling.co.uk 

Thank you for reading this and take care,

Sophie

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