Hey y’all. I wrote a whole entry today, and then I realized that it was full of information that I wouldn’t want a total stranger to read… so I didn’t publish it. I miss LiveJournal and FB’s privacy settings something fierce right now, but I’m also very glad that I’m starting to have more of a filter about what I’m willing to share with total strangers all over the world. It’s an important boundry to find.
I did, however, make something for myself that may be helpful for others, so I’m linking to it here.
This worksheet goes through the 4 exercises that I do every day to help me combat my brain’s natural tendency to gravitate to the negative.
3 Great Things About Yesterday requires you to remember good things about the immediate past. I’m a big fan of trying to focus on 3 Great Things that I had no control over whatsoever — like great weather, or getting a phone call from a friend. This exercise is about appreciation.
When I was at the absolute darkest part of depression, my list looked like this:
- Still Alive
- Not In the Hospital
- Adam Hasn’t Left Me
3 Things I Deserve A Sticker For requires you to think about what your day has been like and give yourself credit for doing things that may have been challenging. For a while there, “Changing poopy diapers” was on my list every day. For the last week, “Fighting the urge to check social media” has been on there. I messed up a little today. But that’s how growth works — we try our best, we mess up, and then we try again as our best gets better. In any event, this exercise is about giving yourself credit where it’s due.
3 Things I’m Looking Forward To requires you to use your imagination to envision anything positive at all occurring in your future. This can be especially challenging if you’re deeply depressed or you’ve totally embraced nihilism and are just wondering at what moment nuclear annihilation is going to unmake our entire species.
I’ve had to remove the following 3 from my list because it was the same list every day for a long time, though they’re still there:
- Having good conversations with Henry.
- Henry using the potty consistently, like a big boy.
- A future with autonomous vehicles that I can access.
Gratitude Rampage is an open-ended exercise that you can do for 5 or 10 minutes — or more if you prefer. You simply sit there and list (for whatever amount of time you’ve chosen) everything you can think of that you’re grateful for/happy about in that moment. The practice requires you to think about how you’re feeling in the moment and to not ignore the positive things in your life that are currently occurring.
If you can, print this out and fill it out by hand. Your brain gets more from writing than it does from typing.