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I was listening to the radio station KLOVE today as I was driving and heard a Christian singer talk about a time in his life when he was de...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

All-Or-Nothing Thinking

During my years of coping with depression many tools were added to my 'toolbox' for handling situations mentally that caused my thoughts to travel down a dark path.  I was and am blessed with Christian counselors and doctors who gave those to me.  One of the biggest things I learned was to not revert (during your depression) to the "all-or-nothing" way of thinking.  This type of thinking is when you tell yourself something has to be all one way or to the other extreme another way--meaning no gray areas.  For example, maybe you woke up this morning and stubbed your toe going to the bathroom.  Then you burned your finger trying to get a cup of coffee before heading out the door.  Next, you almost hit a cat in the road on your way to work.  And you might think to yourself, "Everything wrong is happening today.  My whole day is going to be horrible."  Just because some mishaps occured before you started your day is NOT a prediction your whole day is going to be awful.  Many of us revert to that type of thinking automatically, "What else is going to go wrong today."  We can CHOOSE to not think that way.  I trained myself NOT to heap every 'wrong' thing that happens in a day into one big negative that is going to follow me around all day like a dark cloud.  Try it.  It can be done.  Then you will learn to look at situations differently.

You can also take this same attitude with bigger issues in your life.  What if you have an addiction (yes, believers have those too) that you are working on and one day have a setback.  Will you allow yourself to believe that the setback has ruined everything and you will never get past your addiction?  A lot can be turned around in our thought patterns to something positive if we are consciously aware of what we tell ourselves.  It is called self-talk.  Yes, you may think it is psychological babble, but it is true and it works--to the negative or the positive.  You can choose. 

Share your issues with a believer in Christ you can trust.  Ask that person to pray for you regarding your issue(s)---he or she will be rooting for you like a cheerleader to keep pressing on toward the prize.