Today I want to talk about another avenue I’ve explored to help me take charge of my happiness. Over the past few months I’ve benefited greatly from spending time with a psychologist who focuses on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In a nutshell, CBT is a way of talking about how you view yourself, others, and the world, and focuses on the idea that how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings. For someone like me who usually holds a lopsided view of reality, these sessions are invaluable. I’ve been able to pinpoint some of my unhelpful thinking habits and led to more helpful ones. I am learning the importance of “behavioural antidepressants”. That is, the behaviours I can engage in that actually lift my mood, such as tackling a cluttered closet (of course this is not a universal “behavioural antidepressant”). The perfectionism in me often causes me to avoid and procrastinate – I’m unsure of the best possible mode of action and I’m scared of failing. My avoidance has depressing consequences because closets only get dirtier and I am left feeling even more overwhelmed and powerless. When I reduce my avoidance of things I feel more in control and get a huge confidence boost. Another “behavioural antidepressant” for me would be engaging in play dates with other moms. Making the effort to make plans, get out the door, and engage in meaningful relationships, puts me in control of my mood. Even if my son whines the entire drive, at least I’ll be sipping tea with another exhausted mom who’s just as annoyed with the toddler tantrums during lunchtime.
What are some of your own behavioural antidepressants?