The Habit That Can Make You Depressed
We all have had bad things happen to us. Life is a series of events, and with the good ones we will all experience distressing events at one time or another. How do we get through them? Some of us will pull ourselves up by the boot straps and carry on. Others will dwell on them, going over and over things in their minds. They should have done this, they should have said that, they should have made a different choice. Studies have shown that those who dwell on distressing circumstances are more at risk for developing depression than those who don't.
I've had many traumatic events in my life and I know with certainty that dwelling on them, focusing on them, not letting them go has led to depression. Sometimes we can't help dwelling and brooding over things that have made an impact in our lives for the worse. When we continually dwell on things it quickly becomes a habit, and habits can be hard to break. Dwelling doesn't change or constructively deal with a distressing event. Continually dwelling on it it is like experiencing the distress as if it just happened. Our heart rate goes up, we release stress hormones, and all of this affects our physical body as well as our mental health.
The longer we dwell on distressing events the more our mind will automatically go there. Once the habit is there it can quickly lead to depression. The best way to overcome the habit of dwelling and brooding is to pay attention to what you are thinking, catch it right away and distract yourself. All it takes is distracting yourself for 2 minutes. How you distract yourself will also help break the habit, anything that requires concentration is a good tool. Crossword puzzles, games, hobbies, anything that requires your focus.
Not allowing yourself to dwell on distressing events for to long will stop the habit from developing. Catch yourself when you feel a spell coming on. Using distraction and persistence will greatly reduce the risk of depression.
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