Treating Depression Naturally: Anti-Rumination—Think Happy Thoughts!

| 12/16/2010 3:40:14 PM

It might sound cliché—not to mention incredibly difficult—to someone suffering from depression, but one part of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change program’s natural approach to treating depression is anti-rumination, or to stop dwelling on negative thoughts. Our ancient ancestors were busy people; all their moments were focused on survival, and thus they didn’t have a lot of time to sit around and think. Modern conveniences free up time for us today, meaning we have ample time if we wish to do nothing but sit and around think. While most of us fill our free time with activities, hobbies and social engagements, for those with depression, this free time offers an opportunity to dwell on negative thoughts—and let them spiral out of control.

depressed woman 
Letting negative thoughts spiral out of control can make depression worse. Better your mood by keeping your hands and mind busy. Try exercising, phoning a friend or writing in a journal instead. Photo By Paolo Margari/Courtesy Flickr.

If you’re suffering from depression, it’s important to recognize negative rumination for what it is and to cease doing it. While you may not be capable of “thinking happy thoughts,” you can at least occupy your time with other more useful activities. Staying busy might even keep you happier! A recent study published in Psychological Science found that people who keep busy are usually happier than those who are idle. The TLC program recommends calling a friend, journaling your thoughts or engaging in some sort of pleasurable activity whenever you feel like thinking negative thoughts. You could also use the extra time to exercise, another activity that can help fight depression.

Remember: Exercising is not a cure-all for depression but one component of the TLC program’s natural approach to treating depression. Depression is a chronic illness; if you think you may have depression, please consult your doctor. 

Read the original post, “Treating Depression Naturally: The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Program.” 


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