As someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder (see me blog on that here>), my journey in life has always been trying to live effectively in the midst of the highs and the lows. Changing my mind toward a more balanced perspective has been critical for my peace of mind. I recently heard a song by Sister Hazel that simply but effectively talked about the cognitive power of changing your mind. The song, "Change Your Mind", is here. Listen closely to the lyrics:
Studies now have shown that the brain is resilient and its pattern of thoughts are not set in stone. The brain can be rewired throughout life, something known as plasticity. Life more or less takes on the attitude and perspective we bring to it. The chief problem with depression is that people afflicted with the disease think, feel, and act out of a depressive perspective that is distorted and hurtful, and then make the mistake of actually believing this perspective is the God-given truth.
Not so, and a change of mind can make it not so. The following things (taken from the book, Breaking the Patterns of Depression by Michael Yapko) are what NOT to do if you want to rewire your brain and your perspective for good.
- Do not dwell on the past
- Do not compare yourself to others
- Do not create and dwell on negative possibilities
- Do not leave the important things unsaid or undefined
- Do not reject the basic parts of yourself
- Do not ignore your own needs
- Do not give up (see yesterday's post)