A number of experts believe that adopting a growth mindset will help lower your stress levels and improve both your psychological and physical well-being, and then help with depression.
Although more research is necessary to establish absolute connections between having a growth mindset and health, current studies indicate that it helps with depression and stress management as well as improving coping skills. However, changing a fixed mindset into a growth mindset takes a great deal of determination and application. In this article I aim to give you some activities to help you manage your depression by developing a growth mindset.
Counter Negativity to Help With Depression
The nature of the thoughts, ideas and words that are constantly going through your head, are often determined by your mindset. Taking the time to evaluate your own thoughts is one of the best ways to determine if you have a fixed or growth mindset. Once you know which relates most to you, then incorporating growth mindset activities to help with depression will assist you automatically on your journey to overcome depression.
One exercise that will help you with depression is to write down or type a negative thought that comes into your mind on a piece of paper, computer or diary. Then for that negative thought, write or type at least 5 to 10 positive counter thoughts that will derail the one you already have. The more the better !!
With a fixed mindset, when things do not go the way you expect them to, you tend to place all the blame on yourself. Let me give you an example: say you decide to learn a new skill and find that you are not very good at the start, you will tell yourself “I must not be smart enough to learn this.” In addition, with a fixed mindset you do not allow any room for error, everything is always black and white for you. You believe that either it comes naturally or you will never master it.
You will be able to start to change your mind by writing down or typing your negative thoughts and countering them with more realistic ones. For example, you did not get the lead in a play, so you write down the negative response that you are not talented enough to play the lead and you will never make it as a stage actor. Now, counter that negativity by writing down something like, “I'm disappointed that I did not get the lead but I am grateful to still be in the play where I can continue to learn”, or “I did not get the lead this time but I am developing as an actor and will have a better chance the next time I go for a lead role. ” Continue to write down more statements that reflect fact rather than continue to focus on the belief that you are not good enough to be an actor.
Adopt a Growth Mindset to Stay Healthy
Studies show that negative thinking, often associated with having a fixed mindset, can lead to a decrease in the bodies' immune response. A growth mindset on the other hand, produces optimistic emotions that actually affect your physical health in a positive way which in addition helps with managing depression.
Growth mindset activities to help with depression also include identifying all of your personal accomplishments, working on improving your self-worth and reconizing the things that you value most about yourself. With practice, these exercises will help to promote a growth mindset. Make time every day to list a minimum of five accomplishments of which you are proud and read your list on a regular basis to help with depression.
In my book, “Self-Help Guide To Depression” I go into detail on many more ideas of how you can change your current thinking patterns to help you beat depression.
You can also go to my website depression treatments.net for more information on how to change your mindset.
I would love to hear how you are going and encourage you to comment below as you embark on this journey.
Adversity Consultant, Physiotherapist and Author
“You have to do it yourself, and you can not do it alone.” Martin Rutte