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Simple Ways to Improve your Thinking
Friday, October 12, 2012
This blog is going to be pretty short. These are 3 concepts that are easy to learn and apply to your life right now.

1: The word 'But'

Think about how you're using the word 'but' in your mind. Do you tend to think things like:

"I have to go to school, but I'm so depressed that I can't get out of bed."
"I'm a good person and capable of making friends, but my illness is keeping me down."
"I know I'm good at my job, but I'm worried I'll get fired."

Now flip those statements around:

"I'm so depressed that I can't get out of bed, but I have to go to school."
"My illness is keeping me down, but I'm a good person and capable of making friends."
"I'm worried I'll get fired, but I know I'm good at my job."

You see how simple this is? It can really change your whole attitude and perspective on your life if you start thinking about how you're using the word 'but.'

2: Problems vs. Challenges

Another simple way to change your attitude is just to take the word "problems" out of your mental lexicon and replace it with "challenges." "Problems" tend to linger and can seem insurmountable. "Challenges" can be won and can fuel your fire.

3) Writing

A few years ago, when I was still in the process of building myself back up, I was a very angry, frustrated person. A lot of my frustration was irrational, because I hadn't beaten my illness yet. There were lots of things I wanted to scream from a mountain top or go on and on about to anyone who would listen.

A lot of us with a mental illness struggle with racing thoughts. Racing thoughts put our minds in a state of turmoil and can be particularly hard to deal with when you're trying to get to sleep at night. When your mind is racing and there are things about your life that are deeply frustrating you, you feel like you just want to explode and scream about your frustration until you lose your voice. I've found a simple way of slowing down my mind and getting that pent up frustration out of my head. You don't need to reach your breaking point and explode. You don't have to subject someone to a rant about how your life is so cursed (although there is a discussion board called 'rants' where you can rant about anything anonymously and people might be able to help you with it).

All you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and *handwrite* what's going through your mind.

I say 'handwriting' and not 'typing' because handwriting forces you to slow your mind down. Just writing things down by hand can let you release all that bottled up frustration--you can get it all out of your system. Plus, if you go back and read what you wrote the next day, there's a very good chance you'll be thinking more clearly and can come up with a way to deal with all those frustrating issues.

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