Can You Think Your Way out of Stress and Depression?

a person holds their temples potentially struggling with stress and depression

In this fast-paced world, there’s no shortage of daily demands. A mounting sense of pressure can take its toll, even bringing on symptoms of stress and depression. Before resorting to unhealthy coping methods, like drug or alcohol use, consider healthier alternatives or a depression treatment center to manage your symptoms.

One healthy method is positive psychology, which helps to reframe roadblocks in a less stressful light. But, can you think your way out of stress and depression? Marsha Boveja Riggio, Ph.D., NCC, LPC-S, an associate professor and the director of training for counseling programs at Argosy University in Washington, D.C. helps answer this question.

Using Positive Psychology to Tackle Addiction, Stress, and Depression

As a licensed professional counselor with more than two decades of experience, Dr. Riggio has experience helping people from all walks of life. Low-income families, adolescents, and young professionals have all found relief through her practice.

Her practice continues to evolve as different techniques gain traction in the research community and show positive outcomes in the patients with whom she works. Positive psychology is one of the guiding principles she helps to instill in many of her clients.

Positive psychology, or positive thinking, helps people focus on the positive aspects of recovery vs. the unhealthy ones. Since many people in addiction recovery may face the consequences of their actions, like disrupted relationships, foreclosure, or unemployment, it can be easy for them to contemplate these thoughts. Instead, positive thinking helps them reframe their perspective to have hope for the future when they work through recovery. 

How Can Positive Thinking Help Manage Depressive Thoughts?

It can be challenging to manage depressive thoughts with positive thinking alone. A mental health professional can help provide a positive thinking track and achieve milestones. Like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), positive thinking helps to adjust how a person thinks so they can begin healing.

Through exercises like “stop-stop,” many people can begin to find relief from the depressive thoughts that may act as roadblocks to recovery. “Stop-stop” is a practice in which a person stops a line of thought when it arises and stops talking about its consequences. For example, someone talking about how depressing their past is may reframe to talk about what is causing their current reaction.

What Can You Do to Start Thinking Positively?

If you struggle to think positively, you are not alone. Many people have difficulty finding a silver lining in things or stopping negative thoughts. Some useful tips that may help include:

  • Actively look for the good in things.
  • Recognize the “okay” moments, not just the good or bad.
  • Practice stopping negative thoughts.
  • Be in control of something positive.
  • Do something good each day.
  • Do something pleasurable each day.
  • Practice mindfulness to become aware of your emotions.
  • Try to be positive to someone else.
  • Read or watch positive things.
  • Do one thing well each day and focus on it.
  • Find balance in life.

While it can be challenging to accomplish this thought pattern, you can practice positive thinking by doing one of these things every day. Depressive thoughts won’t disappear immediately, but with regular practice, you can begin to find relief in your daily life.

mental Health Treatment Provides More Ways out of Depression

If you struggle to break away from stress and depression or escape the grips of addiction, it may be time to find professional help. At Right Step treatment centers in Texas, our recovery specialists provide affordable, compassionate care so you can lay the foundation for a happier, healthier life.

With locations near Houston, Austin, and Brazos Valley, you can find a place in which to learn the skills for a sober future. Get started today by calling 17135283709.

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