By Nancy Virden (c)2022
Retrieved in part from How the Difference-Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts by Nancy Virden ©2020
Consider the question, “If someone were to talk to me the way I speak to myself, how long would they be my friend?” Answering this may help to clarify how nasty we can sometimes be to ourselves. Often the motivation for such harsh self-judgment is that we are comparing what we think and feel to how others act.
Eleven years ago, I needed a game, something with a little challenge in it, to help make a thought exchange. So, I made one up. It is amazing how fast it worked. From decades of self-abusive language in my head to automatically challenging such thoughts took only a few weeks. I play the game again periodically when negative moods threaten to affect my sense of value.
Here’s the Game: Word-Swap
Challenge 1: Awareness. Begin to notice how you automatically speak (audibly or not) to yourself. One day, as I was learning this, I placed a box in the closet only to have it fall down. “That figures,” I said. Stopping to look around inside the storage area I questioned how many of those items had I placed on those shelves that did not fall? The answer: all of them. My “it figures” comment was far from reality.
Challenge 2: Stop when you are about to insult or call yourself names. Take the first letter of your negative word(s) and think of positive replacements that start with the same letter. I found it easier if the replacement did not have to be an exact opposite of the negative.
Exchange stupid for strong, smart, successfully washed my truck…
Exchange loser for loving, learning, Lisa’s best friend…
Challenge 3: Choose positive words that speak well of you even if you do not believe them yet. It is tricky, and just might make you cringe or laugh aloud at first!
Challenge 4: Keep it up!
Today’s Helpful Word
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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