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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Red Flags of Irrational Action

There are times everybody gets down. It's more rational to not to go along with the down mood but to turn in another direction. I look at it this way. Sometimes it is helpful just to use your logical mind. So when I get a downer mood I might ask myself, "Would I rather spend two hours being depressed and unhappy or would I rather spend two hours going out and doing something productive and helpful to someone else no matter how I feel." The answer is then obvious. Just the very  action of getting up and accomplishing  some small task or activity may be a real catalyst to change the entire direction of your downer mood.

One of my friends told me he once went into a deep depression that dragged him down for months. “One day,” he said, “I realized that I had sat in the same chair for three days in my underwear, without doing anything except getting up and going to the bathroom. I started to talk to myself, out loud, ‘Is this rational?’ My answer was ‘No, this is not rational.’”

“So,” he said, “I got up, got my car keys, got in my car and drove down the road to the 7-Eleven. I was still in my underwear, so I didn’t go in. I waited for about 5 minutes in the parking lot and drove back home. But I had done something other than sit in that chair. It was a victory of sorts. When I got home, I got myself something to eat. I felt better.”

“After that incident, says my friend, “I decided to erect a boundary for myself, a marker to alert me. Now when I am deep in depression I visualize two little red flags, one on either side of my head, just in my peripheral vision. Those red flags tell me to get up and do something. Those red flags tell me that it is not rational to lie around and be depressed. The flags tell me to get busy. And when I see those red flags, believe me, I do get busy!”

It doesn't matter the greatness of the task that you decide to do instead of doing depression. What matters is the turn you then make, with any small non-negative action, in your direction of focus away from depression

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