“Get Service” Video:
Ignoring the fact that this video is put out by a Church (for those “non-denominational” folks), wouldn’t it be amazing to have a pair of glasses that showed us what’s hiding behind the plastered smiles or neutral expressions that we all use to function in society? And to see one person who we could actually help / influence / support right in front of us?
Well, take a look in the mirror! Yesterday, we talked about “flipping” perception and approaching an issue from a fresh direction. Imagine you have those “Get Service” glasses – what do you see in front of you? What is the message and is there something you can do today to help or nurture yourself? Even one small thing that will make a difference? Is there something you’d like to try but have been afraid to? Why not give it a shot? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
For those of us in recovery from mood disorders, it’s so easy to feel trapped inside our own skulls. When you’re doing everything to get through the day and simply function, looking outside yourself and considering what other people are going through takes real effort. The whirlwind of our own thoughts and keeping in control doesn’t leave a lot of room for much else. That’s why it is so important to maintain social connections, especially ones that involve helping other people. Whether it’s forming or participating in an exercise group, volunteering once a week (or month) at the worthy organization of your choice, or taking an even more active role in your community, these helping behaviors carry a “flip” all their own. Helping others flips the “I’m useless”, “I have nothing to offer”, “I’m worthless”, ____ fill in the blank to “I can contribute”, “I have value”, “I feel good about myself when I help others”.
Remember those exciting neural “paths”? Replacing self denegrating messages with self supportive and nurturing ones takes time, but again, repetition, repetition, repetition allows healthier, loving new paths to be formed and strengthened. Flipping low self worth and self esteem takes time but service can be a powerful tool along the way.
Tomorrow Sneak Peak:
We’ll talk about creating your own “episode flip plan” to address negative / mania or depression based thinking that controls us during an episode. Many thanks to a terrific blogger for the suggestion to take this an important step further!