When you’re feeling tired, you often hear the same advice: drink more water, get some exercise, work on your sleep - all of which are great suggestions.
But what if what’s draining you isn’t happening in your body, but in your mind?
Especially when you live with depression, the content of our thoughts can dictate how we feel about ourselves, how we view the world, and what action we take in our lives and in our businesses. Read on to learn how our thoughts affect our energy levels and how you can break out of the negative thought cycle for greater focus and drive during the workday.
How the Depressed Mind Thinks
The depressed thinks a little differently than the non-depressed mind.
First of all, people with depression tend to overthink; a process called depressive rumination. Rumination can look like dwelling on problems without a solution, getting stuck on why you’re feeling depressed, or repeatedly looking back on your mistakes and beating yourself up for them. The problem with rumination is that it can trap you in a repetitive chain of negative “why me?!” thinking that doesn’t provide you any relief. (Source: Aeon.co)
Secondly, the depressed mind tends to gravitate towards an absolutist or “all-or-nothing” way of thinking. Simply put, these are black-and-white thoughts that contain extreme words like ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘everybody,’ or ‘nobody’ and can sound like:
“I will never be successful running my own business”
“Nobody loves me.”
“Everybody has life figured out except me.”
Most people have thoughts like this from time to time but they can be more distressing for people with depression. Why? Because (1) our thoughts tend to be more negative than people who do not have depression (Source: Psychology Today) and (2) we’re playing these thoughts on a loop. I don't know about you, I’m exhausted already!
These Thoughts Can Drain Your Brain
As you may imagine, repeating negative, all-or-nothing thoughts constantly can drain your energy during the day.
Think of thoughts like an app running in your mind. If you keep the app running 24/7 with high-emotion, negative thoughts, it’s going to drain your battery - even if you do nothing else all day. And this app can be sneaky – sometimes it can be running in the background and you don’t even know until your emotions or fatigue levels clue you in!
The same goes for trying to fall asleep at night. For many of us, the moment we lie down in bed is one of the few moments in the day when we’re not distracting ourselves. This can open the floodgates of our mind, allowing in negative, obsessive thoughts that keep us tossing and turning all night – and exhausted the following day.
What to Do About It
If you notice that you can’t shut your brain off or your energy is plummeting for no reason, try the following:
Of course, this type of shift in thinking doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right practice and guidance, it can become second nature!
How do you deal with your negative thoughts? Leave me a note in the comments!
Note: I research all of my blog posts extensively and provide only scientifically backed information. Please e-mail here if you find any errors or discrepancies in this post and I will be sure to make any warranted changes. Thank you!