Monday, 29 September 2014

Flip side.

I have been reading about 'dualities' in the past few months and have realised how beneficial it can be to look at the alternative.

I'm a pessimist by nature, somewhat melancholy and a bit of a malcontent (got it all going on here eh?!), anyway, my inclination is to look to the negative in an attempt to plan for the worst case scenario.

There was a time when this seemed like a survival skill and a good strategy in a world where I felt beset by problems. In reality I had no power of prediction and wasted lots of time expecting and planning for the "worst" which rarely, if ever came along.

None of this was helpful to my depression. I thought at the time it was because I was planning and being realistic, when in fact I was wiring the neural pathways in my brain through reinforcement, it was self-defeating, I couldn't look for the positives because I was repeatedly wiring my brain for the negatives. Which is where the dualities came in.

Every thought I have has an opposite, a 'flip side' and this has been a revelation in terms of tackling my negativity, helping my mood and gaining an understanding that my thoughts are not a fail-proof gauge on the world.

When I'm feeling unhappy I remind myself that happiness also exists within me. I don't have to generate happiness I just have to remind myself that it's in there. Likewise, reminding myself when I feel angry, there is also peace, or anxiety there is also calmness, or worry there is also acceptance. By reminding myself that each of my feelings has an opposite which I have experienced before, I am able to get a handle on my emotions and head them off from overwhelming me. It's not a cure all, but it is one of the tools in my kit bag to support me when the world and life is looming too large.

I have a postcard from a friend and the quote on the front sums the duality thing up for me, it says:

Q. "But what if I fail?"
A. "But my dear what if you fly?!"

It's a beautiful way to remind me that my ship can sail in sunny seas rather than lurking in stormy waters.

Ellis
A Moodscope member.