During my years in therapy, I learned that certain ways of thinking can lead to depression, as well as other unpleasant experiences. One of them I’ll call the “ALWAYS/NEVER MINDSET.”
“I NEVER get recognition for my work.”
“My boss ALWAYS ignores my suggestions.”
When you hear yourself say or think “ALWAYS” or NEVER,” you need to stop and examine the truth of such statements. Would it be more honest to say, “I seldom get recognition for my work”? If so, how often do your peers get recognition for theirs? Is it possible you are not being singled out but being treated like everyone else? How does this consideration affect your attitude? When you say “always” do you really mean “often” or sometimes”?
Personal relationships can also be adversely affected by the ALWAYS/NEVER MINDSET.
“You ALWAYS leave your dirty socks on the floor!”
“You NEVER have dinner ready on time!”
Great way to start an argument! Life is much more pleasant if you limit your use of those two words.
Writers learn to pay attention to every word and the emotions each conveys. Here’s an exercise to discover how you’re programming your moods: Just for one day, listen carefully to your thoughts and words. How many times did you use the words, “always” or “never”? How did you feel at the end of the day?
Stephanie Kay Bendel is the author of EXIT THE LABYRINTH: A Memoir of Early Childhood Depression – Its Onset and Aftermath, MAKING CRIME PAY: A Practical Guide to Mystery Writing, and A SCREAM AWAY, a romantic thriller published under the house name, Andrea Harris. She has also written numerous short stories and articles on writing.