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The Power of Our Mindset

On Monday, Anna Stookey joined me on Your Caregiving Journey to talk about how a mindset can lead to depression. (Anna shared a caveat at the beginning of the show that you’ll want to seek help if you worry you are depressed.) You can listen to our show via the player below.

Anna explained that depressive thinking (Why me? What difference does it make?) can lead us to feel powerless and without any options. Depression, Anna said, feels like a closed loop without any options.

How do we move to the opposite of depressive thinking to something like open thinking?

Anna offered two questions we can ask ourselves when the day or moment seems to be doing us in:

1. What do I feel?

2. What do I need?

Understanding how we’re feeling (overwhelmed, scared, intimidated) can then lead us to our options (filling our needs). So, for instance, if you feel overwhelmed, you could decide you need a 10-minute break or quiet time for a prayer or an encouraging word from a good friend.

I think we all have had an experience of feeling overwhelmed and gone straight to, “This is too much for me. I can’t do it.” And, then, of course, we can’t. We’re much better off if we can tap into how we feel and then move into what can help us feel better.

During the show, Anna and I use a few more examples so illustrate how this two-question process can work. It’s a process which you can use over and over. The process keeps you open to what you need rather than closed to what can help.

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About Denise Brown

Avatar of Denise
I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.

2 comments

  1. Avatar of Trish

    The power of our mindset can not be underestimated. As many struggles as my dad had, he had the most optimistic attitude and knew that he would eventually pull through whatever troubles he was having. Even Robert tells people the best book he ever read (which he read as a teenager) is “How to Make Friends and Influence People” which is focused quite a bit on mindset. I like the simple, two question process that Anna shares (there’s a theme here lately, Denise!). :-)

  2. Avatar of Chris

    Our mindset can make us or break us…yet in return, there is only one person who controls our mindset and that is US. Easier said than done in our busy schedules and busy world. But when you can capture your mindset and place it in its natural form of confidence, comfort and joy…the mind and the body and do great things!

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