Achieve Your Goals: How to Stick to Your Resolutions
Resolution 4: "I Want to Stop Being So Negative"You're most likely to relapse...
...the next day. You didn't become Mistress of the Dark Side overnight, so don't expect to wake up as Little Miss Sunshine the next day. And while you may have stopped contemplating the apocalypse -- for the time being -- you're having a difficult time keeping all of those nagging neuroses at bay. Of course, if you're truly depressed, you may need to seek out professional treatment. But for many of us, a daily plan can do wonders for the psyche.Relapse-Buster 1
Quit ruminating. Psychoanalyzing every setback makes problems worse, according to Robert Leahy, PhD, director of he American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City and author of The Worry Cure. The longer you stew, the longer they'll brew. So set your thoughts on something else -- the nicer, the better. Moderately to severely depressed students at Stanford University reported feeling better after shifting their focus to pleasant topics. Another way to halt your negative mental processes: Stop equating uncertainty with a train-wreck outcome. Instead, come up with seven explanations that don't have to do with you.Relapse-Buster 2
Immerse yourself in a hobby you love. Lack of action is precisely what makes you feel stuck in a rut, says Leahy. Break out of your funk by getting absorbed in something so meaningful that you lose yourself in it.Relapse-Buster 3
Stop grousing and get moving! Working up a sweat helps keep the blues at bay by increasing the production of serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals in the brain that make you happy. Short exercise sessions increase feelings of well-being for up to 60 minutes after exercising, according to a new study conducted at the University of Missouri at Columbia. If you need ideas for new moves, see our "Get a Hot Body" guide.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2007.
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