Think Different, Be Happy?

Think Different

I’ve spent a little more of my life than I would like to recall battling with degrees of depression. I was luckier than many; in the end I learned that the majority of it was entangled with and fueled by addiction issues, and when I dealt with THOSE issues, much of my depression was eliminated. So strangely, I’m actually thankful for the overall experience, because it gives me two tools to help others, and a lot more sympathy for anyone who struggles with depression.

Which was why I found it heartening to learn that the University of Exeter had recently done a study of how training in ‘concrete thinking’ can be utilized as a form of self-managed treatment for depression. The study suggests an innovative psychological treatment called ‘concreteness training’ can reduce depression in just two months and could work as a self-help therapy for depression in primary care. I found this idea thought-provoking, and it generated some interesting debate amongst a couple of friends.

While you may find the old Don’t Worry, Be Happy song annoying, or the Apple tagline “Think Different” trite, there may in fact be something to ponder in both ideas. One of my moodier friends even joked “Hey, maybe this is why I find the Getting Things Done material so useful! It keeps me focused on concrete steps, and keeps me from pondering all the abstract theories that derail me!”

I don’t know if there’s a scientific study to support THAT idea, but it is heartening to know there are mental health professionals out there focusing on the idea that therapy is not a perpetual process, and that personal discipline can create profound and lasting change.