One of the things I am working on with my counsellor is changing the way I think.
She suggested a method she called thought stopping and then reframing my thoughts.
The idea is that when something horrible pops into my mind I should picture a stop sign (or similar imagery) and focus on that instead.
Once I manage to stop the thought then I try to "rewrite the script" in my brain to something more positive.
Obviously this is basically thinking positively and being thankful for the good instead of focusing on the bad. But it is really easy to say "think positively" and "be thankful" but rather difficult to actually DO that when you are in the midst of depression or when anxiety is suffocating you.
Thus the stop sign imagery.
I have found it very helpful.
It is a constant and continual process and I have, in no way, mastered it. But it IS working when I manage to do it.
When I am in the midst of depression I tend to panic over simple things like leaving the house or making supper.
It drives me crazy that such simple things can completely derail me but they do.
The stop sign method helps me to stop panicking and keep moving. Instead of "I can't cook supper because I am a complete failure as a mother" I picture the stop sign and breathe and change it to "I am capable and I can accomplish this task and even if it sucks I am still a good mom".
It seems like it should be simple but changing our inner dialogue is no easy task.