“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” Reinhold Niebuhr
Depression can feel overwhelming, and when one feels overwhelmed, everything seems hard. Everything is an effort. Yet we know that behaviors that we can control help us to overcome that feeling of helplessness. I tell my clients that if they can manage to change just one little thing in their life, they can change everything. Once we see that we can make some very small changes, it affects how we see the world. From helpless to effective. From passivity to action. Just one little thing…
So, I brainstorm with my clients. Nothing is too small a start. Once they find that a little change actually works, they are encouraged to do more. They have received the energy of action. Physics tells us that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Less energy is required to keep an object moving than to start it moving. If we can supply just a little energy to start the behavior, we can get momentum.
The “one little thing” can be as small as getting up 15 minutes earlier. Or, perhaps sending a text to a friend they have not heard from in a while. Or, deciding to walk outside for just 15 minutes a day.
While these are small and manageable little behaviors, to a person with significant depression, it can feel daunting. I encourage clients that if they just try this new behavior for a few days, they will see a difference. Indeed, they have become empowered to take charge of their life in small ways.
However, I think it proves the truth- change one thing, change everything.
Prayer: Lord, help us to make the small changes that can change lives, Amen