Written by Molly Swanberg
Have you ever noticed how time flies when you are busy? I mean truly busy. Have you noticed that during times of activity, you don’t have time to ruminate about how awful your last date went, or the fact that you feel you haven’t lived up to your full potential in life? Finally, on the flip side, have you ever noticed how easy it is to get trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts when you are unengaged, bored, or simply have too much time on your hands? If you are a human being reading this blog post (as opposed to some type of internet-surfing robot) I imagine that this resonates with you. As intelligent beings, when we have nothing to do, we think. And if you are prone to depressive thoughts AND you have little or nothing to do, you may fall victim to a depressive disorder such as Major Depression or Dysthymia.
So what do we do with this knowledge? Through systematic research we have discovered that “Behavioral Activation” is a cutting edge, non-pharmacological treatment for depression. One of the key components to behavioral activation is to help people develop a schedule. Not only does this build structure into an individual’s life, but it also aims to increase activities and behaviors that are pleasurable. With behavioral activation, people become very busy with great stuff. There is less free time to get trapped in the ruminations of the past or worries about the future. The bottom line is that the more we occupy our bodies and minds with positive activities, the better we will feel.
To sum it up in two words, get busy!