May 15, 2024

Breaking Out of Depression and Anxiety

Anxiety depression
Take a quick moment to imagine an entrancing bird confined in a cage, boasting vibrant colors that captivate observers. This delightful bird, despite its raw and natural beauty, has never experienced life outside the cage.

One day, the cage door opens, granting the bird freedom. However, the bird decides to remain grounded, not due to physical limitations but because it perceives itself as still trapped. The bird, though free, stays within the cage, conditioned to believe it cannot fly. At Boise North End Wellness and Counseling, our therapists aim to equip you with the skills to break free from the cages of depression and anxiety.

Consider a relatable example – the challenges of a difficult math class. You can substitute any subject that evokes a similar sentiment; let's use math simply for illustration purposes.

When faced with a failed test, did you ever entertain the thought that you were beyond help? Thoughts like "The test was too hard," or "I am not smart enough" may have lingered, perpetuating a cycle of failure. This learned helplessness extends to various aspects of life, where one anticipates distress without attempting to change their circumstances.

You might be experiencing learned helplessness if:

  • You feel powerless in challenging situations and believe there’s no solution.
  • You easily give up or adopt a pessimistic outlook when faced with difficulties.
  • Negative self-talk dominates your thoughts during tough times, leading to recurring stress and depression.

The science behind this isn't overly complex. Our brains have neurons and neural pathways that form connections based on our thoughts and emotions. If a negative experience, like failing a math test, solidifies in your brain, it can lead to learned helplessness, contributing to ongoing mental health issues.

Breaking free from learned helplessness is possible, even if the neural pathways are deeply ingrained. Consider the following steps:

Focus on positive possibilities in challenging situations. Replace negative thoughts with optimistic ones. Incorporate “yet” into limiting self-talk, leaving room for growth and change. Identify what you can do differently next time to avoid falling into the same patterns.

Unlearning learned helplessness is a rewarding – albeit difficult – journey that can transform your life. Remember, the power to react positively lies within you. While situations may be challenging, your reaction determines the impact on your beliefs and thoughts. Allow yourself to soar out of the metaphorical cage – your wings are not clipped; you can fly.

Learned helplessness extends beyond individual struggles and can affect relationships. Therapists at Boise North End Wellness and Counseling are equipped to help you regain control in various aspects of life. If you seek assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us!



Contact North End Wellness today to start on your journey towards creating your best life.