One of the books I have been reading about being more positive and making changes is "Goals" by Brian Tracy. One of Tracy's ideas is that our personalities have five layers like the rings on a target. The inner most ring is our values, followed by our beliefs, expectations, attitudes and then beliefs. When I was reading this I realized that so often I was trying to change my actions without really looking at how those actions tied into my values. When I failed to connect the two my actions didn't stay consistent. One of the big areas this has been true for me in the last couple of months is daily scripture reading. I have been taught since a child to read my scriptures daily but when my depression gets really bad daily devotion is one of the first things to get cast aside. January was a really tough month for me and I am still working to come out of that fog and pick all of the pieces back up that I let slide during that time. One of the big ones being daily scripture reading. I found I was trying to change my actions because it is something I should do or something everyone else is doing. These are not reason enough to really make a change. When I stopped and really thought about why daily devotion is important I have been able to connect my actions to my values and that has made a huge difference.
I am finding this to be true as I work to be more positive as well. If I am just trying to change my actions it might work but until I am able tie them to values it isn't a lasting change. Now that I am working on being positive as a virtue my actions are staying more consistent with my values.
When I am depressed my values all crumble making it very difficult to keep up with the actions of normal life. Even greater unhappiness follows because my circles aren't lined up. Now I know I sound like I am contradicting myself from my earlier post about action your way into feeling. In normal life this is very true especially with smaller things like cleaning house or doing laundry. When depression gets thrown into the mix there are all new rules. Sometimes acting first helps but sometimes that makes it worse. Depression is a beast all of it's own.