Deep Bench: How self-destructive thoughts can be turned around

WAUSAU, Wis. (WZAW) -- With coping and managing symptoms of a mental illness, there can be several factors that play into self-destructive thoughts or negative attitudes about you as a person. And this can have damaging affects in your life.

Rachel Zenter, a licensed professional counselor from Behavioral Health Clinic in Wausau joined the Deep Bench on Tuesday.

She said you can hear people talking in regular conversation about himself or herself being "an idiot". Although, there is usually self-talk or internal talk that is darker or more negative that people with a mental illness tend to keep to themselves.

"It often boils down to how they feel about themselves. Are they capable? Are they intelligent? Are they worthy? Those are kind of themes that we deal with," Zentner explained.

She added that its important to recognize that the world is tough on people already.

"So when we're also being tough on ourselves, it exacerbates the anxious or depressed symptoms that we're struggling with," Zentner said.

Zentner said to be able to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones takes some practice.

"The negative thoughts that we have in our minds, we have practiced those as well. The good thing about recognizing that in ourselves is that we can use the same mechanism to install more positive thoughts and ways of looking at ourselves, through the same idea of repeating things,"

Some things Zentner recommended to do this would be by writing down positive things about yourself or leaving notes to yourself with positive messages on them. Seeing that positivity repeatedly can be helpful is bringing your self-image and self-esteem up.

Mindfulness is always a good practice as well. That's a therapeutic technique where one achieves a mental state by focusing awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensation.