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how to mentally relabel/recondition a situation/circumstance

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how to mentally relabel/recondition a situation/circumstance

Postby mirrorview » Sun May 08, 2022 3:14 pm

(This is my first post, please feel free to edit/move)

Dear all,
I am interested in figuring out how I can mentally relabel/rebrand a situation.

Concretely, I am living in a city for several years now and the first five years have been really tough due to education/job situation (I have been borderline depressed and developed a anxiety disorder). While that is now past, which I am grateful for, I unfortunately still somewhat associate the city I live in with "not being happy" or "not belonging here" given the difficult time I had. I often feel a sense of being alienated from the city and the people here. I would love to somewhat relabel/rebrand the city. I am looking for advice how I could achieve this. If I were to "move today" to this city with my new job etc, I am pretty sure I would love it. Any suggestions (books, methods,...) is appreciated, but please pardon that I am a total newbie in the field of pyschology.
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Re: how to mentally relabel/recondition a situation/circumstance

Postby Snaga » Mon May 09, 2022 6:01 pm

Hello and welcome!

This topic is a bit vague I suppose as to where to place it, so I've left a link in the original destination and moved it to our 'catch-all' forum in the hopes it'll be more likely for responses.

This is probably going to sound trite, but the kneejerk response from me would be to well, make yourself get out there and have fun. Find pleasant things to do in the city and make yourself take the attitude that you're going to enjoy yourself. I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and this has a slightly OCDish air to it (not saying you have OCD just that I can see similarities). And with people like me who get stuck on something like this, we have to try and re-wire our brains. Usually that's in association with some sort of intrusive thought plaguing us that gives us anxiety, but I think the principle here is the same, not to mention you mentioned anxiety and depression. For example I used to get wicked panic attacks in certain situations, out in public, usually the mall, or church, or wherever there were crowds. I had to make the conscious decision to be more stubborn than the panic attacks- I made myself go places and stand my ground and not retreat home. Eventually I got over them once I realised it was a mind game and I was determined to beat that. I wish I had the same resolve for all my anxieties but that's another story. The point is I managed to rewire myself.

So if it were me, and I were determined to change, I'd 'make' myself go out and have fun and treat the city as if I associated it with good things. And see if eventually I didn't actually associate it with a feeling of contentment. If that makes any sense.

It's not magic, nor is it an instant cure, but whenever I do try to tackle something like that in that way I find myself one day notice hmm that's not bothering me anymore. Maybe that will help in this situation and maybe not, but it can't hurt to try.
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