Over on TikTok, you’ll see a number of creators ‘romanticising’ their lives.
But what happens if you start to adopt this way of thinking off social media and into your everyday life?
This is what 27-year-old Sravya Attaluri has been doing to help with her depression – and with great results.
The Londoner tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I like the term “romanticising” because it sounds like I’m trying to fall in love with my life, which is exactly what I’m doing.’
The trend involves looking at your life in a positive light, trying to find the ‘romance’ in the mundane, and shifting your perspective.
It’s in-line with the other social movements we’ve seen pop up in recent years, such as ‘main character energy’, in which you view yourself as the main character in your life.
Both trends are about viewing yourself in a more positive light and encouraging better self-care.
For Sravya, she explains: ‘I have found that defining my life in a positive way leads to a more positive outlook.
‘I rewrite the narrative I tell myself through the process of “romanticising” which helps me find happiness in the aspects of my life that would otherwise go unnoticed.
‘I suffer with depression and anxiety and have done for a long time, and I’m on medication for it. I found that my outlook on life was very bleak, and it made me feel hopeless.
‘As part of my cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), I was taught to reframe my thoughts – to look at things differently.
‘This includes rewriting my past and learning to deal with the uncertainty of the future.’
This reframing fits into her romanticising philosophy.
‘It wasn’t easy for me to change my perspective,’ she adds, ‘but I found that by practicing for four years and slowly changing my behavior, I could find joy in my life.
‘It’s not like I don’t feel down – I still struggle with depression.
‘But now it’s easier for me to recognise and reframe my thoughts. It’s an exercise you have to practice.’
However, this practice didn’t come easy to Sravya at first. In fact, she was initially ‘resistant’ to it when first hearing the term.
She says: ‘I thought “romanticising” was impossible, and I didn’t realise that it was in my control.
‘I felt frustrated when people told me that I needed to see positives in my life when I felt like there weren’t any.
‘At first, I started small, with a gratitude journal that I didn’t show anyone. Over time, it got easier.’
Now, Sravya will recount her day’s events and look at them in an uplifting light – from small things, such as something she’s eating or drinking, through to her social interactions.
Almost like rose-tinted vision, but without the naivety.
This means she can focus her attention on what she enjoys, rather than linger on the things that bring her down.
She says: ‘I find that when I recall negative memories, I can frame them in a positive light by focusing on how the experience has helped me grow.
‘For example, I realised that describing my experiences in a way that helps me move forward, helps me cope with the difficulties of life. On a daily basis, I practice journaling and working on my communication skills.
‘My partner and I also do a monthly “cheers list” where we write down all the things we are proud of and cheers to each one.
‘I cope with my past trauma by rewriting the narrative of what happened, which helps me to move forward.
‘I also replace anxiety with excitement now, focusing on the fact that I have previously overcome challenges so that I can overcome new ones, too.
‘This helps me manage my depressive episodes a little better.’
Romaticising your life isn’t a ‘cure’ by any means for mental health issues, but it can make coping a little bit easier.
Rather than banish depressive spells, the practice has made Sravya ‘more optimistic and confident’ than she ever thought she could be.
She adds: ‘I’m currently working on my master’s degree in psychology and neuroscience.
‘I’ve been learning about memory bias, and I just read a study about how people with depression tend to recall negative memories more often than positive ones.
‘I’ve found by romanticising my life, and actively narrating positive stories for myself, it’s helped me change the way I see things.’
She now wants to share her experience of this, in the hope that it can help others.
The 27-year-old continues: ‘I think there’s a very fine line between reappraising my thoughts to see life more positively and being unrealistic about reality and having an optimism bias.
‘I’ve learnt to change the emotional impact of my past and I’m able to come up with a more optimistic perspective when considering my present.
‘I can now also better regulate my fear – which is often extreme with my anxiety – when considering the future.’
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article