My next exercise is to try to build up to changing my negative/depressive thoughts to more helpful ones. Anyone who has suffered depression will know that when you're feeling low/worried about the future/fixated on a problem or loss, it really isn't all that helpful for someone to say "look for the positives" or "it isn't as bad as you think"....you rational mind knows that full well, thank you, but it isn't as easy as just telling yourself to think differently- that doesn't work.
So, the trick I am learning is to have a conversation with my compassionate self- that older, wiser me. She represents my rational mind talking back at me, but in an understanding, compassionate way. She knows why I feel the way I do, and reassures me that it is understandable...but then she helps me look at it in a different way- as I would if I were talking to a friend.
Good practice today. I think this will only work if I continue to practice it, but so far, so good.