Friday, January 29, 2021

Taking value based actions to help with our mood

When counseling our patients with mood disorders regarding behavioral activation/activity scheduling, we may like to encourage more value based actions rather than just “generic” ones.  Generic actions can be like visit the family or friends, going for regular walks, or checking out new activities in the area. 


Value based actions are linked to one’s inner values, feelings, and principles and hence, are more emotive, meaningful, and purposeful for the person. If they are more emotive, meaningful, and purposeful, then they may be more sustainable. 

If we have strong values around family and connection, then we can explore activities around that. If they have strong values around creativity and beauty, then maybe explore some activities around that. For some of us, it might be values around productivity and helpfulness, so explore around that. 

Getting clarity around our values first is a good start.

Having said that, sometimes clarity around values may not be there yet, and therefore “generic” actions first before clarity is not necessarily a bad option.

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