Every day you have thousands of thoughts. This could range from planning for your child’s birthday party this weekend to completing a complex project at work.
It’s amazing that we have this capacity for such high-level thinking.
But sometimes your thoughts can be too much and really negative. In fact, depressing thoughts can make their way into your mind. This can cause you to eventually experience depression and struggle to be able to function.
However, you don’t have to believe everything you think!
Why You Have Depressing Thoughts
The obvious reason why you are having depressing thoughts is that you are currently going through, or have experienced, an event in your life that is difficult.
One example is that you may have just lost a friend or loved one. Another is that you may have a personal struggle in your own life, such as an addiction, illness, or injury.
Whatever the reason for your negative thoughts, it causes you to slip into a mindset that is ripe for depression.
The Thoughts That Just Won’t Leave You
When you are stuck in depression, it’s very easy to believe the negative thoughts that you’re experiencing.
Those could include, for example:
- I can’t do this!
- I’m worthless!
- Nobody cares.
- This is meaningless.
- I will never be happy!
Of course, these are just a few of the many examples of depressing thoughts you could have. The tragic thing is that it’s easy to believe them.
This is especially true if you have been struggling with depression for a long period of time. Eventually, your life experiences and beliefs will begin to affirm each other.
For many, depressing thoughts can be so overwhelming that only drastic actions such as using drugs and alcohol—or worse—can stop them.
What You Can Do to Quiet Depressing Thoughts
If you are struggling with negative thoughts right now, it’s important to break the cycle. You need to be able to identify those thoughts and then question them.
Of course, this won’t be easy, as it can be tempting to simply ruminate over your dismal thinking, instead of questioning those thoughts.
One idea to help you quiet distressing thoughts is that, if you have a negative belief about yourself, such as if you think you are incapable of doing something, question it. And use an example from your own life to counter that thinking.
For example, if you think, “I can’t do this,” reflect on a time when you did accomplish something that made you feel capable. Use that memory as a source of strength to counter the negative thinking narrative in place.
Spending Time with Positive People
It shouldn’t be surprising that the old phrase, “misery loves company,” really is true. Oftentimes, people struggling with negative thinking will gravitate to each other. Lamentably, that only strengthens the negativity and depression of both people.
Instead, choose to spend time with people who are positive and affirming towards you. Of course, that doesn’t mean being with people who you don’t feel are genuine. You don’t need fake positivity.
However, these should be individuals who can not just the negative but the positive as well.
Preventing Depressing Thoughts from Taking Root
Negative thinking can be a struggle to cope with once it has established itself. Yet, you can prevent depressive thinking from taking root by practicing mindfulness exercises.
With practicing mindfulness, you can learn to acknowledge the thoughts you do have and then allow them to float away from you. It doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand. Rather, mindfulness lets you accept your thoughts as they are, but not hold onto them either.
Depressive thinking isn’t an easy problem to solve. At its worst, it can cause you to experience deep depression and personal struggles. However, you don’t have to be stuck there forever. You can learn not only to address depressing thoughts but to prevent them from becoming full-blown depression.
I would love to guide and support you in this journey. Contact me or learn more about therapy for depression by clicking on the link.
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