Ways to deal with depression and Negative thinking

Depression and negative thinking

Negative foreboding thoughts could cause people to get into depression, chemical imbalance or not. Depression is the feeling of sadness combined with a strong sense of hopelessness and despair. If we can take control over our thoughts, our lives would be largely under control and take the direction we want it to go. All of us go through intense negative emotions at certain periods in our life, but some more than others. Some are able to deal and handle them effectively while others are not so skillful. In this article I would like to discuss how to deal with depression and negative thinking.

Physiological and psychological symptoms of depression

The common physiological and psychological disturbances that occur with depression are - disturbance in sleep, poor appetite, loss of interest in surroundings, and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Quite frequently we hear people casually saying that they feel depressed, often referring to a condition of feeling down or sad or lonely and even bored. Though they feel that way, they may continue to function normally or at least at an acceptable level. They may not be so caught up in feelings of hopelessness and despair. Depression is a hollow mental state where the person may or may not feel sad, they would just seem lifeless and apathetic. A feeling of impeding doom overhangs them and they can or ‘will’ not do anything about it.

Depression and how it is related to negative thinking

Negative thinking triggered by an unfortunate incident often makes a person to ruminate over them day in and day out. Negative thinkers tend to believe the worst about themselves. They may be so caught up in their own negative world, that their perception of the world seems to be colored by their negative thoughts. If the person is not alert this may slowly deteriorate to such levels that may impair their normal functioning.

Negative thinking often causes people to consider all things in a negative light. They seem to personalize everything that happens to them and/or attribute motives to others which may or may not be realistic. It would sometimes seem as though nature or the whole universe was plotting against them. If it rains, it is as if the rain wanted to get them all wet and sick or if it shines, then the sun chose to be blazing hot just when they had work to do. Somehow they fail to understand that all things are not about them.

Negative thinking and attitude causes people to worry, constant negative rumination and worry produces fear or anxiety. They draw the person inward, making them withdrawn and unresponsive to social or even personal interactions. These factors make their world dark and dismal, slowly disconnecting them from the world outside causing the individual to sink deeper into depression.

Negative thoughts do not allow for objectivity and a realistic approach to people or situations. Often negative statements or criticism by others tend to be considered by such people as a personal affront and are either internalized, leading to depression, angry moods or volatile behavior. The reality is, it is a problem of perception. As long as they can take it as constructive criticism, doing what needs to be done and move on, they are able to cope with situations as and when they arise and in a realistic and healthy manner.

A negative frame of mind causes negative thinkers to, underrate their potential and compare themselves unfavorably with others, leaving them with a sense of low self-esteem. While it is healthy to aspire for the best it is rather unhealthy to be unrealistic and feel depressed with failure or what is perceived as failure.

The problem with negative thinking is that though it may have an element of truth to it, it is often exaggerated by constant rumination leading to despair. In truth we can work through most situations, they need not always be the end of the world, there are different ways of working through problems or coping with them. But a person who thinks negatively see all things as burdensome and believes that there is no way out or that there is no point in persisting with life. This issue of perception of reality causes further complications.

Excessive negative thinking or rumination leads to heightened negative perception of one’s situation to such an extent that despair and hopelessness sets in. Suicidal thoughts or depressive stupors could be a resultant effect. Feeling gloomy or sucked into a deep well of sadness by events around could be normal, but seeing no hope for the future and believing that things can never turn around or improve is characteristic of people who err on the side of depression. They also tend to lose track of reality and confuse it with their perception which is biased or negatively colored.

Negative thoughts that are frequently occurring, cause disturbance in sleep, which in turn disturbs the normal functioning of the body. Weariness or tiredness seems to be the normal feeling due to disturbed sleep. Loss of appetite, irritability, lack of interest in anything, seem to grow on the person as they delve deeper into such morbid rumination. The apparent apathy or listlessness may suddenly be interrupted by intense despair and the desire to end life. Rumination on ending life may result in self destructive actions.

Ways of dealing with depression

Though there are chemical imbalances that come into play, negativity or negative thoughts seem to play a larger role in depression. This seems to be a vicious cycle.This problem of negative thinking is compounded by the fact that the individual is unable to, or unwilling to speak about them and seek help from others leading to depression and other associated complications. The ability of the individual to handle stress or coping skills is what determines a person’s ability to sail through depression and trying moments in life.

The need for hobbies and interests that are creatively inclined cannot be over emphasized. They help the person focus on activities that give pleasure and a sense of achievement.

Asking for professional help, or sharing one’s problems with a trustworthy individual may help greatly. Having a strong social network helps them tide over such powerful emotions that seem to engulf and overwhelm an individual.

Practicing relaxation techniques helps handle stressful situations better. Taking long walks or deep breaths could also help regain balance and poise in stressful situations.They could also prevent negative reactions that tend to complicate the situation further.

Having a regular exercise program and a routine that gives time to relax and socialize or indulge in creative activities is very important.

Making it a habit to celebrate self, successes and relationships help keep the focus on positive events. It can also keep levels of motivation high and fill the person with a great feeling of well being.

Associating with people who have a positive attitude and spending more time with such people causes an individual to be influenced by the positive thinking and attitudes of the people they associate with. This could also enhance a person’s zest for living.

Surrounding yourself with happy memories and symbols of happiness helps. Reminiscing over them with a heart of gratitude will help imprint happy memories in your mind.

Lively music, bright colors are great mood enhancers..

Developing positive thinking and attitude towards life is vital in handling stress and depression effectively. It also helps one live life to the fullest. Enjoying life and making each moment count would be a great way to live.

More by this Author

Thank you for reading.. let me know how you feel ........ 43 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

So true! And excellent advice.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thank you Paradise for that quick appraisal and endorsement !! It is greatly appreciated :)

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Super hub with great tips! I'm all for exercise and being creative ... they both work wonders. Voted UP/Useful!

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Some excellent advice and information on depression.

Thanks for sharing an excellent hub.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Great article sofs. I find if i start to feel depressed, i immediately think of something good in my life, then soon, no feelings of depression. Your info. is helpful. thank you for sharing.

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Great article. What they say is true... if you smile or think happy thoughts, it will change your mood around. However, if you are stuck in a whirlwind of negativity, that too can have an effect. Unfortunately, it is harder to beat the negativity then it is to turn a smile into a frown.

I hope someone who is suffering from depression comes around and finds this. They might realize that positive thinking can really help!

timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

Some great suggestions sofs. Quite often it IS a perceptual problem. Other times, (and I suspect in many cases) it's a chemical imbalance. In that case, all the positive thinking in the world may not work, until the imbalance is corrected, if possible.

Nicely written, my dear. Cheers.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

@ Sunshine, thank you for the encouraging comment. Greatly appreciated.

@Movie Master, thank you for the read and the comment. I do really hope that this does help people who are suffering from depression.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Ruby, thank you for sharing your experience and endorsing that positivism works and works well too :) Thank you and I appreciate this greatly :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Barbergirl, I agree with you completely, it is hard but I have seen many overcome depression just by developing a positive attitude. Thank you for the sharing your views.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Tim, It is always great to hear from you. There is an element of chemical imbalance, but that seems to be fed by negativity and improper nourishment that occurs as a sequence of the depression cycle . This is a vicious cycle and I would take a positive approach to life than delve on chemical imbalance and medication.. that seems to be creating another problem of drug dependency . Having worked in this field I am more and more convinced that we need a balanced life not medication and chemicals.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

So true, sofs. Well written. I am continually working on myself in regards to this. A work in progress, I guess. I try to read these motivational hubs, hoping something will sink in! Yours is a good read.

Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

Hey Sofs, very nicely written. Depression is a tricky thing to deal with and when people deal with it by being truthful with themselves, then introspection and reflection of their own life, becomes much easier. When people perceive specific situations/circumstances, it is how they understand perception to begin with, based on their knowledge and wisdom already obtained, is what matters. If people don't understand perception and only know one specific understanding of the word itself, then they fail to be truthful with themselves, which leads them to perceive things in a wrongful manner. Again, nicely written. Voted Up! And marked useful. :) This will help a lot of people. :)

Uma 5 years ago

Oh Sofs! Whatever would I do without you! You cover the most basic and the most common but dreaded aspects of life that are so unpredictable with such ease. Depression can make life miserable if not tended to. I love to be surrounded by people I love to keep myself away from this "disease". Thanks for the info and the wonderful solutions. Bookmarked!:)

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Well rounded, helpful information in a clear and focused presentation style. The strategies for dealing with depression are so vital, more effective than any medication in isolation. Voted UP & UABI, mar.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

@Victoria Lynn, we are all work in progress. I cannot think of someone who is not..and to be aware of it is such a lovely attitude towards change.. I wish you the very best. Thank you for the read and the comment.

@Cagsil Thank you for the read and the insightful comment. I truly appreciate that :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

@ Uma, Getting your social support system to back you is the way to go. Yes, depression can be a miserable trap, that is easy to fall into. But for the vigilant it is not very hard to keep away from depression. I am glad you liked it enough to bookmark it. Thank you, I appreciate it greatly :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Mar, thank you.. working with such people and seeing their dependency on medication often bothers me. With a little help most people can keep away from depression. Thank you for the read and the comment.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

I grew up in a negative world surrounded by depressed people. By the time I was an adult, I found the negativity normal and didn't know how to function possitively. It has been hard to break that thought process. I don't like to take medication, so I have tried to find other ways of dealing with my depressing moments. Writing is my biggest outlet. I will never be able to break free of the negative world that surrounds me, but being able to find ways to cope with it without letting it get me down helps.

Thanks for this informative hub!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Tlpoague, I understand what you are saying, being surrounded by negative people breeds negativity. I truly appreciate that you are dealing with depression in a very positive way. I am so glad to hear that you do not depend on medication. To tell you the truth though it is hard to break free from negative thinking, it is not impossible. I did just that and that is why I keep writing about being positive, even at the cost of being repetitive. I honestly appreciate your candid sharing, ((((hugs))))) to you :) Keep writing, break the back of depression and don't give in to negative thinking. My best wishes to you :) God Bless!

Bonnie Lewis profile image

Bonnie Lewis 5 years ago from Watkinsville, Georgia

A great all natural for depression is Lavender oil. Hope some of you read this and tell someone that needs to try it. Sure won't hurt and it sure smells good too.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Lavender is great for helping you to relax, as important as it is, it would be more important to focus your mind on something that keeps you away from negativity and depression. Though this is the focus of this hub, thank you for the tip,it may help some readers to relax more.

rembrandz profile image

rembrandz 5 years ago from Dubai Media City

Hey sofs What an informative hub! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's so true that trying to hang out with positive and happy people does so much good. and..lavender to attract happy thoughts does help. Am not new to a world where negativity/people who instill negative thoughts without them realizing it and negative thinkers are constantly knock on our doors...I keep my lavendar oil and itunes music handy!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Rembrandz.. welcome to my positive world.. I depend on my inner source of joy.. my faith, the beauty around me and my belief in people and their innate goodness.. I believe and so I am.. lavender or no lavender.. :) lol

Yep hanging out with positive people always works..I try to rub off much of my positivism on the most negative people around me.. :)

You have the best gift, art, to keep your mind from getting into dark moods.. I do paint..flowers when I feel miserable and they are very uplifting :) Thank you for the comment and the follow.

wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

SOFS- Excellent presentation of this connection between negative thinking and depression! You made your case with powerful insight and clarity. I heard a statistic that 80% of the average persons thoughts are negative! Negative thinking also contributes to various ailments according to medical doctors. I haven't seen many successful people with negative attitudes, I believe we create our own reality to some degree through the words we speak and the thoughts we allow ourselves to entertain! Thanx again for your thoughts on this subject!- WBA

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thank you WBA for such an insightful and encouraging comment. I have another hub on the power of words in which I deal with how you can create your own reality.. thoughts give way to words and words have the power to create and destroy. This is a wonderful endorsement and it is highly appreciated.

MysteriousLife101 profile image

MysteriousLife101 5 years ago

Hey thanks sofs Sorry I just saw your response now. Look forward to coming to your hubs to inhale some positiveness! :o)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Mysteriouslife you are always welcome anytime to come and breathe in positivism through my hubs.. that is one thing that you will find here in abundance. Glad to be of help :)

Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 5 years ago

Depression and negativity affects everyone around. Its important to stay clear of these people but hard to do if they are family members or friends. Good hub!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Stacie L, thanks for raising the point, but we need to keep our own sanity and need to learn to emotionally divorce ourselves from negativity at all costs. Yes, the impact is much stronger when it is family, but we really need to learn to ignore or bring about a change in our environment. Be the change ...I know that it is easier said than done..but one would emerge stronger for it.

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Sofs-you covered this subject so well; an outstanding explanation regarding the symptoms as well as suggested ways to improve the situation. I especially liked the link between the depression and negative thoughts.

Well done. Voted up and across...minus the funny. :)

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Hi Denise .. that endorsement from someone working in the field is wonderful. Thankyou Denise for pressing all the tabs..but do you know that some of my serious hubs have some funny ratings too? :) LOL :D Have a lovely trip and enjoy yourself :)

How to - Answers profile image

How to - Answers 5 years ago from Ireland

Yes I agree completely. Negativity can suck the life out of you and it is very hard to battle it.

There are some awesome free You Tube videos that are available with fantastic soothing music and positive affirmations for anyone to use though!

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the endorsement.. and yes there are quiet a few valuable resources online that people could use.. maybe I should add them on.. Thanks for the comment and the stopover.

Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 5 years ago

Thank you for helping others by telling your story and giving helpful information.

paradigmsearch profile image

paradigmsearch 5 years ago from USA

This is the kind of article that really helps people. Well written.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Thanks Xenonlit, sorry for the delay. It makes more sense to share your experience with your reader is my thinking, I am glad you like it. Much appreciated.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Hi Paradigmsearch, it is wonderful to see you here.. :)Thanks for the compliment, and yes the purpose is to help people understand that they can do it..nothing is impossible. Thank you for the comment and the encouragement.

Nat Amaral profile image

Nat Amaral 5 years ago from BC Canada

This is so true! I wish I could have read this a year ago--that was when I was at my worst with my depression. It is usually at its worst at this time of year. Now, I have been feeling at my highest moods. I have had more friends (positive ones) and it turned out that my recent move had turned out to be a good idea. I'm glad I read this, and I'm sure this will definitely help many others out there. Thank you for writing.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

Nat Amaral, even if it is helpful to one person, I am richly rewarded. Thank you for letting me know. I wish you all the positivism and happiness in the world.God Bless!

gsidley profile image

gsidley 5 years ago from Lancashire, England

Thanks for an interesting read sofs.

In depression the idea of being stuck in a vicious circle is a valid one e.g. negative thinking errors...lower mood...biased memories in favour of our past failures and at the expense of our past successes...further lowering in mood...withdrawal from activities that used to provide enjoyment/sense of achievement...further lowering of mood, and on and on.

sofs profile image

sofs 5 years ago Author

gsidley, thank you for the comment. Well summed up. Being stuck with negative thoughts is indeed being caught up in a vicious cycle. I appreciate the comment greatly. Have a lovely day! God Bless!

dipika 4 years ago

my ege is 20 and in exam period i feel very depress and negative thoughts are arrive and my study is not perfectly complete please tell me the solution please please..............

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