Psychologist Questions Mental Health

What causes my brain to think negatively most of the time?

I am feeling very depressed and negative most of the time. For even everyday common activities, I have a very negative attitude and approach. What should I do about it?

10 Answers

Negative thinking is characteristic of those suffering from depression. You can also learn negative thinking from those in your environment. Or for some people, it represents the accumulation of difficulties they have experienced in their lives. For starters, you can try to stop yourself and replace a negative thought with a more positive, rationale one. However, if you are suffering from symptoms of depression (such as sad most days, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, poor self-esteem, impaired concentration, interrupted sleep), you should seek treatment from a mental health professional.
Apply the technique of thought-stopping with positive replacement, as well as Dr. Amen's "Killing the ANTS" (Autonomic Negative Thinking) exercise.
First, you need to realize that the negativity solves nothing and in no way is helping you. Then in short, catch yourself every time you think or speak negatively and try to say something positive. An example would be, “people on the roads are always acting like jerks and making me late to work”, can be changed to “I’m lucky I have a car to drive and a job to go to, maybe I need to leave a little earlier so these people do not ruin my mood and/or my day”. Step 2 is to be grateful. Even if it’s hard to be find something that you can be thankful for. Like the line at Starbucks is so long you hate waiting in line to remembering how good the hot coffee tastes and be thankful you can afford it and the coffee you like is the plus that’s why you wait in line. Step 3, be patient with yourself and helps the negativity go away and finally start looking for ways to help others which distracts you from yourself and the negative thoughts. It brings others to you rather than push everyone away. Not everyone is a jerk or bad person. The more people you are uplifting and kind to the more you find the good in others and the less negative you become.
Good luck, with anything, practice, practice, practice and be patient with yourself while you try to stop the negativity.
Negative thinking can be the result of negative environment, habit, depression, etc. Explore whether you find yourself having a common thread negative thoughts (e.g. “I’m not good enough.” “Things will never turn around for me.”). There are a ton of self-help books out there but a mental health professional is a great resource to help you identify and address negative thinking.
Hi, That's an excellent question. It has to do with the balance of your left brain, rational mind, and your limbic and right brain, emotional mind. We tend to develop through life experiences and genetic predisposition a default or a set point for where our focus gets fixated. Yours may be fixated more on what could go wrong or what is wrong with you. Your mind may literally not even notice or process the positive. The good news is that we can rewire our brains to think more positively and notice what is going well so there is a more balanced perspective. If you have had any traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, even any separations, abandonment, divorce, a parent with a mental illness or addiction, these experiences would be good to process and clear with a trained trauma/attachment therapist. What you can do on your own is write in a journal every day, 3 things that went well today, that you're grateful for or proud of. Studies show that doing this daily will help your mind more naturally start to notice and take in the positive and change your set point for feeling happier, more optimistic, and more balanced in how you are perceiving things. I hope this was helpful. (Give the journal exercise about 8 weeks to notice the shift)
Warm regards,
Dr. Mojas
Depression is a disorder of information processing. Therefore, thinking styles that occur during depression periods are laced with negativity, beliefs of inaffectiveness, and distortions about life. Find a cognitive behavioral psychologist to help treat your negative thinking. Best wishes
Negative thinking is a part of depression. The best treatment for depression and negative thinking is cognitive-behavior therapy.
The question is whether this is a change in your usual attitude, or is a life-long condition. But either way, do see (1) your medical doctor, who can determine if there is a physical cause - hormonal imbalance? Dietary insufficiency? Etc. (2) If not, get a referral to an experienced psychologist who can do testing and/or through conversation with you develop a hypothesis about the cause and appropriate treatment.

Life can be good - why live under a Charlie Brown black cloud?

Marian Shapiro
Licensed Psychologist
Hi! 3 suggestions:

1) Do either yoga, martial arts, or tai chi once a day
2) Get outside once a day
3) Find something to nurture
4) Start a hobby

If those don’t help, get to therapy; there might be an old childhood wound that has been re-opened because of something in your adult life.
You should see a therapist ASAP because it will always be there unless you get some help and will direct your life to what may not be good for you.