Jump to content
Mental Support Community
Victimorthecrime

The power of negative thinking?

Recommended Posts

Yesterday my boss announced that I would working on a special project today instead of my usual job. So I was very anxious and worried and slept poorly but on the way in a weird thing happened. Instead of trying to think positive I just surrendered to my negative thoughts such as "you're a loser, things would be better if you were dead" etc and I had a mini breakthrough were I saw that they were just thoughts and that I would just do my best, come what may, life is what happens and that's that. I was not euphoric or anything but I had a certain peace. Things went fine and one guy even said 'your in a good mood' w a smile and that was very encouraging.

Just thought I would share in case it may work for someone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw your post Klingsor - I know what you mean about not being able to stay in that mindset.

Something I experienced was acceptance of the negative in a negative situation. I was shopping recently and thought "I'm a lunatic" (the usual thought) but I just started laughing and continuously repeating it. I could sense if was bringing me relief. When I genuinely laugh it makes me feel like others relax. Maybe its unhealthy but at the time it worked.

This post was different but I missed the point entirely...its 7.33am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think all of us have an inner critic and usually it is trying to serve some purpose. I know mine can get so ridiculous at times, I can laugh off the stuff my mind comes up with. Sometimes I even argue with it. :/ I feel it helps to get some space from those thoughts and not internalize them or allow them to beat us down. They are just thoughts, yes. I'm glad you found a way to do this and that it seemed to help. I'm glad things went fine at work too.

Take care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never found cognitive therapy useful. Whenever i get to the point where i'm forgetting my self-hatred, some self-centered aggressive person will put me down or shame me in some way, and then i'm back in it. Or i'll have an experience, like my recent car accident, that screams "you're incompetent" without anyone saying anything. I don't think it's possible to "reframe" or "reinterpret" a bad experience that came from your own mistake. Maybe some people can buy into their own fantasy world enough to do that; i never could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know for me the new positive feelings I have about myself are still vulnerable and sometimes I can find myself falling back again...Change is challenging, even when it's positive change, I think.

I hear you that reframing and CBT methods have not helped you. What does help? How would you support a friend who shared what you have here? Maybe it helps to offer your own care and insight to yourself?

Take care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems to be a constant battle for me. I hated my childhood, particularly elementary and middle school. Abused at home. Picked on at school.  But always put on a smiley face as if it didn't bother me. Everyone thought I was such a happy kid, but inside the hatred brewed. As a teenager, it made me feel better when I embraced the hate and anger.  Maybe it was a coping thing. 

That coping mechanism now seems to sabotage my life, especially close personal relationships.  Whenever something negative starts to happen, it's like my brain goes on auto pilot. I just want to be alone, disconnect from everyone, and listen to songs about anger or being hurt. Pretty soon I don't feel anything but hurt and anger and eventually lash out at someone close to me (usually my spouse).  In that moment, it all seems to make sense and I just know I'm justified in blaming others for the way I feel.  Months later, if I reflect on it when I'm not in that space, I can see how ridiculous I was. How I made a big deal out of nothing really. 

I guess my point is that particularly in very personal matter, I focus on the negative until I create the negative.  This really only happens to me with very close personal relationships. For the rest of my life I'm a pretty positive person and usually get positive results. It seems so obvious!  But no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to change the script.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tcnewexp said:

I guess my point is that particularly in very personal matter, I focus on the negative until I create the negative.  This really only happens to me with very close personal relationships. For the rest of my life I'm a pretty positive person and usually get positive results. It seems so obvious!  But no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to change the script.

In our close personal relationships we can't always keep holding up the smiley face and a lot of the hurt that we have been holding down is revealed. 

I wish I could say there was an easy answer or that I even had an answer. The best I can offer is that the more we can learn about ourselves and accept what we learn the better positioned we are to heal. 

Healing is what is needed because the emotional body has taken a beating. Repeatedly. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tcnewexp, have you ever read about different attachment styles? I found this article a few years ago and I have found it very helpful. We are often replaying the past and acting on fears we had as children. I do the same at times when something triggers my attachment fears. There is much to learn about ourselves and where our deepest pains are by looking at our behaviors within relationships.

Take care.

http://www.couplescounselling4u.co.nz/conflict-styles.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Victimorthecrime said:

In our close personal relationships we can't always keep holding up the smiley face and a lot of the hurt that we have been holding down is revealed. 

I wish I could say there was an easy answer or that I even had an answer. The best I can offer is that the more we can learn about ourselves and accept what we learn the better positioned we are to heal. 

Healing is what is needed because the emotional body has taken a beating. Repeatedly. 

 

Thanks Victim. I'm in my mid 40's and feel much better that at least I know I'm doing it. Just trying to develop the tools to overcome.  The emotional beatings I have taken are the one's that haunt me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, IrmaJean said:

Tcnewexp, have you ever read about different attachment styles? I found this article a few years ago and I have found it very helpful. We are often replaying the past and acting on fears we had as children. I do the same at times when something triggers my attachment fears. There is much to learn about ourselves and where our deepest pains are by looking at our behaviors within relationships.

Take care.

http://www.couplescounselling4u.co.nz/conflict-styles.php

Thanks Irma, I appreciate the resource. I'm incredibly lucky to have an understanding and forgiving wife. Everyone has a breaking point and I hope I find the tools to deal with my shit before she breaks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you aren't being too harsh with yourself, tcnewexp. In a relationship, there are always two people interacting. So while we have our own stuff to cope with, so too does the other person in the relationship. I think when we come together and relate with another sometimes we can bring out each other's emotional baggage too. Where there is intimacy, there is a space to learn a great deal about ourselves. And working through this can be rewarding and bring partners closer to one another, I think.

I wish you both well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2015 at 7:46 PM, Victimorthecrime said:

Yesterday my boss announced that I would working on a special project today instead of my usual job. So I was very anxious and worried and slept poorly but on the way in a weird thing happened. Instead of trying to think positive I just surrendered to my negative thoughts such as "you're a loser, things would be better if you were dead" etc and I had a mini breakthrough were I saw that they were just thoughts and that I would just do my best, come what may, life is what happens and that's that. I was not euphoric or anything but I had a certain peace. Things went fine and one guy even said 'your in a good mood' w a smile and that was very encouraging.

Just thought I would share in case it may work for someone else.

I agree with this 100%.  I now habitually think of the worst that can happen instead of trying to fight that thought.  This clears my mind and I can then plan how I'm going to handle, best possible.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think positive thinking is a huge mistake though it does seem to work for some people.  Or does it?  Does it just set them up for a "mental breakdown?"

I liken positive thinking to walking a high narrow mountain ledge on the precipice of a 1000 foot drop to your death.  Actually, I've come to believe you don't need a positive outlook to handle what life brings.  Of course, you don't need negative over-shoots either!

"You are a loser. . .?" etc. in my mind are negative over-reactions to attempted unsustainable "positive" thoughts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like reading the latest research in positive psychology. Balance seems key to me - a lot of what gets worried about never happens.  Also doing stuff that is enjoyable can be v helpful rather than 'just' saying lots of cheerful mantras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some books on psychology e.g. tips from happiness research, I like the wellbeing and psychology section in a bookshop. Also read Psychology Today, yes. Some interesting articles but some subjects do crop up on there over and over - like how to deal with narcissists (surely there can't be that many narcissists in the world!)

There is a writer on there called Marty Nemko - I like his writing style and practical advice. He writes about careers but also life tips/observations from years helping clients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is good information in that video. Positive thinking does help me at times, but I think Jazz is right about balance. I would call myself an optimistic realist. And that works for me, but might not work best for others. Situations are always evolving too, there are adjustments to make and that might also include adjustments to what helps and what doesn't. There is always more to learn, when we are open to it, I think. Open-mindedness, actually, may very well be what helps me personally the most.

I am very interested in psychology as well and read whenever I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/7/2019 at 1:24 PM, IrmaJean said:

Situations are always evolving too, there are adjustments to make and that might also include adjustments to what helps and what doesn't. There is always more to learn, when we are open to it, I think. Open-mindedness, actually, may very well be what helps me personally the most.

Yes, there is also the idea about decision making that Susan Jeffers wrote about in her book 'Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway' = "Don't protect, correct."  It's just knowing when to correct and getting on with it that can be difficult!

http://greystoneglobal.com/dont-protect-correct-your-strategic-planning/

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...