Negativity

I seem to be dwelling on negative stuff everyday and can’t seem to find any positive aspects that can encourage me. For example, blaming myself for all the troubles that I have bought upon myself and other people. I don’t know how to handle this.

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hi friend,
often we make ourselves the sole reason for all that is bad or hard in our lives, when this is far from the truth.
Our brains are kinder to others because we understand that no person lives or operates alone, there are always situations we respond to, others who have hurt us or caused a reaction, etc. When it comes to ourselves, we don’t apply this sort of kindness or grace, only judgment and harsh criticism. Often, it is not even about being truthful with ourselves and accepting responsibility for what we’ve done. It’s sometimes just our brains beating us up for stuff that has happened.

I like to apply brute logic to a situation, to force myself to see what is really my contribution, what was a necessary reaction for survival, and what was truly a mistake on my part. If you’d like to go over a specific situation or anything that is being viewed as all negative, I’d love to provide a different perspective with which you can look at it.

You are not your past; your past doesn’t lock you in a box that can never be undone. You are not defined by your mistakes. You matter, and you are loved.

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Beating ourselves up and getting stuck in negative thought spirals is how many of our brains are wired. You’re definitely not alone with this. However, it is possible to rewire our brains. I’ll make some suggestions, maybe something is useful to you.

  • Thoughts aren’t facts. The first thing to acknowledge is that just because your mind throws thoughts at you doesn’t mean you have to believe them. So when your mind tells you it was all your fault, you can still say “well, interesting, show me some objective evidence”. Challenge these thoughts.

  • Learn how to distinguish between (i) what actually happened, (ii) your perception of it, and (iii) your feelings. Example: Someone cancelled plans for a movie night (what happened). You think they don’t like you (your perception). You feel unlovable (feelings). Truth is, there are dozens of reasons for cancelling plans and an incredibly unlikely one is the one you chose, but your mind tells you that cause it’s wired that way. So now you have to step in and generate awareness of your mind’s misconceptions (that it learned most probably some time during childhood).

  • Torture your mind and focus on the good things. That does not mean to live in denial and to not address problems. But there are always things to be grateful for, no matter how small. The sun is shining, you have a roof over your head, anything. Write it down. Give your mind evidence of the good.

Of course this all is way easier said than done and requires practice and repetition. Changing those neurological pathways requires a lot of effort, but it is possible and very much worth it - you and your mental health are worth it. :hrtlegolove:

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From: mictek

true love starts within ourselves… as difficult as it may be, you must forgive yourself… and learn that we all make mistakes, life in itself, is our teacher. It is up to us to learn from those lessons and strive to be better! When you truly love yourself from within, then you will begin to realize how wonderful it feels to love others… to make them feel that love from within! That spark, that love that you can create in others… that’s the real power there! Breathe out that gross energy and breathe in new, fresh life energy. Share that with others!

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From: Micro

Dear @Ed495,

There are times when it’s really hard to see a silver lining in the midst of our current life circumstances. Dwelling on negative stuff everyday is tempting and, somehow, an easy way to validate so many things you might believe about yourself and/or the world around you. When we feel like everything suck and everything’s dark, we’re just more prone to see the proof of it all around, as if it was becoming more and more obvious to us. Somehow, it’s okay to dwell on negativity because it is human. Really. It’s a human reaction. And somehow, it’s the manifestation that some healing needs to happen for you in some way. But the focus on negativity has to be limited in time or intensity. It can’t be the mode on which we live everyday. There is a need for some balance to be restored. There is a need ford healthy steps to be taken. When you focus on negativity and darkness, you’re acknowledging what isn’t satisfying to you, what’s hurting you… that’s a first step. Now, what’s your next step, in order to change that outlook? Not just to develop some toxic positivity that would do nothing in the long run. But to truly look out for enjoyment, peace, fun and life again. There are many depressing things in this world, and all of us are meant to go through times that are difficult. But life has so much more to offer than darkness. You are not meant to be stuck in that headspace. And today, you own an amazing strength: the acknowledgment that there’s some automatisms and outlook in your life that you don’t want to experiment forever.

So far, your heart seems to be in need for some closure, forgiveness and grace, especially regarding these past mistakes that you seem to carry like a heavy burden. Would you like to share what these mistakes are? I promise you that you won’t be judged or criticized. You’ll only be met with love and grace. A good thing to break down the potential shame and guilt that goes along with dwelling on the past is to allow yourself to be vulnerable and open about it. You have a place right here to do so, to be true to yourself and be vulnerable safely. Maybe this could be your next step?

You are loved. No matter happened before. There is a hope in the possibility of creating a new change in your life. And thi scommunity is willing to go through it all with you. :hrtlegolove:

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From: sea__kay

Hey Ed495, it’s good to read from you again! Since you mentioned in your last post that you have problems talking to others about what’s going on, I think it’s a great step that you’re reaching out here! In both posts you brought up that blaming yourself is a big issue for you. Do you know why that is and where this is coming from? Were you made responsible a lot during childhood by caregivers? Just as an idea. For me personally it is always insightful to know where my behavioral and thought patterns are coming from. Understanding and becoming aware of what’s going on is very helpful to me and is the first step to making changes, because you can’t really work on something you’re not aware of. I hope to read from you again. Sending you much love.

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From: Dr Hogarth

Hi Ed495,

I don’t know if this resonates with you, but I find if I make a mistake or do something wrong, I let it become an analysis of my character; if I make a mistake at work it must mean that I’m stupid, or if I upset someone it must mean I’m a bad person. Those negative ruminating thoughts can just take over and push everything else away. It’s overwhelming and soul destroying. I don’t know if that’s anything close to what you’re going through.

You’re not defined by your mistakes. I think (and I have to remind myself) that we are defined by the next steps we take after our mistakes. Blaming yourself uses up so much energy and will only stop you from acting to make things better. I know that is so much easier said than done. Our mistakes don’t have to be an end and your mistakes don’t define you. x

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From: Mamadien

Welcome to being human my friend. We all have that ability to blame ourselves when we feel that we have hurt ourselves or others. Remorse is good in letting us know that we have erred but forgiving ourselves for shortcomings is a skill we all likely need to learn and practice. It’s a great skill that helps to move from the negative to learning how to do better the next time. The thing is we also need to recognize when we have done something good for others or ourself and say thank you to ourselves. It can be tough to stop running negative scripts in our heads but it can be accomplished. Please take a bit of time and tell yourself that you are a valuable, loved and cared for person - because you are. You have worth and that worth isn’t defined by the negative dialogue, but by you simply being you. Do you think you could begin by telling yourself one good thing every morning and then as you get better at this, perhaps tell yourself something good more often through the day? I’ll start with telling you that you are a very caring person.

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, thank you for your post, I am so sorry that you are struggling with all this negativity, it can be very hard to manage when it takes over. One thing I would love you to remember is that we are all faliable, we all make mistakes and we are all capable of hurting ourselves and others on purpose and by mistake. if you hurt someone, you apologise and you learn from it, that way hopfully you wont do it again, that does not make you a bad person and to allow yourself to suffer or be unhappy because of mistakes is such drain on your life and you health and your happiness and no one needs that, not you or anyone else. Once you accept that no one here is perfect and life is full of errors of judgement that have been learned from and apologised for you can file them away and move forward so I guess im asking you to start doing some filing. start boxing up some of those bad moments and putting them away. Its time to start enjoying life. Much love lisa. x

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From: Taladien

Hey Ed,

Sounds like you have a case of… being human. It comes with ups and downs. Including being hard on yourself. I am very familiar with that. When I do well, I feel like I am just being me. But when I mess up something, I feel like that mistake defines me. It erases the good I’ve done. And it is hard to shift my mentality otherwise. My mind wants to focus on what I did, and what I think it has caused. Even if I don’t actually know what may have come of it, I just want to focus on what might have come of it.

It is hard to shift your mentality to not defining yourself from what you see as mistakes. It may feel selfish to focus on your successes, even if small. But you aren’t being selfish when you see your wins, as well as what feels like a loss. You aren’t selfish, shallow, or what ever you want to call it. Look at ALL of your work. Don’t short yourself and the good that you’ve done.

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