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Men who struggle with negative thinking, what advice would you give to someone that struggles with the same issue?

Men who struggle with negative thinking, what advice would you give to someone that struggles with the same issue?

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50 Comments

  1. Been dealing with depression the past 8-16 months, honestly got to the point that I went to my local doc and after a short discussion he gave me a prescription for some medication.

    Things have been different. It’s not a magic miracle drug but it has helped me from having those low days and with that I don’t find myself getting those negative thoughts or ruminating on past events for hours on end.

  2. 1st: Identify the issues you believe you have. Write down your emotions and feelings and thoughts and try to understand where they come from.

    2nd: Choose the things you want to change in your life and make those changes, but TAKE SMALL STEPS. Make small changes and move onwards periodically. It makes it easier to have attainable goals and also makes the process more fun since you are able to achieve your goals in the time frame you have set up.

    Important: Keep a group of people close to you that will help you. A support system, some allies that will keep you in check and will help you through the tough times. Make your goals known to them and tell them that you’re looking for their support.

    Also practice GRATITUDE. It’s extremely important to keep a look on what is going well in life. There’s always some, little things at first, like a nice cup of a beverage you had or a great meal, time with friends or video games. Anything really that you are grateful for. Just write down a few things you’re grateful for a couple of times a week.

  3. Negative thinking is a form of self-sabotaging that has its roots in self-esteem issues.

    To help boost your self-esteem I would advise working on your fitness with both cardio and weight exercise.

    The endorphins released by same will help improve your sense of self and that will help with your catastrophic thinking.

    This is just a start, of course.

  4. The older I get, the more I’m realizing that my negative thoughts come from what others think of me, or what I perceive they think of me.

    So, I try to maintain my own ideas and thoughts and piss on everyone

  5. You don’t have to have an opinion about everything.

    I grew up thinking that my opinion was required. All situations, all music and tv shows, every person, etc for some reason needed to be judged. It was a constant judgment of: good vs. bad, funny vs. unfunny, etc.

    One day someone said to me, “Why do you care enough about this to state your opinion?” and I didnt have an answer. The thing I was talking about had no impact on my life other than giving me a lame excuse to feel grouchy.

    To borrow from Henry Rollins: It’s really damn easy to be cynical and see the worst in things. In fact, it’s lazy to do that without offering a solution.

    Anyway, that’s my personal negativity reckoning. Only you can find the source of yours and deal with it.

  6. Read the book feeling good by dr david burns…. You can skip the first chapter if you want bc it just talks about other prevailing methods…..

    He is a big proponent of writing things down with a technique

  7. Talk about it or write it out. Getting things off your chest will always make me feel much better.

    To get through these negative/depressed periods, find something to keep you occupied. Don’t just sit around and keep thinking about whatever it is that’s bringing you down. Go running, do some yard work, give yourself a project and complete it. And stay away from the alcohol and junk food. It’ll be there when you start to feel better.

  8. A simple strategy you can try is to interrupt the negative thought processes. Negative thought processes compound on each other. “This sucks. I suck. I fail at everything. Why bother, why try. Nobody likes me. I’m worthless. I don’t deserve xyz. I should just disappear. etc” Interrupting that process and preventing it from escalating can be effective. Clean, exercise, cook, or tell yourself out loud to “Stop.”

    You have to work at it, and it doesn’t alleviate everything, but it can be a way to reduce negative thoughts and improve overall functioning.

  9. 1: the human body is more amazing than we give it credit for. It’s designed to survive conditions far worse than we put ours through. Sometimes you need to stress it to reset your settings. I’ve never gone for a long walk in my life and came back in a worse mood than I left.

    2: there’s no guaranteed external cure. There are external therapies, and they can help, but ultimately you have to make a decision about how you want to feel. Maybe you have to give up a grudge, maybe you have to do something different with your free time. Just realize that doing nothing is also a decision.

  10. For me negative thinking and depressive periods come and go. It’s important to remember that they don’t last forever. Easier said than done when you’re in the shit but can make you reconsider whatever dystopian visions you keep imagining.

  11. Start running and don’t stop till you get them endorphins flowing. Exercise is a hell of a booster.

    And always confide in a friend and a professional.

  12. “Negative” is not the same thing as “Incorrect”.

    Not everything is positive, good or happy. You may in fact, be rational in your negative thinking.

    The problem comes with dwelling on the problems and not actually taking action to resolve them. Brooding, rather than doing.

  13. I live with complex PTSD. Even with the 13 years of therapy and a pretty stable medication regime; I got my moments and I get where you are at. I got fired through no fault of my own (tho it was couched as that), and I mean, this job paid more than I ever made, I enjoyed doing it etc etc etc. the only thing I brought to the office, I had my own office for chrissakes. Was a framed quote by Victor Frankl. It is my mantra. And by mantra I mean I will use it in lieu of saying the rosary became I may be just that mad at God in that moment…

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

    So if my mind is in a place it shouldn’t be, as you say…. negative… sometimes I can afford some mental masturbation and bust a mental nut. But it has to stay inside. Always, in the end it is my response that matters. And I have chosen to stay on the path of freedom and growth.

    So I can’t afford to be (here I am debating with myself if I should say what I am thinking in this moment, which is dick, but we don’t have any to belittle something so vital or be offensive or whatever….). So I’ll say asshole. Because we all got one. Edited to add I left that framed quote. I simply gently nodded my head, said, no problem, that’s fine. No thank you I don’t need any help removing my stuff. Because the only stuff I had there personally was that framed quote.

  14. Become a problem solver. A lot of guys I know struggle with complex emotions when they seem to otherwise have their ducks in a row. Apply the same mentality to yourself. Seek help, talk to friends, get a therapist. You don’t have to be mentally ill to benefit from therapy.

  15. If you can recognize that you are thinking negatively then switching to a different thought or telling your brain that it is incorrect. I have gotten a lot better just by being able to recognize that these thoughts aren’t always the truth and tend to overexaggerate.

  16. As silly as it sounds, mirror affirmations fixed my depression. I used to think stuff like “imagine if that buss hit me” and finding it calming.

    Anyways, I’d stand in front of a mirror 10-15 minutes and say “Hey… It’s okay to let go of the past” over and over again. The hardest thing was staying consistent as a daily habit.

  17. If you’re a reader, I found the “Growth Mindset” as written about by Dr Carol Dweck to be a big help in changing some of my negative behaviours and thoughts. I recommend this book highly. [EDIT: The book is called “Mindset”]

    I found meditation helpful, just five or ten minutes a day, to silence the inner critic and just listen to my breathing with as much absence of thought as I can manage.

    Also, the thought is not the thinker – if that makes sense. Learn to disassociate yourself from that thought. Instead of (e.g.) “I’m not good enough at this”, learn to catch these thoughts and reframe them as (e.g.) “I’m having a thought that I’m not good enough at this.” This can help catch those negative thoughts before they build up momentum and pull me down the rabbit hole.

  18. When im thinking negative about myself pity still remember the positive thing happened in my life cheer myself up that im a human sure ly you experience ups and down what gonna do bout it make yourself up not having regret till your gonna get old

  19. Depends on what exactly, mabey you dont feel comfortable with yourself? In that case I would look in the mirror and just keep thinkig-god what a sexy beast I am, I really am though.

  20. Consider that you are not your thoughts. Meditation is really great at teaching this. You learn to observe the thoughts and not assign value to every thought you have. Some might be interesting and others you can acknowledge and then decide you aren’t go invest in and let them pass by.

    Easier said than done. Eckhart tolle had a great bit at the start of his ‘power of now’ book where he decides he can’t live with himself anymore and he’s gonna kill himself. But then he realizes that there are two forces at play here: the him and the part he cannot live with anymore (his thoughts). So he decides to not kill himself and focus on not allowing the other part to have so much influence on him. Great book.

  21. At a certain point, I learned to recognize the thoughts coming from that part of my personality. They have a particular texture, different from rational negative thoughts. Once I could recognize them, I was able to say “Oh, hey, that’s the lameo negative part of me chiming in. I can just disregard what it’s saying.”

  22. Grow a strong social circle. IF you have a group of people that feel liek they accept you not just inspite of your faults but often because of your faults; it will help you to feel free to make mistakes and not be so hard on yourself.

  23. Read more. Stimulate your mind. Think of your brain as a muscle. If it starts doing shitty or unattractive things, it means you haven’t been working it out enough.

  24. Create structure to help you stay busy and build on that. Start simple. Shower, work, work out, cook, read, journal and do it consistently. Create healthy patterns that are easy to incorporate daily. Eventually begin to add in other things that you enjoy doing and surround yourself with like minded people.

    It’s going to take time and my dad gave me the best advise that I always say daily. PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.

    Good luck, my friend!

  25. Negative thinking was more of an issue I had from time to time as a kid. It wasn’t until my late teens did I finally overcame it. I learned how to overcome this by practicing self-awareness. Whenever you start to think negative thoughts try and catch yourself doing it before you spiral down that rabbit hole. Then question that thought that you’re having. Why am I thinking about this? Is it really true? What if what I’m thinking is all just completely in my head and not what is true?

    The way to learn how to practice self-awareness is by setting aside some time a day to meditate. Close your eyes and let your thoughts wonder. You’ll find that all these random thoughts will appear in your mind. Don’t try and avoid those thoughts but let it flow and take the time to question them. Over time you won’t necessarily have to meditate in order to become more self-aware of your thoughts.

  26. If I’m honest here the best thing I did for my negative thinking and tendency to cling to things that hurt me was giving up on expectation and being wishful for anything. It was a big weight lifted off my shoulders. It kinda sounds counterproductive. Like you’re kinda giving up on wanting anything but I’ve found that I makes the disappointment less harsh. If it even presents itself at all.

  27. I say to myself “Groovy604, fuck off with that bullshit thinking man” then immediately focus all my energy on thinking about something I really like. If that doesn’t work I literally change where I am, go for a drive, to the store, whatever. If that doesn’t work I go see my counsellor and unload all the negative thoughts on her. Just by getting them out of your head helps monumentally.

  28. Notice it. That’s all you need to do to start. When you are aware that your doing it stop what you are doing and look at yourself. If you start to catch them you can start to respond consciously to them, maybe with some self affirmation, exercise or whatever works for you.

    I go through periods where my mind is constantly running negative thoughts. I tend to dwell there for a while but as soon as I can I try to start noticing and take it from there.

    This too will pass. Let it take the time it needs and maybe even find someone to talk to when you’re ready. Good luck, I’m rooting for you

  29. Anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand. If you think you have one but not the other, and still have trouble with medication, talk to your doctor about treating the other. I had (have) anxiety and I was so focused on having anxiety I kept telling my doctor about my anxiety (anxiously) and he said “what about depression?” I told him I wasn’t depressed and it took him all of about 1 minute to help me realize not only was I experiencing both, but they were feeding off each other as well. I still think my meds need to be increased, but too much more and I’ll be a zombie. So I deal.

  30. When you’re talking to yourself in your head, it is so important that you use “We” or “I”.

    The minute you start with “You”, you’re disconnecting from yourself.

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