How Depression Keeps You Down with Negative Thinking

By Cathy Neville, LPC, on May 3, 2015

San Antonio Therapist


Negative thoughts wear you down. 

Depression likes it that way.

Negative thinking is like the persistent whisper of the neighborhood gossip. Distracting, generalizing, and full of half-truths.It drains you like the critical opinion of a nit-picking parent. Judging, harsh, finding fault after fault.

It’s like the belittling commentary of a controlling boss. Pressuring, questioning, and undermining your confidence. Negative thoughts, once they’re off and running, like to keep running. Soon, your head is full of so much self-doubt and internal pessimism that before long, you’re defeated and deflated. Soon, your depression is empowered.And you feel helpless to do anything but spiral further and further down. But remember…Depression wants you down there. Hurting, hiding, thinking one sad thought after another. Trapped by your own mind.Depression, egged on by negative thinking, will actually have you believing that one bad day means they’re all bad.Assuming all the mistakes of your past and present add up to an inevitable future mess.It will keep you too wrapped up in worries and ruminations to live above the sadness.To feel better at all, you have to accept that your thoughts control how you feel.You have to learn to fight the negativity in your own mind.It’s not easy. It probably won’t feel good at first.But depression must not be allowed to win.To gain the advantage, you’ll need to change the course of your thoughts with renewed commitment and new skills.To keep depression weak and the spiral downward brief, incorporate these strategies to help you reset your mind:Fight Depression: Deal with your negative thinking patterns, also known as cognitive distortions.

How do you think yourself into a depressing corner?

  • Are you guilty of seeing the world as black and white, right or wrong, with no room for the unexpected or compromise?
  • Do you tend to generalize your experiences? Does one failure mean your life is a failure?
  • Are you obsessed with “what if’s” and looming disasters? Do you wonder why you should even try?

There are hosts of ways to end up in a negative thinking rut. Challenge your usual thought patterns. Take a breath and ask yourself if they are really valid.

Fight Depression: Change the backdrop

Buried under the covers, ruminating in a darkened room, or parked in front of the TV are great places to let negative thoughts take root and grow.

It’s better to get outside and soak in the vitamin D.

Inhale like your life and mind depend on it.

Depression doesn’t care much for sunshine and fresh air.

Fight Depression: Embrace Exercise and Relaxation

Negative thoughts have a much easier time sneaking in and taking hold when you are not at your physical best.

Your brain and body need the endorphins that accompany exercise. Those natural chemicals are the key to feeling good.

Your body also needs to rest and let down. Stress and a hectic lifestyle are easily transformed into negativity. Meditate, take long baths, get a massage.

Fight Depression: Reframe your point of reference

Depression wants you all to itself. It attacks your self-worth and ability to connect with others. Negative thinking is often self-oriented, self-doubting, and self-pitying.

It just makes sense to turn your focus outward.

Fight the desire to isolate yourself with unnerving thoughts.

Reach out to friends, family, or a counselor.

Run some of your more persistent negative thoughts by other people and you may obtain a clearer, more accurate perspective.

Depression wants you down there.

Hurting, hiding, sad.

Change your mind. Don’t let it take you down.

If you are struggling from depression that persists and live in the San Antonio area, please contact me or make an appointment online.  Let me help you.

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