It’s A Bummer: Why We Tend to Feel Negative

Feeling down sometimes happens even to the best of us. It's just not that easy for many of us to stay positive all the time. However much we might wish e could. And negativity can feel soul-crushing. So why can't we just stay happy all the time? And even if not all the time how can we boost our positivity at least a little? 

Feeling Negative is Common

Most people feel negative or down from time to time. It’s a natural part of being human and one we can’t avoid. The truth is, we look for things that are negative to try to protect ourselves. It's not a bad thing to want to stay safe, and that's what negativity does for us. It helps us prepare for possible outcomes.

But it can definitely get out of control since it feeds on itself. 

We Can Combat Negativity

The best option for combating negativity may depend on the root cause. For example, a death in the family or a serious medical diagnosis may have us feeling gloomy, depressed, afraid, or other negative emotions. We can expect that because it’s normal. The passage of time may be what’s most needed to feel better.

But a rut of negativity without cause is much more nebulous. How do we combat something if it's got no known root cause? Here are some great places to start:

Tackle outstanding needs: If you've been putting off doing your taxes, raking the yard, or fixing the car, these procrastinated tasks can be heavy and make us feel negative. Tackling them may free you up to feel good again.

Journal to find the reason: Journaling can be a great way to get to the heart of what's bothering us. Just free-write every day for ten minutes until you can get to the heart of what's troubling you. Then decide if you need to seek help or if you can work it out on your own — just make sure you really do tackle what comes up.

Start a dedicated positivity practice: Mantras, meditation, affirmation, and manifestation are all ways to increase the positivity practices in your life. Pick up one or more and do the work, consistently, for a year and see if that doesn't break you out of a negativity rut.

Does Feeling Negative Always Need to Be “Cured”?

One way to address negativity is to accept it. In other words, it’s okay to feel negative from time to time. It's a rough world right now for many people and feeling negative about it is a perfectly valid response. It doesn’t necessarily require a cure. Adverse events impact human brains more than positive events do, causing people to dwell on those negative events. Letting go of dwelling on the issues while still acknowledging that our feelings are valid may reduce negativity and create more balance.

Determining the cause of a rut of negativity, what steps we might take to improve it, and whether trying to make it better is even necessary are all important. If there’s a reason to feel negative, that’s very different from depression as a medical condition. Some negativity that’s not tied to a mental health condition will pass on its own in time. It’s natural, but it’s also natural that we might want to get rid of that feeling faster. Also, it’s sometimes necessary to just feel our feelings instead of trying to change them or push them away.

But if it becomes life-consuming, it may move into depression or an anger management concern. Anyone who’s experiencing severe or frequent negative thoughts that are hard to shake may want to address their worries with a mental health professional. Doing that might make it easier to reframe the thoughts and reduce their impact on daily life. Getting support while moving into a better mindset makes the whole process faster, easier, and more pleasant.

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3/15/2021 6:06:31 PM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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