Dealing With Negative Thoughts


Negative ideas. All of us have them, proper?

However individuals with despair, nervousness, and dependancy points are inclined to have them greater than most people. And generally, they linger.


Yesterday began out fairly nicely. I used to be in a good temper and searching ahead to a productive day. However then I went to the dentist to get fitted for my everlasting dentures, solely to seek out out an hour later that my chunk had modified, so I’ve to do it once more subsequent week.

Then, on the best way residence, it was a kind of days the place everybody appeared to be tailgating me. I swear so much once I drive, so that actually allowed my anger and concern to start out getting in my approach.

After I acquired residence, I noticed my mother-in-law’s automotive within the driveway, which implies she had gone someplace. Simply two days in the past, she agreed to not drive anymore (she’s 78); that didn’t even final 24 hours. I acquired pissed that she was so impatient, she couldn’t even anticipate me to return residence and take her to run her errands, though that’s how we had left it that morning.

Then, as I used to be getting out of my automotive, (get this), I bopped myself within the lip with the nook of a shoebox! Hahaha, I do know proper? Don’t ask how I used to be in a position to pull that off!

Plus, I used to be actually hungry and greater than just a little drained.

Briefly, my mind had had it. I acquired fairly pissed off. Thoughts you, these have been all little issues that occur every now and then (besides the shoe field factor) and plenty of the time, they roll proper off me.

However after they all occurred inside twenty minutes of one another, my mind took the low street. I used to be now in a rotten temper and pretty indignant with my MIL (as a result of we concern for her security).


I *may* have combatted this negativity through the use of a few of the abilities I realized in DBT. Nevertheless, my mind has a thoughts of its personal, and yesterday it acquired the perfect of me.

Right here’s how I handled it:

I took a Xanax so I may relax.
I used to be none-too-happy with my MIL.
I smoked (cigarettes) greater than traditional.
I ruminated.
I couldn’t get the indignant off my face.
I attempted to determine the best way to management my MIL’s driving (which is, after all, not possible).
One take a look at this brief checklist, and it’s simple to see how the snowball saved rolling. As an alternative of accepting issues, coping with them as they got here up, and shifting on, I attempted to keep away from the adverse emotions (thus the Xanax) and I allowed it to spoil a giant a part of my day.


So I’ve all these abilities and choices on the best way to take care of adverse feelings, however I selected to not use them.

Why? Who is aware of? As a result of generally, that’s simply the best way life goes. It’s laborious to roll with each punch life throws your approach, even you probably have good intentions. Nobody is ideal.

I considered doing the next, as an alternative of doing what I truly did:

paced respiration (in for five seconds, maintain for five, out for five+; then 2 common breaths; rinse and repeat)
cleansing (that always helps when I’ve an extra of vitality)


Sure, I may have finished this stuff as an alternative, however I used to be not prepared to. I felt justified in my anger and allowed it to simply carry on going. For sure, that’s not the best approach of coping with life.


A part of DBT is studying the best way to tolerate misery in very particular methods with out hurting anybody or making issues worse. Within the 400+-page DBT Abilities Coaching e-book, there are a number of handouts with lists of issues you are able to do to distract your self if you really feel negativity approaching.

I’m going to share a number of concepts with you proper now. Possibly you’ll uncover some other ways of coping.

Focus your consideration on a sure job that must be finished, perhaps one thing you’ve been laying aside for some time.
Watch TV or binge-watch one thing on Netflix.
Clear one room or a part of a room.
Play a sport in your laptop or cellphone.
Get exterior; stroll, jog, take the canine for a stroll, play basketball, and so forth.
Hearken to music (the sort that received’t you get much more riled up!).
Clear out your automotive.
Make your mattress.
Do some laundry.
Spend time together with your children/nieces/nephews.
Play a card sport. If nobody else is round, play Solitaire.
Learn the final journal that acquired delivered to your own home or one thing out of your TBR (“to be learn”) checklist. Or end that one e-book you began six months in the past!
Do phrase searches, crossword puzzles, or Sudoku.
Construct a puzzle (that is one among my favorites).
Bake or cook dinner one thing.
Go purchase a coloring e-book and a few coloured pencils. (An apart: a psychological well being skilled as soon as challenged me to paint exterior the traces as a result of I’m such a perfectionist. I couldn’t do it. Possibly you can strive?)


Wait! there’s extra!

Name or textual content somebody you haven’t talked to shortly.
Assist somebody (this one can work magic).
Watch a actuality present and sit in marvel at their (typically self-imposed) drama.
Remind your self that you simply don’t at all times really feel this fashion; consider a time if you felt higher or have been in a position to deal with one thing in a optimistic approach.
Construct an imaginary wall between you and your drawback.
Inform the negativity to “Cease!”
Put your negativity on a shelf. Make a small (or giant) field you possibly can put all of your adverse ideas into. Make a “God field” (similar concept).
Depend to 10; rely to 100; rely to 100 by three’s. Depend backward from 100 by seven’s.
Recite the lyrics to your favourite music inside your head.
Get a stress ball and squeeze the hell out of it.
Maintain ice in your hand or in your mouth, for those who can deal with it (I can’t!).
Spend some intimate time together with your associate.


There are 28 concepts on this checklist, and there are extra the place they got here from. If this checklist doesn’t provide you with some concepts, I don’t know what to let you know. I do know, generally it feels kinda good (for lack of a greater time period) to take a seat and wallow and really feel self-righteous. However ultimately, that doesn’t serve us.

I imply, the entire concept is to really feel higher, proper?


I generally remorse how I take care of issues. I need to maintain my optimistic momentum going, proceed to get pleasure from my extra “gentle” degree of despair (versus my Main Depressive Dysfunction, Steady – Extreme), and do the issues I do know will assist me keep nicely.

All of us screw ourselves infrequently; generally we all know why, plenty of the time we don’t. Brains and feelings and biology are exceedingly sophisticated.

Do me a favor? The subsequent time you are feeling your self sliding right into a gap, or the snowball is at risk of getting larger and greater, otherwise you start to really feel your self ruminating, strive a number of of the issues on this checklist.

Hell, strive all of them. If nothing else, it can maintain you busy, and earlier than you understand it, you’ll neglect you have been even feeling crappy within the first place! 🙂

So give a few of these a strive – or make your individual checklist. And do let me know the way it goes!

Thanks for studying, and keep in mind –

Preserve it Actual!

This publish was beforehand printed on and is republished right here with permission from the creator.

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