Scientifically sound methods against negativity

All stupid?
These scientifically based tricks help against (too long) emotional lows

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Bogged down in feelings? And you just can't find out? Can happen! You can help yourself with these tricks.

Negative feelings, bad moods, even hopeless phases of life are part of being human. Nobody is always in a good mood, motivated and happy (if you want to know why, you can take a look at our articles "Understanding feelings" and "Bad mood", we go into the background). But if a low lasts too long, there is a risk of getting stuck and not getting out of it without help. Because over time, thought patterns solidify in our brain and it becomes increasingly difficult to break them.

Therefore – as soon as we wake up in a bad mood, always see everything black, hardly laugh anymore without knowing exactly why – we should take countermeasures and actively defy the negativity in our feelings and thoughts. The therapist Doctor Tchiki Davis described in "Psychologytoday" which methods from a scientific point of view – that is, neurological and psychological – are most effective.

6 scientifically based methods to counter the feeling of depression

1. Positive words

The brain is not a muscle, but it works similarly in some ways: for example, we can train it through repetition. What we often do or think requires less energy, and using it sparingly is one of the top priorities of the shapeless arithmetic genius in our skull. In order to counteract our negative circle of thoughts, according to Davis, we should therefore activate a positive concept in us at least once a day by thinking of a word that is positive – for example charisma, joy, enthusiasm, happiness, beauty, success … We can just as easily come up with a series of such words in the morning after getting up and go through them again in the evening before going to bed. Sounds banal, but according to the expert, it should make it easier to see and think more positive things over time.

2. Reversing negative thought patterns

If everything seems stupid to us, the cause is mostly (also) inside us. It is possible that habits like this have become established in our thinking

  • always expect the worst
  • to see only the negative in everything
  • To discount the positive

According to Davis, the best way to break such patterns is firstly to track them down naturally and secondly to reverse them. H. targeted …

  • imagine what's the best that could happen
  • looking for the positive in everything
  • consider what is particularly important or valuable about the positive in a situation.

3. Use your imagination

Even the smallest positive emotion can give strength and hope at a low point and set an upward trend in motion. We can also trigger positive emotions with the help of our imagination. If we imagine, for example, how we eat our favorite food, meet our favorite people or are at our favorite place, on the one hand this gets us out of our hole for a short time – and on the other hand it brings us a bit closer to a generally more positive emotional state.

4. Do beautiful things

When we're unhappy, we should do something that makes us happy – uh, yes, you could have figured it out yourself. Walking, talking to a friend on the phone, exercising, cooking, eating delicious – any activity that makes us feel good helps. It can also help distract us from brooding and pondering, the two main drivers of negativity. Relaxation methods such as listening to music, meditation and breathing exercises can also be used as wellbeing activities.

5. Ask the control question

For many people, a disturbed relationship with the subject of control plays a role if they feel permanently bad. Some feel completely powerless and controlled by others and suffer from their perceived powerlessness, others feel responsible for everything and are overwhelmed by it. Both perceptions are obviously extreme and unhealthy. Anyone who feels powerless should be conscious of the things they can control. Those who, on the other hand, feel responsible for everything would have to concentrate more on the things over which they simply have no control. In this way we can relativize our point of view and develop a healthier attitude towards our domain and its limits.

6. Be grateful

It is known and proven that gratitude trains positive thinking and feeling. You can read how it works in practice in our report "I was grateful every day for a year".