Low moods have a way of affecting us completely. Because the onset of low moods is often gradual it can hard to pinpoint a time when things started to go wrong. Sometimes it’s other people who point out the changes and it can come as a surprise that others have noticed. But we shouldn’t really be surprised because low moods affect emotions, thoughts, behavior and the way we feel physically; and that’s pretty much our whole make up.
Changing the way we feel about things isn’t easy but an important component, and one that feeds feelings, is the way we think. This is something we can tackle more easily. I’ve written about the role of negative thinking and ways to overcome it in previous posts. Negative thoughts are the building bricks of low moods. With each negative thought the low mood develops and becomes harder to remove.
You may have read about the vicious cycle of depression? It starts with these gloomy negative thoughts that act to prevent us doing things we might have previously enjoyed. What follows is that we often become critical of ourselves for not doing anything. The lack of action makes you feel guilty and lazy. You probably feel physically unwell, especially in the morning, which feeds back into the way you think.
There is now ample evidence that supports the need to tackle negative thinking. However, this post is really about trying to understand low moods and the role of negative thoughts, so let’s take a closer look.
First, it’s important to point out that negative thinking is both normal and natural. Things start to change when negative thoughts are around most of the time. The nature and content of gloomy thoughts tend to be fairly consistent. For instance, they bubble up out of the blue, devoid of reason and logic, and make you feel bad despite the fact they are unreasonable and unrealistic. They become a personal truth and are therefore believed as fact. Negative thoughts always take priority over positive and become exaggerated.
Negative thinking leads to unhelpful styles of thinking and thinking errors, but there are ways of recognizing these and of taking steps to neutralize the effects. I’ll be looking at identifying gloomy thinking in my next post.
Published On: May 09, 2013