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Why can't I stop obsessing about the negative in my life and instead focus on the positive?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 08/06/2018 at 9:53am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
February 17th, 2015 9:01pm
It's a hard thing to do, putting yourself first. You will find that this is one of the hardest things to do on your own, you always feel like something is going to drag you down. When you find something that makes you happy you will find that these negative emotions will slowly disappear .
October 26th, 2015 3:50pm
Often we can't stop thinking about situations that went wrong. This keeps on going in our mind until we find closure. Instead of focusing on the positive things around we keep going back to that negative situation.
August 31st, 2015 3:00am
You are either not open for improvements of your life or you are just escaping from reality. You need to open your mind and let the positive thoughts enter. You just need something or someone to let you realize that there are more things that is there for you for you to feel happy about. Acknowledge your capabilities and uniqueness from other people and appreciate it.
April 22nd, 2015 1:04pm
It's just a matter of perspective. When you see the world in a different angle, in a more positive way, you become positive. Your own happiness is just based on you :)
May 10th, 2015 6:38am
If you're feelinb negative, you're prone to see negatives in your life. Its hard to pull yourself out of that to see positives. But once you allow yourself to see the positives, you'll see the domino effect of the other positives too.
September 1st, 2015 12:51am
Our brains have what is called a "negativity bias". Basically, negative things cause a stronger reaction in our brains than positive things do. This is normal, don't worry. I've found that focusing on the positives of a negative situation helps a lot. Every experience we think of as a negative experience causes (or is caused by) at least one positive thing. Sometimes you just have to try harder to find the positives, but they're there. Good luck! :)
November 2nd, 2015 1:40pm
It's hard not to think about the negative because it's obviously something that is bugging you. It's hard but it takes some time and practice. When you are thinking negative try to think of something positive that will come out of it.
January 20th, 2015 6:36pm
Sometimes we seek out the bad only beacause we have become so accostumed to the negative parts. Whenever life goes well, we apprehensively await the day that things will go bad again.
May 16th, 2015 2:18pm
Its easy to see the negative in our lives as it reflects our feelings of self worth during our low periods. Focusing on the positive takes alot of effort to maintain but can so easily be crushed, pushing us back into the negative where there is no effort required.
June 3rd, 2015 3:23pm
Negative thoughts tend to ruminate much easier in our minds than positive ones. It takes an active effort to focus on the positive. Gratitude lists are a good start.
June 11th, 2015 4:51pm
It might be hard because for a lot of people, the negative things impact us on somewhat of a deeper level than the positive things. For instance, let's say you are hungry and I give you an apple. You're thankful and happy that I tried to help put an end to your hunger. But let's say midway through your apple I throw an orange at you. Suddenly it doesn't matter that I tried to help your hunger, but it impacted you on a physical and emotional level that I threw an orange at you (very loose example, mind you, but it still fits). Perhaps try to make a list of the negative and positive things you have in life and compare the two lists. Then when you're ready, maybe you could try and reflect on how the positives may/could outweigh the negatives.
March 5th, 2018 5:59am
To stop focusing on negative parts of life and focus more on positive side and by altering your mindset every time you try something new even if it doesn't go well at least you have a positive thought or write down 5 things you are glad you took the risks for.
April 26th, 2015 12:20pm
There's a glass, it contains half water and half air, then if i ask you how do you describe the glass then you should be able to say that its half filled with water but not its half-empty. In this way if you see the world in a positive way it makes you feel better..
July 13th, 2015 9:10am
Because being optimistic means being hopeful. And sometimes, hoping for something that might never happen will probably hurt more than admitting the negative.
November 9th, 2015 7:11pm
Take a step back from all those negative influences and feelings in your life, and focus on what makes you happy, no matter how small, happiness can do wonders.
November 10th, 2015 11:28am
It is because that we get so caught up in the past that we think it will affect the future. Just live the moment.
June 6th, 2016 10:52am
Because you had so much happen that was bad. You just assume negative things are going to happen....
July 26th, 2016 1:27am
Our state of mind is affected by what we perceive our future to be or what we want our future to be. This is affected by those we surround ourselves with, what they tell us about themselves/ ourselves and what we believe to be true about ourselves.
July 26th, 2016 6:21am
I always think that there's nothing poutine about my life so I constantly start thinking about the horrible things and it fills up my head
August 6th, 2018 9:53am
Hey its alrightt. A normal human gets over 10,000 thoughts a day. And i believe, All of us get hit by negative ones too. the difference is only in the reaction. The people who dont make a big deal out of em, simply..let them be, own em and not fight, have no probs with obsession