The Negative Headspace - how to ditch it.
You may consider yourself the happiest, go-lucky person in the world, but a negative headspace can strike at anytime, and isn’t biased. No matter who you are, what you do or how you live your life, sometimes just the smallest things can drag us into a pit of despair, and it’s almost impossible to claw ourselves out.
So whether you’re on top of the world at the moment or deep in the pit, this article is for you, and you alone. I chatted with Psychologist Talya Rabinovitz about the negative headspace, how to get out of it and if there really is a secret to happiness. Enjoy!
Why do we fall so easily into a negative headspace?
There are three qualities to the human mind that make it easy for us to fall into negative headspaces:
1. It’s naturally on the lookout for trouble. Our minds have evolved to scan our environment for any hints of danger – it’s how our ancestors avoided getting eaten by sabre tooth tigers! Our minds are natural worry machines and it’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying more than we need to, which means we drift into negative headspaces.
2. The mind is naturally judgemental. It’s constantly categorising things as “good” or “bad”. That mean’s we’re predisposed to label things as bad, when really we’re better off just describing them rather than judging.
3. The mind never shuts up. Our minds are masterful story tellers, constantly chatting away… often about nothing helpful or important.
Is talking to friends a way to get out of this negative headspace pit of despair?!
"Talking with friends is hugely important, but you want to have a friend who you can be honest and vulnerable with."
Otherwise you might feel the pressure to pretend that everything is “GREAT” because you feel nervous that you’ll be judged if you share what’s really going on. This can lead to more feelings of isolation, shame and despair.
Talking to a good friend can be a great way to get a reality check on any unhelpful thinking that is keeping you trapped. You want someone who can say, “I love you, but you actually sound BONKERS right now!”
"You want a friend who can help you recognise when your inner critic is running the show, rather than the wise and compassionate side of you."
You want a friend who can be with you in the uncertainty of life – rather than letting you try to get power and safety through excessive worry and overthinking. Ultimately, we all desperately long to be understood and feel like we’re not alone in the sh*t show that can be life! That’s what a good friend is for.
After you’ve had a good chat with a friend who has helped you reel you out from your negative headspace, what to next? Is there a secret to happiness?
In my opinion, the secret to happiness is to stop trying to chase it and instead go after the things that give your life meaning.
"When we try to chase warm fuzzy feelings like happiness, it can lead to us holding on to unhealthy relationships and habits that actually take us further away from our authentic self."
I’m more interested in helping my clients connect with what it is that really lights them up and makes them feel like their life is meaningful. Things like doing work that fulfils you, being around people who really see you, being brave and taking exhilarating risks – they are all actions that can lead to happiness, but even on their own can create a rich and meaningful life.
What is your number one favourite way to change your mood from negative to positive?
Jumping into the ocean – even in the middle of winter! It immediately connects me to nature and brings me out of my head and into my body and the moment.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
Do you struggle with negative thoughts, anxiety or depression? Join Psychologist, Talya Rabinovitz in a FREE Intimate Online Workshop where you'll learn insight and strategies to help you break free from the cycles of anxiety, depression and negative thinking. Spaces are strictly limited, register now to save your spot! https://thehealthymindproject.leadpages.co/webinar-4/