The Connection between Negativity and Depression

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Negativity towards a conflicting feeling seems like it can keep an inner conflict from getting resolved. Above is an example of two such situations, where negativity shuts down a feeling due to its own priorities, refusing to listen.

Not too long ago, I published an article on the potential connection between inner conflicts and depression. It seems to me, though, that negativity also plays a large role, specifically in suppressing and thus prolonging inner conflicts.

Let’s say that a person is in an inner conflict, where one side of them wants to do one thing, and another side is resisting this direction. If this resistance is ignored, it won’t necessarily go away, but may linger even as choices and decisions are made. Essentially, this practice involves shutting down a side of one’s self that is creating resistance.

But by shutting down any one side of an inner conflict, one may be shutting out whatever those feelings have to say. Even if a feeling ends up being supported by false reasons, that doesn’t mean you can accurately assume that from the start. Until you hear what a feeling has to say, how can you know whether it’s worth listening to or not?

 

That said, getting negative can make sense, too. We can get angry at the obstacles in our way, and impatient that they’re even there at all. Our feelings, our own indecision, our own conflicts can pull us in directions other than the one we’d like to commit to fully, and it can seem like these conflicts just delay us from getting to what we may urgently want.

But by being negative towards, or impatient with, the process of working through an inner conflict, we can end up creating a situation in which we consistently try to persist despite ourselves, and this seems to be where depression can set in. Why? Because the inner conflicts go unresolved, creating a conflicted inner dynamic as a way of being. Either we’re struggling past it in our daily choices, or, in more low-powered moment, we may feel like we can’t escape or do anything about these feelings – feelings we can so desperately want to just disappear from our lives. And sometimes, it seems like we can be thrown into a kind of dramatic chaos when our decisions, the ones we forsook our feelings for, don’t produce the results we envisioned.

What negativity towards our conflicting feelings seems to amount to is a refusal to listen to a feeling or engage in the conflict a feeling presents us with. This may be because we assume that a feeling is wrong from the start, and not worth listening to, because it will inevitably be proven wrong. But, if we ask of our feelings why they’re there, we may find out that there is something legitimate about their viewpoint. It may take some time to reconcile that viewpoint with our own determined vision, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way. Maybe it would be wise, sometimes, to take a different approach.

So how do we identify and resolve these kinds of situations? Well, one way is just to work through our negativity, while keeping in mind that some of what we feel negative towards may be our own feelings, hesitations, or considered choices. Why do we feel so negative about those things? Isn’t there something also acceptable about them, or understandable? Why do we object so much? It is a part of life, after all. And while we may not want certain things to be a part of our lives, sometimes they are, and the question then becomes one of how to go about responding to them. This is where indecision and conflicts over what to do can come in. Different feelings inside of you can give you different ideas about what to do, or how to respond to a given part of your life experience. The variety of feelings there may provide a rich discussion that can give birth to creative approaches for how to handle those things. It doesn’t ever have to be just one way. In trying to escape something, we may try to assert to ourselves that one way is better than all others, that we need to do it, that we will do it, and that all other options need to be thrown from the table, but there’s not always going to be agreement on that sense of urgency. Maybe what one feels urgent about, really isn’t so urgent. And so, maybe you can consider different options, and weigh alternatives, and find an approach that involved the open participation of your feelings, rather than the dominance of one who saw the situation from only their perspective. We don’t have to fall for the trap of thinking everything we feel urgent about actually is urgent. We don’t necessarily have to bypass giving a situation due consideration by letting our feelings contribute multiple perspectives on a situation.

Anyway, those were my thoughts on how negativity may contribute to depression, by prolonging inner conflicts that could be resolved if that negativity wasn’t so persistently shutting down a discussion between multiple inner perspectives on given issues in life. Even strongly negative dispositions inside one’s self can be questioned – and it may be worth our while to do so, when we can. Negativity may leave no room for other feelings, or for other considerations, and perhaps leave us in a state where our doubts and hesitations aren’t getting resolved, and we become unwilling to resolve them. But when we consider what value those conflicting feelings might contribute to a situation, it may be that we’ll be able to open ourselves back up to approaching life in a way that takes into consideration the perspectives brought to us by our feelings.

In any case, take care, all. And good luck with whatever challenges you may be facing.

Related Articles

Negativity – This is the main article on negativity, and has perspective on what it seems to be and how it seems to come about, and what techniques may prove effective in working through it

Impatience – When we get impatient with our feelings, we can put ourselves into this kind of state, where we refuse to listen to a conflicting feeling and thus prolong the conflict. This article contains perspective on impatience and what approaches may be worth trying, in order to resolve it.

Anxiety – Anxiety seems to be based largely around the feeling that something is urgent. Addressing anxieties and putting yourself at ease with a situation may help to keep yourself from getting negative suddenly towards your feelings and trying to rush past them.

Inner Conflicts: a Potential Cause of Depression – this is the main article that I reference at the top of this one, and basically goes over how inner conflicts seem linked to a depressed state, as well as one of recklessness or struggle

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