Simple 3-Step Method: Stop Negative Thoughts When Depressed

How to Stop Negative Thoughts When Depressed: A Simple 3-Step Method


Depression can be overwhelming, and negative thoughts can make it even worse. That’s why in this article, I’ll be sharing a simple 3-step method to stop negative thoughts when you’re depressed so you can start transforming your mind and your life.


Hi and welcome to the very first Overcome Depression + Thrive Livestream!  It’s great to have you here! 😉

Now, my intention for these live-streams is to create a safe, supportive online space where anyone wanting to overcome depression can come, ask questions, share concerns and get motivated to overcome depression, no matter where they are in the world!

Because, here’s the deal…

You can do it!

You CAN overcome depression!

You just need the right tools, techniques and proven strategies to do it and that’s what these Overcome Depression + Thrive Livestreams are all about!

Giving you the tools you need to overcome depression and thrive, whether you’re struggling alone or in a supportive environment!

So, let’s get started!

Now, recently I received this question:

“How do I put a stop to my negative and unwanted thoughts that I have when I’m depressed?”

So, that’s exactly what we’re going to be discussing today! Because, this has got to be one of the biggest, if not, THE biggest challenge we all face when we’re stuck in depression! Having to constantly deal with negative or unwanted thoughts (which usually drives us into a state of overthinking!)

So, what do we do? How do we stop negative thoughts in depression?

How do we rewire our depressed mind so it’s not so heavily weighted towards the negative?

Well, the very first step is to understand how the mind works, so we can start using it to our advantage to help lift us up and out of depression.

Because, right now if you’re in depression, your mind is working against you! So, we’ve got to flip that around and have you controlling your mind, rather than it controlling you!

Understanding the Cycle of Thinking To Stop Negative Thoughts When Depressed

Stop negative thinking in depression-1

Now, if you take a look at this diagram you’ll see, it’s a bit like an iceberg, where you have a small portion above the horizon, let’s call this our Conscious Mind. 

Then we have a huge portion, over 90% of the mass is beneath the surface.  This represents our Subconscious Mind.

Now, you may have already heard that it’s your subconscious mind that’s the ‘driving force‘ of your entire life and that’s because it’s our subconscious mind is basically a “Storehouse of our tendencies” (you know the things we’re most likely to do, say or be).

It stores things like; our Past Actions, Thoughts, Feelings, Outcomes, etc.

Now, here’s the deal…

It’s our subconscious that drives all of our thoughts.  In fact, let me show you how the natural cycle of thinking works because you need to be aware of this if you ever want to create a truly depression-free life for yourself.

  1. So, we have ‘a thought’ which bubbles up from our subconscious.
  2. It enters our conscious mind becoming ‘a conscious thought’.  We then interact with that thought or mull over it (thinking).
  3. Which in turn, strengthens that very same thought as it returns back down into our subconscious.
  4. Generating ‘more thoughts’ which bubble up from our subconscious.
  5. It enters our conscious mind becoming ‘a conscious thought’.  We then interact with that thought or mull over it (thinking).
  6. Which in turn, strengthens that very same thought as it returns back down into our subconscious.
  7. And, the cycle continues….

Now, have you ever been told:  “You just need to think more positively to overcome depression.”  Drives you crazy, right?! 😡

Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work for Depression

Now, if you’re like most of us who have tried any form of positive thinking or affirmations to change our thinking and overcome depression, you’ve no doubt failed. 🙁 

Here’s why the mainstream positive thinking advice doesn’t work for us in depression…

It’s not because of depression!

It’s not because there’s anything wrong with our mind! 

It’s due to a very fundamental process of the mind (everyone’s mind), let me show you…

Stop negative thinking in depression-2

So, let’s say we start with a positive affirmation or we try to consciously think positive, let’s say we start chanting;  “I am awesome, I am rich, I am abundant, I am worthy, I am loveable!”

Aren’t they the usual ones? 😂😂😂  Or, something like that!

Now, can you see that we’re attempting to do this (change our thoughts) by simply employing our conscious mind?

You know, the tiny portion above the surface!

But, remember we also have that massive structure beneath the surface;  our subconscious.  So, it’s not long before our subconscious mind joins the game and starts generating it’s own thoughts like: 

“No, you’re not! You’re a failure, you’re useless, nobody loves you, you’re a burden, you’re not good enough….and the list goes on…”

Then, naturally a tug of war starts between these opposing thoughts within in our mind.  I’m sure we’ve all experienced this silent but chaotic war in our mind, whether we’re depressed or not, right?

Well, if we just change this diagram slightly and replace the conscious mind with a tiny kitten and exchange the subconscious mind with an elephant.

Who do you think is gonna win this battle?

It’s a given, right?!  Of course, the elephant is gonna crush the kitten in an instant!  In fact, it doesn’t stand a chance!  And, this is EXACTLY what happens when we’re stuck in depression and we try to use the mainstream advice of positive thinking or affirmations to stop negative thoughts when we’re depressed. 

It never works because of this very fundamental process of our mind, where the ‘elephant’ of the subconscious far outweighs the ‘fluffy, fragile kitten’ of our conscious mind.

But, the “not working” is not the worst part!

The worst part is that when we fail to hold any positive thoughts or we fail to transform our thinking (which is by not fault of ours, it’s just how the mind works), that deep sense of failure then goes on to reinforce the negative feelings we already have about ourselves, which are currently stored within our subconscious!  This makes the negative thoughts and feelings EVEN stronger!

Compounding the issue and causing MORE negative thoughts to rise, more frequently when we’re in depression.

Which is the exact opposite of what we would logically expect to happen, when we attempt to think more positively in depression, right?!

So, what’s the solution?

How can we stop negative thoughts in a depressed mind?

Can we transform our thoughts from negative to positive, even though it appears the mind is working against us, to keep us stuck in this endless loop of negative thinking?

Absolutely! There are various ways of transforming our thoughts in the right way to create a depression-free life and overcome depression!

Now, we “deep dive” into this topic of transforming your thoughts and your subconscious mind in modules 2, 3 and 4 of the Overcome Depression + Thrive programOpens in a new tab. which you can learn more about by clicking hereOpens in a new tab..

But, today I want to share 3 steps, you can put to use right away to start rewiring your depressed mind to put you the fast track out of depression.

The 3-Step Method to Stop Negative Thoughts When Depressed

STEP 1:  Separate “Thoughts” From “Thinking”

Can you see, when you take a look at this image….

Stop negative thinking in depression-3

There is a “thought” and then, there is the process or “action of thinking”.

They are two very different things.  One we CANNOT control. The other, we can.

In other words, we CANNOT control WHICH thoughts bubble up into our conscious mind from our subconscious (well, not directly anyway), but we CAN control which thoughts we interact with and give power to.

STEP 2:  Stop “Interacting” With Unwanted Or Negative Thoughts When Depressed

You see, here’s the deal…

If we want to transform our thoughts in depression we must become aware of and claim our power to decide whether we interact with a particular thought or not, simply because thinking is “an action”.

It requires our attention, our time, our energy and our focus, so if we withdraw all of those things, if we don’t consciously interact with any negative thought, we remove it’s power supply.  It doesn’t get strengthened and it starts to lose power because we’re not giving it any energy. 

So, when it returns to the subconscious, it’s weaker.

So, from today…. Start recognising this cycle of:  Thoughts – Interaction – Strengthening.

Start noticing when a negative thought pops up in your mind and then before you dive right into interacting with it, just stop and ask yourself:

Does strengthening this particular thought take me closer to my depression-free life or further away from it?

Remember, we always have the power to control which thoughts we interact with.  Even if, we cannot control which thoughts rise!

So, from today, make a decision to consciously choose to control the mind, instead of allowing it to run riot and control you and you’ll start to see your thoughts slowly transform, as well as your entire life.

And, the 3rd step which will help this process is…

STEP 3:  Start LOOKING For The Positive

You see, our entire body-mind system is intrinsically linked by thoughts and feelings. 

That means, we cannot “think” positive whilst we “feel” negative.

We cannot superficially uplift ourselves with positive thoughts if deep down, we hate ourselves and think we’re not good enough!

So, we’ve gotta turn this around!

We’ve gotta start changing how we feel about ourselves, others and the world around us even when we’re in depression.  This will then, allow brand-new, positive thoughts to be generated from the subconscious and allow you to create the depression-free future, you so desire and deserve!

But, be careful!  Remember, it’s not about “thinking” positive or simply chanting “positive” affirmations, it’s about looking for the positive and here’s a really simple way of integrating this step into your everyday life…

Just for today, start actively looking for the positivity throughout your day.  Now, what do I mean by positivity?

Well, to be honest, positivity isn’t usually flashy, with all bells and whistles and flashing neon signs.  It’s subtle, it’s the simple things of life, for example:

  • It’s a kind gesture
  • It’s a smile from a stranger
  • It’s a penny found on the ground
  • It’s a moment when we finally speak up for ourselves or we don’t allow our anger or emotions to get the better of us
  • It’s those times we step ever-so slightly out of our comfort zone
  • It’s when we complete something successfully
  • It’s a thank-you given
  • It’s a baby smiling,
  • It’s a happy pet
  • It’s a warm embrace from someone we love or care for
  • It can even be simply acknowledging those we DO have around us which we usually take for granted

And, you know what?

It doesn’t even have to involve us directly.  We can see the positivity in the world by watching an uplifting movie that gives us ‘the warm fuzzies’ and motivates us to take charge of our life!

The ways to seek out the positivity in this world are endless, but we need to consciously open ourselves up to search for it and recognise the positivity which DOES surround you on a daily basis.

I assure you, the positivity is there. We just need to open our hearts and minds to see it.

And, the more we look for it, the more we find it.  Then, it becomes even easier to find even more positivity in our world.

So, give it a go today and let me know how it goes for you.

In fact, why not set yourself a challenge….

For the next 7 days:  Actively look for the positives in your world.  If you can’t find any, keep looking because it’s there!  And. let me know how you feel at the end of these seven days. 🙂 

Now, in the next livestream I want to explore this topic of transforming our negative thoughts in depression some more, so if you’ve enjoyed this and you’re keen to discover more proven strategies to overcome depression and create a truly depression-free life for yourself then, be sure to subscribeOpens in a new tab. or like depending upon which platform you’re watching this livestream on.

Also, if you found some value in it why not share it with your nearest and dearest.   I’m sure they’ll appreciate it, especially if they are quietly suffering in depression, like a great majority of this world!

Let’s work together to transform the horrid depression statistics.  Let’s start working towards making this world depression-free!

And, if you are really serious about personally overcoming depression, then be sure to check out the FREE Masterclass which you can link to below.

This is where I ‘pull back the curtains’ and take you ‘behind the scenes’ of your depression, to show you exactly what’s going on beneath the surface.

You’re also going to discover the truth behind the chemical imbalance commonly associated with depression and what it means for you and your future.   

This is a real eye-opener!

Because, once you understand this whole process of how our chemicals become imbalanced, you’ll naturally discover how you can control your internal chemistry, rather than it controlling you.

In other words, we’re going to put the power back into your hands, so you can start moving forward in your life and creating the bright, abundant, depression-free future you so desire and deserve.

Check it out here:


Marie O'Neil

As an Overcoming Depression Specialist, I get so frustrated with all the 'mental illness myths' and half-truths keeping people stuck in the downward spiral of depression. It doesn’t need to be that way! THERE IS A WAY OUT! If I can do it, so can you! You just need the right, time-tested tools and proven strategies to help you do it. And, that's what this website is all about. Giving you light in the darkest of times. To learn more about me simply click here.

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