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Unpleasant thoughts

2-minute read

If you are feeling down or are depressed, you may find you focus on negative aspects of your life.

This can mean you have unpleasant thoughts or feelings that make you very critical of yourself, so that you only see the bad things and none of the good things.

How do you control negative thoughts?

There are a few techniques you can try to help you deal with unpleasant thoughts.

  • Talk about your feelings with a friend or family member. Talking through issues often helps you realise they are not as bad as you thought.
  • Keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Challenge any negative thoughts. Are they true? What positive things could happen?
  • Aim to challenge every negative thought with a positive one.
  • Think about the parts of your life that are positive.
  • Think of things you enjoy, and plan them regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet, get some exercise and avoid alcohol.

Where to get help

If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. If you’d like to find out more or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:

  • MindSpot Clinic (anyone suffering from anxiety or depression) - call 1800 61 44 34.
  • beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) - call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by depression and extreme mood swings) - online help.
  • Lifeline (anyone experiencing a crisis or thinking about suicide) - call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) - call 1300 659 467.


Last reviewed: August 2017

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