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Struggling With Negativity

By Aaron Tanner

· Aspergers,Autism,Negativity,Pessimism,Motivation

I must confess that even though I post a lot of happy things on my blog, I struggle with negative feelings and pessimism. Don’t believe me? Look at a lot of the Asperger/High Functioning Autism message boards and Facebook groups, and it is easy to be sucked down a black hole.

One theory as to why many with Aspergers struggle with negative thinking is due to our brains having a different locus of control. The way I understand the Locus of Control has to do with regulating emotions. An external locus of control, which many on the Autism Spectrum have, means that the way one feels is due to someone else’s actions. On the flip side, having an internal locus of control means that one has control over their feelings and can do something about their issues.

For the longest time, I struggled with motivation. Not only do I sometimes struggle with motivation and purpose, but I have also witnessed others with Aspergers struggle with lack of motivation. However, I recently admitted that I have issues with pessimism and negative thinking and need help taking my thoughts captive and redirecting them.

I am currently receiving help from a professional who is helping me not see things so black and white and to change my thought process. Also, having money to be able to go on trips, even if it is just to my grandma’s house gives me some motivation for working.

Many published studies highlight the adverse effects of excessive social media use. I am trying to be better about not being on Facebook and my smartphone so much. If I am on those sites, I try to direct my actions towards building me and others up, not tearing them down. My blog is meant to show Aspergers in a positive light.

As a substitute for being on my smartphone all day, I pick up a physical book of a subject I am interested in and read it. This activity I can be actively engaged in rather than be passive, such as by binging on Netflix shows all day. I have also started putting my headphones on at work and listen to intelligent podcasts to help drown out some of the chaotic action that sometimes surrounds me.

One positive about belonging to a church is it forces me to leave my house and be social rather than sit behind a screen all weekend. Although it is not a substitute for a professional who deals with someone with Autism, my congregation can help me come up with practical solutions to my issues.

I still need help learning how to change my focus from a negative outlook to a positive view of life. If you have any suggestions, comment in the section below, also, be sure to check out my other blog on the Tennessee Valley Unite page.

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