How to Overcome Negative Thoughts

From time to time, everyone has bad thoughts. Overcoming negative thinking can be a huge and tough effort for some people, especially those with low self-esteem and who suffer from depression.

Fortunately, some strategies can help you move past negative ideas into a more positive frame of mind.

Your mental attitude shapes how you see the world. If your attitude is primarily negative, it can have a detrimental impact on your health, work, family, and other aspects of your life. Furthermore, negative thinking can spiral out of control, attracting more negative thoughts.

Fortunately, by employing simple approaches, we may gradually train ourselves to think differently.

Here are six suggestions for dealing with negative thoughts.

  1. Negativity should be replaced in your environment.

The environment and what you feed your mind with around you can greatly impact your thoughts and your energy.

What you allow into your head in your daily life might influence your thinking. Determine the most significant sources of negativity in your life. People, websites, music, and other media can all be used as sources.

Find a means to replace them with sources of optimism after they've been discovered.

  1. Mindfulness and self-awareness should be practiced.

Meditation is where mindfulness began. It is the act of separating oneself from your ideas and emotions and observing them objectively. Mindfulness training can help you become more aware of your thoughts and develop more self-awareness.

The goal of mindfulness is to alter your connection with your thoughts. Consider your thoughts and feelings as moving things that you can either stop and examine or let pass you by.

  1. Exercise

Regular exercise has a significant positive impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. One advantage of exercising is that it can aid in the relief of inner stress and anxiety.

You don't need to schedule a long trip to the gym to notice the benefits when it comes to your thinking. A simple walk around the block can be beneficial.

  1. Find a Reason to Be Thankful

When dealing with negativity, it's easy to lose sight of all the good things in your life. Look around your life and surroundings for something for which you are grateful.

  1. Examine the Situation

If you're having trouble dealing with negative thoughts and feelings, one approach to dealing with them is talking to someone close to you. This can not only help you vent, but it can also be a terrific way to reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones.

  1. Make a list of how you're feeling.

Spend 15 minutes a day writing down your thought process to get rid of negative thoughts. This will assist you in recognizing how your thoughts are becoming twisted.

  1. Look for a way to help.

Focusing on assisting someone else is one technique to deal with negative thoughts. You allow yourself to bring optimism into your life by assisting someone else. Helping others, whether it's moving someone or simply listening to a friend, is a terrific way to assist yourself.

Why do I have such negative thinking?

It's not unusual to have negative thoughts come and go, after all, you're human.  What matters is what you do with them when they arise which makes all the difference.

You may be thinking negatively because we are more impacted by negative news and media than good, or you may have a negativity bias. It's also possible that negative thinking was more beneficial to survival in the evolutionary sense. As a result of cognitive distortions, negative ideas may arise.

The goal should not be to be perfect and completely free of negative thoughts but to more oftenly replace those thoughts with positive ones.

Cognitive restructuring is one of the most important aspects of the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment plan. This method aids in the identification and transformation of negative ideas into more helpful and adaptive reactions.

Although it may be challenging to think in this new way, positive and rational thoughts will become more natural with time and practice. Cognitive restructuring can assist you in challenging your beliefs by guiding you through the following steps:

  • Checking to see if the thought is plausible.
  • Consider what has happened in similar situations in the past and see if your beliefs are consistent with what occurred.
  • Actively question the idea and seek alternate explanations.
  • Consider what you'd gain if you continued to believe the concept vs. what you'd lose if you didn't.
  • Recognize whether your thoughts are the product of a cognitive distortion like catastrophizing.
  • Consider what you'd say to a friend who was thinking the same thing.

Judging your thoughts as bad or negative can also have a negative impact on your overall wellness.  Instead, try coming from a place of curiosity by welcoming what comes up and then seeking to understand what is actually true for you.

Mindfulness is the polar opposite of thought ceasing. The trouble with thought-stopping is that the more you try to stop your bad ideas from coming up, the more they will come up. Thought rebounding is the term for this phenomenon.

Mindfulness is preferred since it gives your thoughts less weight and lessens their influence on you.

According to experts, the thought bouncing after attempting to halt unpleasant ideas is far more harmful. Rather, psychologists often advise finding strategies to confront negative beliefs head-on.

Become more comfortable with criticism by practicing how to deal with it.

Another part of CBT that is occasionally useful for people with social anxiety, in addition to cognitive restructuring, is something called "assertive defense of the self."

Because it is conceivable that people will be critical and judgmental of you at times, you must cope with rejection and criticism.

This procedure is frequently carried out in therapy with a fictitious conversation between you and your therapist to improve your assertiveness and strong reactions to criticism. Through homework assignments, these skills are subsequently translated to the actual world.

Always remember that you don't have to go it alone. If you struggle with negative thought patterns that are impacting your life, consider talking to a mental health professional.  While it can be tough to share your thoughts with someone, therapists can assess your negative thinking patterns and help you create a healthier inner dialogue.