Negative thoughts

Are you someone that finds yourself constantly thinking negatively about yourself, your job or the people around you? Thinking negatively is in fact normal. Bu too much negative thinking can be a source of stress and emotional health challenges. Negative thoughts can lead to an increase in issues like anxiety, depression and loneliness, as well as to unhealthy patterns with food, alcohol or drugs. This is understandable as humans have evolved to be hard-wired to react to things that are, or are perceived to be, a threat to us and our families. Negative thoughts and constant feelings of anxiety are just one of many ways we react to feeling under threat.

It’s important that we work to challenge and control negative thinking. If you are worried that you, or a family member, may be stuck in a negative loop, there are a few ways you can break free of this thought pattern. In this article, we will discuss practical things you can do to help yourself stop negative thinking patterns.

How to break free of the negative thinking loop

Stop and Acknowledge your thoughts

The first step to controlling negative thoughts is stopping and acknowledging that you are having a negative thought. How do you do this? Observing your thoughts (Good or bad) is something not many people do as second nature but where possible can really help identify and label cognitive distortions and negativity. Simply stopping and acknowledging these thoughts is the first step to addressing them. As soon as you even notice the negative thought, then you have some leverage over it.

Question your thoughts

How many times have you stressed about something that you thought would happen and it didn’t? And when it didn’t happen, it’s only then you think realistically and realise that there was really nothing to worry about anyway. While there are important concerns in life that may need attention, a negative thought loop tends to distort the implications of our actions and decisions. While there is a lot about the current situation we can’t control, we can control how much we focus on the negative and stress about the situation. Stop, think and question if your thoughts are actually ‘true’ and try to put a different spin on your life and problems. There is no way to stop being worried about certain situations. You can think more positively though.

Be your own friend

Some of our negative thoughts come in the form of self-criticism. We often find ourselves complimenting, encouraging and providing positive reinforcement to close friends and family when they knew. It is important to treat yourself in the same way you would a good friend and take the time to offer yourself the same positive reinforcement or encouragement you might offer someone else.

Surround yourself with positive people

It’s important that you surround yourself with positive people, be it friends, family members, and work colleagues. Humans are like chameleons in the sense that people’s vibes, mindsets, and beliefs will influence others and the environment. The mood of others can amplify, or even create negative thought patterns, so try to surround yourself with positive people who will help you to take your life to a new level.

Focus on the present

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Lau Tzu

When you’re tapping into negative thinking then you’re often thinking about something that happened. Or something that may happen. If you ever find yourself with negative thoughts, stop and switch your focus to what’s around you. Focus on breathing, and what you can see and hear.

Write Instead Of Think

Write down why the negative thought is present. Writing versus thinking helps purge the thought out, and when you can see the words on paper or a screen it is easier to make sense of it and move forward.

You can also then choose a way of destroying this paper, symbolizing your commitment to moving on. For example, you could tear it up, crush it into a ball, burn it, or scribble over it.

Talk about it

The worst thing you can do is bottle up your negative thoughts and them keep accumulating. It’s never been a more important time to talk about your feelings. You might find that just venting for a few minutes can often help you to see the situation in a new light.

Take Control of Your Thoughts

Thoughts are habits and patterns and no matter what you do, your mind will constantly keep thinking thoughts.

It runs around like a toddler on a sugar rush. However, instead of sugar, the mind gets amped up on emotional energy. It wants to think about something. Anything. The more intense the energy, the more your mind focuses on it.

Unfortunately, negative thoughts tend to have a lot of emotional energy behind them. The more you focus on something negative, the more negative things your mind will come up with to add to the feeding frenzy.

You can stop negative thinking and get rid of old, negative thought patterns. It will just take time and by practising the steps in this article you can begin to control your thoughts and try and eliminate some of the negative thoughts.

By admin

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