5 Ways of Stopping Negative Thoughts
Stopping negative thoughts is easier said than done. We may experience a range of negative thoughts every day. Common negative thoughts include feeling like we aren't good enough, incapable of success, and nobody cares about us. When we try stopping negative thoughts, we tend to focus on them more. As a result, they can become worse. However, by reframing negative thoughts, we can learn to recognise them and replace them with positive thoughts. Reframing negative thoughts prevents us from developing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. There are many ways of stopping negative thoughts, some of which this article will list.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Negative people can drain your energy. They often discourage you from achieving your goals and plant seeds of doubt about yourself in your mind. Therefore, surround yourself with positive people as a way of stopping negative thoughts. On the other hand, these people help make your life more enjoyable and add value to your life. Their positive energy will rub off on you and allow you to look at life in a better light. Therefore, you will become more driven to achieve your goals and aim for success.
Best of all, you will experience happiness more often and to a higher level. Positive people prioritise their happiness, as they know the benefits that come along with it. When surrounded by happy people, your mood will be instantly lifted, and you will become better at stopping negative thoughts. Therefore, when you too learn the value of your happiness, this will happen to you also. Others will love being around you, and you will find it much easier to build relationships with others. As a result, you can create a strong support network of people that care for you and support you.
Write Down How You Feel
An excellent way of stopping negative thoughts is to write them down. Expressing your emotions by writing them down allows you to see them in front of you physically. Therefore, you may decide that your thoughts seemed much worse than they are. Furthermore, why not take it a step further? You can physically get rid of your thoughts by binning them, shredding them, ripping them up or burring them. This is a symbolic way of stopping negative thoughts, and believe it or not, it works! As a result, this physical act can change your mindset as you can see the paper being destroyed. Similar can be done using technology. Even if you don't have a pen and paper, type your negative feelings, and put them in the trash or delete them.
Journaling is another way of stopping negative thoughts by writing down how you feel. However, rather than just writing down your negative emotions, write down the positives also. Therefore, you can reflect on how each day has gone. In other words, journaling will allow you to track when things are bringing you down. Consequently, you will be able to recognise the triggers that are causing negative emotions. You will also be able to see what things help improve your mood. Does your mood improve every time you do a particular activity? If so, do it more often. This is an excellent way of stopping negative thoughts to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Gratitude journaling, in particular, can be very effective at stopping negative thoughts. Gratitude journaling helps you to appreciate what you have in your life to be grateful for. Why not try writing down ten things you are thankful for each week? Maybe it will help you with reframing negative thoughts.
Work on Reframing Negative Thoughts
Unfortunately, we are not in control of outside circumstances, which can impact our lives. However, this doesn't matter. What we are in control of is our minds. Therefore, work on stopping negative thoughts by changing your mindset. It is your choice whether you think of things positively or negatively. Thinking negatively sets you up for failure as you don't see the positives of a situation. Positive thinking allows you to become more resilient to what life has to throw at you. Although it can take time to train your brain to think in this way, it is worth doing.
You must understand, not everything will go to plan. However, that does not mean that you have failed in achieving your goals. Focus on stopping negative thoughts when things do not go to plan. Take the opportunity to grow and develop. Therefore, we must make mistakes in our lives, as they challenge us to better ourselves.
Accept that you are only human, and mistakes will happen. They happen to us all! Forgive yourself, and don't drag yourself down because of them. Nobody means to make mistakes; they are all part of life, and we have no way of avoiding them from happening. For that reason, when you feel that you are becoming annoyed with yourself, take some time to calm down. When you are calm, you can process what happened. Only then should you decide how to avoid the same thing happening again in the future. Therefore, you will improve upon stopping negative thoughts.
Live for Yourself
You are the most important thing in your life. Those around you may not always be around, and therefore, you must prioritise yourself. In fact, the more you care for yourself positively affects those around you. Prioritising yourself comes with a wealth of benefits that help to stop negative thoughts, such as:
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep and sleeping patterns
- More energy
- Improved focus
- Better relationships with others
- Positive impact on overall health
Therefore, stop caring so much about what others think as a way of eliminating negative thoughts. It is none of their business what you do to your life, and they do not always know what is best for you. Everyone wants different things in life, so what someone else wants may differ from what you want. Only you know what kind of life you want to lead, so focus on what you want and strive to achieve it. Always listening to what others think can prevent you from reaching what you want in life. In short, you only live once, so make sure you live the best life you can. Stopping negative thoughts allows you to be free to be yourself without fear of being judged.
Learn to Appreciate Criticism
Sometimes, we can become defensive over the criticism that we receive. We allow it to hurt us and, therefore, bring down our mood. Consequently, it would help if you learned to think of criticism as a good thing that can help with stopping negative thoughts. Criticism gives us guidance on how to learn and develop. It is common for us to overlook things we are doing wrong as we are unaware. Therefore, by gaining the opinions of others, we can see things from their view. As a result, we become less narrow-minded and open to new ideas.
Criticism can make us more driven. In other words, when people doubt us, we can become more motivated to succeed. We can discover a part of us that is ambitious and wants to prove others wrong. Therefore, when people criticise you negatively, encourage yourself. Use criticism as a way of stopping negative thoughts. Flip the situation to do the best you can do and take their feedback on board as a motivator to do better. In short, reframing negative thoughts which others give us can be challenging but very rewarding.
Written by Amy Bamford
What causes negative thinking?
A range of things can cause negative thinking, but in general, they tend to worsen when we spend a lot of time thinking about our negative thoughts.
What are your negative thoughts examples?
There is a never-ending list of negative thoughts, which are different for each individual.
How do I get rid of negative thoughts
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Write down how you feel
- Reframing negative thoughts
- Live for yourself
- Learn to appreciate criticism
What are the most common negative thoughts?
Common negative thoughts are feelings like:
- we aren't good enough
- incapable of success
- nobody cares about us