Negative thoughts are simply negative – doesn’t get much deeper than that. But unfortunately, most of us don’t even know when we do it! Today I want to share some ideas on how you can catch yourself if you’re putting yourself down and some tips on how to stop thinking negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts sometimes start when someone criticizes you or says something about you that you really don’t like. Other times we are our own worst critics.
These thoughts might start as random thoughts or ideas which just flash across your mind…And then, they demoralize you, and start to pull you down. You become so sober and start feeling like you’re one of the worst. And for no good reason, you blame yourself for being you!
Before you know it, you are so dispirited to the point that you no longer believe in yourself, your abilities, or capabilities. You doubt virtually all your potential moves – and seemingly have lots of good reasons as to why you shouldn’t take any action.
Signs Of Negative Thoughts
Just like a virus enters your body, multiplies, and eventually becomes harmful to your general wellbeing, that’s how negative thoughts get into your head, corrupt your mindset and attitude, and eventually generate lots of toxicity in your entire life.
That’s why you must be conscious of your thoughts and how they affect your decisions and actions. Because once your actions are driven by those ill-fated, negative thoughts, there is no way you will live that fulfilled life you’ve always craved.
A major sign that you are inclined to negativity is when you start asking yourself questions like:
- Why am I not good enough?
- Why does it feel like my world is the worst?
- Why does it always happen to me?
- Why does everyone hate me?
- Why do I feel overwhelmed?
Once these thoughts keep occupying your mental space, it’s best you deal with them as soon as possible so they don’t culminate into something devastating!
Not to exaggerate – but harboring negative thoughts will definitely have negative impacts on your mental, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing. In other words, your entire life will be negatively affected.
Do you want to deal with those sad emotional twists? Perhaps you desire to be on top of your game, and in perfect control of your feelings? Do you absolutely wish to stop thinking negative thoughts? Well then, you’re right on track.
Here are 9 tips that will help you tackle negative thinking.
1. Be Aware Of Yourself!
If you want to stop thinking negative thoughts, you have to start practicing self-awareness… you have to be mindful and cautious of those ill thoughts.
So, how do you go about it?
Get a pen and a paper and find a cool spot where you can reflect without distractions. Ask yourself:
- What exactly am I thinking?
- What do I believe about myself? (Positive or negative beliefs?)
- Are my thoughts in line with the beliefs I have about myself?
These questions will help you realize your thoughts which are often embedded in what you believe about yourself. If you believe (positively) in yourself and have an optimistic mindset, it will surely reflect in your thoughts and feelings. The same thing is applicable to when you doubt yourself or when you are pessimistic – your thoughts and emotions will be as negative as hell!
And once you allow those cynical thoughts to permeate into your mindset and attitude, that’s when you start feeling like you are trapped in a cage. If you really want to start recuperating from the damages that might have been done already, then start writing down the negative thoughts that often cross your mind.
Do you always feel that you’re far from good enough? Or that your difficulties will not get better any time soon? Do you always assume the entire world is up against you?
Just write down those feelings!
You can only be aware of yourself and your level of negativity if you put them down on paper. This way, you can start taking further steps to deal with the unwanted situation.
2. Discover The Sources Of Your Negative Thinking
Another step in the right direction to stop thinking negative thoughts is to find out the sources of those gloomy thoughts. Now is the right time to ask; why am I feeling this way?
Often, the negative feelings people experience are as a result of the fact that they are not comfortable with the way their life is going, yet, they are too pessimistic to work on themselves.
For instance, when you are dissatisfied with your financial status and you feel like you are too broke to make any difference, chances are you will not work hard and will continue being broke. At some point, you will stop believing in yourself and in your future… And thus, your negative thinking will always continue.
Another possible source of negative thoughts is your upbringing. The way you were raised can have a lasting effect on your mentality and mindset.
If you were raised in an environment where you were constantly compared to other people, there is every tendency you’ll end up feeling “not good enough”.
Now, for instance, if you grew up in a big family where your siblings all performed better than you in class – and they received accolades for that (while all you received was criticism), chances are, you will grow into an adult who feels like one of the dullest In the world.
Also, if you were raised by parents who always blamed other people for their poverty, such a mentality can be transferred to you. Hence, you may grow into an adult who does not take responsibility for their actions – consequently, the poverty lineage just continues.
That being said, it is high time you discovered the sources of your pessimistic thoughts. Because it’s only when you know their sources that you can start taking the necessary preventive measures.
3. Start Letting Go Of Those Negative Thoughts
Once you’ve acknowledged your negative thoughts and their sources, the next thing is to start letting go of them.
How do you do this?
The truth is; it would have been far more complicated if you were still unclear about your negative thoughts and their sources. But now that you’re aware, stopping them is as simple as making certain assertions like;
- I know this idea is negative and I won’t give it the chance to build up in me!
- I am familiar with this belief that limits my progress, but this time around, I’m not giving in to it!
- Oh! here is a negative emotion again… see, you have no power over me this time.
By telling yourself stuff like this, you let go of those adverse feelings and regain total control of your mind. This way, it becomes easy for you to stop thinking negative thoughts.
4. Out Of Every Seemingly Negative Situation, Discover Something Good
Most times, we are so submerged in negativities that we hardly look up to see the brighter side of any given situation. But the fact remains that if you must stop thinking negative thoughts, then you have to seek to discover something good out of any seemingly bad situation.
Remember, there is always going to be a light at the end of that tunnel. Because no incident is entirely bad.
Say, for instance, you had a bad day, or your plans didn’t work out, or maybe you made a crucial attempt and failed – you will easily feel downcast. However, the ideal way to realize the good side of such negative situations is by asking yourself discerning questions:
- Does this outcome profit me in any way I never imagined?
- What lessons have I learned from this incident?
- What can I do differently when next I’m presented with a similar opportunity to ensure a better outcome?
Trust me, these questions will not only help you to discover the bright side of that painful situation, but they will also encourage you to grow from it!
5. Understand That People Don’t Really Care
One reason you’re stuck in those negative thoughts is because you worry too much about what people will say about you
But here is a quick-relief; people don’t really care (about you, what you say, or what you do) because they have lots of other things to pay attention to! They don’t have so much energy to mind both their businesses and yours, believe it or not.
I mean, how can a human being with a job, family, kids, and perhaps other responsibilities have the time to dissect your every move? Nope, they’re hardly always paying attention.
Sure, there might be a few people like that, but firstly, they need to get a life. And secondly, they should be considered irrelevant – because most people are busier than that!
So before you let yourself sink in negative thoughts, remind yourself that people are too busy to be focusing on your every move.
With this reminder, you shouldn’t be restrained by those pessimistic feelings (about what people will think about you), rather, you should be more willing to take bigger steps towards the things that really matter to you.
6. Learn To Question Those Negative Thoughts
If you really want to stop thinking negative thoughts, here’s a trick; start questioning those pessimistic ideas.
For instance, after a terrible day at work and on arriving home, you feel so weary and saddened, there is a higher tendency that certain negative thoughts will start creeping into your mind. Consequently, you might forget all your previous wins and start focusing more on the little mistake you made JUST that day…
At this point, you have to be bold enough to question those negative thoughts. Ask yourself; should I allow this thought to dwell inside my head? Should I really take this idea seriously? Guess what? Your answer will almost always be No. Nope. Nah.
These sorts of questions will enable you to realize that your life is not defined by one single mistake, rather, it is defined by all other things you’ve always done right!
7. Let It Out
By bottling up those negative thoughts, you’re not helping yourself. They will continue to weigh you down until everything about you becomes toxic.
You have to let it out. Discuss it with someone close to you. You will feel so relieved afterwards. I always agree with that popular slogan that says; a problem shared is a problem half-solved. However, you have to be mindful of who you share your thoughts with so they don’t use it against you in the future.
If you don’t have anyone you can trust with your little, dirty secrets, then seek professional counselling. Letting out those negative thoughts will enable you to communicate with someone else who might be highly instrumental in helping you find a realistic solution.
Remember, two heads are better than one. Well, not two heads on the same body…but, you get it.
8. Live In The Moment
Whenever you are having negative thoughts, two things are certainly involved;
It’s either you are worried about what is yet to happen…
Or you are still worried about what has happened already!
However, here is a mind-blowing fact: you have little or no direct influence over the future or the past. What you can control is what happens now. In other words, what matters most in your life is what you do today.
When you do the right thing today, you will not repeat your past mistakes, and at the same time, you are building a brighter future. The reality is; you will basically stop thinking negative thoughts if you start focusing on the present – not the future, nor the past.
9. Practice Gratitude
You have to show gratitude for the little things you have. Appreciate your little successes and achievements!
Whenever negativity creeps in and is increasingly gaining ground in your mind, always remember the things you are grateful to have in your life. Think about the square meals you can easily afford, the clean water you have access to, your good friends and family, the roof over your head, and many other simple (but important) things you easily ignore.
Finally, it’s not enough to just learn how to stop thinking negative thoughts. The most important thing is to practice what you’ve learned! At times, it might get quite difficult to observe these stringent measures, but with intentional efforts, they’re doable.
And yes, the end result is absolutely worth the stress.