When we are not overwhelmed with work, we tend to spend time with our own thoughts. We think about how the day went, what went wrong, the past or regrets in life. If not, we worry about the future. When something doesn’t go well, people tend to think that they will never be good enough or unable to do things correctly. But if you focus too much on the parts of life that have made you unhappy, you won’t be able to enjoy the present. So tell your negative thoughts to leave your side so you can be happy. Read on to find out how to control negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts can be caused by several factors such as past experiences, stress, anxiety or underlying mental health issues, says Dr Pallavi Joshi, consultant psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute Delhi. It’s essential to consider these factors when trying to understand why some people have persistent negative thoughts.
How to deal with negative thoughts?
Before you learn to deal with negative thoughts, it is important to identify them. It’s about self-awareness and monitoring your inner dialogue. You can also look for patterns of self-criticism, pessimism, or irrational fears. This is what you need to do:
Practicing mindfulness can help you observe your thoughts without any judgment. This allows you to let go of the negativity brewing in your mind.
2. Cognitive behavioral therapy
This is a therapeutic approach that helps identify negative thought patterns, challenge them and replace them with more positive ones, the expert tells Health Shots.
3. Positive affirmations
Use positive statements to counteract negative self-talk and increase your self-esteem and confidence. According to a 2013 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the words we choose matter, so saying positive short quotes can help combat stress.
4. Gratitude Journalism
You don’t have to be a professional writer to have your own journal. Regularly write down things you are grateful for so you can shift your focus from negativity to positivity.
Select topics you are interested in and let us customize your feed.
Exercise isn’t just about weight loss or building muscle. It is also known to release endorphins, which are considered natural mood boosters. So it can also help to combat negative thoughts.
6. Social support
Talk to your friends, family, or a therapist about your negative thoughts. Sharing can provide emotional relief and different perspectives. But they must be understanding and supportive.
7. Limit exposure to negativity
The world is full of negativity, and you read about it in newspapers or on websites that you watch on TV. But try to reduce exposure to negative news, social media, or toxic environments that can trigger negative thoughts.
It’s good to take care of your family members, but don’t forget to do things for yourself too. You should prioritize self-care activities, such as getting enough sleep, eating right, and pursuing hobbies you enjoy.
9. Set realistic goals
Whether it’s fitness or work, having goals in life is a must. But unrealistic expectations can lead to negative thoughts. So set achievable goals to avoid unnecessary stress.
10. Think about your strengths
Don’t overlook the positive and focus on your strengths. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your actions or personality, think of something you like about yourself or something good you have done.
If negative thoughts refuse to leave you and are affecting your daily life, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.