5 Ways To Deal With Negative Thoughts
Most of us spend a lot of time within our own mind. We care about the future, ruminate on past events, and, more than we should, we focus attention on the parts of life that leave us unsatisfied.
Negative or unwanted thoughts in your mind take away the possibility of appreciating the good experiences of life, withdraw the focus on what is important, and drain your energy. They can make you feel anxious and depressed. What then can be done?
1. Challenge Negative Thoughts
Whenever you have a distorted thought, stop and evaluate if it is accurate. Think about how you would respond if a friend talked about yourself in this way. You would probably offer a good rebuttal to your negative outlook! Apply the same logic to your own thoughts. Ask yourself if you are assuming the worst will happen or blame yourself for something that has not happened the way you wanted it to. Then think of other possible outcomes or reasons that might differ from what you expected.
2. Let go of negative thoughts
You can learn to separate yourself from negative thoughts. One way to do this is to allow yourself to spend a certain amount of time (maybe five minutes) with your negative thoughts , without feeding them, without judging them. Then be aware that you do not boil down to your negative thoughts. You are the one who can think about your own thoughts. So if you catch yourself thinking negatively and it disturbs you, or does not correspond to reality, take a break and focus on other more appropriate and beneficial thoughts.
3. Don’t judge yourself
We all judge ourselves and others, and it usually happens unconsciously. We constantly compare ourselves to other people or compare our lives to some ideal, and all of this only generates dissatisfaction. When you are able to stop judging (not easy but possible), you will probably feel more at ease. Some ways to pause critical thoughts include recognizing your own reaction, observing it, and then letting it go. Another useful technique is to build a ” positive judgment “. This means that when you notice that you are negatively judging a person, yourself or a situation, look for a positive quality as well.
4. Practice gratitude
The feeling of gratitude has a great impact on your level of positivity and happiness. Even when you are facing a challenging time in your life, you can usually find things even small things to be grateful for. It does not have to be an exhaustive list, but realizing the things that are going well and making you feel happy will keep you in touch with all that is good and meaningful in your life. Keeping a diary of gratitude and writing some things into it everyday is an easy and effective way of doing this.
5. Focus on your strengths
At birth we come with a brain that specializes in focusing on everything that is negative, as this increases the possibility of survival. But the more you can focus on your strengths and not ruminate excessively on the mistakes you’ve made, what has not happened as you wanted, or is wrong in your life, the easier it will be to feel positive about yourself and the direction That your life is taking. If you find yourself having recurring unsettling thoughts about your personality or actions, stop thinking and shift your focus to something you enjoy or do well.