How to Stop Negative Thoughts From Ruling Your Life

Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Stop Negative Thoughts

What’s going on in our brains has a lot to do with how we view the world, and no matter how hard we try, we all experience negative thinking from time to time. However, if you’re someone who can’t seem to get a handle on these bad thoughts, you might just need a little help.

How do you stop negative thoughts? Negative thinking is something that all of us experience, but if you’re finding these thoughts dominating your daily life, there are some things you can try to reduce them. Recognizing the thoughts as what they are, reframing the way you think about something, noting things to be grateful for, and enquiring why you might have these thoughts can all be a good start.

Negative thinking isn’t uncommon, but it can start to take over your life if you don’t know how to manage them. If you’re looking for a way to turn your thinking into something more positive so that your outlook can be the same, this guide will arm you with the tools needed to do it.

Identify the Cause

We often look at negative thinking as a bad thing that needs to be stopped, but often, these thoughts are just part of human nature. Bad thoughts can happen when we’re feeling worried about something in the future or upset or angry about something that just happened, and they’re completely normal, but negative thinking is classified as repetitive, automatic, and often random.

If you can pinpoint the cause of your negative thoughts, like an issue that you’ve been worried about, it might be easier to quieten them by addressing them head-on. However, if it seems to be a random occurrence and you find yourself turning almost every situation into a negative one in your mind, you may need to work a little harder to quieten this voice.

Recognize and Label Negative Thoughts

One of the most effective practices you can use for negative thinking is mindfulness, which is a process that began with ancient meditation and is now used in many forms of therapy and mental wellness today. Using mindfulness, we can detach ourselves from our thoughts and be more conscious of them, which helps to see them for what they are and reduces their power.

When it comes to negative thinking, learning mindfulness techniques will allow you to step back and look at the thoughts, as if you were an observer looking in. You will be able to see these negative thoughts happening and label them as such, so even though you’re thinking them, they don’t have to impact any other part of you.

A common issue with negative thinking is that people have repetitive thought processes and do things like catastrophize situations, jump to bad conclusions, and label themselves poorly. By understanding what these terms are and which ones you commonly use in your thoughts, you’ll be able to look at them differently, note they are happening, and move on with your day.

7 Tips for Tackling Negative Thoughts

As with any other psychological issue, there’s no single solution that can stop negative thoughts in their tracks. Rather, you’ll want to try a few approaches to find one that works best for you, so consider some of these tips the next time your mind gets carried away with negativity.

1. Replace negative thoughts

Rather than trying to stop these thoughts from occurring, simply acknowledge them and follow a process to replace them. Take note of when the thoughts start, make an adjustment so the phrases are worded more positively, and find something new to do that will have a more positive outcome for you. This won’t happen overnight so it’s a process that needs to be put into practice a few times first.

2. Use affirmations

Negative thoughts are the opposite of positive affirmations, so you can beat them by having a few affirmations up your sleeve. A good affirmation is a single sentence or two that you repeat, affirming something positive to yourself. Spend some time finding quotes that resonate with you and practice the mantras on repeat until you need them.

3. Stay away from the news

In this day and age where we’re facing a global pandemic and there’s a 24/7 news cycle always reporting, it’s become increasingly common for people to spend their time reading the news or watching it. Although it’s good to be knowledgeable of current events, doing so can also be detrimental to your health and lead to negative thinking, and if you’re someone who already suffers from them, it’s best to avoid it.

4. Mental and physical activity

The key to a healthy mind is a healthy body, so think about ways you can work all over. Meditation is one way to keep your mind healthy, but you’ll also need 30 minutes of physical activity a day to be complete. These practices help you clear out stress and negative thoughts before they build up and become a problem, and they’re great for the rest of your health, too.

5. Take notes

The next time you start with negative thoughts, grab a pen and paper and start writing down what’s going through your head. Sometimes, it’s easier to make sense of a thought once it’s on paper, and it can shake some sense into you as well. You’ll have purged the thought from your mind and it will be less likely to bother you any longer.

6. Be grateful

Practicing gratitude is something we can all do more of, and it’s a proactive way to quieten negative thinking before it even begins. Gratitude is all about being grateful for and appreciating things in our lives, no matter how big or small. You could say them to yourself or write them down, and it can be as simple as “I love the taste of my morning coffee,” to get the good thoughts flowing.

7. Don’t try to stop them

When a negative thought pops into your head, it’s normal to try and stop it. We put more effort into stopping this thought than we would be reframing it, replacing it, or acknowledging it for what it is, so try to get out of the habit of blocking them altogether.

When to Seek Help From a Professional

Negative thoughts can become powerful enough that they begin to dominate someone’s entire thought process and create negative patterns that are tough to break out of. If you’re someone who suffers from negative thinking and feels like it’s gotten out of your control, the best approach is to seek professional help.

A trained mental health professional will assist you in figuring out the cause of your negative thoughts and give you some tools and resources suited to you specifically, including CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, so you can reduce them. As these thoughts can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem when not dealt with, it’s better to get help sooner rather than later.

Putting an End to Negative Patterns

While there’s no cure available that can stop negative thoughts completely, there are plenty of tools you can arm yourself with that will reduce them. Learn how to access these resources whenever you need them, and don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it, and get control of your mind back.

Can You Get Hypnosis for Negative Thoughts?

Hypnosis has been used in the past to treat phobias, addiction, behaviors, and even negative thoughts. If you do plan on using hypnosis as a form of therapy, it’s best to seek advice from a licensed mental health professional for the best approach, as it’s not regulated in the same way as other psychological treatments.