Are you having problems dealing with negative thoughts? Is self-doubt, worry, or anger interfering with your peace of mind? If this sounds like you, have hope, there are ways to control your thinking so that you don’t have to struggle with negative thinking.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #1: Recognize Your Thinking
Recognizing that you have negative thoughts is the first step towards controlling your thinking. When a negative thought occurs, ask yourself:
- Why am I thinking this way?
- Is there something that is triggering this thought?
- Could there be a logical explanation why my thinking is irrational?
- Is there something I could do differently to change my thinking?
You can keep track of these thoughts in a journal, which allows you to spot trends inyour thinking process.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #2: Practice Mediation Techniques
Meditation isn’t just for a guru sitting alone on a mountaintop. You can practice mediation exercises throughout your day, at work, in the car, or at home. One method includes:
- Focus on your breathing, with slow, steady breaths.
- Letting your mind relax
- As you experience thoughts, allow them to enter your mind.
- Don’t hold on to these thoughts, allow them to drift away.
- Refocus on breathing.
During this process, you might experience negative thinking, but the idea is to not hold on to those thoughts.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #3: Laugh a Little!
When dealing with negative thoughts, it can be easy to get sucked into a downward spiral of thinking. Instead, try to laugh it off. Smiling can help change your mood and laughter has lots of positive health benefits. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, the long-term effects of laughter include:
- Pain relief
- Improving mood by lessening anxiety and depression
- Immune system assistance.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #4: Exercise
Having a negative thought? Instead of getting trapped in the hole of negative thinking, deal with it by exercising. Exercise is not only good for us physically, but it can help improve mood. Consider these ideas:
- Get up and walk around your workplace every once in a while
- Walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator
- Do some jumping jacks or push-ups
- Schedule meetings where you can walk together outside
- If available, take advantage of your company’s gym
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #5: Develop a Personal Saying
Deal with your negative thoughts by having your own personal saying that you can repeat to yourself. It could be something simple as, “I’ve got this,” or “I am confident in my abilities.” Whatever it is, make a habit of saying it to yourself when you feel like those negative thoughts are coming.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #6: Have Personal Reminders of Joy
Keep one or two items near you that are reminders of your personal joy and happiness. When you start to experience negative thinking, you can go to your reminder to help keep you grounded. Some ideas include:
- A photograph of family, friends, or your children
- A handmade gift from your children or loved one
- A favorite inspirational saying, poem, or musical lyric
- A piece of jewelery that has meaning, such as a religious emblem or photo in a pendant.
Dealing with Negative Thoughts Tip #7: Talk to Someone
Sometimes our negative thoughts can be so overwhelming that it’s easy to get lost in them. Maybe you feel like you are all alone, that no one understands what you are going through? Take heart, there are more people than you realize, that understand what it’s like to struggle with constant negative thinking. Connect with a family member, friend, a support group, or a therapist.
Dealing with negative thoughts isn’t impossible. By identifying your thoughts and using some healthy coping strategies, you too cannot only deal with, but beat your negative thinking. For more information or assitance in dealing with negative thoughts please call Philip J Fauerbach, LMHC at 813-651-1221