How to Keep from Thinking Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts can paralyze your life and wellbeing, leaving you self-absorbed in your unhappiness. Additionally, a negative thinking pattern is the endpoint of any positive resolve. It feeds on your fears, failure, rejection, unmet expectations, and traumatic experiences. The negativity permeates every aspect of your life. Instead of having a bad day, your perception becomes, “I have a bad life.” Often, the supposition is untrue, but negative thinking magnifies problems and turns you into a worst-case scenario hunter.

What Causes Negative Thinking?

Understanding the root of the problem lets you take hold of your mind when you are on that downward spiral. According to the Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, negative thoughts are cognitive attributes of psychosocial variables. In other words, negative thinking is a habit stemming from your outlook on your social environment.

Cognition encompasses your thoughts, experience, and senses. All these facets of cognition contribute to your thought process. Your thoughts, in turn, fuel your actions or behavior. Thoughts are powerful. The impact of your thinking will outlive your lifetime. It is crucial to control your thoughts - negative thoughts in particular.

Effects of Negative Thinking

Aside from ruining your day, negative thinking can trigger chronic anxiety. An anxious mood is sustained by worry and rumination. Furthermore, negative thought patterns trigger depression. The symptoms manifest as hopelessness, low self-esteem, and helplessness. They also contribute to loneliness. Negative thoughts make you project your perception on others and make you feel threatened by their presence.

Negative thinking is harmful to your mental state and those around you. It is a habit that needs to be broken.

Here are practical ways to help you overcome this destructive mental habit.

Question Your Thinking

When your inner critic arises to dampen your mood, question the validity of the criticism. Find out why your inkling is toward the negative. Question your motive for the self-defeating thoughts. Are your thoughts factual or exaggerated? Do not always believe your thoughts. There are just as many chances of things working out despite the odds.

Practice Self-Assurance

Counter your negative thoughts with assurance. Think about a time where you felt assured and calm. Recall a similar circumstance where the outcome was okay. Self-assurance brings calmness and feelings of safety. It turns off your body’s panic button and lets you address the situation logically.

Know Your Triggers

Find out what initiates your cycle of negative thoughts. Knowing the cause will help you eliminate the problem. The habit of negative thinking is deeply ingrained in the subconscious mind. It becomes part of your thought program so that you naturally gravitate towards them. Knowing the root of the problem enables you to avoid emotional thinking and employ rationality. It also helps you avoid the stressor altogether. 

Change Your Attitude

Your emotions, beliefs, and behavior make up your attitude. Your attitudes form your mindset and influence your perception of life. Changing your attitude can help you avoid negative thoughts. The change highlights your deviation towards the negative. Noteworthy, having an attitude makeover is an intentional process. You are going against the grain. It is doable, but it requires a lot of patience and practice.

Surround Yourself with Positive-Minded People

The people around you influence your attitude. You pick up their moods, interpretation of life, opinions, and behavior. Surround yourself with hopeful, grateful, and thankful individuals. You do not need to find strangers. Choose positive-minded people from your circle of friends and family.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Getting rid of negative thoughts does not mean becoming unrealistically positive. Irrational positivity is also unhealthy for your mind. It is a fact that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Your unmet expectations are a trigger for negative thinking. Be realistic in your approach. Do not make a big deal out of disappointment. It is part of living. Therefore, learn from it and move on.

Stop Your Trail of Negative Thoughts

Stop your mind from engaging in those negative thoughts. Resist the urge to think negatively through distractions like music, work, reading, meditation, and so forth. Find something that will take your thoughts away from negativity. Tell your mind to stop and disengage from the matter entirely.

Use Journaling

Journaling is an excellent habit for thought organization. It lets you track your mental processes. It is a practical way to identify your triggers, fears, the subject of your negative thoughts, and your mental priorities. Later, you can carefully analyze your thoughts and find solutions. A journal shows you how strong you are too. By recording your fears, you get to know what you have overcome in times of distress.

Be Kind to Yourself

Life is hard enough as it is, do not beat yourself down every waking moment. You are doing the best you can with the limited resources available. If you failed, there will be many more opportunities. Learn from your failures and fears. Appreciate how far you have come, and do not compare your journey with others. Find your strength in them. It is not the end of the world.

Conquer the World

Negative thinking is sometimes necessary for self-evaluation. It is a form of constructive criticism that enables you to become a better person or improve your expertise. However, if these thoughts become frequent with no basis, they can harm your mental health. Do not let negative thinking get the best of you. Destroy the habit before it destroys you. The world is yours for the taking, do not let a few thoughts keep you from living your full potential.

New Dimensions Can Help!

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other mental health issues because of negative thinking, New Dimensions can help.  Our online treatment programs are available to anyone who resides within the State of Texas, including San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Lubbock.  We also have in person treatment at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and Houston, Texas.  To learn more about our programs, visit our website at or call us at 1-800-685-9796.

22 December, 2020

Latest articles

Share on