Do you ever experience negative thoughts and feelings on a regular basis and wanted to get rid of them? To get rid of them completely would be pretty damn amazing, right? Believe it or not, this can happen for you eventually but it will take some work. And of course, it will require patience and consistency. But let’s talk about what negative thoughts actually are.
A negative thought refers to an idea that makes you feel bad. It’s a thought that causes stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, frustration, worry, guilt, embarrassment, blame, resentment, jealousy, or fear. For example, if you think, “I’m not smart enough,” this is a negative thought because you’ve made yourself believe something about yourself that isn’t true. You’ll feel bad because you’ve turned negative thoughts into a belief. And next thing you know, you’re hating yourself and the world.
Is this sounding all too familiar? Yeah, I can relate too. But we will work on this together.
If you notice that you’re having negative thoughts, it’s essential to acknowledge them and then let them go. Negative thoughts aren’t facts. They’re just thoughts. Thoughts don’t exist outside our minds. By accepting them as thoughts, we’re telling ourselves that they’re not real and that we don’t have to act on them. That helps us to stop obsessing over them.
What more can you do to fight negative thoughts? These tips can definitely help:
Make mental shifts over time.
The first step towards changing any behavior is becoming aware of it. For example, when you have negative thoughts about food, start by noticing whether you’ve had negative thoughts before eating something. Then you can start working out ways to change your thinking, so you won’t feel tempted to eat unhealthy foods. You can apply the same process to other things, like thinking you’re not competent or that you’ll never have the perfect relationship.
Try to understand your emotions.
The best way to understand our feelings is to acknowledge them. To do this, we must first recognize what they are. Once we know what these emotions feel like, we can identify them. That helps us recognize when they are present in ourselves or others. It also allows us to take control of our feelings rather than letting them control us.
And let’s be honest, it’s so easy to let our feelings and emotions control us when we’re already having a bad day. Journaling is a great way to understand and process your feelings. I enjoy writing freely but when I have prompts to go off of, it makes it easier. If journaling is something you’d love to try, check out my digital mental health journals.
Work to change what you can.
Emotions don’t just happen – they come from thoughts, beliefs, memories, and experiences. If you want to change your emotional state, you can start by changing any of those things. So if you feel angry, try to remember why you felt that way. If it was because someone hurt you, then try to forgive them. If it was because you didn’t get what you wanted, try to let it go and move on.
And I know to do all of that is much easier said than done. But trust the process.
Uncover your negative thoughts.
A good step towards overcoming negative emotions is understanding the source. Once you know where they are coming from, you can choose different responses from those you usually fall back on. It might feel like a big task at first, but soon you will develop new habits and behaviors that will help you overcome these issues.
Let go of judgments.
It’s natural for us to judge others and ourselves. But it becomes a problem when we constantly compare ourselves to others. And I think you know what I’m talking about. Social media may also cause us to compare ourselves to an unrealistic version of someone. Those are all negative consequences of judgments. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try focusing on the good things about yourself and your life. Work to let go of judgmental thoughts. When you catch yourself judging others negatively, pause and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Think of the positive traits the person may have.
Negative thoughts may occur naturally from time to time.
We may judge people or think about the past or future negatively. That’s okay – we all do it because we’re human. But what’s important is how we respond to those thoughts. If we let them linger, they can end up ruining our moods and even our lives. But if we choose to let them go and work on positive thinking, our emotional states will become more positive as well.