It is extremely common to experience thoughts of a negative nature, in fact, it is believed that on average, 80% of an individual's thoughts have some element of negativity. Whether you are worrying about work or family problems, negative thoughts can be unavoidable at times. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to counteract these thoughts of negativity. Continue reading to ascertain exactly how you can stop negative thoughts.

How to Stop Negative Thoughts


Evaluate the damage of your thoughts

As mentioned, everyone has negative thoughts, this is why it is important to understand how damaging your thoughts are to your everyday life. If you have the odd negative thought then there is nothing to worry about, it's just a thought and will likely pass without any long-lasting affect. If, however, you find yourself constantly thinking negativel


Make a note of your thoughts

Every time you experience a negative thought, take a small amount of time to write it down (and begin composing a journal of your thoughts). Write down exactly what you thought, when you thought about it, what triggered the thought, who you were with, et cetera. This way, you can clearly determine when negative thoughts occur and take action to reduce the likelihood of them occurring by avoiding certainty stressors that may be instigating them.


Focus on the good

If you find yourself within a situation that looks bleak, or for some reason, your thoughts have strayed to the realms of negativity, then focusing on what is good in the situation can work wonders. For example, if you made a mistake at work and are worrying about the repercussions, you can look at it as an opportunity to better yourself and improve professionally.


Think worst case

This may sound counterproductive when learning how to stop negative thoughts, as thinking about the worst outcome of a situation will likely only exacerbate one’s negative thoughts and worries. That being said, focusing on the worst case scenario and making affirmative plans that will help you to deal with such a situation if it were to arise can help you gain perspective on the situation as a whole, as well as prepare you for the worst if it were to happen.


You are your harshest critic

Remember that if your negative thoughts are in regards to self-analysis, and you think negatively towards yourself or your actions in a certain situation, then know that you are likely your harshest critic. Others may not have noticed your behavior, or may think highly of you, and it is only your own thoughts that are bringing you down. Whilst it's good to be self-aware and know when you have acted inappropriately, you should try not to be too hard on yourself. If you can, think of what you did well or the good aspects of your character and life.


Understand what instigates negative thoughts

What you see and do has a massive impact on your thoughts and feelings. If you can pinpoint exactly what instigates negative thoughts, then you can work to eradicate such things from your life. For example, if you notice negative thoughts appearing after you watch the news, discontinue watching the news and see if such thoughts dissipate.


Be rational

It is easy to get lost in thought, especially ones of negativity. Becoming entranced within spiraling thoughts of negativity can be counteracted with a small amount of rational thought. Is what you are thinking about likely to happen? What if it does? How will you react? Asking yourself these questions and stating rational answers within yourself can help to stop thoughts of negativity.


Seek support from family or friends

When ascertaining how to stop negative thoughts, it can often be as easy as finding someone with whom you hold a great amount of trust, and talking about whatever it is that is causing thoughts of negativity. Unloading is a great way to resolve such thoughts in a way that is supportive, and someone else's viewpoint on your issue or issues can offer an invaluable perspective.


Help another

If you are constantly constrained by negative thoughts, and need a way to take your mind off it, then helping another person can be of great use to you and and to others. Being kind, doing someone a favor, helping a friend or even a stranger, doing such things can help improve your own mood by gaining satisfaction in the knowing that you have bettered the life of someone else.


Exercise and look after yourself

Exercise is great in so many ways. Not only will exercising help you keep fit and healthy, it also offers an instant boost of endorphins, the neurotransmitters within the brain that reduce pain and have a similar effect to pharmaceutical drugs like morphine, helping to relieve stress and improve your mood. Exercising also offers you the opportunity to take you mind off of your negative thoughts. You should also look after your body by eating healthily and hydrating properly. How we feel physically can have a profound effect on how we think mentally, so doing such things can lead to positive changes within your thoughts.


Deep breathing techniques

Breathing deeply is an instant way of relaxing your body and mind. It also lets you take your mind off of the negative thoughts by focusing solely on your breathing.


Think of your blessings

When learning how to stop negative thoughts, one of the best things you can do is to think of your blessings. If you are reading this, then it is very likely that you have many blessings you may not even be thankful for. Things like palatable running water, easy access to food and produce, or a roof over your head. Taking time to be thankful for these wonderful blessing, if you are lucky enough to have them bestowed upon you, can help you to appreciate your life and instigate positive thought.


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