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.
So how do you deal with negative thoughts
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 help:
1. 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.
2. Try to understand your emotions. The best way to understand our feelings is to become aware of them. To do this, we must first recognize what they are.
- Once we know what these emotions feel like, we can identify them. This action 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.
3. Work to change what you can. Emotions don’t just happen – they originate from thoughts, beliefs, memories, and experiences. If you want to change your emotional state, you can start by changing any of those things.
- For example, 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.
4. 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.
5. Let go of judgments. It’s natural for us to judge others and ourselves. The problem occurs, though, when we constantly compare ourselves to others. 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 this: Focus 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. 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.