Don’t you ever get tired of those negative thoughts running through your head the whole day? You want to get rid of them but you just can’t. This is because our brains are programmed with negative thoughts. Negative thinking can take away our peace of mind; it can make problems that never really existed. Negative thoughts, if not controlled, can take away our happiness.
How to Stop Negative Thoughts
Be with positive people
According to researches, college students are more prone to adopting their roommate’s negative behaviors such as worrying and thinking aloud. This is called rumination. Choosing the right circle of friends and staying away from negativity can help you forget your negative thoughts. Hang out with positive friends and get some optimistic energy from them.
Put it in the trash
According to a study conducted in 2012 at Ohio State University, writing down negative thoughts in a piece of paper and throwing it away in the garbage bin is effective on stopping negative thoughts.
Divert into positive thoughts
When troublesome feelings start knocking, it is hard to get rid of them. Diverting thoughts is a good way to fight this. Instead of thinking the glass is half empty, think of it as half full. This way it will be easier to think of more happy thoughts.
Make a journal
Make a diary of your thoughts. In a notebook, write down your negative thoughts, in what occasions do they occur, how did you react at it and what did you do about it. Recording how often these thoughts occur can help you identify what triggers them. You might also be surprised that these thoughts are only fictional and that you unconsciously entertain them because they’ve become part of your habits.
Once you have recorded your negative thoughts, try to analyze them and reflect on yourself if these are really true. A good way on how to stop negative thoughts is by asking yourself a few questions. For example, How do I see myself? Am I really a bad person or I am just trying to please everyone? Asking yourself some questions will help you realize whether your thoughts are true or not.
Your thoughts don’t define you
Always remind yourself that what’s on your head shall remain on your head. These are just thoughts, not facts. They are just products of your imaginative mind which unfortunately you have trained to be pessimistic. Instead of saying “I am a bad person”, say “I think I am a bad person”. In this way, you can reprogram your mind to start thinking happy thoughts again and avoid those thoughts that destroy your inner peace.
Identify the roots of your thoughts
Another effective way on how to stop negative thoughts is by identifying where these thoughts come from. Having your diary of thoughts can help you do this. According to studies, this kind of thinking may have been inherited from parents, a product of evolution where man tends to continuously watch out for dangers. It can also be associated with depression which can cause negative thinking in regular manner. Having a very traumatic and painful experience can also be the culprit.
For you, things are only positive or negative. For example, if a promotion was not awarded to you, you may think that your performance must be really bad. Don't do this. Instead, rate yourself in a scale of 1 to 10. And rate your qualifications 7 out 10 for the promotion. This will help you think that you are not noncompetitive for the job but just need to meet a few more requirements. This is another way on how to stop negative thoughts.
Acknowledge your thoughts
According to studies, acknowledging your negative thoughts is more effective rather than fighting them. If you tell yourself “I will not think of this person”, you will only find yourself thinking of that person even more. Admitting to yourself that you are having negative thoughts will help you realize that these are just thoughts, not facts.
Argue with yourself
Automatic thoughts are inaccurate, habitual thoughts that we don’t even notice but always take them for granted. Figure out your automatic thoughts and change the ones that don’t work for you. Once you have figured out your negative thoughts, you should try to exam them and argue with yourself to find what is true and what is just your imagination.
In order to fight those automatic negative thoughts, you should try to do the things that do not comes naturally. This is because when pessimism attacks, you may naturally jump to negative conclusions about yourself, underestimate your ability and watch opportunities slip away. So, just challenge yourself a little bit and do different things with confidence.
Express your thought in a funny way
Say your negative thoughts out in a funny way will alleviate your stressful feeling and even amuse yourself a little bit. You may try to sing your thoughts to make them sound absurd. Try using the tune of the Alphabet Song or Row, Row, Row Your Boat. You can also try saying your thoughts with a funny voice.