“Your thoughts carry you wherever you want to go. Weak thoughts don’t have the energy to carry you far!”― Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders’ Watchwords
Our positive and negative thoughts alike affect our stress levels, anxiety, and mood. Remember that day when you were stressed or feeling low? What things were you thinking of at that time? Did you think you aren’t smart or pretty enough? Do you ever think the world is a horrible place, no-one likes me; everyone is better than me? Are there times when you think to yourself, “All I have are negative thoughts,” and can’t seem to find positivity? These are just a few examples of automatic negative thoughts. 80% of human thoughts each day are negative. More than 264 million people in the world suffer from depression caused by negative thoughts, among other factors.
Unhelpful or negative thoughts distract you from finding the joy in life, drain your energy, and prevent you from focusing on what’s important. We tend to focus on experiences in our lives, of which we are not satisfied. People think negative thoughts when they are replaying past events or worry about the future. Generally, spending too much time inside your mind generates negative thoughts.
How Should You Deal with Negative Thinking?
- Separate Your Emotions from Your Thoughts. The most critical way to prevent negative thoughts from affecting how you feel is to treat them as just ideas generated by your mind. They are not real; these are just thoughts and nothing more. Doing this will help to distance yourself from unhelpful thoughts. Then you can focus on the positive, useful, and productive aspects of your life.
- Simply Let the Negative Thoughts Pass. When managing negative thoughts, you need to remember that these negative thoughts are not necessarily facts and do not have any factual basis.
- Do Not Indulge in Negative Thinking. It’s human to believe negative thoughts because of the low feelings they cause. But you should remember they are most likely based on incorrect assumptions and should be questioned further than that.
- Realize That The Mind Will Always Produce Thoughts. You will always have something to think about because it is natural. Your mind will never stop generating thoughts, but you should not let negative thoughts get to you. Each day the human brain generates 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts. While some are very productive, other ideas are just unhelpful, and it’s best to let them go.
- Calm Your Mind Through Meditation. Anyone who has meditated is aware of how people get lost in thought. Your mind wanders, and you feel restless because you are not used to peace. Meditation lets you calm your hectic minds. Stay with your breath. Negative thoughts, worry, and ruminating occupy your brain and affect your feelings and body too. It causes your muscles to tighten, and your heart beats too fast. Meditation is a beneficial way to eliminate physical stress by engaging in deep breathing sessions.
- Focus on Positive Thoughts. It’s possible to choose what and how you want to think. Anytime a negative thought enters your mind, stop, and ask yourself the benefit of thinking about it. Whenever you begin to think negatively, and unhelpful thoughts are generated, you should choose to think about something else productive.
- Use Basic Logic. When you are hurt, angry, or upset, you can’t stop negative thinking. You should avoid the thoughts that cause such uneasy feelings. Evaluate the problem presented. Is it an actual problem? If not, you need to let it go and move past it.
The effect of negative thinking in our everyday lives and health, at work, school, or in our relationships can be devastating if not managed. We all have such unhelpful thoughts sometimes. You should not think you are alone.
The important thing is remembering that you should not believe negative thoughts. The good news is that negative thinking can be managed using the ways discussed.
Your thoughts do not define you. Remember, you are not alone and do not let the negative thoughts get to you. For those who have never meditated before, this is an opportunity to learn how this practice helps calm and manage automatic negative thoughts. To find out how to rid yourself of negative thoughts and explore other ways of making yourself happy, you can take the Happy Course called “You’re Worth It: One Week to a Happier You” by clicking the button below.