We all have good day and bad days. Sometimes we wake up feeling like the birds outside are chirping a special tune just for us; the flowers bloom to brighten up our day; and that everything in the world will turn out just as we want it to. On the other hand, there are also those dark, sad, gloomy days that keep us feeling like we are drowning in a sea of misery which make it so difficult to overcome unwanted negative thoughts.
These thoughts often come unbidden, even when we are in a righteously good mood. They come and go, leaving temporary marks on our consciousness that eventually fade and get replaced with other thoughts. For some however, they happen more frequently and linger a little bit longer. It may be a challenge to overcome unwanted negative thoughts, yet not impossible to triumph over. This article explores different ways on how to overcome unwanted negative thoughts.
8 Ways To Overcome Unwanted Negative Thoughts
1. Get to the root of the idea
Be honest with yourself and think about the central theme of the negative ideations. It could be anxiety about career, family, love life or lack of it, money, inferiority, failure, death, or body image. Once you know what it is all about, you can then take steps to rectify this dissatisfaction toward this particular part of your life. If you are afraid of losing your job, take courses to help improve your job stability and productivity. If you are feeling insecure about the way you look, consult with friends or beauty experts on how to enhance and highlight your best features.
Getting to the root of it is a way to overcome unwanted negative thoughts by stopping it right at the source. As is popularized by literature and cinema, knowing your enemy is half the battle. In this way, you know exactly what you are dealing with which would effectively help get rid of the worry or fear that is felt towards it.
2. Find a suitable outlet
When you feel an ominous thought coming, write about it down on a journal to get it out of your system. It is a process of unburdening and purging which as they say, takes the load off of our shoulders, making us feel lighter and generally better.
3. Come up with distraction techniques
Take up a hobby to keep yourself and your mind busy. Focusing on a certain task will keep you from occupied enough not to think of the negatives. Watching television, reading a book, or listening to music keeps your mind from wandering which more often than not is the time when negativity can take root. It is like a form of prevention and not giving negative thoughts and opportunity to run freely though your mind.
Here is one relaxation exercise you can dry to stop negative thoughts.
4. Sleep and rest
Have you ever heard of the line, “You’ll feel better in the morning?” Apparently, there is a grain of truth in this. Being overly stressed makes you irritable which becomes a magnet for negative thought. A good night’s rest is like restarting your body. You erase the stresses of the day and wake up to a clean slate.
Moreover, it is during sleep that the brain processes everything that happened during the day, and basically tries to put all the puzzle pieces of jumbled thoughts together, the negative ones included. Some studies suggest that it is when we dream, which happens when asleep, that the mind tries to solve problems that we are unable to make sense of when awake.
5. Think happy thoughts
This may sound a little simplistic but it does work in most cases. People are able to overcome unwanted negative thoughts by counteracting them with happy ones. Remembering good times and the positive feelings that came with them can put you in a good mood.
6. Focus on the present
Most negative thoughts come from either thinking about the past or future. The past has already happened and cannot be undone, while the future is still unsure and not yet existing. Both past and future only are just basically images that we replay in our mind. The present however, exists and is a reality that we are experiencing. One way to overcome unwanted negative thoughts is to focus on what is happening now. When we put our attention to what is happening now, we forget about the perceived problems of the past and future, eliminating anxiety, worry, and fear as well.
7. Make a list
Think of all the positive things about you, that happened to you, and that happens around you. This increases self-confidence and gives a sense of self-control. These feelings eliminate the feeling of helplessness that we sometimes have towards our lives. Self affirmation gives the notion that we are able to overcome unwanted negative thoughts. It empowers us to feel that we are bigger than our problems and that we can effectively solve them.
8. Consult a physician
When you are unable to overcome unwanted negative thoughts on your own and they persist despite your best effort, seek medical attention. When these thoughts are too much and keep you from effectively carrying out your daily activities, it might be time to ask advice from experts and get an opinion. You might be already suffering from a disorder that you were not previously aware of.
In conclusion, we choose what we want to think and how those thoughts influence our lives. Accept that there are both positive and negative aspects to everything and happiness all boils down to choice.
Photo: Toni Blay