With so much chaos in the world, it is hard to stop negative thoughts from entering our minds. By taking time and really thinking about what you’re focusing on, you can find a way of overcoming the negativity. Here are some tips on how to stop negative thinking:
· Be mindful and acknowledge that there is a thought in your head
· Focus on the moment and what’s happening around you
· Focus on positivity
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What causes pessimistic thoughts?
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of negative thinking, but lots of things can contribute to negative thoughts. Here are a few factors that lead to gloomy thinking:
- Past events
- Life events
- Substance abuse
Being around negative people is another cause or having negative thoughts. It’s almost impossible to be a positive person when you surround yourself with negativity. Choose your friends wisely and try your best to be around people who are optimistic as much as you possibly can.
Why are negative thoughts so persistent?
Negative, obsessive, and unreasonable thoughts are known for their persistence. They often occur as intrusive thoughts or thoughts that we don’t want to imagine. If we consider thoughts to influence our feelings, these thoughts lower our mood and disrupt our concentration, motivation, and control. These thoughts can seem uncontrollable because the more a person struggles with them, the more persistent they become.
Negative thoughts are so persistent for two reasons.
1. The first reason is the connection of thoughts with negative feelings, such as fear, anger, despair, guilt, and other negative emotions. If you did not experience negative feelings, these thoughts would pass quickly, and you would not pay much attention to them. But since negative emotions come after having those thoughts, they can cause a downward spiral into more negative thoughts.
2. Another reason is attention. Due to the persistence and discomfort of these thoughts, we pay attention to them. While paying attention, we occupy ourselves with analysis, which means that we delve into them and thus feed them even more.
Paying attention to these thoughts gives them strength and power. Without paying conscious attention, these thoughts lose momentum, decreasing and eventually fading away.
How can I stop my negative thoughts?
You may think it’s impossible to stop negative thoughts, but Verywellmind.com states that it’s possible to change negative thinking, or at least make them have less of an impact.
When negative thoughts arise, imagine they have some form/color/weight. Imagine them being right in front of you. All that matters is that you materialize that thought. While observing the thoughts, allow yourself to feel the emotion. Is it fear? If so, feel it without resistance. Do not try to analyze or understand it. Be present in the moment and observe your body and mind.
While observing the thought, ask yourself some questions:
· What is this trying to tell me?
· Is this trying to help me?
· What needs to happen to resolve the main issue?
Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. Give the thought a voice. If the fear is gone, that is where the process ends. If it is not gone, apply all the steps one more time until it is gone.
Act like a superhero and tell the thought that you are in control. Do not allow it in your space or your mind. Use your superpowers to remove the thought. I know it sounds silly, but give it a try. It just might work for you.
Does ignoring negative thoughts work?
You can always try to break the chain of negative thoughts. How? Do not resist them. Become aware of them and let them go. Do not analyze them or try to fight. Do not try to stop them. The only thing you should do is not pay attention to them. Do not delve into them, and they will start to fade and eventually disappear.
An easy way to do this is to imagine you are looking at clouds floating across the sky. Let the thoughts attach to the clouds. Watch as the clouds and thoughts go by, but do not interact with them. Just watch them float by as you would watching clouds.
It’s not easy to get rid of negative thoughts, but being intentional about being positive can help. If you notice that you’re having negative thoughts very frequently, you may need to seek professional guidance.