The average person has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day, with 80% of them being negative. That’s a lot of negative thinking! This can have a big impact on our mental and physical health over time.
Negative thinking is a common issue that you can overcome with the right coping strategies.
This is one of the most powerful ways to combat negative thoughts. Start by paying attention to your thoughts and identifying negative thought patterns. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, ask yourself if there’s evidence to support those thoughts.
Are they based on facts or assumptions? Challenge these negative thoughts by seeking alternative perspectives. It is important for us to work on replacing these distorted thoughts with more positive and realistic thoughts.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and observing your thoughts without judgment.
What is meditation? Meditation can calm your mind and reduce the impact of negative thoughts. It is suggested to focus on your breath, your senses, or a guided voice to redirect your attention to the present.
Other tips for meditation include:
- Find a quiet place to sit
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Close your eyes to help you focus
- If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath
- Be patient and kind to yourself
These activities help you distance yourself from negative thinking patterns.
Harness the Power of Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are positive statements that challenge and overcome self-doubt. They can also help build self-confidence. Create a list of positive affirmations that counteract your negative self-talk.
Repeat them daily, especially during moments when you catch yourself spiraling into negative thinking. Over time, these affirmations can boost your self-esteem and foster a more optimistic mindset.
Cultivating gratitude can shift your focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right in your life. Start a gratitude journal where you jot down three things, you’re grateful for each day. This simple practice can help rewire your brain to notice and appreciate the positive aspects of your life. Studies have shown an improvement in mood when we consciously identify and reflect on the positive things going on in our life.
Seek Social Support
Don’t underestimate the strength of leaning on others. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional when negative thinking becomes overwhelming.
Talking about your thoughts with someone you trust can provide perspective. It’s also a source of encouragement and a reminder that you’re not alone. Studies have shown talking about our stressors rather than burying these thoughts/emotions can result in a reduction of our cortisol (stress) levels.
Set Realistic Goals
Negative thinking can flourish when we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Break down your goals into smaller, measurable, and achievable steps.
Celebrate your progress along the way, no matter how small. This can boost your self-confidence and provide a sense of accomplishment that counters negative self-perception.
Treat yourself with the same kindness you’d offer to a friend. Acknowledge that everyone experiences negative thoughts from time to time.
Instead of criticizing yourself, practice self-compassion by acknowledging your feelings without judgment. Treat yourself with patience and understanding as you work to overcome these thoughts.
Embrace the Positive, Let Go of Negative Thinking
Battling negative thinking is not easy, but it is possible. By learning to identify and challenge negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones you can start to live a happier life.
If you are struggling to overcome negative thinking on your own, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Contact us for more information.