7 Ways to Fight Negative Thinking
During these unprecedented times, especially now that many of us spend more time isolated at home, it is more essential than ever to look after your mental wellbeing. It's times like these where negativity can get the best of us and drain us of all our energy, making us feel discouraged. Here are a few tips on how you can identify the triggers & help fight back negative thoughts.
What Are the Common Signs?
One of the best steps in winning the fight against negativity is identifying what patterns of negativity you fall into and realizing that it's harmful for you. Here are a few negative thought patterns you may come across from time to time:
Black & White Thinking: The idea that there is no middle ground in a situation. It's either this or that. Good or bad.
Irrational Reasoning: Disregarding the facts & making assumptions based on your emotions. Distorted sense of yourself or those around you.
Magnifying: Making a small issue into something ten times worse in your head. Over-exaggerating something that happened.
Personalizing: You always feel like the spotlight is on you even when it isn't. Tricking yourself into thinking what everyone says or does is related to you.
Overgeneralizing: Assuming that because of a previous bad experience, every similar experience will end up similarly bad or worse.
If you notice you suffer from some or all of these patterns of negative thinking, don't worry, we all do from time to time. The most important thing now is to take action in combating them and not allowing it to rule over you.
7 Steps You Can Take to Become More Positive
Now that you have a better idea of what pattern of negative thinking you have, you are better equipped to fight back negative thoughts. Here are seven steps you can try:
1. Create a Mantra
Think of a word or phrase that can motivate you. Deciding on a motivating mantra and then repeating it whenever your negativity monsters rears its ugly head can be helpful in dissuading negative thoughts. Keep telling yourself your positive phrase until you feel better and have convinced yourself into believing that what you are saying is true.
2. Be More Mindful
When you are more mindful of your thoughts, you can identify when you are starting on the track of negativity. Try to recognize that you are being negative whether in your speech, actions, or thinking. Acknowledge that you aren't feeling great at the moment and then think of what you can do to make yourself feel better. In this way you can help yourself move away from negative thoughts faster.
3. Identify the Triggers
When you are mindful that you are having negative thoughts, try to also figure out what triggers that thinking. What is the common denominator that sparks the negativity flames? Is it possible to avoid the situation? What can you do to reassure yourself? Asking yourself questions can help you find the root of the problem & solve it properly. It can help you to realize, hey, maybe it's not a big deal after all or who cares, that situation or what that person said shouldn't sap your happiness.
4. Gratitude Journal
One of the best ways to be more positive is to write down what you are grateful for. It can help you focus on the good in your life. It allows you to focus on what you have and not what you don't. It also helps you to realize that your life isn't as bad as you assume. When you feel down and the negative thinking is creeping back in, keeping a gratitude journal is also great for you to look back on and remind yourself of the positive things in your life.
5. Indulge in Acts of Kindness
As one famous quote said, "There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving", doing acts of kindness for others can boost your mood. It can positively impact the moods of those around you, which in turn, can positively impact the way they treat you, making you feel happy as well. In addition, doing kind acts, whether big or small, can boost your self-esteem, knowing that you are making a upbuilding difference in someone's life.
6. Brighten Your Surroundings
At times, the environment you are in can also affect your mood. Is your work desk cluttered and a huge mess? That can definitely make one feel negative and sour, especially if you are unable to find what you need at a critical time. Is the lighting in your room or office dark? Switch it up to something brighter! Is the paint in your room gloomy? Change it up with a brighter color. Add some life to your surroundings by having some easy to grow indoor plants. Place items that make you feel happy around you. It can be a memorable photo of you and your best friend or spouse. You can also try to playing soothing or happy music that you enjoy listening to drown out negative thoughts attempting to creep in. All of these external factors can do much to help make you feel happier.
7. Have a Daily Routine
When you have no idea what you want to do or what you need to get done, it can be easy to let your mind wander...and fall into the negativity dark hole again. So try to fill your day with meaningful tasks or hobbies to do. In this way, you know exactly what needs to get done. You will also have something to look forward to which can boost your positivity. When you accomplish tasks that need to be done, you also feel a sense of accomplishment and self worth. Of course, make sure to schedule in time for self-care such as a well earned spa after a long day of work or a good 15-minute relaxing stretching exercise you can do to loosen the tension in your muscles. Whatever it is, staying busy can do wonders in blocking out negative thoughts.
We hope that these suggestions can significantly help you fight back negative thoughts, boost your mental health, and live a happier & more positive life!