Ways to Stop Negative Thoughts

Is your head most of the time, if not always, filled with negative thoughts?

I shoot my hand in the air. Yes, me—guilty.

I’ve always had this feeling of inadequacy, not in life, but in myself. I’ve always felt like I had more to grow, to learn and to improve but even after taking steps to change who I was or become a better person, I was never enough. For every bad thing that happened to me in my life, I would tell myself things along the lines of:

…well, of course this happened to me. I have bad luck.

…I don’t deserve anything good.

…Don’t worry, I’m used to bad things happening to me, and my absolute favorite

…This wouldn’t have happened to me if I was prettier, smaller, smarter (just picking out all the ugly things I saw in myself)

My negative mind always made me tell myself that the world was against me, that I couldn’t do anything right and even when I felt empowered, I still felt lacking in what I wanted to do. When I wasn’t negative and angry, I was lost.

But I, like so many others, really want to change that way of thinking. Growing up scared of the world and the judgment of others made me realize how stronger I needed to be.

I truly believe that we can all escape the negative mindset we have. I’m working on it and so should you.

How do you stop these negative thoughts from overpowering and affecting your day to day activities?

I’m a firm believer that thoughts are so powerful. What we imagine and think to ourselves greatly affect our actions, which then leads to a result—success or failure.

When we are always with negative thoughts, we feel negative emotions such as fear, uncertainty, or anxiety towards the situations in our lives, even the non-threatening ones. These negative thoughts cause us to look at situations in a negative light and we lead ourselves towards a path of failure.

Instead of doing the work, we spend too much time worrying and wondering how to finish our tasks. We stress over every little detail and question our judgment and capabilities of doing the job.

There are a ton of negative thoughts that can go through our head in one go but the most popular of these are:

  • What we assume people think or say. No one on my team believes in me. No one cares. >>> Read How to stop caring what others think of you (link)
  • Towards the situation. Everything is going wrong.
  • Towards ourselves. I can’t do this. I’m not good enough.
  • Towards past mistakes. I’ll always fail.
  • Unknown. Nothing as scary as this but it’s inevitable so don’t put energy onto this.

Why do I hate negative thoughts?

Well, who doesn’t really? Negative thoughts have robbed me of happiness and opportunities to better myself and to live life to the fullest. I wasn’t shy. I was afraid, I was angry and at times, I just gave up on even trying to be happy.

Negative thoughts can…

…make me feel bad about myself. When I have negative thoughts, I get irritable easily and when I get irritated, I feel angry at everything and everyone. Even when I know I shouldn’t be, I just feel angry and frustrated with everything in my life. This makes me feel bad about myself. Like I’m a bad person.

…make me lose focus on the situation or problem. It is difficult to find a solution or do a task when you can not clear your head because they are just full of negative thoughts.

…affect my relationships. I may lash out at people because I need someone to blame. I blame myself, get mad, blame other people, get mad at them. It’s a vicious toxic cycle that I hate being in.

…make me ungrateful. I think the world is against me and I focus a lot on what I do not have thinking that if I had that thing, my problems would go away and I would be happier and less negative.

How to stop your negative thoughts

These are the things that I did and still do. It may or may not work for you but give these tips and practices a try if you can.

There are two main steps.

Really? Only two?

Yes, only two. But I also wrote down below what I did to better implement these steps in my life. I focus on these two steps because I don’t want to complicate things for myself. So, I stick with simplicity.

Pause and shift.

Pause- catch yourself with the negative thoughts and tell yourself to stop. You are in control of your thoughts.

Shift- find a positive side to the situation or problem. It may be something obvious or you may need to do some reflection.

That’s it.

Want more?

To further supplement and enhance the pause and shift, keep on reading.

Here are some techniques that I hope can help you stop the negative thoughts from coming back and keep your mindset on a more positive note.

Be conscious of your thoughts and reactions. You are reading this so I assume you have become aware of your negative mindset. Yay! Recognizing your negative mindset is a big step in living a more optimistic life.

When I realize that I’m being negative is when I catch myself being rude, angry and just in a foul mood. So, I hit pause and ask myself one of these questions or something similar:

  • Is it possible to not bitch about this?
  • Can this be solved even without getting mad?
  • Is there any way to say or do this more positively or compassionately?

My answer to these is YES.

Can we control our thoughts? I say no and yes. In every situation, we always form thoughts whether we choose to or not. We cannot control the act of thinking or forming thoughts but we can very well control the thought itself- from a negative to a positive.

We have all the control and power in us to create and think positively.

Reflect on the situation. In shift, you may not see the positive side right away so ask yourself: What does the situation call for? Not your negative thoughts or energy, I hope. Take the positive route. It's better, bright, and healthier.

Meditate. I include this in so many posts of mine but it’s just so great. Something you can do to ease away not just negative thoughts but also negative feelings. I love meditating and it is just so beneficial to me and my health. I know. Crazy right?

But yeah, I love it. If you haven’t tried meditation, you definitely should.

Be rational. Discuss with yourself or someone you trust. Two heads are better than one. 

I haven’t met a problem that has been solved by being negative. Honestly, thinking negatively and acting on these negative thoughts can even make things worse for you. But we are human and we can become engulfed by so much emotion sometimes. We can’t think straight.

When you can and really need it, sit down and really think about the situation. Put down the pros and cons and how your outlook on what is happening can really affect you and what you might do next.

Hope you had a great read and are on your way to being better and happier!

xx Bella

Recommended Readings:

How to stop caring what other people think of you

How to enjoy life

Remove fear and social anxiety

How to become the Right Kind of Confident

Photo Credits: Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels.com 


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