How to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts: 7 Ways to Free Yourself From Their Grip
INSIDE: Knowing how to get through life with a positive attitude isn't always easy, especially with everything we are being hit with. Let's learn how to get rid of negative thoughts by following a few easy steps.
It happens to every one of us! We'll be going along with our regular everyday chores, and suddenly a thought pops up, "What if I am doing this wrong?," "What will happen next?," "What will people think of me?," "I'm not good enough," etc, etc, etc.
There is an entire list containing hundreds of thoughts like these. It does not mean you have a mind that only thinks negatively, but our brains are always naturally ready to flow with negative thoughts at the slightest inconvenience.
Let's walk through how to get rid of negative thoughts and get them under control so you can enjoy life and attract better things.
Types of Negative Thinking
Various problems are attached to negative thinking, such as low self-esteem, stress, social anxiety, depression, self-doubts, etc. The key to understanding how to get rid of negative thoughts is to catch them and train yourself to turn them around.
Before learning how to get rid of negative thoughts, let's first understand the types of negative thinking...
Fear & Doubt
Fear is probably the most popular form of negative thinking. From worrying about what will happen next, what people will think of you, to whether you'll have enough money to pay your bills, fear is in all of our heads.
Self-doubt is an uncertain feeling about ourselves that ties into fear. It usually occurs from bad experiences of the past. For example, being told that we are not good enough to be in a relationship can negatively affect our self-worth, leading to a fear of committed.
Worrying or Assuming the Worst
Typically referred to as catastrophizing, this type of negative thinking involves constant assumptions of the worst possible outcome without even considering more tangible and practical possibilities. We start jumping to conclusions that things will turn out negatively, fearing what people will think or how bad things will turn out.
This negative thinking pattern involves a fear of being judged by other people and it can lead us to refrain from starting something new or stepping out of our comfort zone. This often leads to people questioning themselves and having low self-esteem.
"Glass Half Empty" Thinking
This common analogy decides if someone is a positive (half glass full) or a negative thinker (half glass empty). When our minds are over-crowded with pessimistic thoughts, we will tend to see the glass as half empty, constantly fearing what will happen in the future.
This pattern also leads to jumping to conclusions without realizing that there are still some favorable chances that we overlooked during our fear of the half-empty glass.
Overreacting to the tiniest of unfortunate mishaps is the worst kind of negative thinking, leading to big disasters. Overreacting typically involves an emotional or forcible reaction, more than was required.
This also involves false assumptions that something is true because we get so emotional about it, which escalates our anxiety and negative thoughts instantly. It also wreaks havoc on our relationships.
How to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts
Having adverse childhood or adulthood experiences often leads to thinking that the world is only a hostile place. People are often stuck in their pessimistic opinions about their lives and the world, overlooking all the positives that come their way.
But, the good news is that you don't have to be stuck in this negative space; you can learn how to remove negative thoughts, so that you can lead a more positive and happy life.
Here are some easy tips to follow...
Remove Negative Stimuli
First things first, if you want to work on how to get rid of negative thoughts from your life, you need to remove the negative stimuli that is initiating adverse thinking in your mind.
For example, people who are over-sensitive to bad news or dark movies involving too much negativity should avoid such things and spend their time hanging around with people who make them happy and are more positive about life. Not watching the news will be a big help here.
Surround Yourself With What Makes You Happy
Surrounding yourself with what you enjoy and love to do is the best way to get rid of negative thoughts. For example, if you like painting, reading, cooking, or simply watching a movie or chilling with friends, do more of those things so that your focus shifts from negative thinking and your perspective towards life becomes more positive.
Catch Your Negative Thoughts & Reframe Them
Another way to get rid of bad thoughts is to understand the reason behind them and work on reframing them into positive thoughts.
The analogy of the full and half glass is a perfect example of reframing your negative thinking. Look forward to the opportunities you have in your life rather than complaining or getting worried about what you cannot control because those things will only lead you towards fear, self-doubt, and more negative thoughts.
Change Your Perspective
This tip for how to get rid of negative thoughts is pretty similar to reframing negative thoughts and converting them into more balanced ones. Focus more on the positive side of life while eliminating negative aspects from which you will gain nothing but anxiety, depression, and constantly thinking about the world as a wrong place.
If something "bad" does happen, instead of taking the perspective that it sucks, look at it as a lesson that can help you grow and evolve.
Challenge Yourself To Stop Judging
Just like we don't want to be judged about our life choices, we should also avoid judging people for their life decisions. It's not possible that people will always be non-judgemental toward you, but learning how to cope with critical views and judgment is one of your most significant tests when it comes to working on how to get rid of negative thoughts.
For example, it is unnecessary to react to every criticism you receive. Learning to respond with a prepared set of assertive responses will help you deal with provoking situations in life.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
The best way to get rid of all the bad thoughts in your head is to pen down all your worries and blessings side by side. Maintaining a gratitude journal will help you focus more on the positive things in your life while working on the negative thoughts more efficiently.
Or try this: write down all of your negative thoughts on a piece of paper, crumble them up, and pop it in the trashcan. Trust us, it helps!
Focus on What You Can Do to Make Things Better
Follow this rule of thumb. When a negative thought pops up in your mind, can you do something about it? If yes, then why are you worried?
If not, then also, why are you worried? This will entirely change your focus from negative thinking to paying attention to the things that will make your life stress-free rather than giving you anxiety, fear, and doubtful self-worth.
There is almost always something we can do that will point things in a more positive direction, even it is just a shift in how we react to the situation.
There you have it, seven easy tips for how to get rid of negative thoughts. Still, if you are struggling with negative thought patterns which are draining your energy and impacting your daily life, consider seeking help from mental health experts. We understand it is pretty challenging to share your feelings with an unknown, but a mental health therapist will help you get rid of negative thinking by connecting them to the core.
We wish you much positivity!