When we spend so much time in our own minds, negative thoughts can stop us from enjoying everything in life. But also, they drain your energy, distract you, and can make you feel anxious. What does it take to cope with negative thoughts?
Challenge the Source
When we pinpoint the root cause of our negative thoughts, then we can challenge them. It’s important to recognize that our minds are so good at convincing us that something isn’t true. For example, if you think that your teeth look horrible, and you need veneers or surgery to completely fix them, you’ve got to ask yourself “is this really true?” We can all suffer from what is called “black and white thinking,” where something is one thing or the other. But there are also other ways that our mind distorts the truth, for example, personalizing problems, making the assumption that you are to blame for everything that goes wrong. When we recognize these distortions of thoughts, we can start to challenge that.
Evaluating Your Negative Thoughts
Whenever you have a negative thought you need to ascertain if that is accurate. If someone you know speaks about themselves in a negative fashion, think about how you would respond to them. It’s unlikely you would tell them that they are true and what they are saying about themselves, so apply the same thought processes to what you are thinking.
Learn How to Take a Break from Your Negative Thoughts
Easier said than done but one of the best approaches is to start small. When we tell ourselves we are going to spend a small amount of time away from thinking negative thoughts, we can slowly build up the amount of time. For example, if you tell yourself you will spend 5 minutes not thinking negatively about yourself, the next time you do it, you can focus on 6 minutes, 7 minutes, and so forth.
One of the best ways for you to understand that negativity can impact your life is to reframe your perspective. When we experience challenging times in our lives we can still find small things to be grateful for. When we start to reframe and choose three things every day that we are grateful for, this is again another way to build up a solid habit. You can do it at the end of every single day, or keep a gratitude journal.
We are all quick to judge on occasion and if we are forever thinking negatively about ourselves, this could stem from being quick to judge who we are and what we think about. When we let go of judgments, it can make us relax into ourselves. While this is not an easy thing to do, you can start to positively judge yourself, which is especially useful when it comes to things like your body image. For example, if you notice that you are negatively judging a part of your body, look for a positive part of the body as well, no matter how small it is. Negative thoughts can slowly wear us down over the years, and if we start to replace negative thinking patterns with ones that help, this will make a huge difference in our lives.