Negative thoughts are cognitions about the self, others, or the world in general that are characterized by negative perceptions, expectations, and attributions and are associated with unpleasant emotions and adverse behavioral, physiological, and health outcomes. They are a normal part of human functioning. This means you don’t have to worry about the fact that you’re having them in the first place. No matter how bad they get, it’s all pretty normal. The following is a list of 6 most common negative thoughts:
1. There isn’t enough time; Life moves so fast, I can’t keep up. Life is frantic and uncontrollable. I have too much to do!
2. I’m totally inadequate; I should be more smart/attractive/successful/rich. I’m not worthy of my success/position in life. I should be more like that person.
3. The world is an awful place; The world is a brutal, uncaring place. Everyone is awful except me. People are the worst.
4. I’m a failure; I didn’t achieve x. I’m a failure/loser/pathetic. I shouldn’t have done y.
5. No one cares about me; My partner/friend/family member is thoughtless and inconsiderate. Nobody cares about me. I am so lonely.
6. I don’t know what I’m doing; Where am I going with my life? I feel like I’m getting nowhere. What’s the point?
As much as negative thinking is a part of our lives, there is no fun in it whatsoever. Being focused on negative thoughts effectively saps the brain of its positive forcefulness, slows it down, and can go as far as dimming your brain’s ability to function, even creating depression. There is, therefore, a need to fight negative thinking by all means. Below are some of the best ways to fight back negative thoughts.
Get some exercising in. When you feel like your head is about to explode due to negativity, try easing your mind by working on your body. Go out for a 30-minute run, do some weights, swim, or ride your bike. This will help you immensely in expelling your inner tension and worries. It will, in turn, also make you more focused and relaxed.
Engage the negative thought. Start becoming aware of these limiting thoughts as they appear. How are you feeling while they are coming up? Are you tired, stressed, hungry, disappointed or something else? When we try to ignore negative thoughts, they don’t just go away. To beat them, you must first recognize them for what they are. Tell yourself, “I know what this is; it’s just a story I’m telling myself, and it’s untrue.” You’d be surprised how quickly you can defeat your negative thinking this way.
Don’t expect things to always go the you want them to. Expecting things to always go your way can rob you of the chance for true happiness. Make certain your vision of a good life is rooted in reality. If your plan goes to fruition in a year instead of a few months does it really make such a big difference? Perfectionism can be a huge obstacle in your way to ultimate success and happiness.
Talk to someone close to you. Keeping all this negativity inside you will only make things worse. Let it out by talking about it with a close friend or family member. Even a ten-minute-long conversation can take a huge load off your mind. This person will see things from a different perspective and hence could be able to give you a solution to your problem you never could have thought of by yourself.
Practice gratitude. Be grateful for the things in your life you may be taking for granted. When negative thoughts have taken our mind hostage it becomes difficult to see all the good life has to offer. Especially those little things many of us take for granted. Some of these things might be having enough food on the table, a house and a cozy bed to sleep in, clean drinking water, as well as your loving friends and family.
Positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are a great tool for overcoming negative thoughts. You may try to say an affirmation as soon as a negative thought tries to occupy your mind. For instance, if you’re working towards attracting a potential partner and you find yourself thinking that you’re not good enough for this person, you can say something like “I am a good, lovable person and I will find a great partner to share my life with.” Furthermore, daily positive affirmations can even reprogram your thinking as a whole, which makes them an indispensable tool for keeping a positive attitude. Choose your affirmations with care, and try looking at yourself in the mirror when you recite them.
Devise a positive morning routine. The mind starts its motor early in the early morning. When you’re in control of your thinking, you’re in control of your life. Negative thoughts can slow down your progress immensely. You must capture every negative thought and replace it with a thought of hope and motivation. One of the best ways to harvest these results is by developing a morning routine where you read or listen to something encouraging and positive as soon as you wake up.