Negative thoughts can manifest slowly over time and are often a symptom of stress, anxiety, depression, or other mood-related mental illnesses. Due to the relative isolation many people face in modern society, a lot of people spend much of their time dwelling on their thoughts, and this often leads to damaging outcomes. While these processes are common, unwanted adverse thoughts can have a detrimental impact on your overall health and wellbeing, and this is why it is important to find ways to combat them. If you have been struggling with negative thoughts, here are a few different methods that may help you find constructive, positive ways of dealing with them.
Recognise Distorted Thoughts
The key to combating negative thoughts is first developing the ability to recognise them. If you don’t realise when your mind is taking a turn for the worse, it can be really difficult to stop yourself from catastrophising, internalising or thinking apathetically. Any time you notice a thought might be negative, try to draw attention to it, such as by writing it down or by actively replacing it with an overtly positive thought.
Distract Your Mind
Negative thoughts are often more prevalent when people are given too much time to reflect and overthink different situations. By keeping your cognitive mind active and engaged, you can reduce the amount of time your thoughts have to turn to negative situations. For example, try to socialise as much as possible by going out and doing activities. Even when you are alone, you can keep your mind active by engaging in hobbies such as reading, writing, artwork or games.
Address The Causes Of Your Negativity
Negative thoughts don’t manifest without first having a catalyst to draw from. One of the best and most positive ways to reduce this kind of harmful thinking in the long term is to address the source of your unhappiness. It could mean doing anything from working on learning to love yourself, making lifestyle changes that promote a more positive outlook, or addressing past traumatic events that are affecting you in the present. Poor emotional wellbeing can also be caused by physical illnesses, such as brain trauma or chronic illness, so you may consider working with a professional who can guide you into getting a more positive outcome from these experiences. For example, if you were injured as a result of medical negligence, then you might consider putting forward a brain injury compensation claim.
Spending time recognising all of the positive things in your life can sometimes be enough to drown out negative thought processes, even if it is in the short term. When you spend time practicing gratitude, you are actively engaging in positivity and happiness, and are also training your brain to look at life from a broader perspective. You may also find it useful to try mindfulness techniques for combating stress and anxiety, such as meditation and breathwork. There are many different types of meditation available to everyone, so you are likely to find something that works for you.