Negative thinking is a common issue that many people struggle with. It can be frustrating, overwhelming, and may lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. Negative thoughts can make it challenging to focus on the positive aspects of life, and they may even lead to negative behaviours or habits. However, there are several strategies that you can use to cope with negative thinking.
Identify Negative Thoughts
The first step in coping with negative thinking is to recognise when it’s happening. Pay attention to your thoughts and notice when they become negative. Negative thinking can be anything from thinking the worst is going to happen in a situation, overthinking, assuming things, or thinking about the past or the future. You can write down your thoughts in a journal or use a thought diary to keep track of them.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Once you’ve identified negative thoughts, challenge them. Ask yourself if they’re really true or if there’s another way to look at the situation. Try to see things from a different perspective or reframe your thoughts in a more positive light. For example, if you’re thinking “I’m not good enough,” challenge that thought by asking yourself “What evidence do I have to support that thought?” and “What’s another way to look at this situation?”.
Practice Positive Self-talk and Reframing
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Practice positive self-talk, which means talking to yourself in a positive, encouraging, and supportive way. Instead of thinking “I can’t do this,” try thinking and reframe the thought to be “I can do this if I take it one step at a time.” If you’re struggling to come up with positive self-talk, try thinking about things you’re grateful for, your achievements, or your strengths.
Surround Yourself with some Positivity
Spend time with people who are positive and supportive. Surround yourself with individuals who bring out the best in you, support you, and make you feel good about yourself. Avoid people who bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself. Spend time engaging in activities that you enjoy, that make you feel happy and fulfilled.
Mindfulness can help you stay present and focused on the present moment. This can help you avoid negative thoughts and feelings. Practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These techniques can help you reduce stress and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your physical health can help improve your mental health. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy food. Exercise can help reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve your self-confidence. Eating a balanced diet can provide your body and mind with the nutrients they need to function correctly. Finally, ensure that you’re getting enough rest and sleep, which can help improve your concentration, energy levels, and overall mood.
Seek Professional Help
If negative thinking is interfering with your daily life, consider seeking professional help. A mental health professional like a psychologist can provide you with the tools and support you need to overcome negative thinking patterns. Therapy can help you learn coping strategies, develop new ways of thinking, and explore the root causes of your negative thinking patterns.
Harnessing Wellness Psychology is a private psychological counselling service located in the beautiful Yarra Ranges, in Victoria, Australia. We offer a variety of counselling modes for individuals and small groups delivered face to face, telehealth options via telephone or video (Zoom) and adjunct equine assisted therapy. We also have a range of resources on offer to assist. To contact us please click here
Remember, it takes time and effort to change negative thinking patterns, so be patient, persistent, and kind to yourself. This is only general advice and should never be taken as a replacement for seeing a professional mental health practitioner.