12 Strategies to Stop Negative Thoughts 3


So are you starting to notice that negative thoughts only make things worse? Is the pain caused by these negative thoughts your reason for looking to stop them?

Negative thoughts reinforce negative emotions, which then produce negative actions, which generate more negative thoughts. This is why it is so easy to become stuck in the never ending negative cycle.

Lucky for you this “good for nothing” way of thinking can be stopped and your initiative to find a solution WILL soon pay off!


No More Negativity

Visualize a negative thought as a tiny flame. If left unattended that flame will grow, spread, wreak havoc, and become an unstoppable force. However, if paid attention to, that same flame can be wiped out with one breath as soon as it arises.

This is how all negative thoughts must be handled. Rather than allowing them to spread like wildfire, we must be prompt in extinguishing them to allow the beauty of life to thrive before us.

stop negative thinking

Image copyright Samuel Raj – Flickr.com

To stop negativity we must learn to control our minds. The childhood phrase, “you are what you eat” was close but incorrect. The truth is that, “you are what you think”. All that we are began as a positive or negative thought in our mind. With these thoughts you create your world, your reality.

So it is time for you to stop being the host of negativity. It is time to fight against the negativity that has slowly been destroying your mind, body, and spirit.

12 Mind Strategies to Defeat Negativity

You have become comfortable in your thinking patterns whether you are conscious of this or not. Your mind would not employ negativity if it was not giving back some kind of payout. This payout is likely something else that is negative such as “helping hide vulnerable emotion”, which used to be my case. If you don’t know the payout for yours it is all-right, understanding why you have negative thoughts is not as important as knowing how to stop them!

To defeat negativity you will have to apply strategies and new principles to your everyday life and thinking patterns. ALERT! These new ways of thinking will feel uncomfortable at first; embrace this knowing that it will lead to a positive life full of happiness.

1. There Are Only Two Solutions

I put this piece of advice first, because If you leave with nothing else I want this to be it.

When you are having a negative thought you can do one of two things. You can accept it or you can work to change it. That’s all there is to it. If the same thought continues to circulate in your head then it has simply become a worry creator.

Next time you think something negative be sure to either accept it and let it go or start working to change it using goal setting and decision making strategies. If you are doing anything else you are only causing yourself harm.

2. Justify the Thought

When a negative thought arises, ask yourself, “What would really have to be true in order for this negative thought to be justified?”

For example: Betty forgets to tell her friend happy birthday and instead tells him a day late. She thinks, “Great he is going to hate me and think I don’t care about him.” To justify this negative thought as true Betty would have to consider what would really have to be true for her friend to hate her. She would then realize how irrational her original negative thought was and it would die in its tracks.

3. Argue

That’s right, if you perceive a situation as negative argue in your head why it could be viewed as a positive situation! Realize the problem is in the situation, not in you. This will help you to develop more of an optimistic outlook and begin to see the glass as half full.

Prove to the negative thoughts that they are positive thoughts!

4. Don’t Make It Personal

If you are thinking negatively of something personal, think about someone you respect and admire. Ask ,”Would I come to the same conclusion for them as I have for myself?” If you are having a negative thought about something or someone and it isn’t personal, ask a similar question. “Would Oprah Winfrey think the same way as I am?” – My example of course!

5. Is the Thought Helping?

When you have a negative thought consider whether or not that thought is helping and making your situation better. If it is not (which will be the case 99% of the time), drop the thought and replace it with something positive or productive.

stop negative thoughts

Image copyright Dan Loewen – Flickr.com

6. Solution vs. Problems

When thinking negatively, ask yourself if you have spent the same amount of time searching for a solution as you have listing the problems. On a positive note, you made it to this page so obviously you searched for a solution to your negativity, fantastic first step!

7. Be Committed

If stopping negativity is something you value and something you commit to, then it will happen. Just like when people value religion, exercise, or being environmentally friendly… living negativity free is a lifestyle.

8. Think Positive

Obviously to think the opposite of negative would be to think positive, but there’s more to it. A strategy I suggest is that anytime you realize you just had a negative thought immediately find a reason to place a positive thought in your mind. The main objective of training your mind to eliminate negativity is to have it replaced with positivity.

Use the same strategy when you say something negative. We don’t want to be fighting for the enemy do we? If you say something negative, follow it with something positive. This will keep people around you positive and change the way people interact with you making it easier to live without negativity.

9. Harp on the Positive

When something negative happens we tend to harp on it and continue to revisit this thought throughout the day. However, when something positive happens we often think about it so little that by the end of the day it is forgotten. This pattern of thinking makes it seem like there’s only evil in our world, because we spend all of our time focusing on negativity.

Instead, when something positive happens spend at least 30 seconds reflecting and cherishing it. Try to think about this positivity many times throughout the day. Do the opposite for negativity. You get to choose what you focus on; why not make it something that puts a smile on your face?

10. Be Aware

Listen to your internal dialogue. Hear the things your mind is telling you. It is dangerous to let negative thoughts go unnoticed as they are the tiny flames with large capabilities for destruction,  as mentioned earlier.

Create a beautiful self-image of your internal self and anytime a negative thought comes into your mind see it for the fire it is. Picture all of these negative thoughts as flames burning your eternal beauty to help develop a sense of urgency in ending them.

11. Hinder the Spark

In your mind, do not connect with negative thoughts. In other-words do not let one negative thought spark another negative thought which then sparks another… you get the idea. This will only spiral into something that could lead to anxiety and depression. If a negative thought enters your mind, realize it and let that be the end of it.

12. End All Negative Influences

Negativity always comes back to hurt the person who is experiencing it. However it also hurts and affects others that this person is around. Keep yourself safe from negativity by distancing yourself from those who are always negative and bitter. Or you could try asking people you are around not to condemn, complain, or criticize while in your presence. If nothing else try to help them by simply not engaging in gossip and pointing out the positivity they may be missing.

People are not the only source. Be wary of the news, television, music, and other sources that spread negativity.

Conclusion

Please know that you can do anything that you put your mind to. Success is unavoidable if you want it bad enough. You have the strategies and skills needed to stop negativity, now all it takes is action and time. Good luck to you, may you live the rest of your days negativity-free.

What kind of negative thoughts have you been fighting?

Have you won? Are there other strategies on negativity that have helped you in the past? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments below!

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  • Could not agree more! A great reminder especially with a new year about to start.

  • Lauren

    I will definitely try these tactics. I have been battling a lot of internal negative emotions about myself/how I am perceived and they are hindering my perspective on my reality. I want to be a talkative person but the words come out jumbly or I’m not quick enough to start the conversation. I will try not to let these negative things and self-fulfilling prophecies affect my life any more. I will keep you updated.

    • TJ

      Good to hear Lauren. It sounds like your self-confidence just might need a little boost! You might start looking into strategies to improve it. For some people small actions like exercise or making something artsy will do the trick but I’m betting you already know a few things that will work for you.

      Kind regards,
      TJ