Through meeting a lot of individuals over the years, I’ve discovered that far more people than anyone could ever think actually ruin their lives with their own negative thoughts. I had no idea the issue was so widespread. People repeat unpleasant thoughts in their heads until they become their normal, habitual way of thinking.
If you are prone to having a negative thoughts loop through your mind, then here are some good ideas that could help you eliminate negative thinking from your life.
1. Know your triggers.
Notice what it is that sets you off. What is the impetus that triggers the negative thought patterns in your mind? Is the trigger internal or external? Is it an emotion, a thought, mental image or a person you see?
Knowing your triggers is important because as you keep looking for them, you will begin to notice them more quickly and you’ll have better chances of catching it early on, before it develops and takes you over.
2. Know your patterns.
What is the sequence of the mental/emotional chain reaction set off by your trigger?
A more detailed analysis of this process can be found in my article on emotional addictions and what to do when you’re a sensitive personality.
3. Notice your own internal images.
Let’s say something happens outside of you, in your surroundings. How do you represent it in your mind? Is your representation accurate or are you exaggerating? Sometimes we make things out to be worse than they really are. Or, if things really do get bad, do your internal imaginings keep negative events alive for days, months or years? This process can lead to self-victimization, if carried on long enough. When you think of yourself as a victim, you weaken yourself and increase the chances that you’ll make more mistakes in the future.
4. Notice your vocabulary.
The words you use have emotional charge, so be careful what words you use when you’re thinking or describing your emotions or states. The bigger the negative emotional charge of the word you use, the more negative thoughts you will have. Negative thinking feeds off of itself. Stop using very negative words. Otherwise, you’re fighting against yourself.
5. Live actively rather passively.
This is the beginning of getting rid of negative thinking. You have to make a decision to be active with respect to your life. You have to be active in the sense that you have to keep making improvements in yourself and going after your goals. If you’re passive, you don’t live life, life lives you.
If you don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend, but you want one, then you have to go out and find one. Sitting around and waiting is not going to work.
Read also: 6 Great Tips to Beat Negativity
6. Be active with respect to your beliefs.
What do you believe? What are your beliefs about the different aspects of life? Did you choose your beliefs or did you adopt them from others?
How would your life be if you had this belief:
I can accomplish anything, it’s just a matter of finding out how and having the discipline to DO something about it.
If you believe you “can’t” do something, you’ve screwed yourself in advance.
7. Framing and reframing.
When something happens, how do you interpret it?
When you make a dumb mistake, do you beat yourself up over it or do you try to learn a lesson from it?
If your boyfriend/girlfriend leaves you, do you think “I’m not good enough” and attempt to get him/her back?
Do you take it personally and allow it to lower your self-esteem?
If you frame everything in a negative way, then of course negative thoughts will follow, and your habitual negative thinking pattern will come back. No matter what the situation is, you always have the power to frame it and to reframe it as you wish. So begin to reframe all the negatives in your life into the positives.
Let’s suppose you’re male, young and can’t get women easily. You may think “I suck at picking up women” or “I can’t find a girlfriend.”
You can think that “So far in my life, I haven’t been able to have success with women, but I know that I can have success in the future if I take a closer look at what I’m doing and change my approach accordingly.”
Which reframe is more powerful for you? The frame you choose will determine your future.
8. Forget the past.
Dwelling on the past is a waste of time. Many negative thoughts come precisely from thinking about past events and people from the past. It’s not easy to stop thinking about past events and people, but, if you want to move forward, there comes a time when you have to let it go.
What are the main cause of negative thinking?
Negative thoughts play a key role because thoughts are representations we make of reality. The reading of reality gives rise to emotional states and a distorted approach to it derived from negative thoughts originates emotions that are perpetuated over time and can lead to depression.
“Automatic negative thoughts” (ANP) consist of short messages produced spontaneously and suddenly by our mind. That is, the person does not elaborate them consciously. The expert adds that the content of these messages usually focuses on oneself (I won’t pass the exam) or on others (you can’t trust anyone), and have a “negative vision”. Although they are not plausible, at least to a certain extent, “the person gives them total credibility,”
The role of thoughts We all have thoughts, thinking helps us to understand the world around us and allows us to give it meaning. Although sometimes we are not aware of our thoughts, if we pay attention we will surely notice that little inner voice that accompanies us and tells us constantly its analysis of the environment.
Thinking is very important for people and we can not avoid having thoughts, through them we quickly interpret the environment and we can give an adequate response to the demands of it almost without realizing it. Thoughts exert a determining influence on our actions, but also on our emotions.