Negative thinking is a common occurrence in everyday life. We all experience it at one point or another, and it can have a significant impact on our mood, behavior, and overall quality of life. However, it’s important to recognize that negative thinking is not permanent and can be overcome with the right approach.
Negative thoughts can arise from a variety of sources, such as stressful events, personal struggles, or simply from our own negative self-talk. This article explores how to overcome negative thinking and how to regain control over your mental well-being.
What is the main cause of negative thinking?
Thinking negatively all the time affects our whole well-being—it limits us in every area of our lives. If you want to overcome negative thinking, you first need to find out what is causing it.
Why do negative thoughts come in your mind? Well, there isn’t one main cause. There are many probable causes of negative thinking, and it can vary from person to person. Here are some factors that could be at play:
- Negative experiences: If a person has had negative experiences in the past, they may be more likely to have negative thoughts about similar situations in the future.
- Parenting: the way our parents treated us when we were children is one of the major causes of a negative mindset. Examples are: always comparing us with others; talking negatively about us; telling us we are worthless; focusing on faults; etcetera.
- Childhood experiences: apart from our parents, others can have mistreated us, especially during school time. If someone has been bullied or always picked on, this can cause a negative mindset for life if not treated properly.
- Cognitive distortions: These are patterns of thinking that are irrational and can lead to negative thoughts. Examples include black-and-white thinking (seeing things as all good or all bad), catastrophizing (assuming the worst-possible outcome), and personalization (assuming everything is about oneself).
- Low self-esteem: When a person has low self-esteem, they may be more likely to have negative thoughts about themselves and their abilities.
- Stressful life events: Major life events such as divorce, loss of a loved one, or financial difficulties can trigger negative thoughts and emotions.
It’s important to note that negative thinking is often a combination of these factors and may require a personalized approach to overcoming it. In most cases, you can overcome your negative thinking all by yourself if you put some work into it. A Life-coach can also be helpful to help you overcome a negative mindset—but don’t forget, even with the help of a life coach, you are the one working on overcoming it.
How do I fix a negative mindset?
A negative mindset can be incredibly debilitating, making even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to shift your mindset from negative to positive. Fixing a negative mindset is possible, no matter how long you are suffering from negative thinking—it is a challenging but achievable process.
Changing a negative mindset takes time and effort—it won’t come by itself. By identifying negative self-talk, practicing gratitude, reframing negative thoughts, surrounding yourself with positivity, practicing mindfulness, and taking care of your physical health, you can shift your mindset from negative to positive.
Want to know how to remove negative thoughts from your mind permanently? Start with one negative thought and keep on going. By and by, you will eradicate negative thinking most of the time.
You need to remind yourself that it doesn’t take one day to overcome negative thoughts. You have built that negative mindset over a longer period. On average, it takes 30 days to change a habit. The same applies to fixing a negative mindset. Just keep in mind that it is possible to achieve lasting change.
Don’t give up when it doesn’t work initially. Tell yourself that you can do it. That will boost a positive mindset and help you overcome negative thinking. Anytime you doubt, remind yourself that you can do it. This positive attitude will help you fix your negative mindset.
Remember, it’s not about eliminating negative thoughts entirely, but about learning to manage them in a more constructive way. Second, it is important to work on not allowing new negative thoughts in your mind. With practice, you can develop a more positive outlook on life and improve your overall well-being.
How do I stop overthinking and negative thoughts?
Don’t focus too much on why negative thoughts come into your mind—it’s human. The point is to deal with it. Focusing on your mind will cause overthinking, and overthinking usually results in negative thinking.
With some deliberate efforts, you will be able to stop pessimistic thinking. Start with setting goals. Goal setting (and celebrating goal achievement) improves overseeing where to start, what to do, and what to expect when engaging in the journey of fixing a negative mindset. Set small goals, so you can celebrate your milestones and cheer yourself on.
A negative mindset can limit your personal development. Learning how to stop thinking negatively will enhance your personal growth journey. Our minds greatly impact our progress in life.
Here are 10 easy tips to help you overcome negative thinking.
1. Identify your negative thinking
The first step in overcoming negative thoughts is to identify them. Start by paying attention to your inner dialogue and recognizing when you’re having negative thoughts. Negative thinking can take many forms, such as self-doubt, self-criticism, and negative judgments about others.
Once you’ve identified your type of negative thinking, take note of it and try to understand its underlying causes.
2. Challenge your negative thinking
Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, the next step is to challenge them. This involves questioning the validity of your pessimistic thinking and reframing it in a more positive light.
For example, if you think, “I’m not good enough,” challenge that thought by asking yourself, “What evidence do I have to support this thought? Is it really true that I’m not good enough?” Reframing negative thoughts positively can help you feel more confident and empowered.
3. Practice Christian mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of your negative thinking and better able to manage it. Mindfulness techniques can include Biblical meditation, deep breathing exercises, and other relaxation techniques.
4. Engage in positive self-talk
Positive self-talk is an effective way to counteract negative thinking. Instead of focusing on negative self-talk, try replacing it with positive affirmations.
For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t do this,” try thinking, “I’m capable of handling this challenge.” By engaging in positive self-talk, you can build your confidence and overcome negative self-doubt.
Create your personal positive affirmations and use them daily. You can use positive self-talk as and when it is necessary during the day. You can also make it a habit to use powerful morning declarations to start your day.
5. Focus on the positive
When you’re experiencing negative thoughts, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by negativity. However, focusing on the positive can help you shift your perspective and overcome negative thinking.
Try focusing on the good things in your life, such as your relationships, accomplishments, and personal strengths. Focusing on the positive can help you feel more grateful and optimistic, which can help you overcome negative thinking patterns.
6. Practice gratitude
Gratitude is the practice of appreciating the good things in your life. Practicing gratitude can help you focus on the positive and overcome negative thoughts.
Start by keeping a gratitude journal and write things you’re thankful for each day. By focusing on the good things in your life, you can cultivate a more positive outlook and reduce the impact of negative thinking.
7. Take care of your physical health
Physical health and mental health are closely linked. Taking care of your physical health can help you feel better emotionally and mentally. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help improve your mood and reduce negative thinking.
Taking care of your physical health can help you feel more energized and better able to cope with negative thinking.
8. Surround yourself with positive people
Even though our thinking takes place inside us, our environment has a great impact on the way we think. If everyone around us speaks negatively, we will be caught in their negativity and end up thinking negatively ourselves. And if you are already thinking negatively, negative people will only make it worse.
It may feel you are doing wrong to them if you distance yourself from negative people, but in the end, it will improve your well-being. And you don’t need to remain alone. You can replace those negative people. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help you stay optimistic and reduce negative thinking.
9. Practice self-care
Self-care involves taking care of yourself in a way that promotes emotional and mental well-being. Self-love is okay. It is not selfish to love yourself.
Self-care boosts your total well-being and helps you feel positive about yourself. This, in turn, will positively affect your thinking. Loving yourself and doing what you love improves your way of thinking.
10. Seek support
Sometimes overcoming negative thinking can be challenging on your own. Seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional can be helpful. Talking to someone about your negativity can help you gain perspective and find new ways to cope. A mental health professional can provide additional support and guidance in managing negative thoughts.
Thinking negatively is human, it happens. But we don’t need to keep a negative mindset. We can overcome negative thinking with some effort from our side.
Remember, overcoming negative thinking takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. Focus on the end-result—a life free of negative thinking—and then take it one day at a time. Take little steps and don’t give up. You will make it.
Christel Owoo is a professional Life Coach, passionate about helping women gain confidence.
Do you want to gain confidence in life and live fully in your God-given potential?