Five Tips for Stopping Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks
Have you ever caught yourself ruminating on a negative thought and let it spiral out of control? Perhaps you’ve let intrusive thoughts from the past or worries about the future consume your mind. Whether you’re dealing with anxious thoughts, negative self-talk, or a critical inner voice, negative thoughts can hold us back from living our best lives. However, it’s important to remember, negative thoughts are not facts and there are plenty of ways to stop them in their tracks. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and techniques for overcoming negative thinking patterns.
1. Identify Triggers and Patterns:
The first step in overcoming negative thinking patterns is to identify your triggers and patterns. Understanding what triggers your negative thoughts and patterns can help you be more mindful and aware of when they may arise. Some common triggers include stress, social situations, exhaustion, criticism, and uncertainty. When negative thoughts arise, try to notice what patterns you may be falling into and what your usual responses are. This can help you gain more control over your thought process and recognize when you may be getting lost in negative thinking.
2. Challenge Negative Thoughts:
Once you’ve identified negative thoughts and patterns, the next step is to challenge them. Negative thoughts often have little basis in reality, and it’s important to question them. Ask yourself, “Is this thought actually true?” “What evidence is there to support it?” “What evidence is there to contradict it?” You may also want to consider speaking to a trusted friend or therapist to get an outside perspective on your negative thoughts. By challenging negative thoughts, you empower yourself to reframe them in a more positive light.
3. Practice Mindfulness:
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and observing your thoughts non-judgmentally. This can be especially helpful when trying to overcome negative thinking patterns. When negative thoughts arise, try to acknowledge them, but don’t let them consume you. Instead, observe the thought as if it were a cloud passing by, and focus on the present moment and your surroundings. You can also try mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to calm your mind and reduce stress.
4. Cultivate Positive Habits:
Positive habits such as exercise, healthy eating, and self-care can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are common triggers of negative thinking. Make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, whether that’s spending time with loved ones, pursuing a hobby, or simply taking a relaxing bath. By cultivating positive habits, you’ll be better equipped to manage negative thoughts and focus on the good in your life.
5. Seek Professional Help: If negative thoughts are becoming a significant problem in your life, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A licensed therapist or psychologist can help you identify and address underlying issues that may be contributing to negative thoughts and patterns. They can also provide you with tools and techniques tailored to your needs to help you overcome negative thinking and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Negative thoughts can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to control your mind and life. By identifying triggers and patterns, challenging negative thoughts, practising mindfulness, cultivating positive habits, and seeking help when needed, you can overcome negative thinking patterns and live a happy and fulfilling life! Remember, it’s important to be kind to yourself and take things one step at a time. You’ve got this!
Want to know more? Discover more about the benefits of scientific mindfulness meditation for self-compassion in Dr. Elise Bialylew’s book The Happiness Plan 💛
"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."
- DR ELISE BIALYLEW
about the HOST AND FOUNDER OF
MINDFUL IN MAY:
DR ELISE BIALYLEW
Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.
A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.
Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.
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