Some methods to help overcome negative thoughts
In support of Mental Health Week this week, we thought that we would put some tips together that may help to overcome negative thoughts.
There are many techniques for overcoming negative thoughts associated with negative emotions.
Some other helpful techniques could include the following:
Live in the present
It’s perhaps easier said than done but often people with negative thoughts continue to mull over past events. They focus on mistakes, on regrets, and events which make them feel unhappy. Some amount of consideration for the past is natural, but to continually relive it only makes people feel worse. It is much better for wellbeing to let go of the past and focus on what is happening now. Many of the more widely adopted psychological therapies emphasise the present rather than delving into the past.
Understand the Self
It may sound somewhat trite but understanding the self in terms of how you respond to negative emotions like anger, sadness, and anxiety is extremely useful. Often people do not attempt to do this because it means critical self examination. It can be quite painful to attempt to understand one’s own reactions to particular negative stimuli.
However, this is a very worthwhile exercise. If you can learn about how you are likely to respond you can be well prepared and have better control over negative thoughts when they arise.
Practice Being Reasonable
Often negative thinking can hinder normal and beneficial interactions with others. For example, a person who is highly stressed may anticipate that other people automatically want to challenge them. Someone who is depressed may go on the defensive when talking to others. We can often project our negative emotions onto those around us because we are living in a world of negativity. It is better practice to push those negative thoughts to one side and to be reasonable towards others.
Keep Thoughts in Proportion
Many times pervasive negative thoughts appear to be far worse than they are because we perpetually go over them in our minds. When this happens there is a tendency for a relatively insignificant thought to blow out into something much larger and more troublesome. The key is obviously to not allow this to happen. If you find that you are ruminating or that the same thoughts are taking over, stop and see them for what they are.
We some more helpful tips in our ebook Coping Better with Negative Emotions.