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If there’s one thing we’ve come to understand about the human mind, it is that it is incredibly complex.
Our thoughts, which eventually go on to influence our actions and behavior, are one of those undeniably complex aspects of the human mind.
We humans tend to have a tiny little voice inside our head sometimes. Some people call it different things depending on the situation.
For most people, it’s their inner dialogue. This dialogue can range from funny, to nice, to sarcastic, and so on. Sometimes, this inner dialogue can also be negative.
We all get negative thoughts from time to time. Past a certain point, these sort of thoughts can begin to weigh us down, and can have a number of not so good effects on us, both mentally and beyond.
In this post, we’ll discuss what negative thoughts are, common reasons why they occur, as well as 7 healthy ways to deal with them.
Let’s jump right in.
Understanding negative thoughts
Negative words are like the Debbie Downers of language. They bring a gloomy vibe to the conversation. These words express unpleasantness, doubt, or opposition, throwing shade on the positivity parade.
We’re talking about your classic buzzkills like “no,” “can’t,” “won’t,” and their grumpy pals.
They’re the language version of a rainy day when you had beach plans. So, when you catch these vibe-killers sneaking into your sentences, it might be time to sprinkle in some sunshine words instead.
Why we have them
Those intrusive whispers that infiltrate our minds, often arise from a confluence of intricate factors.
1. Past Negative Experiences
Such negative thoughts usually stem from previous traumatic experiences. They may appear as important personal events – however, recent ones or those deeply rooted in our memory that linger on our minds.
When such emotional residues are not addressed it leads to fears, doubts, negative thoughts and nightmares.
These unresolved feelings provide fertile grounds in which negative ideas about current situations arise coupled with predictions on what tomorrow can offer in terms of positivity or negativity.
Dismantling the very basis of the existence of such negative thoughts can only be achieved by acknowledging and dealing with the aftermaths of prior traumas thereby instigating a pathway to healing and resiliency.
2. Anxieties and Fear of the Unknown
Unknown has that element of uncertainty which could give rise to dark thoughts.
Fear about the future of the relationship, career or life itself leads to constant negative thoughts.
In a search of certainty, the mind invents the circumstances tinted with uncertainty and suspense. Such thoughts provide protective mechanisms, which serve to equip us in advance against potential trials.
On the other hand, if it remains uncontrolled, the fear of being in the dark can be debilitating as it holds back any desire for fresh challenges or personal development.
Overcoming this negative thinking pattern is possible only if one learns to face and tackle anxieties that fuel this negative thinking.
3. Comparing Yourself With Others
In this age of constant connection, one can easily succumb to comparing themselves with others, which is a very risky behavior.
Such continuous comparisons with other people whose depictions are mostly falsified ones have a very high chance of skewing one’s impression of real life.
This can lead us to gauge our success using an imaginary and sometimes unreachable standard point. However, it requires for us to have an awakening and be aware of ourselves.
We should be happy in our own unique way of doing things and understand that everyone’s journey and experience is different.
Taking a new point of view will protect our mental health against the negative impact of social comparison.
4. Constant Self-Criticism
The internal dialogue of self-criticism is what usually gives rise to negative thoughts. Negativity is nurtured by harsh criticism of oneself whereby this may be internalized through social norms and perceptions or set standards.
Such continuous evaluation in comparison with the normative ‘self’ results in negative ruminations regarding a person’s value and capacities.
Such an internal dialogue evokes considerable influence in shaping perception about victory or defeat.
Changing the story of my inner critic requires nurturing self-love, accepting our flaws, and recognizing that life-long development means being an imperfect journeyer.
5 Tips To Deal With Negative Thoughts
1. Practicing Mindfulness
Unfortunately, negativity always sneaks up on us when we least expect it. The initial stage towards addressing negative though is to practice mindful detective.
Imagine it as keeping track of your thought process in a non-judgmental manner. You find and capture that negative thought as soon as it attempts to break into your mental party.
Knowing your thoughts make it possible for you to say “oh no!” I catch you, negativity. You don’t get me today.” The searchlights beam those wily thoughts and give you control over your brain.
2. Turning Negatives into Positives
Bad thoughts always want to be in charge, but it is time they give up their control. Once you hear the knock of a negative thought, then flip the script.
Imagine that your thoughts begin saying “I cannot achieve this”. Stop the record and turn backward and let it play as “I am daily learning, improving.”
Think of it as re-designing the style! From dull to fabulous. Your thoughts didn’t know it needs a super hero cape but positive affirmations comes to save the day.
You will turn the story from negative to positive by choosing a certain direct of thinking.
3. Reality Check The Thoughts
Storytelling is a function of our minds; they fabricate stories that make us believe that such events can happen in movies like Hollywood blockbusters.
However, before rewarding them with Oscars for your disgruntled inner voices, subject them to scrutiny about their facts.
Think to yourself, “is it a truth or only hallucination?” Many times, a negative thinking grows from exaggerations. Turning down the drama by coming back to real thoughts.
Make it true, and the giant negative thoughts will all of a sudden appear much smaller than they were first seen.~ It’s all about creating a clear division between fact and fantasy in the story your mind is weaving.
4. The Power of Gratitude
Why doesn’t negative thinking have something to say about the good things? Enter the gratitude game.
Flood of thanks for negativity trying to ruin your party. Occasionally, take time off and relish what is in store. It’s similar to a mental reboot mechanism.
Wow, and at that moment, a choir suddenly breaks inside my head. “Hey, life isn’t that bad after all!” and suddenly I realize my new secret weapon. The gloom brigade has left me thankful for many things instead of focusing on what is missing in life.
5. Talk It Out
Consider your mind to be a noisy party where negative has over-stayed his welcome guest. Friends, it is time somebody took time to come and join in.
You deprive the negative force from a person by telling your ideas and emotions to someone you can trust. It’s as if you give your mind some space.
Talking through issues with someone who listens intently (a friend, family member, maybe even a pet) may help improve one’s mental health.
And by sharing, not only does it lighten your mental burden, but it also sends a comforting message that you are not facing the thoughts on your own.