How to deal with Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts and how to cope with them

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Is it okay to have negative thoughts?

Having negative thoughts is normal and natural. We are humans and have a reasoning and thinking brain; negative thoughts are of our lives. The fear of the alarm not ringing and subsequently getting late to work, encountering an accident, going through a financial crisis, or worst of all, losing a loved one are examples of thoughts we have all had at some point or the other. In some way it benefits us as we become grateful about what we already have; no matter how imperfect what we have is.

If negative thoughts are normal, what is the problem?

Problems arise when these negative thoughts become dominant. Once they become dominant these thoughts start affecting our daily living activities. And that is when you need help.

How to deal with negative thoughts

Do not fight the negative thoughts

This means that continuously trying to stop the negative thoughts is not going to help you. In fact, trying to fight the negative thoughts will only make them more dominant and persistent. This will go on like a vicious cycle.

Use simple distractions

Instead of trying to control and stop the thoughts switch your focus to something else. Either read something on your phone, maybe a poem or a news article, play a game on your smartphone, getting yourself busy with something is the most effective way to deal with persisting negative thoughts.

Write them down

This is known as a ‘brain dumping’ activity. We do this with most of my clients who are dealing with issues related to negative thoughts.  You simply take a sheet of paper and write everything down that’s bothering and troubling you. The point here is to write everything down that is on your mind even if you feel it’s stupid or cringe worthy. Once you are done, crumple the paper and burn it or throw it in the garbage.

Be aware of the times when negative thoughts persist

Notice and note if there are certain particular times of the day when negative thoughts bother you. If you see a pattern in the timing, plan ahead with some activities during that time, so your mind is occupied before the negative thoughts creep in.

Engage in physical activity

Add some form of physical activity or exercise in your everyday routine. Even a simple 10 – 15 minutes’ walk or light yoga is better than no physical activity at all.

Get in touch with a counsellor or therapist or spiritual healer

If you are not able to deal with negative thoughts even after following all these tips, or your everyday life is getting disrupted then it is better that you get in touch with a counsellor/psychologist/therapist and seek their help or get in touch with a healer and seek spiritual guidance. The earlier you address a problem the quicker you will be able to resolve your issues.

 

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