Negative thoughts can be one of the most damaging things to our health, as well as our confidence. In fact, one study found 80% of people have had a negative thought about themselves at one time or another and it’s a big factor in depression. But how do you stop those pesky and destructive thoughts?
8 Tips to Remove Negative Thoughts From Your Mind
Have you ever had a negative thought that just stuck with you? Maybe it’s a feeling of dread about your future, or some other kind of insecurity. Whatever the case, negative thoughts can definitely get the better of you. Here are 8 ways to remove negative thoughts from your mind so that you can feel happier and more confident about yourself and your success.
1. Seek Out Praise from Others
One of the most effective things that you can do to feel better about yourself is to seek out praise from the people around you. In fact, seeking out praise is one of the most effective ways to build your self esteem.
When people compliment you, you’ll feel happy. You engage in positive thinking and are building your confidence.
The more people compliment you, the better you will feel about yourself. A person who praises you not only encourages you but actually improves your mood.
While you start to believe that you deserve this praise, you process the praise in a positive way. You feel really good about yourself because you believe that no one feels this good about you.
Start acting like a person who deserves praise. When people tell you nice things about you, think about how you can tell them to your face. If they need any additional encouragement, they’ll know you’re on your way to success. Before giving compliments, measure your successes against the same goals.
If you can do this consistently, you’ll notice how much you value the praise and you’ll start to look forward to receiving it.
Another thing that works really well to attract praise is doing things you envie others to do. Remember that everyone’s experiences are different so just because others are behaving a certain way at a certain time of their lives doesn’t mean you have to emulate them.
Just because people did something bad at one point in their life doesn’t mean that they should do it again. Taking a conscious decision to become a better you is what will attract the praise you need to feel good about yourself.
As you complete new or different projects, compare them to your past successes and failures. Goals you worked really hard for might seem completely impossible when you compare them to a simple to-do list.
2. Listen to Positive, Uplifting Music
Music has the power to influence your mood and affect your productivity. The right music can make you feel happy and ready to get work done, while the wrong music can make you feel sad and unmotivated. The type of music you listen to at work is important because it can have a big effect on your mood.
To choose the right kind of music for your work environment, mix in music that makes you feel energized in the morning, like when you’re about to start your day.
When you spend time alone, you want to make sure you have stimulating activities you can do with your brain. In order to stay productive, you need to keep whatever activities you have with you. Everyone’s circumstances and work routine are unique, so you need to find something that works for you.
If you aren’t 100% sure you want to do one thing, ask yourself if you really need it. Remember, staying productive is more than just working efficiently, it’s finding those extra minutes to complete something you love.
If you can combine things that you enjoy, like playing a video game or going on an outdoor hike, you will benefit more than you could ever imagine.
3. Exercise and Stay Fit
Exercise and being fit are crucial for your mental and physical health. Your brain is an organ and just like your heart or liver, it needs to be exercised and kept fit. If you exercise and work out regularly, you’ll find that you have more energy, work better, and don’t get sick as often. Change your environment so that you have the right environment to exercise.
Since I started exercising regularly, I feel healthier. It prevents me from being overweight, keeps me fit, and I enjoy the process of exercise much more.
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Change your relationship with exercise. While it can help you lose weight, exercise is something that you need to enjoy. Not only will you feel better after exercising, but it will extend the amount of time you can dedicate to other important things in your life.
Adopt the “what if” mindset theory. You will find that achieving your goals is much harder when you think about what might happen if you don’t achieve them. You’ll feel less pressured and more motivated to achieve.
Anyone can find themselves in a downward spiral when something goes wrong. It’s natural to think or talk about negative things but try not to. For example, letting negative thoughts go out your mind helps you focus on positive things rather than the problems in your life.
Letting negative thoughts Go helps you focus on the positive and what you can still do to be happy.
Meditation can be fun, but you probably won’t get the same benefits if you meditate for 10 minutes every day. If you meditate for 10 minutes a day, you can definitely improve your mindfulness and focus. Start by meditating for 20–30 seconds first and then gradually increase the time you spend. You can start with one minute a day or you can start with 5 minutes today and then increase to 10 minutes tomorrow.
Decluttering your environment is easier when you take control. Start by decluttering your desk. If you work in an office, delete or reorganize your work folders.
4. Surround yourself with Positive People
Surround yourself with positive people, who inspire you and encourage you to reach your goals. People who are negative and bring you down are not worth your time.
Talk with your friends and colleagues about positive things. Around you are people like yourself who have achieved a lot. They talk about their positive achievements and provide inspiration in their own way. Inspiring others makes you more confident and gives you a big push to follow your goals.
You shouldn’t be an expert in a field before you try it. Write down your ideas, but when your ideas get out of your head, be hesitant to try those ideas out.
Write down how you use positive psychology to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Is it better to have a good morning routine or an uninterrupted evening routine?
What is the best way to fuel your body, keeping you full and sitting at the same level throughout the day? It’s important to look at how other people are making their health changes and create their own healthy habits.
If you are thinking of quitting your job, look at what successful people do to stay motivated and happy. Read what they are doing and try them out for a week. Do what others are doing will make your quitting effort more sustainable, especially if you feel like it.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Recognize Your Self-Worth
The biggest thing I learned is to stop comparing yourself to others. It’s really easy to become jealous of the success of others, especially when you feel like you’re putting in just as much work as they are to achieve the same results.
But you have to remember that everyone is different. Every person has different skills, different resources, and different experiences. Further, if our worries keep bringing up negative thoughts about ourselves and our lives, honestly, it will be hard for us to take action on anything.
Think about it: how hard would it be to just stop worrying so much? The beautiful thing is that once you stop comparing yourself to others, your positive self-talk actually helps you notice your own qualities and talents.
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I find it’s best to actually ask yourself the questions before they come up, like, do I feel like I’m good enough? Do I have enough energy? Do I have enough patience? These types of questions stop me from constantly chasing after positive self-talk.
You’re nowhere good enough just because you have XYZ qualities.
It’s time to tell the truth about your strengths and weaknesses. Of course, there are going to be times when you’re trying to resolve a challenging situation.
But how do you know if what you’re worrying about is actually true? It happens a lot of people fear uncertainty. But don’t let this stop you from trying to do the best you can. This tactic is especially powerful when you’re facing a fight with someone else.
If you’re unsure of yourself, it helps you see how much you’re really wanting this conflict to end, and that can make you a lot more comfortable trying it out with them.
6. Let Go of Things you Can’t Control
It’s easy to get caught up in things you can’t control, especially when you’re passionate about something. However, you need to learn how to let go of the things you can’t control in order to keep your sanity. So let’s have a look at some tips to help you kick negative thoughts into the deep, dark recesses of your mind and do the work of letting them go.
Have you ever been able to look back at a moment and instantly know what you did wrong? If not, then hopefully you can do so now.
Visual reminders are great for providing memories to the subconscious mind. For example, when the car you’re driving in a curve won’t let go, you can simply look back and see what happened.
This helps to put things in perspective, and you can begin to feel a bit calmer at the moment without being consumed with worry.
Now the worrying begins to become active, with you trying to force thoughts that will actually help you out of your current situation.
But the problem is that by forcing thoughts, you’re creating a situation that simply won’t work. A helpful strategy is to simply let your thoughts come and go, without acting on them.
Your whole goal is to sit with what comes up and to accept what has happened instead of rushing to create a story for how it happened.
7. Remember that Everyone Has Bad Days and Some People Have It Worse Than You Do
Sometimes in life, you’re going to have bad days that are out of your control. The best thing to do is to take advantage of the good days you have to improve your life and do things that make you happy. Remember that not everyone has it as easy as you do and that not every day will be a good day.
It’s okay if you had a rough day and felt like everything was going wrong. In fact, it’s expected. We’re all human and have bad days.
Use it as a learning opportunity and take note of positive ways you can use that bad day to your advantage, whether it be fixing a problem with someone you love or giving yourself a pat on the back because you did your best.
We might all have our bad days but the important thing is to learn from them. It’s no use dwelling on the bad things and thinking these will stay with you for the rest of your life. How will learning and overcoming these bad days help you?
Reflections can be hugely beneficial, especially when they lift your spirits.
Life can often feel like a rollercoaster with ups and downs. Trying to fight negative thoughts by focusing on the negative causes them to build momentum and keep bringing up bad memories. Instead, reflect on what you can do to feel better mentally at the time.
To start, make a mental note of 3 types of energy that come up when you complain about things. These are beliefs about yourself and others, feelings, and behaviors.
Often telling yourself things will make you feel worse rather than better. This is because when you tell yourself things such as “I can’t do X,” it creates an internal dialogue in your mind that suggests that you are a failure and there’s something wrong with you.
This states that you’re an inferior being and should be eliminated. Removing these negative beliefs helps you deal with those feelings and behaviors.
Someone who suffers from constant negative self-talk probably thinks their thoughts and behaviors are irrational ones.
8. Concentrate on a Hobby that will Distract you from Negative Thinking
One of the best ways to reduce negativity in your life is to focus on one or two things that you can be really passionate about. When you love something, it’s much easier to focus on it and lose yourself in it. When you love something, you’re also much more likely to be productive.
Pick the one or two things that are really important to you. It doesn’t matter what field you are in, what language you speak, or what country you’re from.
Whatever it is that makes you really excited about it is perfect for practicing focus and productivity.
Here’s an example: in high school I majored in design, and my major was highly related to my field of study.
My senior design project was to design and fabricate a full-length portrait of a female athlete. Being asthmatic, it was crucial that I go into the project with incredibly fidgety energy. However, I knew that if I made sure that the only thing, I thought about was the project itself, I’d be able to finish it within a couple of weeks.
This is an extremely specific example, but you can repeat this process for just about any area of your life. Pick an activity or a hobby where you genuinely enjoy it, and work on the small things concerning it. Soon, your life will feel much, much easier, and you’ll feel motivated to do the work required to pursue it.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, simple positive changes can go a long way.
That includes doing things that don’t make you feel like you have to perform well or else you won’t feel valuable. We’ve all been in situations in the past where we’ve been told that we had to do something perfectly, followed by no other option but to follow the script.
A simple task like going to the gym, cleaning up after dinner, or writing in your journal can give you a simple release from stress.