How to control negative thoughts? 7 Tips to eliminate them

People often try to eliminate our negativity by avoiding it by doing other things so we don't have to think about it or try to stop it, which causes a more amplified action of the problem in ourselves. Our negative thoughts can be extrapolated to any area, from our self-esteem, personal growth, work, social and as a couple.

In this way, these bad thoughts are based on an internal battle that we do not know how to manage and the only thing we do to avoid being sad, anxious or depressed is to replace that feeling with actions that make us forget those negative phrases for a while. Once you have finished that action that makes you forget the negativity, you will be the same or worse again, because the truth is that you are not facing yourself, you are not allowing yourself to feel, or facing the situation as you really should. Therefore, now is the time to transform those negative thoughts.

What are negative thoughts?

At first it is difficult to discern between the different types of thoughts that exist in your mind. The first step to control negative thoughts will be to differentiate when our brain is full of negative messages and when it is not. According to various investigations into the psychology of thought, negative thoughts are identified as those that are repetitive and arise in a generalized way in the face of any type of problem.

That is, when the thoughts of life in general follow a pattern where the negative phrases are continuous both from yourself and from the environment, it is very likely that you suffer from these negative thoughts. Also, when these recurring negative thoughts can be a symptom of a mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders, among others. Although not all people who have a negative thought suffer from a mental illness, the reality is that this type of attitude can affect the quality of your life.

Why does my head think things I don't want to think?

These bad thoughts can come from different causes. This type of uncontrollable negative thoughts according to psychology have the following causes.

      Fear of the future: In the vast majority of cases, people end up fearing the unknown and especially the uncertainty that can prevent the future. That is why to change negative thoughts, you must leave behind these types of fears that come from events that we cannot control.

      Anxiety about the present: Negative thoughts and anxiety are closely related. In this way, many people are continually concerned about what they think of them or the events that may happen in their environment. This type of fear and recurring negative thoughts stem from the fear of losing control in life.

      Shame for the past: On many occasions recurring negative thoughts are preceded by certain situations in the past. So much so that there are people who live in the past because of these negative automatic thoughts. Therefore, in order to change negative thoughts into positive ones, you must let go of all past mistakes.

These may be some of the main causes why the change of thinking in people is important. Each of the negative phrases that we put in our minds can slow us down in our development.

Effects of uncontrollable negative thoughts

Negative thinking has a link to brain activity. So much so that according to various investigations from the National Institute of Mental Health it was found that there were many differences between a brain of a person with positive thoughts and another with negative thoughts. In this way, it was mainly observed that these thoughts had the following effects on people.

      Reconfiguration of neural networks: One of the main effects of negative thoughts is the reconfiguration of the structure of our brain. In this way, the recurring negative messages end up reinforcing more and more that we are more and more pessimistic. Therefore, the longer you wait to change, the more difficult it will be to restore this type of attitude.

      Increases the probability of making bad decisions: Negative thinking makes us feel bad. In these cases, it has been proven that activity in the area related to self-control, judgment and planning is reduced in the brain. Therefore, recurring negative thoughts end up increasing the chances of making bad decisions.

      More likely to have a mental illness: It is obvious that one of the main reasons why people want to change negative thoughts is precisely because of the link they have with mental illness. The more negative thought phrases you have in mind, the chances of having more mental problems such as depression, anxiety, or stress will increase.

These may be some of the main effects bad thoughts have on your brain. In reality we could say that there are many more consequences of these recurring negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts and anxiety

In many cases negative thoughts and anxiety are related. In fact, anxiety can and can be caused by recurring thoughts with negative content. On the one hand, people with anxiety tend to worry about what will happen in their future. Instead, there is also rumination, which consists of having negative thoughts about something that happened in the past.

These two forms of negative thoughts are characteristic of anxiety. For this reason, people who often have these types of recurring thoughts may end up developing an anxiety disorder or suffering from it.

How to eliminate negative thoughts?

Changing these types of attitudes in us can be very difficult at first. The reason is precisely that we have created a habit in our brain and it is very difficult to get out of the way we are. Despite this, there are certain strategies to eliminate negative thoughts that will help you change them into positive and encouraging messages. According to psychologists, to know how to avoid negative thoughts or change negative thoughts, you can do the following.

      Recognize the pattern: The thoughts that generate negativity in ourselves are usually linked to patterns or repetitions of involuntary acts that generate depression, stress, shame, etc. In order not to fall into these emotions, it is necessary to analyze what patterns generate them for us, how and when they occur and why they tend to attract us. Once we have identified them, it is time to go back. Listen to your real thoughts and don't allow yourself to act automatically like you're used to. You have the option to choose and think about how you want to feel in that situation. It is not the same to answer the question "What day is today?" with a “Horrible, it's raining!, then to say “Okay, it's just raining”. Negative thoughts are normal, the problem is when we believe it and magnify it. Therefore, in order to know how to remove negative thoughts, it is essential to recognize the pattern that leads us to them.

      Focus on your senses: Negative thoughts do not appear out of nowhere. Most of them are given by two factors that we must take into account: 1) By factors that come from the past; and 2) Due to factors that worry us about our future. These two aspects are usually two of the most frequent causes of stress in individuals, generating anguish and discomfort. When we are absorbed in our negative thoughts we stop seeing reality. It's like when we put a carrot in front of a donkey, it will only see the carrot, which is what it wants to get, but it will be letting everything around because it only cares about the food. The same happens with negative thoughts. Are you so worried about it raining? You can have a great day despite the rain with many positive vibes but you are missing out because you are only focusing on the fact that it rains. To avoid falling into these recurring negative thoughts, it is recommended to focus on our senses. Focusing on the things we see, hear, hear and even what we touch. Being one hundred percent in everything that happens will allow us to put negativity aside and have full attention in the present that we are living.

      Practice mindfulness: As we grow older and older, our lives become more complicated, with which our fears, anxieties, and hopes are magnified. Therefore, negative thinking is much easier for it to reach us and settle in our minds for a long time. Practicing full attention or mindfulness can help us a lot, managing to strengthen our consciousness and taming our mind. In fact, it has been shown that meditation on a regular basis allows us to reduce our stress on a daily basis and allows us to know how to eliminate the negative thoughts that affect us so much.

      Rationalize your negative thoughts: Sometimes the best way to realize that we are being or thinking negatively is to ask ourselves the right questions to help us discover what is happening to us: Is it true? Is this thought helping me? What do I really want? How can I get out of the situation to my advantage? How could I make this thought more positive? As a result of these questions we will be able to make constructive decisions about what we want and move forward on the right path. Thanks to this process of rationalizing uncontrollable negative thoughts, we will be able to avoid their most destructive consequences for our lives.

      Keep a thought journal: Although it requires a lot of effort, keeping a thought journal can be a very effective way to kill each of these automatic thoughts that come to mind. To do this, you must write down each day how you have felt and what have been the bad thoughts or positive messages that have dominated the actions of your day. In this way you will be able to better identify and understand each of the thoughts that come to your mind.

      Do not try to eliminate your negative thoughts: One of the main mistakes we make when facing these bad thoughts is precisely to try to interrupt them completely. The problem with trying to do this is precisely that the more you try to eliminate them, the stronger they will become. Therefore, it is vital to change these negative thoughts to try to rationalize or understand them.

      Talk about them: Although it is much better to share positive messages than negative thoughts, the reality is that telling your concerns to others will make you better in many ways. In this way, talking about them with another person will allow you to keep each of the negative automatic thoughts at bay. You can share them both with your friends or even with a professional psychologist with whom you can learn many more techniques or strategies to eliminate negative thoughts.

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