Do you find yourself getting fixated on negative thoughts?
For example, you got into a fight with a friend, and that’s bothering you. Or, you’re scrolling on Instagram when you start comparing yourself to other people’s seemingly perfect lifestyle.
Negative thoughts are normal, but they don’t have to control you. Respond the right way, and a negative thought can float away.
Here are seven ways to kick those negative thoughts to the curb!
1. Do Something That Makes You Happy
What are some of the things that make you happy and smile? If you’re having a hard time, doing enjoyable activities can help.
Think about what makes you happiest and take a break to do a few of these things. For example, playing with your niece may make your day. Or, if you have a dog, you could take it to the field to play a game of fetch.
When you distract yourself, negative thoughts don’t stand a chance. You’ll be much too busy making happy memories, instead!
2. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Sometimes it’s wise to acknowledge what you’re feeling instead of ignoring it. There may be a solution to the problem, or there may not be.
Ask yourself if what you’re thinking about is improving the situation. Chances are it isn’t, so you should replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
It may be easier said than done, but it’ll become a habit for you to think more positively over time. And, if you’re dwelling on something, it’ll become easier for you to let it go.
3. Surround Yourself With Positive People
If you haven’t been hanging around an upbeat crowd, find people who uplift you. When you’re around people who view life as a glass half empty, it doesn’t improve your outlook. In fact, it can make it worse.
On the other hand, being around positive people can make all the difference. When you’re struggling with negative thoughts, they can remind you that life isn’t that bad. Surrounding yourself with them will enable you to push negative thoughts away.
Consider who you want to spend your time with. For example, your family may be your rock, but you haven’t made time for them lately. If this is the case, make an effort to visit with them.
Or, you may have a best friend an hour away, and you haven’t been willing to make the drive. Stop making excuses. Instead, get in the car to be around your cheerful friend whose positivity always rubs off on you!
4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Sites like Facebook and Instagram allow you to keep up with friends and family. And as convenient as it is to scroll through your feed, it also has adverse effects.
With social media, it’s far too easy to compare yourself to others. So, even if you may tell yourself that the photo is “staged,” it’s hard not to get down on yourself. But, the reality is every person you see has issues. No one is perfect, even if they may make it seem that way on social media.
If you’re caught up comparing yourself, recognize what you’re doing. You’ll need to learn to change your behaviors and let go of self-judgment. Only then will you be happy with the person you are instead of dwelling on things you don’t have.
5. Talk it Out With a Friend
Another way to combat negative thoughts is by seeing or calling a friend. Yes, it’s okay to use your smartphone to talk instead of only text!
Hearing someone’s voice, even if it’s only by phone, is beneficial.
Of course, seeing someone in person is even better. So, if you have a few friends nearby, why not arrange a time to get together! Whether it’s over coffee or going on a hike, spending time with friends is worthwhile. This isn’t just making a positive group of friends, it’s being actively engaged with them.
Whatever you’re going through, a friend can listen. They can offer their perspective, or better yet, they can let you talk it out. Sometimes talking through what you’re feeling can improve the situation.
Confiding in a friend can also shift your attention and help you stay positive. And when you’re struggling with negativity, you need all the positive vibes you can get!
6. Count Your Blessings
If you find yourself dwelling on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Just like with self-comparison, it’s not hard to get caught in the trap of dwelling on what you don’t have. It may sound corny, but it can go a long way in managing those negative thoughts.
You want a bigger house, more friends, or a better job. Even though it’s good to strive for better things, you can’t get caught up in not feeling grateful for the things you have.
Instead, be thankful for the life you have! Whether it’s the fact that you have a roof over your head, a loving family who is there for you, or whatever else you can look at with pride; the important thing is to focus on those positives. It doesn’t help to dwell on what you don’t have.
Like talking to a friend, counting your blessings allows you to shift your focus. By being thankful, you can remember the things dear to you.
7. Find Professional Help
If you’re still dealing with negative thoughts, you may be struggling with something a bit more serious. It could be that you have anxiety and depression, which may require special treatment or lifestyle changes to manage.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get through a mental disorder on your own, and that’s okay. When your mind is negative, it can result from depression and is no fault of your own.
There’s no shame in making an appointment with a mental health professional.
A professional can diagnose whether you have a mental disorder. After that, a therapist can teach you tools to deal with negative thoughts.
Focus on your well-being and getting better. In time, with the proper professional help, you can be on your way to thinking more positively.
Battling against negative thoughts gets exhausting. But thankfully, you now have some tactics to get through it!
These things take time, so don’t expect instant results. Instead, it’s vital to focus on the positive and replace negative thoughts in your mind. Doing this means forming a habit of thinking more positively.
Don’t give up — you can do it!
By applying the above tips, you’ll be on your way to being a more positive person. Then, your positive thoughts will radiate from the inside out!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Arch Denton to help them with their online marketing.