Positive Thinking: How to Combat Negative Thinking


If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had negative thoughts at one point or another. Maybe you felt anxious about an upcoming event or stressed about a looming deadline. Whatever the cause, negative thinking can be frustrating and even debilitating.

The good news is that there are things you can do to change your thinking patterns and improve your outlook on life. Here are four tips for how to beat negative thinking:


  1. Be aware of your thoughts

The first step to changing your thinking is to become aware of when you’re doing it. Pay attention to the types of thoughts that tend to run through your head and the situations in which they occur. Do you find yourself dwelling on worst-case scenarios? Do you tend to catastrophize? Once you’re aware of your patterns, you can start to work on changing them.

  1. Challenge your negative thoughts

Our minds can be very good at coming up with all sorts of reasons why things won’t work out. If you find yourself thinking things like, “I’ll never be able to do this,” or “It’s not worth even trying,” it’s important to challenge those thoughts.

Ask yourself: is there any evidence to support my thought? Is there another way of looking at the situation? For example, instead of telling yourself that you’ll never be able to do something, try saying, “I can’t do this yet, but I’m going to keep working at it and I’ll get there eventually.”

  1. Practice gratitude

It’s easy to focus on the negative when things aren’t going the way we want them to. But taking a step back and practicing gratitude can help shift your perspective. Make it a point to notice the good things in your life, no matter how small they may be. Maybe you’re grateful for a friend who always makes you laugh or for the fact that you have a roof over your head. Focusing on the positive can help you feel better about yourself and your life overall.

  1. Seek professional help

If you find that you’re struggling to manage your negative thoughts on your own, it may be time to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand the root of your negative thinking and provide tools and strategies for how to change it.

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