Negative thoughts can be very harmful because they can lead to feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and anger. They can also cause us to make bad decisions and sabotage our own success. If you're feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts, it's important to take action.
What are negative thoughts?
Negative thoughts are any thoughts that make you feel bad about yourself or your life. They can be about anything, from your appearance to your job to your relationships. Some examples of negative thoughts are "I'm not good enough," "I can't do this," or "Everything's going to go wrong."
Why do negative thoughts occur?
Negative thoughts often occur when we're feeling stressed or anxious. It can be hard to stop them from happening, but there are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit easier.
How can I stop negative thoughts?
Negative thoughts can be incredibly damaging, both mentally and physically. Not only do they make it difficult to feel good about ourselves, but they can also lead to a wide range of health problems. Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to stop negative thoughts from ruining our day.
1. Acknowledge the thought
The first step in dealing with negative thoughts is acknowledging that they're there. This means recognizing the thought for what it is, and not trying to ignore it or push it away.
2. Question the thought
Once you've acknowledged the thought, it's time to question it. Ask yourself why you think that way and whether or not there's any evidence to support it.
3. Challenge the thought
After questioning the thought, it's time to challenge it. Ask yourself if there's a different way of looking at the situation. Is there another explanation that's just as likely or even more likely than the negative thought?
4. Replace the thought
If you can't challenge the thought, try replacing it with a more positive one. Instead of thinking "I'm not good enough," think "I'm doing the best I can."
5. Practice self-compassion
Finally, practice self-compassion. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself, and remember that everyone makes mistakes.
Can therapy help with negative thinking?
If you can't stop the negative thoughts yourself, a therapist may be able to help you get to the root of the problem and find different ways to deal with them.
What techniques will a therapist use to help change negative thoughts?
Therapists may use a variety of techniques to help you change your negative thoughts. These may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-based therapies. One popular technique that therapists use is called "Thought-Stopping."
What is thought stopping?
Thought stopping is a technique that can be used to interrupt negative thoughts. This involves identifying the thought, saying "stop" out loud, and replacing the thought with a more positive one. What are some examples of positive replacement thoughts? Some examples of positive replacement thoughts include: "I can do this," "I am strong," and "I am capable."
How can I practice thought-stopping on my own?
Thought stopping can be practiced on your own by identifying the negative thought, saying "stop" out loud, and replacing the thought with a more positive one. You can also practice thought-stopping by writing down your negative thoughts and then challenging them. For example, you might ask yourself "is this thought true?" or "is there another way to look at this situation?"
What are some other ways to challenge negative thoughts?
Other ways to challenge negative thoughts include:
-questioning the evidence for and against the thought
-considering alternative explanations for the situation
-thinking about how you would feel if the thought were true
-examining the consequences of the thought
-taking a step back and looking at the situation from a different perspective
-asking yourself whether the thought is helpful or harmful
-thinking about the worst thing that could happen if the thought were true
-remembering that not all thoughts are true
Can medication also help stop negative thinking?
Sometimes, medication can help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can often lead to negative thoughts. If you are experiencing severe negative thoughts, it is important to speak with a doctor about your options.
What should I do if I have a lot of negative thoughts?
If you find that you have a lot of negative thoughts, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist. Therapists can help you to identify and challenge your thoughts, as well as provide you with coping strategies to help you deal with difficult situations. If you are struggling with chronic negative thoughts, therapy may be a good option for you.
Julie Cohen LMFT is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with an online psychotherapy practice in California. If you would like to schedule an appointment please call 818-212-0813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org