How to deal with negative thoughts (healthy way)

when I remember all the unhappiness and disappointments in my life, I now realize that I have prolonged this experience because I spend too much time in my head. I was either worrying about the future or thinking about past mistakes, missed opportunities and every other event in my life when I was unhappy and upset. I don't even understand what impact negative thinking has on my life. Then one day I read an article that said we have between 40,000-80,000 thoughts every day. Then I realized that the thousands of negative thoughts that visited me daily prevent me from enjoying not only the life experience, but wastes energy and distracts me from what was important in my life. He had to stop and the only person who could do it for me. In this article, you will understand why you have negative thoughts and how to deal with them.

What are the Causes of Your Negative Thinking?

The first thing I decided to do was to find, for some reason, what causes my negative thought? If I could find an answer to why I constantly have so many negative thoughts, then I would be one step closer to better managing the impact of negative thinking on my life.

Mental Health Condition

Negative thinking has many different causes, and those causes may be different for everyone. The strongest cause of negative thinking may be the result of mental illness such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or anxiety disorder (GAD). Depression is also one of the factors that contributes to negative thinking and at times in my life, I have had symptoms of depression. While negative thinking can be a sign of mental illness, it can also be a regular part of life.


Everyone has negative thoughts and this is a normal part of our lives. The danger for us, however, is when we keep these negative thoughts over and over again in our minds. Scientists call this "chewing." The habit of chewing can be dangerous to our mental health as it can increase or worsen depression as well as reduce our ability to think and process emotions.

Cortisol effect

Cortisol is a hormone that is mainly released in stressful situations and has many important functions in our body. Having the right cortisol balance is essential for a person's health, and you can have problems if your adrenal gland releases too much or too little cortisol. Our brain loves cortisol like it's there to warn us of impending danger and that can be very helpful. High Cortisol Symptoms: What Do They Mean?)) The problem is that when we constantly bring our bodies and our minds into situations of high stress and negative thinking, cortisol starts to overload. Our brains begin to develop negative thought patterns and we begin to normalize our thought patterns. We are training our brains to think that we are no longer in danger - this is our new reality - but our cortisol levels are getting dangerously high. The body will begin to show signs of wear and tear over time – heart attacks, depression, anxiety, mental illness, and the list goes on. If you don't keep your negative thoughts in check, you will end up dealing with serious health problems.

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Holding on to fears and regrets

Martin Seligman is an American psychologist, educator, and self-help author who is a strong advocate within the scientific community for his theories of positive psychology and well-being. He says that the top three causes of negative thoughts for most people are:

  • Fear of the future - people are afraid of the unknown and, as a result, they begin to think that the worst that can happen is, for example, failure and disaster. The future hasn't happened and so people who fear it are distracted from living in the present where they have more control over how they live their lives.
  • Anxiety about the present - many of us, however, are concerned about what others think of us, what traffic will go home or if we're doing a good job. If we are in an environment or relationship that is toxic we are more vulnerable to negative thoughts.
  • Regret for the past – everyone does what they are embarrassed or ashamed of. People who are prone to negative thinking tend to dwell on past mistakes and failures more than others.

Whatever the reasons for your negative thoughts, you can manage them with some strategies. Start dealing with your negative thinking once you accept that negative thoughts can be a big problem in your life.

5 Steps to Manage Your Negative Thinking

I don't believe that you can stop your negative thoughts once and for all. Which is an impossible task to achieve. A more realistic and workable approach and yet another resistant to learning strategies is how to manage your negative thinking so that you have control over how you want to live your life - without giving up control of your negative thoughts.

1. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

This strategy takes time and practice to apply - you won't control your thoughts overnight. So be prepared and help implement this strategy on a daily basis. This strategy is all about teaching yourself how to counter deny your negative thoughts. There are 5 questions you can ask yourself, either in your head or how I prefer to write my answers in my journal:

  1. This is a thought, right? Is there any basis for this negative belief?
  2. It is this thought that gives your strength or takes away your strength
  3. Can you put a positive effect on this thought or learn from it?
  4. What would happen if there were no such negative thoughts?
  5. Are these negative thoughts hiding you from problems that need to be addressed?

2. Distract your negative thoughts by focusing on something else

Visualization is a useful strategy to help you take your mind off negative thoughts. Try to imagine doing what you love to do - like shopping, reading books, listening to music, etc. The key is to train your brain to think about something completely different for at least 30 seconds. Be disciplined in this technique. Over time, you have trained your brain to go in a different direction every time negative thoughts come.

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3. Balloon Exercise - Throw Your Negative Thoughts Out

I like this strategy the most. In essence, what you are doing here is throwing your negative thoughts away. Clearing your head of negative thoughts, writing them down and letting them go physically frees you from a lot of negative energy. Some people write down their negative thoughts on a piece of paper, wrap the paper and throw it in the trash can. I like to write my negative thoughts, fears and regrets on an inflated balloon and then release them into the sky. At the same time you say (shout out loud) say goodbye to your fears, regrets and negative thoughts!

4. Surround Yourself With Positive People

“Surround yourself with really good people. I think this is an important thing. Because the people you surround yourself with are a reflection of you.” — Aaron Rogers

This quote from Aaron Rogers shows why it's important to have more people in your life. The people that you spend your time with have a huge impact on how you live your life. If you want to better control your negative thoughts, then spend time with a friend who has positive energy, a positive outlook on life and is willing to listen to you share your thoughts and feelings even though they won't let you get away dwelling on the negative for too long!

5. The Power of Positive Thinking - Reframe Your Thoughts

“Positive thinking causes more energy, more initiative and more happiness” - Unknown

Our minds have an amazing ability to convince us that this is not true. These false and inaccurate thoughts reinforce our negative thinking. The next time you think you're to blame for everything that's going wrong, stop it. What you are doing is taking and personalizing your thoughts and backing it up with negative thinking. Take a few minutes to acknowledge the great things you are doing, write them down and say those wonderful things out loud to you. Another strategy you could do is to challenge these thoughts with the questions in step 1. You can also take a look at these tips on how to practice positive thinking and change your life.

Final Thoughts

“The key to happiness – or more desirable thing, peace of mind – lies by not always thinking happy thoughts. No. It's impossible. No mind on earth with any type of intelligence can spend a lifetime enjoying only joyful thoughts. The key is to accept your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but do not become them. … Matt Haig, reasons to stay alive

Negative thinking will not lead you to a happy and successful life. With dedicated practice and commitment, you can replace negative thought patterns with thoughts that really help. This can make a huge difference to your day-to-day happiness. There is no doubt that the more positive thoughts, the more positive results you can achieve in life.

More Positive Thinking Tips

  • How do you think positive thoughts when feelings are negative
  • 11 tips for maintaining a positive attitude
  • 15 Ways to Practice a Positive Attitude for Success
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