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Debamita Banerjee

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How to Overcome Negative Thinking

Everybody goes through highs and lows in their lives, but your happiness predominantly depends on your perspective. To live a life filled with positivity and goodwill, you need to believe in it first. Incessant negative thinking can poison your mind and life if left unchecked. It can become second nature to you, so much so that you don't recognize when you're indulging in it.    

It's difficult to stop having negative thoughts. Our internal frustration mixed up with the tragedy we observe around us and through the media we consume creates a recipe for disaster. But through practice and commitment, you can train yourself to be more welcoming to the opportunities that come your way and stay positive irrespective of your circumstances.  

Ways to Stop Being Negative  

Changing your mindset is not a one-day process but inculcating certain qualities and methods can definitely fasten it up. You must remember that it's much more an inner alteration rather than an outer one so focus on believing in optimism rather than just putting on a show for other people.  

Here are some ways that can help you to stop being excessively negative.

Make a Conscious Effort to Find Positivity  

There's something to learn from or look forward to in almost every situation that life puts you in. Find small things every day that you love and appreciate. It can be as small as drinking a good cup of coffee or hugging your mom. When you acknowledge the good parts of your life actively, you're much more content. This helps you think more positively overall.    

Be Kind to Yourself

The root of a lot of our negative thoughts is how unworthy and incapable we feel. You cannot achieve everything you want on your first try, so instead of beating yourself over it and losing hope, inculcate more patience and perseverance. When you love yourself, it gets easier for you to love life and the people around you. Additionally, greater self-belief enables you to confidently get past all big and small hurdles head held high.  

Be More Grateful

We all often complain about all that is wrong with our lives but fail to acknowledge all that is right. Be grateful to people for the things they do for you and for the life you lead. You can even have a gratitude journal where you jot down 3-5 things that you were grateful for on a particular day. This helps you shift your focus from negative thinking. It can lead to you not only feeling positive within but also spreading it amongst other people.  

Learn How to Cope with Criticism  

Failure is a part and parcel of life. Many of us take any kind of rejection to heart and question our self-worth over it. In career and social life, people are going to be judgemental about the choices you make. It's impossible to keep everybody happy and trying to do so is only going to make you more stressed. Pay heed to constructive criticism so that you can learn and grow, but try to not take the rest of it personally. You're valuable and you can build a great future as long as you're committed to it.

Spread Kindness  

It's much easier to believe that there's compassion and goodwill in the world when you contribute to it yourself. When you do something nice for somebody else once in a while, it helps you look past your own misfortune and contribute something of value to society. It not only makes you proud of yourself but also provides you a positive perspective.  

Donate to a charity you believe in, spend some time in orphanages and old age homes, or just call a family member to check on how they're doing. By the end, you'll be left feeling much better.  

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle  

Our diet and sleep patterns are deeply interwoven with our mental health. When you eat nutritious food that fulfills you, you have the energy to get through everything that life throws at you. Without adequate food and sleep, your spirits remain low and you feel incapable of getting through hard days. Hence, maintain a proper schedule every day to take care of your body and mind.

Practice Meditation 

Meditation drastically reduces stress and enables you to get rid of a perpetually gloomy mindset. When you're overburdened by work and not achieving the desired results, it's natural for you to stay upset, but meditation helps you compose yourself and determine how you react to situations. Additionally, meditation is a great form of self-care. When you're doing things to enhance the quality of your life, it automatically makes you look forward to days.  

Surround Yourself With Positive People  

Your company is a reflection of who you are and who you want to be. By interacting with driven, optimistic, and motivated people, you feed off of their energy. They inspire you to imbibe the same qualities and lead a happy life.  

In fact, the information you consume and discuss is more often than not dependent upon your peers. Hence, by talking to positive people you can discover methods that help you make the best out of your life instead of criticizing everything without taking any action.  

Exercise Regularly  

Negative thoughts are often a result of pent-up energy. Exercise can help you release these harmful emotions in a much more productive way. It also induces the release of endorphins I.e happy hormones that instantly put you in a happier and more optimistic mood. High-intensity training, running, or weight training - pick whatever regime suits you the best.    

The confidence you gain regarding your strength and body will transfer into other spheres of life as well, making you better prepared to tackle tribulations.

Smile More  

Smiling more can help you feel your brain through physical cues. Research shows that even forcing can go a long way into improving your mood and generating more optimism. Do not budget on your smiles and try to break into them even without a big cause, barring serious events. Over time, your mind will get used to this behavior and harbor a higher level of happiness. This will help you be less negative and change your outlook on life.  

Consume Positive Media  

It is important to stay in touch with the hard truths of life, but if you're listening to news and watching videos that drive you into cynicism, then it's about time you curb your consumption of such content.  

Subscribe to sources that showcase positive news along with the problems rampant around the world. Try to Stay away from rumors that spread panic and anxiety. Additionally, if you're on social media, unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself and develop a negative self-image. Nobody is perfect and you should be able to work on your own life without constantly worrying if the grass is greener on the other side.  

Express your feelings  

Having an outlet for your negative thoughts can be a great asset. It helps you get rid of any pessimistic itches in your brain once and for all rather than ruminating on it endlessly.   

How you choose to express yourself is a matter of personal preference. You might talk about your feelings with someone you trust or join a support group. Journaling is a great method to pour your heart out too.

Don't Force Yourself  

There's a massive difference between trying to be more positive and forcing yourself to be so. When possible, do try to foster more optimism but don't force yourself to always be happy and motivated. Nobody is perfect and life takes a toll on everyone, so let yourself go through the usual course of emotions. The key is to build emotional strength that helps you revive from such blues and deal with your problems constructively.  

Instead of saying "I should be happy", believe that you want to be happy and hence, you're trying to do everything in your capacity to achieve that goal.

    

You might have an innate tendency to be negative or develop the habit after facing repeated hardships. It can be hard to differentiate between plain pessimism and early signs of depression. If you've been feeling hopeless about life for a significant amount of time despite deploying all of the above-mentioned strategies, visit iAmEars. At iAmEars, you can sign up for an online counseling session with experienced psychiatrists and counselors who will assess your symptoms to diagnose if your negativity is a by-product of an underlying mental health issue. You can also vent out your thoughts and problems on the forum while preserving your anonymity to be a part of an empathetic and kind community. iAmEars will help you feel supported and understood through all your good and bad times.  

Conclusion  

The power of your brain is immense. Studies suggest optimistic people are more likely to be both mentally and physically healthy. Being less negative is not going to fix all your problems, but it'll help you get on with your life despite them. It's hard to undo a belief system that you've held close for years, but it's definitely worth the effort. Focus on transforming your internal dialogue and believe in the good things that the world has to offer.  

Reference

  1. Optimism and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study - https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/1/21/2631298 
  2. Your Face and Moves Seem Happier When I Smile - https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/10.1027/1618-3169/a000470