What Are Negative Thoughts & How To Handle Them?

What Are Negative Thoughts & How To Handle Them?

Published On: July 2, 2021

While our thoughts are one of the things that make us humans, they can pose a problem if they are overwhelmingly negative and repetitive. Unhelpful thoughts can take the joy out of life and affect our physical and mental health. But what exactly are negative thoughts, and how can you manage them? We will answer these questions and many more below.

What Are Negative Thoughts?

Negative thoughts refer to those random unpleasant thoughts about oneself and one’s surroundings. Thinking negatively leads to negative perceptions and can cause you to feel anxious and worried.

Note that thinking negatively is not the same as analyzing one’s thoughts. While it’s okay to feel concerned about your personal finances or relationship problems when they come, negative thinking occurs when these feelings start becoming more common and repetitive.

Here is a typical example of a negative thought: Let’s assume that you applied for a job and got a rejection email. You started to think of yourself as a failure or someone who is not good enough. Negative thoughts like these can take you out of reality and negatively impact your physical and mental health.

Other examples of negative thinking include:

  • Generalizing: “I missed a train; I always miss opportunities
  • Personalizing: “My colleague does not greet me; it’s clear he doesn’t like me.”
  • Predicting: “It won’t work out; I should not even bother trying.”
  • Dwelling on the negatives: “Bad things always happen to me. Nothing good has ever happened.”
  • Expecting the worst: “if I’m late to work, my boss won’t even let me explain. He will just fire me.”

How to Handle Negative Thoughts?

To manage negative thoughts, you need to replace them with positive ones. If your mind can harbour negative thoughts, it can hold positive thoughts, too. However, this technique takes a lot of hard work and patience to master. Let’s say you are diagnosed with a critical medical condition. Instead of assuming that your life is over, things are getting worse, and your end is near, replace those negative thoughts with optimism like this is just a simple challenge I will overcome, or I want to enjoy and do great things with my remaining time. Such positive thoughts will motivate you and make you hopeful for the future. Plus, it can also improve your physical health.

Be grateful for all the things you have. A negative mind often makes you think less of yourself. Writing out all your accomplishments, unforgettable moments, and exciting events can help you deal with negative thoughts.

Also, practice a self-care routine. Do pleasurable activities that make you feel fulfilled. Such feelings can help you stay positive regarding your talents and skills. Plus, take good care of your body by eating healthy foods and exercising.

At times, it may be difficult to handle negative thoughts on your own. In such cases, you can always seek the support of your friends or look for an expert to help overcome negative thinking for good. But if time and convenience are preventing you from seeking professional assistance, you may want to consider online counselling. With online counselling, you can get therapy in the comfort of your own and at your own convenient time. So, look for an experienced online counsellor today to help you deal with those negative thoughts that may be limiting you.

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