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How to Stop Negative Thoughts: 12 Ways to Shift Your Perspective

Amber Murphy

Being positive in a world full of negativity is challenging. One-click on your smartphone or television, and you get bombarded with bad news left and right. You step outside, and pollution hits you on the face. Thus, positivity is almost a rare commodity in this fast-paced world. Positive results can never yield a negative mind, and it’s the first step to understanding how to stop negative thoughts.

How to stop negative thoughts? A person’s negative feelings are often rooted in things that are out of control. Think about it. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you wake up in the morning? Do you curse the sun for rising? Or loathe the fact that weekends only pass by and Mondays are always in a hurry? You look around, and all you can see are problems one after the other, from the traffic jam to your boss to the noisy woman in the cafe. More often than not, you get caught up with the mundane of life where positivity throws itself at the back door.

The good news is, despite the negativity around you, a positive mindset is still possible and doable.

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How to stop negative thoughts? Here are 12 ways to shift your perspective

1. Do an inventory of what’s in your mind

Mindfulness is a critical element in filtering negative thoughts in your mind. You have to do an audit of what goes in and out of your brain. The harsh truth is a negative mind is instantaneous to most that it already became a habit. Like other habits, you aren’t conscious of your action or thoughts. It’s the muscle memory in action. But, even patterns can be altered. As long as you are aware of what needs to be changed.

Meditation is a healthy way to practice mindfulness to help you stop negative thoughts. It helps you become aware of thoughts passing in and out of your mind on their own. This realization that you aren’t in control of your thoughts helps establish the fact that you are not your thoughts. To stop negative thoughts, consider trying out this free meditation.

Segregate the negative thoughts from the positive ones. Remember: Trash in, trash out. Negative thinking leads to negative results. And a positive thought yields positive results. Ask yourself if a specific belief is necessary.

2. Find your triggers

After making an inventory, you have to find the source of these negative thoughts. If you end up just ignoring them, it can still show up every now and then. Thus, knowing where it came from would allow you to stop the chain.

Ask yourself. When do you start getting those negative thoughts? Does it happen when you see or remember a specific person? Or perhaps when you’re tired after a long day’s work? Or is it when you’re feeling hungry?

Understanding your triggers would help you break the chain and immediately address the trigger to stop negative thoughts. If your negativism is due to hunger pangs, you might want to stash a snack in your bag to keep you from being famished. Cut it off before it gets worse.

3. Create a peaceful surrounding

Nature has its way of calming the spirit and healing the soul. Listening to the sound of nature can even lull you to sleep. Thus, a simple walk outside alters your vibe and re-energizes your mood and helps you be more positive. Unfortunately, not everyone can travel outdoors all the time to experience nature. For that, you can always bring nature inside.

4. Declutter

Add some natural features like a miniature fountain, indoor plants such as succulents. Your environment, like we mentioned earlier, has a lot to do with what state your mind gravitates to. You can influence the mind and stop negative thoughts by decluttering your surrounding. Declutter your environment to begin decluttering your mind.

5. Include a calming aroma from a diffuser or incense

When you feel down, or something’s bothering you, take some time to escape to your mini-sanctuary. Feel the essence of nature and let it heal you.

Use scents and smells that bring to mind positive memories, experiences, and thoughts. There may be a scent that reminds you of your childhood, a positive moment in your life, or even of a person. There’s even scents that can help relax you such as lavender.

6. Choose positive influences

Zig Ziglar once said you are the average of the five people you spend your time with. Lessen your interactions with toxic people who sucks the good in you. These can be whiners, worrisome individuals, demanding, arrogant or high-maintenance people who never cease to wreak havoc in your otherwise peaceful life. Surround yourself with people who believe and support you. These are the people you don’t need to impress because they love you for who you are. And that they genuinely care to see you prosper.

You also have the well-meaning individuals who give unsolicited pieces of advice. Before you dive in, listening to what they are saying, ask yourself first. Are these people qualified to provide these bits of advice? Have they achieved the success I am aiming for? If not, say thank you, but don’t bother taking their advice. Simply walk away.

Find a group of people who can bring out the best in you. And who believes in you even if you don’t. They are your constant reminders of how good of a person you are.

7. Energize your morning routine

Mornings set the tone of your day. When you feel sluggish in the morning, you can bring the same disposition all throughout the day. Pump up your morning routine to start the day with a bang. You don’t need to wake up as early as 4 AM as other successful people do. Follow what works for you. Planning your day in advance towards a particular goal helps create a laser focus on what needs to be done. Some routines that you should do in the morning:

  • Meditation
  • Setting your top 3 priorities for the day
  • A 20-minute exercise ((At the very least)
  • Listening to a podcast or reading a book

8. Physically throw your negative thoughts away

As absurd as it may sound, throwing or destroying something can usually alter the mood of any person. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can write down on a piece of paper that’s bothering you. After that, you can toss the paper in the trash bin or even burn them own symbolically to show that you’re no longer bound by them and stop negative thoughts.

If you are an athlete, you can put your worries on the dartboard or even on the punching bag. Then release all your pent-up emotions hitting the target until you let everything out. Artists could take it a step further by creating sculptures or paintings that interpret their feelings. Then smash or crumble the same in pieces to express their emotions. Then moving on after to lead a positive life.

9. Positive affirmations

Affirmations are a great way to appeal to the good side of any individual. The sad truth is, you often, by default, speak ill of yourself every day. Positive affirmations can turn the table around. They are like the essential elements for a plant to grow. Without them, the plant will wither and die.

Create a list of at least three affirmations per day. Recite these affirmations throughout the day when it’s tough. If you need some inspiration, here’s over 125 positive quotes.

10. Digital detox

Every day you are bombarded with tons of information. Often, they could overwhelm you and bring out the worst in you. On your smartphone are posts of families and friends who don’t seem bothered by the people around them. Then your social media that showcases each person’s highlight, making you feel sorry for yourself. On television is news that can rev up your blood pressure in a short period. All of these combined could render you hopeless and helpless. When it comes to learning how to stop negative thoughts, a social media detox is a good first step.

  • Experts advise detoxifying from the digital world every so often.
  • Allocate a gadget-free day.
  • Unfollow or unfriend negative influencers.
  • Minimize watching the news.
  • Instead, do something productive in the real world with real people.

11. Have a reason bigger than yourself

When you get caught up in problems or crises, overthinking magnifies your situation. Such action can lead to issues that are not even existent, a product of fears and imagination. Self-pity results in loneliness then eventually depression. Change the dynamic and pay it forward. Find something else that’ll take your mind away from your anxieties. Help a friend or even a stranger in need. Knowing that someone out there has a more difficult life than you are and helping this person creates a feeling of self-worth and a boost in confidence. Reminding you that you’re not the only one with problems. And those solutions are possible. If we only get out of yourself, observe things from the outside, and appreciate life.

12. Ask for help

When all else fails, seek help from experts or people whom you trust. No man is an island. And each person needs to bring out their worries and apprehensions into the open. Sometimes, just to simply vent our and, at times, to seek advice. Seek professional help to combat your depression. It’s okay not to be okay, and you have to acknowledge and accept it. Acceptance is the first phase of healing.

Having negative thoughts is almost second nature to humans. It has become a defensive mechanism when something happens. Learn how to balance the negative from your positive thoughts. Do not be consumed by pessimism. Otherwise, it’ll you up. Use these thoughts to reinforce your strength and muster the courage to make the most out of it.

Life is a bumpy road, whether you like it or not. Don’t be like others who stop mid-way because of the detours and obstacles. How to stop negative thoughts? Remember, you are the driver of your life. You have full control of what’s going to happen in your life. You’re not meant just to exist. For you are meant to thrive.

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