Negative thoughts are one of the common mental issues, that mostly occur due to excessive anxiety, stress, and depression.
But what exactly are negative thoughts’ definition?
According to me – NT is internal self-talk and beliefs where doubt, possessiveness, and criticism give rise to negative thoughts.
Did u know? we cannot control or stop negative thoughts due to our daily lifestyle, but we can manage them before they become worse.
It can occur due to any reason, fighting with someone, anger at someone, office stress, and people blaming us for whatever reason.
Frequent negative thoughts trigger other issues like self-harm and even impact our daily life and overall wellness (1)
If you experience or see someone who experience it, then should talk to a doctor, who will suggest you best therapies.
Several things trigger Negative thoughts easily, and the range can vary widely from individuals relying on their incidents.
Here are common trigger things:
- Low self-esteem
- Cognitive distortions, In this our thoughts go to the negative thoughts and mess with the things that we see.
- jealous to someone
- any experience or any trauma in past
- lack of sleep and fatigue
- excessive alcohol, smoking, and any drug
- stressful situation
- social media, negative news can also trigger negative thoughts
Everyone experiences it from time to time, but if it occurs frequently, or you are unable to control it, then you have to talk to a professional therapist.
5 Gentle Ways To Manage Negative Thoughts
I also experience negative thoughts, but now I know how to handle or manage negative thinking in these ways, which I use.
Here are the top 5 gentle ways to manage negative thoughts with research-based evidence.
It is my favourite and one of the leading ways to manage mental issues, whether it is negative thoughts, stress, depression, etc.
Harvard University, says that regular meditation practice can help with stress and anxiety (which leads to depression) by changing brain responses.
A 2020 study showed that meditation can raise self-understanding, which helps the person to accept negative thoughts without judgment.
One more study from the JAMA Journal found that mindfulness meditation is a practical way as CBT to ease common mental issues.
Find the Reason
Before reaching any conclusion, judging your thoughts on blaming you, first, you have to find your reason, and why it occurs.
Negative thoughts occur due to several reasons:
- mental chattering
- jealous to someone
- stress, anxiety, and depression
- history of any trauma
- excessive alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
If stress is your reason, then you can start doing meditation, yoga, and try other things to manage stress and anxiety.
If overthinking is your reason, then first learn how to manage your overthinking? which we already discussed in the previous chapter.
Mental chattering is a normal issue until it does not dominate your thoughts, especially when negative thoughts are seen.
If trauma is your reason, then it’s better to talk to your therapist, who will suggest you some effective therapies.
Move Your Body and Mind
Do physical activity because exercise including yoga is one of the best ways to divert the mind.
It acts as a suppression of negativity, where endorphins and other feel-good hormones are released, and promote a happy mood.
New research suggests that aerobic exercise is an effective as anti-depressant treatment, so do more engage in physical activity.
There are several exercises to boost mental health:
- solve puzzles
- learning new things
- writing article
- get enough sleep
- spend time in nature
- do physical exercise
- met with others
- take a break from social media
If you are unable to control your negative thoughts, then you have to talk to your doctor.
Connect with Others and Share
It acts as talk therapy where connecting with others, helps you to express your feelings to others.
Talk to loved ones, and share your feelings about what you feel right now, it helps in eliminating negative thoughts.
I use it personally where I share my thoughts with my mother while crying, It feels like a burden has been lifted from my mind.
A study from JAMA Psychiatry reveals that social support greatly prevents and treats depression symptoms like negative thoughts.
One more study shows that person who often shares their feelings or thoughts with others are happier and healthier in the long term.
Make sure to avoid social media for some days, it can also trigger your NT, So connect with your loved ones offline.
Get Friendly with Your Thoughts
Do not control your thoughts, just let them free, but free doesn’t mean overthinking and mental chattering.
Because overthinking and mental chatter are both associated with negative and positive thinking. So get friendly with your thoughts.
Negative thinking is not our enemy, it’s just a part of thinking, which excessive increasing is not good for overall health.
So whenever you experience NT, try to observe it with interest instead of judgment. Ask yourself why it occurs, and what is it trying to say.
A new study found that accepting negative thoughts without any judgment or depressing them can make a person react less strongly and improve well-being.
Please focus on the positive aspects of your thoughts, It can take time, but after some days you will how to manage or take control of your ideas.
Negative thoughts are associated with depression, excessive stress, anxiety, and other mental issues like mental chatter, and overthinking.
There are several ways to manage it with new science-based studies like mindfulness, physical activity, work on reason, CBT, and so on.
Remember do not control it, let them free and try to understand why it occurs. And what is it trying to say).
If you are unable to manage it and see someone who face same, then talk to your therapist, because it may become worse in the future.