Tuning out negative thoughts is often easier said than done. When you are feeling stressed out, angry, frustrated or down in the dumps it can be hard to stop negative thoughts from creeping up on you. In fact, an interesting bit of research has shown that when we try to avoid thinking about a certain subject we actually think about it more in the long-run. When the thought you are trying to avoid is a negative one, this can become an endless cycle and can cause negative thoughts to snowball out of control quickly. It can also mean that turning negative thoughts into positive ones may not be the most effective way to combat this common problem…. But don’t throw in the towel yet. There is one surefire solution to stop negative thoughts in their tracks…
“Research has shown that when we try to avoid thinking about a certain subject we actually think about it more in the long-run.”
The Surefire Solution To Stop Negative Thoughts
No matter who you are, no matter how successful, intelligent, beautiful, or wealthy, no matter where you live or what you do, everyone experiences negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are exhausting. This is because they tend to take over very quickly once they begin and the more you give into them the stronger they become. Negative thinking can turn into an endless battle that can drag you down and deflate you. Negative thoughts can affect your self-esteem, confidence, mental health and even make you physically ill. That is why it is extremely important that you stop negative thoughts as soon as they arise… But again, that is easier said than done.
There are many ways to combat negative thinking before it begins and form a foundation for positivity, but what do you do when you catch negative thoughts if willing the them away only empowers them even more?
Thankfully, there is one surefire solution to stop negative thoughts….
This solution is simple and effective. Anyone can do it, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort or even talent, and it is guaranteed to make you feel better and forget whatever negative thought you were thinking…
So what is this secret solution to stop negative thoughts in their tracks?
It’s no secret at all, actually…
The surefire solution to stop negative thoughts is to turn them into a positive action!
Yep. It is that simple. Seriously.
Anytime you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, turn it into a positive action. This will quickly nix the negativity and is guaranteed to make you feel better.
How? Well, this is where you can get creative… The possibilities are endless and can be custom tailored to your goals. Of course, these actions should always focus on something positive. Meaning, the act should give back in some way, help you to move forward towards some goal, and/or make you feel good.
Here are a few examples of how to stop negative thoughts through positive action…
Let’s say you went to a job interview and it didn’t go well. Bombing a job interview, especially if it is for a position your really wanted, always gets those negative thoughts flowing. Even if you didn’t bomb the interview, (In fact, especially if you didn’t bomb the interview) not getting a job you wanted usually leaves you feeling pretty low. Often times this disappointment turns into negative thinking and leads you to start questioning your abilities. Turning these types of thoughts around by focusing on your positive attributes can be helpful, but taking action will be faster and far more effective.
So how do you take action?
In this case you could choose to revamp your résumé and send it out to 5+ other companies/positions. You could choose to volunteer in order to gain more experience, draft an awesome cover letter to go with future resumes, or you could write a Thank-you letter to send as a follow-up (reminding them, for future positions, how thoughtful and positive you are).
The options are endless. The whole point is to focus on taking positive action, immediately. Taking action will force your brain to focus on the task and help you stop negative thoughts.
Perhaps you had a fight with a friend or partner. When our relationships get difficult we often resort to negative thinking, either about ourselves or others. It is important that you stop negative thoughts like these quickly. Especially when you are upset, or you run the risk of saying something that you will regret. Remember, negative thoughts tend to snowball and because of this we often end up even more angry for unrelated reasons we have created in our heads.
We’ve all done it, especially in intimate relationships. Your partner says something that upsets you, forgets an important event, or does something insensitive. Suddenly, you are focusing on all the things that they do that irritate you every day and you find yourself caught up in negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original issue.
How do you stop negative thoughts from snowballing out of control? Take action.
Plan a fun outing for you and your partner. Apologize or explain to them why you felt the way that you did. If you feel responsible for the issue then take action to rectify the situation and take responsibility. Admitting we are wrong can be one of the most difficult things to do, but it is often very powerful. If you can’t ‘fix’ the issue with the other person then at least take action that helps you. Go shopping, have a special treat, indulge in a hobby that makes you happy or try something new.
When the issue stems from a relationship it can be a lot harder to distract yourself and stop negative thoughts. Be sure that the action you choose is beneficial to you and is focusing on something positive. Volunteering is always a great way to give back to the community and it makes you feel good about yourself. Look for opportunities in your area to help others as a way of also helping yourself.
“Taking action will force your brain to focus on the task and help you stop negative thoughts.”
Taking action is the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to stop negative thoughts in their tracks. Focusing on positive thoughts is also helpful but often takes longer. The key to taking action is to find something you can do, as soon as possible, that will force your brain to focus elsewhere. Actions should be something positive. That simply means that the act should give back in some way, help you to move forward towards some goal, and/or make you feel good. You can get creative with your actions, have fun with them, and involve other people. In fact, inspiring others take action is a fantastic way to turn your own negative thoughts around.
It is important to remember that we all experience negative thoughts from time to time. Negativity is a big part of the life experience. It exists to help us learn and grow. Negativity can be a great tool for building a happier, more fulfilling life if you learn how to utilize it in a positive way. There will be bad days when you can’t seem to stop the negative thoughts from creeping up in your mind. That is okay. Those days exist for everyone. When you face big changes or experience high levels of stress, neagtive thoughts are natural. This simple solution to stop negative thoughts should help reduce those days; bringing your closer to a happier, more fulfilling life.