Poonam Dutta (Satyamshakti)
How To Recognize Negative Thoughts & Deal With Them Successfully
What really are negative thoughts?
I cannot, I am the worst, I am not worthy, I am not enough, It is my fault and my fault only, My life is miserable…
Negative thoughts and overthinking make you miserable and sad. These emotions make you doubt yourself; lower your confidence and self-esteem and also change your perception. Negative thinking can also lead to problems like low self-esteem, depression, social anxiety and stress.
In an unpleasant situation, when you’re feeling anxious & negative, you often want to get rid of the feeling ASAP. In my experience, trying to get rid of these feelings or avoiding them can usually increase their intensity. The intensity of these thoughts will however decrease if you become aware of this feeling/thought, accept them and do something to change them.
With this article, I’ll teach you a few tricks to accept your negative thoughts and manage them more successfully.
Sadness, anger and fear are among the top three contenders when it comes to negative thoughts. Each one of us has a different tolerance level and it is normal to feel resentment towards yourself for having these thoughts. But remember, it is not the thoughts that matter, but what you do with them.
If you have trouble handling your thoughts, here are a few things that you first need to avoid while feeling low with negative thoughts/emotions.
Things To Avoid When Under A Negative Thought Impact
Avoidance: Avoiding the thoughts or seeking reassurance from people is only going to make things worse. Making futile attempts of distracting yourself from the thoughts is a big no-no.
Numbing: Most people make the mistake of abusing alcohol and/or substances to numb their thoughts. Over-sleeping or binge eating are few among the many other ways you need to stop suppressing your feelings.
Self-Harm: NO! Harming yourself is not only destructive but can also induce more guilt later on.
Comparisons: Each one of you is completely distinct and unique in your own ways, so comparing yourself with others is not going to help. Accepting yourself the way you are is the most important thing.
Isolating: Staying inside every day and restricting yourself with your own emotions and thoughts are not helpful at all. Isolating from the world will make this more difficult for you on numerous fronts.
Escaping distressing thoughts is only effective for a short period of time. What you do to escape can end up causing more problems in the long run. So, how are you going to cope with these thoughts instead of escaping them?
Here are some effective, tried & tested ways to accept your negative thoughts and manage them based on the concept of mindfulness.
Recognize and allow: Learn to recognize, allow, and accept your thoughts. Recognize the worst thoughts or intentions you could possibly have about the situation. Do not downplay it in your mind, go ahead and own it.
Watch the emotion: You have to be extremely mindful of your emotions when experiencing negative thoughts. Accept whatever emotions you’re feeling, it can either be anger or rage. Just remember you do not have to get caught up in that emotion; Let it flow. You are not your emotions, you are so much more. When doing so, think of yourself as floating in the ocean. You do not have to struggle and fight each wave, you just have to go with the flow.
Live in the present: Focus on the present! Turn your attention to what you are doing now, what’s in front of you. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to use your five senses. What can you feel? What can you touch? What do you hear? What do you see in front of you? What do you smell? What do you taste? Another way of turning your attention is by focusing on your breathing and meditating.
Keep yourself busy: Just keep your mind and hands busy by doing things that you like.
Keeping a journal: One of the best ways to let your thoughts flow is through writing. Journaling is a great way to channel your thoughts and turn them into affirmations. Whether you write for 5 minutes or for an hour, try to write every day as a brain exercise. As a result, you will be able to accept your feelings and emotions instead of ignoring them.
Contact me for an online session if you’re finding it difficult to cope with negative thoughts that are affecting your life. Take note that with regular conscious efforts and practice anything is possible.