In most cases, negative thoughts are not in themselves a psychological problem; they are just the reflection of a world in which many times things do not turn out as we would like, not even what comes to mind. In the same way that the world in general is not designed to fit our interests and preferences, mental processes, which are largely beyond our control, embody this diversity of good and bad experiences , and do not have to correspond with our tastes.
However, there are cases in which negative and discomfort-generating thoughts become part of the problem. This occurs particularly when we “go into a loop” and they become, in addition, intrusive thoughts, which come to our minds over and over again despite (or precisely because of) how badly they put us through.
However, faced with these kinds of problems, there are several things we can do. Here you will find some of these proposals in the form of tips to know how to overcome negative thoughts that are repeated too much .
5 tips to learn to overcome negative thoughts
The first thing you should know is that the most effective way to deal with problematic negative thoughts (that is, those that generate very intense discomfort and that are repeated too often) is to go to the psychologist. Read More: Management of Emotions
It is not necessary to have developed a psychological disorder to benefit from professional support of this type: if you have significant difficulties in managing your emotions and the thoughts associated with them, going to professionals is the best option. In this way you will have an expert who will supervise your particular case and design a psychological “training” program adapted to your characteristics and needs.
Now, if you consider that the discomfort produced by negative thoughts does not constitute a problem that deserves psychological assistance, you can choose to introduce some changes in your day-to-day life. Here you will find a summary of the most important and easy to apply, although you must bear in mind that achieving absolute control of your thoughts is impossible, for good and for bad.
As I anticipated before, it is not realistic to set out to totally block negative thoughts. But not only is it impossible; In addition, trying it is counterproductive, because it leads us to put ourselves in a state of alarm to try to be police of our own conscience. This leads us to predispose ourselves to attracting to it those thoughts to which we give more importance , including those we want to eliminate.
2. Understand what gives you anxiety
You have been experiencing thoughts that cause stress or anguish for a while, but that does not mean that you understand. But if you come to understand the logic of appearance of these intrusive thoughts, you will detract from them.
To do this, limit yourself to observing the content of those thoughts as if you were a third person taking note of what is going through your mind. In this way you will detect themes and generalities in the contents of those thoughts, and you will begin to see them not so much as an element of life that you cannot avoid, but as a construction of your mind, with its own stereotypes, narrative resources, simplifications, etc. .
3. Have a clear sleep schedule
One of the times when recurring negative thoughts wreak the most havoc is when we are trying to fall asleep, with hardly any sensory stimuli to distract us from our thoughts and the predisposition to worry if we notice that something is keeping us awake .
To minimize the chances of having problems in this regard, it is important to have a clear sleep schedule and, if we notice that it is difficult for us to fall asleep, get out of bed for 15 or 20 minutes and do some relaxing and not physically or intellectually demanding activity before try to sleep again.
4. Learn how to “reset”
When you notice that you are in an anxious state that prepares you to “go into a loop,” do a simple activity that allows you to focus your attention on short-term goals : going for a run, reading, meditating, and so on. Think that it is not wasted time, but that its beneficial psychological effects will allow you to focus and perform better when carrying out the tasks and responsibilities that you must fulfill.
5. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
People in good physical condition are less likely to suffer from problems with managing their emotions . Eat right (without obsessing over diet), exercise regularly, and take care of yourself in general.