Dealing with negative thoughts is something everyone has to do. Some people choose to allow negative thoughts to freeze them in their tracks. Other people have a negative thought and then transform that into a positive one instead. If you want to be a person who has good self-esteem and lets go of self-doubt, purposefully turning negative thoughts to positive ones will help you like almost nothing else.
Tips for Dealing with Negative Thoughts
1. Don’t Say Them Out Loud Whenever you have a negative thought, let it stay in your head for a moment but do not voice it out loud to anyone – even yourself.
2. Go for a Walk/Run/Swim Even if you don’t like doing that, the point is to do something that requires thought and movement. You want to be away from technology and hopefully into nature. You want to get your heart pumping and using energy. Focus only on your feet hitting the ground, the sun on your skin, the water around you.
3. Smile. This may seem trite but when you are feeling negative, putting a smile on your face can boost your spirits quite a bit even if you’re not feeling it yet. Smile at people around you or go smile at yourself in the mirror, but smile instead of indulging in the negativity.
4. Find a Positive Friend. If you have a positive friend already, give them a call, plan a date, or send them a funny joke on Snapchat. Do whatever you can to think more about this person and get your positive thoughts flowing.
5. Reframe the Issue. It’s easy to get tied up in negativity when it’s kind of based in reality. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, you may think, “This is going to suck and be so hard and I’m going to fail.” Instead, frame it differently by thinking, “This is going to be an exciting challenge and a journey, but I know I can do it.”
6. Get Out of Yourself. One way to overcome any type of self-pity or negativity is to go help someone else. Volunteer to read to kids in the library, work with kids at your place of worship, or feed people at the food bank. All these things will help you see that your life is pretty good.
7. Turn Up the Music. There is probably some positive music that makes you happy that you can listen to. Turn it up loud so that you can’t help but sing and dance away your bad feelings.
8. Accept that Perfection Doesn’t Exist. You’re not perfect, no one else is perfect, and that’s okay. How boring life would be if we were all perfect. We would no longer have any reason to strive for anything or learn anything.
9. Let Go of Victimhood. Sometimes things do happen outside of our ability to control it. We may get mugged, raped, or get in a bad accident that wasn’t our fault. There may have been nothing to prevent it. Maybe you got sick with cancer or were laid off from your job. None of these things could be prevented. But, don’t let yourself get sucked into the abyss of victimhood. Instead, think about what you can do that is a good choice and do it.
10. Repeat Positive Affirmations. Get out your positive affirmations and start reading them to yourself.
Each time negative thoughts that aren’t useful come up, do something mentioned here to circumvent them. If you can turn the negative thought into a positive thought, especially one that requires action, you’ll win this fight with your inner self. To gain your self-respect, rid your life of damaging self-doubt and keep on winning.
It’s not always easy to deal with feedback, even positive feedback.