How to stop negative thoughts
Do you keep having the same old negative thoughts come up?
Things like, ‘but I can’t do that’…’that’s not going to be possible, ‘how am I ever going to achieve that’?
These are all perfectly natural as you allow our past experiences to affect your current thinking. If something hasn’t gone right in the past then your brain automatically tries to protect you by focusing on the negative.
Every worry, doubt or fear is an impression brought into the present from the past as your brain doesn’t want you to make the same mistake again.
90% of our daily worries and fears come from past. We simply project them into the here and now
The brain recognises patterns so repeated negative thoughts become automatic – doubts and worries become your truths as you build neurons around them, forming connections.
You have to break these connections in order to break the habit of negative thoughts. By becoming aware of what’s happening you can shift from using the left, analytical side of the pre-front cortex, to the right hand, creative and insightful side.
You can retrain your brain in order to stop negative thoughts. You have to learn to recognise your negative thoughts and emotions. Become more aware and mindful of what’s happening in your body and then take action to ignore the thoughts.
Recognise when you’re having negative thoughts.
By learning to recognise having negative thoughts, you can capture them before they take over your emotions. As one arises try to catch it and stop it in its tracks, by recognising it for what it is – Just a thought. Not a truth. Just a thought.
Breath and feel.
Take a couple of slow deep breaths and notice where in your body you’re feeling this negativity. Maybe tightness in your gut or heaviness in your chest…take a moment to check into your body.
Let it go.
Now disengage from the negative thought. If you want to you can say something like, ’Stop! I know you’re trying to help me but no thanks!’ Don’t judge the thought or yourself. Just let it go. Do something to distract your mind. Take in a deep breath and shake your hands and wrists or stand up and stretch. Or go for a brisk walk. If you’re able to, immerse yourself in something you love, like your favourite tune or if you’re into physical things go for a run or to a gym class.
Focus on the positive.
Make yourself a vision board so you can look at it in times of negative thinking. Focus on what you want, what you desire and not on what your mind tells you, you can’t have or do…Dopamine is released by the brain when we focus on the why we want to do something. We feel motivated and more empowered.
If you’re having a bad day set your phone alarm to go off every hour to refocus on what you’re trying to achieve – what your goals and dreams are. To be able to see your mood board is really helpful here. Have it on your wall or as your screen saver – make sure it’s visible to you every day.
I hope these steps help you to break the habit off negative thoughts. Let me know below – I’d love to hear from you!
Photo thanks to Citations