Negative thoughts come to all of us at some point and, unfortunately, they seem to come at the worst times, when we’re feeling weak, empty, or vulnerable.
Sometimes they float in and out of our minds rather quickly and don’t do much harm. At other times, however, they come in a like a flood and can be almost completely overwhelming.
So, how do you combat negative thoughts?
1. Realize That Your Perspective May Be Off
When facing negative thoughts it’s critical that you keep them in the proper perspective. If you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself suffocating under an avalanche of an unyielding stream of negativity.
Negative thoughts left unchecked start to snowball from one bad thought into another until they become an massive mountain of worry and despair.
One great tool to help in this battle is thankfulness. When faced with a string of negative thoughts, immediately start listing out the things for which you are thankful.
Appreciation of the good things in your life with help to anchor and correct your perspective.
2. Don’t Resist Them. Replace Them
Don’t focus on fighting the negative thoughts directly. That will only empower them.
Focus on other thoughts, positive thoughts. Redirect your energies and efforts into something else.
Engage with a friend, participate in hobby, read a book, or watch a movie. Just get off the negative thought carousel and start moving forward.
If you find the negative thoughts waiting on you when you finish your activity then it means that your activity was merely a momentary distraction and something more powerful is needed.
Distractions aren’t a bad thing if they work but stronger negative thoughts or persistent negative thoughts require more than just a distraction. They require new thoughts and goals to be planted to squeeze the old thoughts out.
This is when reading the Bible, praying, and making new plans can be most powerful.
Remember, negative thoughts seem to attract more negative thoughts. Drop them as quickly as possible and start grasping good things, new things, and things which bring your hope.
2.5. Seek Counseling When Needed
Seek counseling if negative thoughts are the norm for you, or if you feel constantly overwhelmed by them.
Sometimes some outside help is going to be required and there’s nothing wrong with that.
When things seem to be beyond your control, a good counselor can step in and help. They can assist you in ways that you can’t assist yourself. They can help you walk through the steps above, and a whole lot more.
You don’t have to suffer silently. Find a good counselor and get the help you need.