Six Tips to Tame Those Negative Thoughts

Just because some of our thoughts are negative doesn’t mean we have to listen to them.
Did you know that our brains produce 70,000 thoughts every single day? Just imagine trying to take action on every single thought—all 70,000 of them. It would be pretty much impossible, right?
In fact we actively “filter” our thoughts pretty much all the time. Our brains are constantly deciding which thoughts are useful and which ones to ignore. So when a negative thought pops into our heads, we do actually have a choice.
Either we listen to the thought and allow it to trigger a whole host of other negative thoughts, or we decide that we have better things to do in life and we ignore it.
The truth is, you are not your thoughts.

But what can you do to tame these negative ones?


1. Be aware.Notice next time you experience a negative thought. Often we are so “in our heads” that we don’t even realize that we may have spent the last 20 minutes in the throws of self-pity or worries.
2. Keep calm.Try not to have an emotional reaction to any negative thoughts that pop up. Remember that you are not your thoughts, and try to distance yourself from them.
3. Catch that first thought.If you can catch your negative thinking early on, then it will be much easier for you to stop it before it escalates into a big problem. Often something that starts out as a minor problem ends up being completely blown out of proportion.
4. Assess if the thought is true.Most negative thoughts are not based on reality. So ask yourself, “Is that thought 100% true?” Usually this will help to break down the meaning of the thought.
5. Look for a positive take on it.Instead of finding ways to escalate the thought, do the opposite and look for ways to prove that the thought is not true. For example, if you’re doubting your capabilities you could look for an example of someone else who has achieved in this area. If someone else has done it, then what’s stopping you?
6. Don’t beat yourself up.You are not your thoughts. Resist the urge to beat yourself up when you catch yourself thinking negatively. Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time. Just be aware and choose not to listen to all of them so you can get on with living your life.

Today, take power back from your negative thoughts, and see how much more you can achieve!
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